Please forward all comments, suggestions or submissions to - bimelliott(email at)comcast.net
and thank you in advance for sharing information on these great little cars.

Web site by
Bob Elliott
(Last Update, 10/11/14

Copyright 2005-2013- Deserter Owners Group - All rights reserved No part of this website may be
reproduced without permission.
Here's some information and a few photo's of various parts and pieces from
different cars, (Deserter GT's) as they were quite different than the Manx
clones like the Series 1.

Where possible, I've included replacement art information. If you have anything
you can add, please just send it to -bimelliott(email at)comcast.net

FYI - The numbers on the sketch to the right mean nothing on this page, it's a copy
from original Deserter literature.- thanks - Bob
Bumper - Front - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A custom GT Part - Originally supplied in chrome finish with 2 mounting stubs that accepted 1" tubing that extended to meet the
tops of the shock mounts supported the bumper.  Simple enough, and all that supported its weight were the two holes you made in
the fiberglass body.   Originals are rare and there are no current suppliers for replacements?  

Bumper - Rear - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A few variations exist, and looks best in chrome, but this is another custom GT part.  Sorry, but originals are rare and there are
no current suppliers for replacements?  The most common double tube version was supported by 2 tubes that bolted to the bottm
the rear seat and hung from the rear apron before it extended to the bumper.  

If you decide to build one - The bend radius is 2". The tubing OD is 7/8". Height is 4-7/8". Length is about 58-1/4". There is a 3"
bow across the width. The mounting brackets are sheet metal bent in a U shape and are 29-1/2" between centers.

The weight of 7 pounds implies a tube wall thickness of about .08".

It could be a challenge to find a die for bends that tight. A quick search did not find anything smaller than a 3" radius. The 3" bow
is another challenge. But you are in this for the challenges, right?

Emblems - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I've seen 3 different front emblems used on these cars, the more generic
embossed aluminum Autodynamics version and either
the
Autodynamics or Dearborn Automotive laminated Deserter versions. Only 1 type of Deserter script existed and it was plastic
with chrome finish and appeared on all versions, Series 1, GT and GS cars.  Installed on the rear apron or the buggy based cars and
on the sides of the engine scoop on the GS cars.

Front Parking/Turn Signals - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Beside the usual VW versions on top of the front fenders that often rubbed the tire, one of the more common choices of the time
was the early
Karman Ghia turn signals. Another nice choice are early Mustang turn lamps.

Gas Cap - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Others were used, but this picture shows the most common gas cap for GT's,  Once again, I have no current source for this part,
so either you have one or you don't.; Many other options work just fine - Berrien Buggy Stainless Steel Fuel Filler Kit with screw
on vented cap $23.95 - www.berrienbuggy.com/id86.htm and BUGPACK polished aluminum with flip top, mounting flange, vented P/N
6034, $28.78, www.bugsandbuggies.com/Parts.asp?CN=459&SN=40&GN=7 as well as the 63-67 Corvette Stingray filler
caps.

Gull Wing Hard Top - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This clearly was the holy grail for any Deserter GT owner. Not many made, the top was priced higher than the body as a much more
complex piece with multiple parts and few remain today. Because the doors were a little flimsy, many must have broke and were
tossed aside so today, you might find a top, but the doors might be missing.  (
Pic 1, Pic 2 & Pic 3)  

Hard Top, One Piece (Low Profile) (item 6 above) - - - - -  - - - - - - - -   - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - -
There were only a couple examples made of the one piece fiberglass hardtop that was a carry over from the Bounty Hunter line.  
It was just impossible to get into and out of.  It must have ultimately forced the creation of the Gull Wing Hard Top..  It was
depicted in the sales GT Sales Literature at the time and provided great visual lines for advertising, but a was a real back
breaker.

Head Light Buckets - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The original headlights supplied by AD were MGB or Lucas units and probably still available from UK suppliers, but you can use the
inexpensive Baja units available from most of the VW parts suppliers. They require a weird cut-out to fit, but will work with an
1/8th of an inch space around the bezel. Another option, the units from a Jeep CJ fit matching the diameter of the mounting
surface. Note: It's important with the Baja units to mount them with the bezel retaining screw at the bottom, even though it's
more difficult to attach the screw. (Thanks to Rich B and Bob H for this tip)

Rear Fender Extensions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
OK, maybe you've seen these and wished that you had a set. Like any other GT part, not many originals to be had, the good news,
these were very simple little pieces.  Some do not appear to be a custom molded part, some were simply were cut out of flat
fiberglass stock and curved to fit the rear apron. Some were actually a molded part.  Most that I've seen have been bolted (or
riveted) to the body or possibly glassed in.  Make yours out of any sheet plastic or rubber you'd like, or fiberglass.  Paint to match
you car and you all set.

Rear Seat - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Not many of these survived, never mind in this condition. Here's a couple of shots from an original Deserter back seat. Very
original, very nice. (
Pic 1 and Pic 2).  There also was a rectangular tufted version that wrapped over the rear and covered the rear
wheel wells.

Rear GS Shocks - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Once again, a special part for the GS.  This is what I know, the shock you need is 15 in extended, 11 in compressed with a normal
ride height of 13 in. Coil -overs rates range from 200-300lb's. + on cars I've seen and vary with choice of power and if the "Z" bar
carries some weight with solid connections to the trailing arms?

The long out of production Koni Special "D'' 80-1669 was the shock of choice back in the day, but you'll have a real had time
locating them.

Roll Bar - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This part was unique to the GT with overall dimensions 36H by 48W; and 1 1/2 in diameter tubing. The side mounting tabs for the
roll bar start at 16 in. up from the bottom mounting plates. They are 4 1/2 long and 2 wide. The side mounting brackets have two
holes, and the floor mounting brackets have three holes.

Side Pods or Tanks (item #3 in diagram above) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Another unique to the GT part, identical in looks to the Bounty Hunter version, but the Deserter GT version is a full 6 inches
longer.  These are a "Must Have" item on any Deserter GT as it is just not complete without them.  In addition to greatly
improving the looks of the car, with a simple cut to create an access hole from the inside you could create some much needed dry
storage space.  With proper permanent mounting you actually created a stronger and stiffer chassis for a better riding and
handling car.  But the idea of filling them with foam as suggested in the original build manual would be a mistake in my mind as you
need to access the windshield post bolts, roll bar bolting and adding the cut out for the storage bins aid in this regard.

Soft Top - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A pretty functional soft top for both the S-1 and GT cars existed.  While the S-1 soft top was very functional, I have to admit that
entering or exiting the
GT soft top takes some dexterity, it helps to be young.

Looking for a soft top for the GT?
I don't know all that can be done but if your interested, get in touch and find out yourself. In black from standard top material the
price is about $600 for the top and another $200 for side curtains + shipping. I hope to post pictures soon, but I don't have any
yet. The 2 top bows are up to you and bent from 1/2 in. EMT. The front windshield header can be made by you from wood or I can
replicate it in fiberglass like the original. Check out any boat supply yard for help with other mounting hardware.

Edwards Seat Cover Company, Inc.
1115 N. Liberty Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
336/722-2817; 336/723-5638

Steering Wheel - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What I consider to be an original GT wheel was depicted in most of the GT adds, walnut rim, 3 chrome spokes, not sure of the
original supplier, but to my eye, the Superior 500 is a real close source today.  I'm looking for a little help here if you know of
anything, please pass it along?

Tail Lights - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Too many choices to list here, but often just the early VW units were employed from the donor car, if you were lucky with chrome
housings. Other choices were round DOT or truck/trailer lamp assemblies, sometimes the popular Mustang or Corvette tail lights
were used.

License Plate Lights - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The licence plate on most GT's was illuminated by of a pair of chrome covered, small eyeball lights that came from a Triumph TR4
and possibly other British cars.  Look for any old British parts supplier and you should be able to locate a pair.  Plenty of other
options exist here, so don't feel like you have to go this route.   

VIN or Serial Number ID Plate's - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I ’ve only seen 1 style
VIN or Serial Number ID Plates used on these cars, it bears both Autodynamics and Deserter names on it?  
Anyway, regarding the placement and serial numbering, it was never an exact science and things varied a bit from car to car over
the years.

Deserter Serial Numbers often (but not always) started with a D, GS or GT designation to indicate the type of body. That was
often followed by a 2-digit indication of the year (68, 69, 70 or 71) and lastly followed by 3 or sometimes 4 sequential numbers.

From what I can tell, Deserter Serial Numbers crossed body styles at AD and Dearborn.  What that means is that if your GT has
the number G T 7 1 2 1 1, that does not necessarily mean that 211 GT’s were made that year!  It most likely was the 211th
Deserter ID tag issued, and that would have included the series 1 body D, the GT or the GS kits?

The “71”, also does not necessarily mean that it was made in 71.  I’ve never seen a “72” or a “73” year Serial Number, even though
bodies were picked up or delivered into 73 when the shop closed up.  Later year buggies just used up plates, apparently already
stamped 71?  To date, after 40+ years of checking, I’ve only seen; 68, 69, 70 and 71 year plates.  No 72 or 73 plates?

In addition, it appears that some morphing of the numbers occurred over the years.  Adding numbers or characters seemed to add
legitimacy to the local registration process for some when compared to longer numbers from traditional manufacturers?

If you’re lucky, yours will have a Serial Number or VIN tag attached someplace, but not many do and there really was no official
place to mount one.  Some had them prominently located on the dash, but look under the dash on the body tub or in the rear near
the battery and storage box compartments also. From what I've seen many will not have one.

Looking at the old Deserter Catalogs, the ID tag is listed as an option; some might have left it off knowing they would use the VW
numbers for registration?  Some might have left it off with no plans to register it?  Lastly, even if they were shipped with an ID
plate, what the owner/builder did with it varied.   The fact that most Deserter cars today do not have it installed is really pretty
simple, using the original VW VIN #'s and Title was simpler and cleaner and speeded up the process.  Consider yourself lucky if you
have a Deserter registered using the original Deserter Serial Number.  It was not that popular here in Massachusetts, the home
of Autodynamics and DAC.

At this point, the VW numbers registered the car and made the Deserter Serial Number tag unnecessary.  So over time most
simply got lost.

Windshield (item 4 & 5 n diagram above)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Originally From a Renault Dauphine, it also fit's the Bounty Hunter, Marauder GT, Renegade and Deserter GT buggies. The
windshield post are just another unique part to the GT and differ from the Bounty Hunters. Some posts were not that great of a
casting piece of aluminum to start with and often buffing it only shows more flaws, you have been warned.

There never was any hard piece to cover the top of the glass. Most that I've seem used a rubber channel that wrapped completely
around the windshield. It provided some isolation on the bottom and sides as well as a visual edge for the top.  The rubber would
also help seal to either the soft or hard tops when installed. It can be held in place with the help of some silicone adhesive.  Also,
black silicone helped fill any gaps and seal the rubber to the post and body.

Some left the top of the glass empty with nothing on it? Too much of an unfinished look in my mind and often the cops would think
there was no windshield in place and pull you over because of it.  I've seen some with foam weather-stripping on the bottom and
lots of silicone on others.  All would work, some better than others.

- For new GT windshields, call Pilkerton Classics 1-800 848-1351, or email -
Pilkington.Classics@us.pilkington.com -expect to pay
around $400 plus shipping.
- For the
rubber gasket, look for a 1932-36 Ford Rear Window Seal - P/N B-704220, available from many old Ford parts suppliers
and they often are less than $20 bucks and fits great!
The Deserter Owners Group
Part's Page, Deserter GT