What’s a Cal-Look VW Bug?

A “Cal-Look” VW Bug, short for “California Look,” is a custom style of Volkswagen Beetle that originated in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s. This style emphasizes a clean, minimalist appearance and performance enhancements. Here are the key characteristics of a Cal-Look VW Bug:

Key Characteristics

  1. Exterior Modifications:
    • Debadging: Removal of factory chrome trim and emblems to create a cleaner look.
    • Paint: Often features bright, bold colors with a high-quality finish.
    • Bumpers: Frequently, bumpers are removed or replaced with smaller, more streamlined versions.
    • Lowered Stance: The suspension is typically lowered to give the car a more aggressive stance.
    • Wheels: Often fitted with aftermarket alloy wheels or stock wheels with performance tires.
  2. Interior Modifications:
    • Simplified Interior: The interior is kept simple and functional, often with custom upholstery.
    • Gauges and Controls: Additional performance gauges and upgraded controls may be added.
  3. Engine and Performance:
    • Performance Upgrades: The engine is usually modified for increased power, including upgrades like larger carburetors, performance exhaust systems, and improved cooling.
    • Handling Improvements: Suspension modifications to improve handling and stability.
  4. Overall Aesthetic:
    • Clean Lines: Emphasis on clean, uncluttered lines with an overall minimalist aesthetic.
    • Classic Yet Custom: Maintains the classic look of the VW Bug but with custom touches that set it apart.

Cultural and Historical Significance

The Cal-Look style has become a significant part of the VW culture, symbolizing the blend of vintage charm and modern performance. It reflects the Southern California car culture of the time, where car enthusiasts focused on individuality, performance, and style.


A Cal-Look VW Bug is a customized Volkswagen Beetle that emphasizes a clean, minimalist exterior, performance enhancements, and a lowered stance. Originating from Southern California, this style has become iconic among VW enthusiasts for its unique blend of classic and custom elements.

*Featured image courtesy of Randy Paredes. To see more, visit https://www.instagram.com/randy_wheels/.



For over 50 years, SCAT has developed, engineered, and manufactured the most comprehensive product line in the automotive aftermarket. SCAT has grown from a distributor of specialty Volkswagen parts into the premier manufacturer and distributor of high-performance aftermarket engine components for a wide range of American and foreign engines. SCAT, one of the original founders of the VW aftermarket, is extremely proud of its 42,000-square-foot manufacturing and warehousing facility in Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A., where it houses over 20 CNC machines, 12 crankshaft grinding machines, 8 polishers, 12 rod honing machines and complete in-house manufacturing, engineering, and programming capability. It is with this capability and the capability of overseas manufacturing operations that SCAT is able to deliver the highest-quality and most-reliable performance parts in the industry. SCAT has many new product offerings and continues to offer the most comprehensive line of aftermarket parts for VW.

SCAT is dedicated to continuing our quest for excellence to keep Volkswagens running and performing at the highest level. As always, SCAT wants to thank you for your business and look forward to continuing to service your VW aftermarket performance needs.

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