Inside this ‘phone’ is a $125 Volkswagen Beetle

Published on May 26, 2022 at 3:39 PM (UTC+4)
by Louise Cheer

Last updated on May 26, 2022 at 3:52 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Inside this ‘phone’ is a $125 Volkswagen Beetle

Howard Davis bought a 1975 Volkswagen Beetle for just $125 and transformed it into a phone car.

He’s loved phones since he was nine years old and runs a telecommunications company called Datel Communications in Massachusetts.

So it was only fitting his ride is a touch-tone phone, the kind that in offices and homes in the 1960s and ’70s.

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And guess what? It’s fully street legal, with a PHONES number plate and a candy apple red paint job.

The body was removed, leaving only the chassis: the frame, motor, transmission and wheels.

The phone was built by welding aluminum sheets together and formed to give it a molded plastic look.

As for the windscreen, drivers can see through the black faceplate of the phone car, which is made of tempered safety glass.

Visibility may be slightly obstructed, but “you can clearly see around them while driving”, Davis reassures people on his website.

The phone car took just over a year to make and was built circa 1983 for a trade show exhibit.

As for how fast it goes, Davis says it “should go as fast as a regular car”.

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“We’ve had it up to a little over 40 mph (64km/h). We now know it will go faster. In Houston it was used as our transportation and it went at least 50mph (80km/h),” he said.

In a 2018 interview with US news outlet WCVB, Davis added: “[The car] has all the safety features, everything a regular car would have, except when you blow the horn, it rings, it doesn’t beep, it rings.”

But there is one thing that’s missing: an odometer.

So there’s no way for Davis to tell how many miles he’s clocked up in almost 40 years.

Usually, he sticks to local roads, but he’s driven it across the US a number of times.

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Louise Cheer

Louise Cheer oversees and writes stories about the latest headlines on topics such as automotive, technology, gaming, watches, movies and lifestyle. Louise has been a news editor at Yahoo and Daily Mail in Australia, with more than 10 years of experience in the media industry.