If you're buying or building a dune buggy for off-road driving, you need to think about how you're going to get to the dunes in one. Some buggies are street legal, and can simply be driven from place to place. Those that aren't require a truck with the proper towing equipment.
The laws that allow an off-roading vehicle to be street legal vary from state to state. In general, this means you'll need things like windshield wipers, headlights, seat belts, turn signals, proper brakes, a speedometer and a license plate. Obviously, it's probably easier to make a street-legal dune buggy out of an existing vehicle rather than custom-build one from the ground up. The buggy must also be titled and insured [source: Dune-Buggy.com].
If you have to tow your buggy, make sure you have the right towing equipment. The buggy may need to be equipped with tow bars and hooks, which isn't a bad idea anyway -- just in case it also gets stuck in the mud, snow or sand. The buggy can be towed on a dolly or on a trailer. And if it's somehow small enough, you may even be able to transport it in the bed of a truck. A 4x4 truck can be extra helpful for this. Just remember to check your vehicle's owner's manual for the proper towing procedures.
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Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Dune-Buggy.com. "Making Your Buggy Street Legal." (Jan. 26, 2010) http://www.dune-buggy.com/techtips/street_legal.htm
- Dune Buggy Archives. "Dune Buggy History." (Jan. 26, 2010) http://www.dunebuggyarchives.com/DuneBuggyHistory
- Dune Buggy Plans. "Dune Buggy Plans." (Jan. 26, 2010) http://dunebuggyplans.com/
- Four Wheeler. "Swamp Buggy Anatomy." February 2009. (Jan. 26, 2010) http://www.fourwheeler.com/eventcoverage/129_0706_swamp_buggy_anatomy/index.html
- Swamp Buggy Races. "Swamp Buggy History." (Jan. 26, 2010) http://www.swampbuggy.com/swamp-buggy-history.html
- Webster, Larry. "The Father of the Dune Buggy Rides Again." Car and Driver. June 2006. (Jan. 26, 2010) http://www.caranddriver.com/features/06q2/the_father_of_the_dune_buggy_rides_again-feature