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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy ID Help needed - X-Files / Dolphin Industries: Buggy maker?? (17157 hits)
By luvmybuggy Date 2007-04-06 15:50 Edited 2007-04-17 14:14
My buggy has a lot of Spatz characteristics, however I read that Spatz were made in Delaware. My buggy has an imprint (pic below) on the rear. Does this mean its not a Spatz?

By luvmybuggy Date 2007-04-06 15:16 Edited 2007-04-06 15:40
After searching for weeks trying to identify my buggy I believe its a spatz. I could be wrong
but its as close as Ive found. I read somewhere the spatz were made in Delaware. My buggy has an imprint on the rear that says "Dolphin Industries, Pompano Beach, FL" so possibly my buggy is not a spatz but a spatz wannabe. lol I am trying to upload some pics for comparison.

By Bugvert 81 Date 2007-04-16 14:51
Your buggy sure does resemble a Spatz with a few slight differences.
Your dash is slightly different and you have a raised ridge around the rear of the rear seat area. This area on the Spatz buggies I believe is flat, at least it is on mine.
Perhaps you have a buggy design which was sired from a Spatz.

Another buggy style to add to the registry?? Paul/John

Great looking buggy though!! I like the side step panels.

By luvmybuggy Date 2007-04-16 15:11 Edited 2007-04-16 15:21
Thank you, I have to admit Im completely nuts about it!! haha I noticed the differences you mentioned too, and had decided it wasn't a Spatz buggy until I saw the photos of the Spatz hard top in the dune buggy models album. The dash looks the same and I wonder if under the top theres a rear seat ridge like the one on mine? The tail lights, signal lights, front bumpers, gas cap covers, license plate light and even the speedometer are all alike. I'm sure they are all replaceable parts but isnt that odd?

Im not sure how to post a link but the hardtop photos are at the bottom of the page
By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2007-04-16 22:36 Edited 2007-04-16 22:57
Hi Tammy - It sure does look a lot like the Spatz but with an actual manufacturer stamped into the fiberglass (if others could only be so lucky!) its unique.  I'll create a special registry just for your buggy!  We just need to figure out if there was a model name associated with it.  A number of manufacturers just had one buggy and the mfg name was used.

Here is your new Dolphin Industry Registry. Its also in the Buggy ID system as well.

Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By luvmybuggy Date 2007-04-17 00:32
Well shoot, just when I thought I finally had it figured out. Oh well, being unique is good too I guess. haha Thanks Paul, I appreciate all your help.
By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2007-04-18 17:38
HI Tammy - I talked with John Shepard this morning and he thinks he has an old article on Dolphin Industries from a Florida based dune buggy club.  From his memory, it sounded like Dolphin was into making copies of existing buggies which explains why yours is so close to a Spatz.  Paul...
Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By luvmybuggy Date 2007-04-18 19:36
Ah ok, that would explain it. I searched everywhere trying to find something on Dolphin and came up empty handed. If John were to run across that article please let me know Id be very interested in seeing it.
Thanks again,
By Dave C 1786 Date 2009-08-22 20:46
I have the same buggy with Dolphin Industries embossed on the back deck. I researched it years ago and found the maker of it online. I lost almost all of the information, but kept copies of his emails back to me. I no longer have his email address or any other contact information. Here are the emails, enjoy.

Dave   You came to the right place.  In fact the only place.  I built that body and all the molds.  We built three different body styles.  Yours is the PEANUT. A pickup version called the CRICKET. And a full length model called the MOD T.   At the height of our company we built an average of  7 to 8 cars a day.  (drivers).  What else do you want to know?  Terry

Dave   I think we started to make a few buggies around 1967/ 68. We bought a few bodies from Manx.  To be honest the quality was crap. But the demand for the dune buggies, here in South Florida got real popular real fast. So we decided to build our own bodies.  We started with Manx body as a platform only.  (basic size, shape)  We (about 10 of us) decided to fix all the design problems and weaknesses that the Manx had.  We redesigned the body.  We made it straighter, stronger, and overall a better looking car. We started in a two (open) bay PURE gas station. across the street from a marina that I worked in. The first cars had an ID in or on them that read H.I.S. buggy.  That stood for Hillsboro Inlet Service. (the gas station) I worked their part time and I worked at the Hillsboro Inlet Maria ( in Pompano Beach) full time. Because I was building and racing boats at the time I was asked to be part of the team for my fiberglass background. We soon moved to a rented 5000 sq. ft. warehouse to start.  Within three months that was too small. A fiberglass company down the street called DOLPHIN Dock boxes was contracted to produce the bodies in their plant.  About a year later we bought them out so we could control the production.  We grew so fast that we had to move 3 more times in 3 years. The final location was a 5 acre site where we were building 5 to 7 cars a day. Plus we had 3 other production lines making fiberglass products.  I will look around and if I can still find some of the old lit. and info pages. I might be able to get some of it reproduced.  I will let you know what they charge me for it.  $20. to $25. should cover it.  Some of the pages are in color.   We made 3 different models. Yours was known as the PEANUT. Then we made a Pickup version from the Peanut and it was called the CRICKET and a real popular full length version called the MOD T.   Production slowed to a few in 1972 when VW started to produce the Super Beetle.  They didn't work to well for buggies. Our production plant had a big fire that killed most of the molds and put us out of business for a while.  Before the fire we were starting to build streetrods.  we never went back to the VW buggies.  Nevertheless, we still make some real nice cars. I will enclose some pictures.  # 1 is of our 1932 Ford 3 window Coupe, # 2 is our 1935 Ford Pickup, and  # 3 is our 1932 Chevy roadster. Just to name a few.   Later  Terry

Dave   The wheels on the Pickup are Centerline Champs.  500 series if I remember right.  I will look for that info as soon as the power comes back on.  IM on  a generator right now.  We  lost power from the hurricane last Fri.       Later  Terry
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2009-08-23 15:16
Dave, thanks for sharing that information. We have a model in the X-file (Unidentified) That has the Dolphin dash... I'll have to look again. I wonder if this email will shed some light on the subject.

Thanks again for helping to piece together the history.
By glassbuggy Date 2009-08-24 01:16
Outstanding !
This is why we put the Archives together ! To identify and document the unknown, OUTSTANDING ! Great detective work. I now have the Dolphin fies updated with model names. I don't have a t style on file unfortunately. I wonder if they used the same dash layout?
I think he is incorrect about copying a Manx, what he did was copy a Spatz (probably not knowing the difference)
Poke around and see if you can find your lost info, It would be a great addition to the site.
I'll see if I can find some buggies in my files with the ''HIS'' logo and those can be incorporated into the Dolphin history. I sort of remember a Glitterbug pickup that had something like this molded into the tailgate instead of glitterbug , I'll do some research on that.
By glassbuggy Date 2009-08-25 17:10
Nix on the Glitterbug angle, It was one that had ''ACE'' instead of Glitterbug on the tailgate. I thought it might have said ''HIS'' - nevermind  ---- Thanks for playing

By Nathan W 5790 Date 2021-08-22 20:02
this is my girlfriends dolphin industries Mod-t. hoping someone has more information about them

Attachment: smallDSC_1722.jpg (780.9k)
Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy ID Help needed - X-Files / Dolphin Industries: Buggy maker?? (17157 hits)

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