Forums » Beach Buggy Model Guide

Kango Buggy - South Africa

    • 162 posts
    March 20, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    • Country of origin: South Africa
    • Name of creator: Kango Kit Cars (Then) Gobex (Now)
    • Year of production: Not known (probably throughout the 80's & early 90's)
    • Wheelbase: LWB, standard Beetle chassis
    • Identification: Angular lines, wedge shape - totally different from the tradional curvacious 'round' buggy shapes. Prominent 'T-top' (think Datsun 280ZX or Trans Am), with removable panels to act as door and rear hatch. Standard model had round upright headlighs, 'SS' model had integrated square headlights.

    I've done some research on the whole buggy phenomenon in South Africa, and regard the Kango as a bit of a 'late bloomer' in the range of buggies/kit cars that were available from the mid-sixties to the late nineties. With such a beautiful and practical design, I just feel they came on the market a bit too late.

    They first arrived on the scene in the early eighties taking the concept of the earlier 'fun only' traditional type of buggies a lot further to reveal a handsome and hip daily driver that can be used any time for fun as well. They were weather proof, lockable and well designed. The angular, almost skinny design (think Twiggy) of the body almost remind one of the Golf 1, compared to the curvacious, rounded design of the Manx-type buggies (think Pamela Anderson :flash:), which were getting outdated. (Remember this was early 80s. Production of Beetles have stopped only a few years earlier, and technological advancements were on everybody's minds.) I think one of the main objectives of the designer(s) of the Kango was to make it look as ''un'-Beetle as possible. Features like square lights mounted inside the nose, an attractive instrument console, stylish side panels and almost completely hidden engine were completely different from the early buggies.

    They were manufactured and marketed by a company called Kango Kit Cars, which also manufactured the 'Model T' buggy, the 'Veep' buggy, Baja Bug Kits and several other accessories like wide Rostyle wheels, exhausts, seats, pully covers etc. I scanned this early black and white ad from a CAR magazine of February 1986 - more than 21 years ago. There were initially two Kango models available - the sporty T-Top (without recessed head lights) and the Kango SS, which was a more enclosed, all-weather buggy, of course with the enclosed head lights. I've also seen a pick-up 'bakkie' version of the Kango. With slogans like The most stylish and practical buggy around' and Undeniably the world's best looking sports buggy, KKC certainly had an aggresive marketing strategy.

    This Kango, from the Cape Town Wildbuggers Buggy Club, has been very nicely modified to accomodate a radiator for a water cooled engine:

    Found this interesting ad on the Net - it is what appears to be an US ad for a Kango - I initially thought they were only in made and sold in South Africa, but this proves otherwise..

    On the same site this pic as well - but I'm pretty sure it is a local Kango: RHD and what seems to be those old yellow Transvaal plates? Not the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards)-approved 'trailer' tail lights..

    • 162 posts
    March 20, 2010 8:18 PM GMT

    It seems like there is an updated version of the Kango STILL available!

    • 162 posts
    March 20, 2010 8:34 PM GMT

    Flying Kango!

    • 162 posts
    March 25, 2010 6:44 PM GMT

    Another Kango pic, showing rear detail

    • 41 posts
    May 3, 2010 10:06 PM BST

    Nice white one I saw today

    • 41 posts
    May 3, 2010 10:08 PM BST

    Front view

    • 162 posts
    October 20, 2010 4:55 PM BST
    Another variation of the Kango... no comment

    • 162 posts
    October 20, 2010 6:20 PM BST
    This one is a bit more civilised

    • 162 posts
    January 3, 2011 9:05 PM GMT
    Later upgraded version of the Gobex/Kango buggy

    • Moderator
    • 1124 posts
    January 4, 2011 7:15 PM GMT
    Very nice, is that an opening bonnet? It looks is if there might be some storage space there.
    • 6 posts
    March 20, 2014 8:41 PM GMT

    Mine has an opening bonnet. Storage for the spare wheel and access to the fuel tank, brake fluid and wiring


    • Moderator
    • 214 posts
    March 23, 2014 10:22 PM GMT

    Kangos are cool!

    • 162 posts
    July 24, 2014 8:19 PM BST

    Thanks to my good friend Danie for sending me this pic of the manufacturers plate on his Kango!


    • 139 posts
    July 25, 2014 8:06 PM BST
    Mine is the full SS kit as shown in the advert, molded in the UK from an american shell. Getting tatty body wise as it is a daily driver since june 1986 with 186,000 miles on the clock and used in all weathers. I like the more rounded wings of the newer version.
    • 162 posts
    July 26, 2014 6:28 PM BST

    This military-themed Kango really works for me

    • Moderator
    • 214 posts
    July 26, 2014 11:35 PM BST

    Me too!
    That was on gumtree not too long ago I think? There was a military-themed Kango on uk ebay no too long ago either, really bummed I couldn't get it.