By Michael Kitchens
Owner: Junior Alimoot
Occupation: Owner, AAA Custom Installation
Hobbies: Surfing, diving, sand drags
Year/Make/Model: 2005 VW Pipe Buggy
Color: Candy Green with Candy Blue Details, Powder-coated
Engine: 2332 CCs, 51mm Carburetors, Super Flow Heads, MSD Digital Ignition, D&D Custom Headers, Breather Boxes, 84 Crank, 95 Pistons, Hi-Tech Starter, Optima Batter,Electric Fuel Pump, Fuel Cell
Drivetrain: Mid-engine Transaxle
Interior: PBS Shift Lever & Hydraulic Clutch System, Autometer Gauges, Autometer Monstertach and Shift Light, LED Running lights
Suspension: Custom Coilovers, VW spindle front axle
Wheels and Tires: Smoothee 4.50-15s Front, Sand Tires Unlimited Padla Trak 16.50-15s Rear
Junior Alimoot has been into cars all of his life and he has the record to prove it.
When he was 17, he received his first car as a gift from his father, a hot rod 1969 Toyota Corolla. From that point on, he would enter a phase of builds and sells, always moving forward in his automotive pursuit, always finishing a project before moving on to the next. He’s pumped out a great assortment of rides, including a 1965 VW Bug, a VW Manx and the stalwart CJ Jeep.
“Everything is for sale, right? And I didn’t have a big enough garage,” says Junior when discussing the large number of cars he’s owned and worked on.
In the 1980s, Junior naturally gravitated toward VWs, so much that it makes sense that his first foray into competitive racing was a red sand buggy named Pele Express owned by Lance Kaaina. After a season of racing at the Kalaeloa Raceway Park Sand Drags, the owner decided to sell it to Junior.
After getting his feet wet, Junior decided that the time was right to make the car his own, from the bottom to the top. The color scheme and the name of the car came from the Broadway Musical “Wicked.” While watching, Junior commented to his girlfriend that the color scheme of the title character was a nice color combination.
With an image in his mind, Junior set to work making a complete transformation — not just the paint, but everything related to it. The entire car was disassembled to its singular components. First on the to-do list was stripping the red powdercoat from the car. It took three eight-hour days using aircraft paint remover and a power washer. The frame and chassis components were sent off to Mekala Powdercoat & Patio Manufacturing and covered in Candy Green with Candy Blue details.
The drivetrain in this buggy is unique because it features a reverse, mid-engine transaxle. The suspension features custom coilovers and the stock torsion front end. Junior changed the back tires from 14.50 to a slightly wider 16.50-15 paddle tire as well as Smoothee 4.50-15s for the front. The car is a sand buggy through and through, still retaining reverse as well as four gears. If he wanted to, Junior could take this out to the beach and rip it up with the best of them, while also being able to tear up the drag strip as well. The car features a cable-driven PBS main engine shift lever as well as a hydraulic clutch system to help with the launches.
The engine is a mass of parts designed for performance. At 2332 CCs, it’s fitted with dual 51mm Weber Carburetors, Super Flow heads, MSD Ignition, D&D Custom Headers, breather boxes for the valve covers, as well as an 84 crank and 95 piston size. Rounding it out is a HiTech starter, Optima Battery, electric fuel pump and fuel cell.
The interior features a plethora of gauges: an Autometer Monstertach and shift light combo, three gauges to monitor the vehicle, LED running lights and custom color-matched LoBack fiberglass buckets. Meanwhile, TM Motorsports furnished the Simpson Racing products to finish off the ride’s safety.
With the rebuild complete, Junior is satisfied with the car’s plug and playability when he competes. “Now they’re going to look at the car and identify me with the car,” says Junior. “People love to build cars like this, and we need a place to play with them. We need more people to back up our track. So, if you have a friend, bring your friend with you. Come out and enjoy what we do at KRP.”