Modern Living: The Elegant Bug

At a Chicago traffic light last week, a motorist glanced at the car alongside and gasped to a friend: "Hey, the rear end of that Rolls is a Volkswagen!" Well, almost. What the Chicagoan saw —and what more and more drivers and pedestrians across the U.S. are encountering—is a VW equipped with a fiberglass hood that bears a startling resemblance to the elegant Rolls-Royce front. It is the latest—and most eye-catching —manifestation of the doll-up-the-Bug fad that has produced a dizzying variety of conversions over the years since the Beetles first appeared in the U.S.

Some 3,000 of the Rolls hoods have...

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