Decorated buggy draws community attention

By Samie Gebers

Last update: Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

When Keith and Mary Williams drive their self-styled dune buggy down the street during the holidays, they are greeted by waves, yells and smiles.

Their vehicle attracts a lot of attention this time of year with more than 1,000 lights taped from the car’s wheel wells and wrapping all the way up the eight-foot antenna.

“They smile as big as they can,” Keith Williams said. “They role their windows down and they’re all taking pictures.

Keith and Mary Williams smile as they're reflected in the side mirror of their lighted dune buggy in front of their Valencia home. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Keith and Mary Williams smile as they’re reflected in the side mirror of their lighted dune buggy in front of their Valencia home. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Those reactions are what inspires the couple to go out just about every night during the holiday season with their 1961, transformed Volkswagen.

“We just put on the long underwear, two or three shirts, a jacket or two, stocking caps, winter ski gloves and just bundle ourselves up,” said Keith Williams.

The Williams’ holiday tradition started three years ago, when they figured that instead of just decorating their lawns for Christmas, they could take their light display with them everywhere they went.

“To feel like you can make a difference in someone’s life just by dressing up your car with lights, it’s pretty neat,” Mary Williams said.

The pair constantly go out to dances and other community events, and are often recognized by their stand-out vehicle.

“They will say, ‘You’re the tin buggy guy or you’re the tin buggy lady!’” Keith Williams said.

Keith and Mary Williams with their lighted dune buggy outside their Valencia home. They've been duct-taping Christmas lights to the street-legal vehicle for about three years. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Keith and Mary Williams with their lighted dune buggy outside their Valencia home. They’ve been duct-taping Christmas lights to the street-legal vehicle for about three years. Katharine Lotze/Signal

A few lucky community members have even received the opportunity to ride in the Christmas buggy.

Keith Williams reached out to Ashlee Bahr, a young adult who struggles with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other disabilities since childhood, and has given her a few rides over this holiday season.

“It makes me feel like a normal person,” Bahr said after a short drive around Wakefield Court. “It takes all the stress and worries and pain out of me, and I can just have fun.”

“It’s a crazy thing to give back a little bit and put a little joy in other people’s lives with tape, Christmas lights and an old, crummy dune buggy.” Keith Williams said.

Click here to post a comment

Decorated buggy draws community attention

Keith Williams drives with wife Mary around their Valencia neighborhood in their lighted dune buggy on Dec. 20. Katharine Lotze/Signal

When Keith and Mary Williams drive their self-styled dune buggy down the street during the holidays, they are greeted by waves, yells and smiles.

Their vehicle attracts a lot of attention this time of year with more than 1,000 lights taped from the car’s wheel wells and wrapping all the way up the eight-foot antenna.

“They smile as big as they can,” Keith Williams said. “They role their windows down and they’re all taking pictures.

Keith and Mary Williams smile as they're reflected in the side mirror of their lighted dune buggy in front of their Valencia home. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Keith and Mary Williams smile as they’re reflected in the side mirror of their lighted dune buggy in front of their Valencia home. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Those reactions are what inspires the couple to go out just about every night during the holiday season with their 1961, transformed Volkswagen.

“We just put on the long underwear, two or three shirts, a jacket or two, stocking caps, winter ski gloves and just bundle ourselves up,” said Keith Williams.

The Williams’ holiday tradition started three years ago, when they figured that instead of just decorating their lawns for Christmas, they could take their light display with them everywhere they went.

“To feel like you can make a difference in someone’s life just by dressing up your car with lights, it’s pretty neat,” Mary Williams said.

The pair constantly go out to dances and other community events, and are often recognized by their stand-out vehicle.

“They will say, ‘You’re the tin buggy guy or you’re the tin buggy lady!’” Keith Williams said.

Keith and Mary Williams with their lighted dune buggy outside their Valencia home. They've been duct-taping Christmas lights to the street-legal vehicle for about three years. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Keith and Mary Williams with their lighted dune buggy outside their Valencia home. They’ve been duct-taping Christmas lights to the street-legal vehicle for about three years. Katharine Lotze/Signal

A few lucky community members have even received the opportunity to ride in the Christmas buggy.

Keith Williams reached out to Ashlee Bahr, a young adult who struggles with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other disabilities since childhood, and has given her a few rides over this holiday season.

“It makes me feel like a normal person,” Bahr said after a short drive around Wakefield Court. “It takes all the stress and worries and pain out of me, and I can just have fun.”

“It’s a crazy thing to give back a little bit and put a little joy in other people’s lives with tape, Christmas lights and an old, crummy dune buggy.” Keith Williams said.

About the author

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers

Samie Gebers is currently studying broadcast journalism at College of the Canyons. She reports on the weekends as well as produces video content during the week.