[Out there now]
[Bits & bobs]
Peter Holloway's '52 Sunroof Split Window Beetle
The base car for this project is a very rough '52 split window sunroof window. The main roof section, gutters and dashboard of the car are in good condition. Both front quarters, front valance, bulkhead and scuttle areas were in a very bad condition. Both rear quarters, boot floor area and rear corners were also in a very bad condition. The floorpan was in a good condition having had both floorpan halves replaced. We had known of the whereabouts of the car for a number of years, but its condition had put off many people from doing anything with it.
We were not concerned about the condition of the front and rear quarters, as our plan is to replace the front quarters with later, genuine items, with a fabricated scuttle, petrol tank and spare wheel area. This is due to a 5" (125mm) narrowed front beam being fitted.
At the rear, later genuine rear quarter panels are to be modified and fitted. The frame fork rear suspension area is to be removed and a narrowed custom-made four-link arrangement will be fitted to allow wider rear wheels and tyres under stock wings.
The reason for the suspension modifications is that the engine will be a 2332cc CB performance fuel injected and turbo charged (mounted above gearbox) engine with Mendeola transmission. Hence, the rear luggage area will all have to be fabricated.
At the front end, CB drop spindles fitted with a Porsche disc brake setup. The planned wheels are 6x15 Fuchs on the front, 8x15 (custom widened) Fuchs at the rear.
To keep Peter entertained whilst he is having this car built, we found him a mint '66 Beetle to which we fitted a lowered and 3.5" narrowed front beam along with 6x15 Fuchs wheels and soon it will have a 1914cc motor.
Andrew Sinclair's '68 Beetle
Andrew's car is in the workshop for a stock restoration. It has had the floorpan halves replaced with genuine VW items, new genuine front quarter panels are to be fitted along with new NOS petrol tank surround spare wheel panel and a genuine VW front valance. A genuine luggage bay area panel and rear corner panels are also to be fitted.
The heater channels have been replaced with genuine VW parts, with genuine VW closing panels.
All mechanical components are to be replaced. The gearbox has been rebuilt, and a new 1500 single port VEGE engine will be fitted.
Steve Crane's '53 Oval Beetle
Steve's car is also in the workshop for a stock restoration. The car was imported from Sweden via Owen Warlow. The bodyshell is in very good general condition with only a minor welding repairs required.
The majority of the work on the car is to rectify a front-end accident. The nearside front quarter panel is to be replaced with a new old-stock item. A new old-stock bonnet has been obtained. We are currenty looking for new old-stock or good used front wings.
Keith Penny's '66 Beetle
Keith's '66 Beetle is virtually finished. It has had a stock restoration. All mechanical components were overhauled or replaced. A new front beam has been fitted. All brake and suspension components are new. The original engine has been rebuilt. The car has been painted its original colour (ruby red) and the interior has been retrimmed with new seat covers, headlining, carpet and TMI door cards.
Mark Pottier's '69 Bus
Mark's '69 Bus was a very original solid Bus that he purchased from Alex Ward at the Retro Motor Company. Alex carried out minor welding repairs and repainted the Bus. He also lowered the Bus, fitted a disc brake front beam and Bus small 5-stud pattern BRM replica wheels.
We have the Bus in the workshop to fit a 2160cc (84mm stroke x 90.5mm bore) engine. The engine has a Bugpack T4 centre main crankshaft, Scat Chromoly H-beam connecting rods. The cylnder heads are '044' (42mm x 37.5mm valves). The camshaft is a Web-Cam 86A operating Scat 1.4:1 pro-rockers. A Berg wide sump and full flow oil system featuring a Mesa fan assisted oil cooler are to be fitted. The carburettors are Weber 44 IDFs on CB tall straight manifolds operated by a CB hex-bar linkage.
Mark plans to use the Bus for trips to the south of France so we have gone for a large engine capacity whilst using 90.5mm barrels for maximum life and cool running. We will be keeping the compression at a sensible level due to the van's proposed used in higher temperatures.
The Bus is also to be fitted with Avo coil-over shock absorbers all round, and uprated front and rear anti-roll bars. A servo is to be added to the disc brake front beam.
The exhaust system is a full stainless 1 5/8" header with 2.5" polished stainless muffler. As the heat exchangers are not in use, we are fitting a Propex heater to the van.
A full set of Autometer gauges are to be fitted (rev counter, oil temp, oil pressure and cylinder head temp).
James 'The Doc' De'Ath's '59 Sunroof Beetle
James' Beetle is a very solid original one lady owner LHD car that James sourced himself from Germany where he lives.
The car is to be fitted with a Rancho Pro-Street transaxle. The engine is a Keith Seume built 2007cc unit fitted with '041' heads (40mm x 35.5mm). Camshaft is an Engle FK-8 operating 1.25:1 VW rockers on bolt-up shafts.
Rear wheels for this car are 'Rocket' Empi 5-spokes. At the front, 12-spoke magnesium spindle-mount wheels have been fitted to Merv Barnett modified CB disc brake drop spindles.
Joe Patel's '74 Karmann Ghia
Joe's Ghia is currently in the last stages of restoration at Wagon Werks situated in Milan near Petersfield.
We are building a 2332cc (84mm stroke x 94mm bore) engine for the car. The engine uses a Scat crankshaft, Scat 3/8" bolt H-beam connecting rods, Scat flywheel and Gene Berg equalizer pulley. Cylinder heads are CB Street Eliminator (44mm x 37.5mm valves) with our own porting and polishing work. The camshaft is a Web-Cam 86C operating Scat pro 1.25:1 rockers. The engine will have a compression ratio of 9.5:1. A CSP Porsche cooling fan setup is to be fitted and used on this engine. The carburettors are Weber 44 IDFs on CB tall straight manifolds operated by a CB hex-bar linkage. A full-flow oil system with a Berg wide sump and Mesa fan assisted cooler will be used.
The gearbox is a Rancho Pro-Comp close ratio unit fitted with 1.04 4th gear.
We have built a 4" narrowed beam for the car, CB disc brake drop spindles are to be fitted along with Porsche-pattern discs (supplied by Machine 7). A CB Porsche-pattern rear disc brake kit is to be fitted combined with Bugpack uprated front and rear anti-roll bars. Koni adjustable shock absorbers are going to be fitted at the front, with Avo coil-over shocks to the rear.
Joe has Porsche Fuchs 6x15 wheels for the car that he has polished himself. We have detailed the wheels for him.
A set of Autometer Lunar gauges (rev counter, oil temp, oil pressure and cylinder head temp) will be fitted.
The Workshop Parts Chaser
My car is a 1941 Willy's Coupe. The car was originally built by Paul Yorkshire and was featured on the cover and in Street Machine magazine in 1997. He sold the car to Phil, who I bought the car from. Unfortunately, Phil had let the car deteriorate in condition quite badly. Although I bought the car 4 years ago, I've only recently managed to find the time to get the car in the workshop in order to start work on it.
The body is a fibreglass replica of an original 1941 Steel Coupe. The paint had micro blistered quite badly in many places, mostly due to incorrect paint materials not ideally suited to fibreglass. We have stripped the shell back to its gelcoat. There are a few minor cracks here and there that need repairs and holes had been cut for after market indicators. These need to be filled. The bonnet had previously had a hole cut in it for the carburettors to poke through. The engine is to be made to sit lower so the hole in the bonnet is to be modified into a small scoop.
The doors had been converted to the 'suicide' opening style. I am going to put them back to the original normal opening.
A mesh front grille had been fitted. I have obtained a reproduction original style grille. The opening which this fits into needs modifying.
All the door operating hardware (e.g. door handles, door locks, window channels etc) had all been screwed directly to the fibreglass. I am not happy with this, and will fabricate steel frames to laminate on the inside of the doors so that all the door hardware will attach to the steel in an effort to make the doors close with a satisfying 'clunk'.
The chassis is a CDS tube twin-rail setup with full roll-cage strut front suspension and fully adjustable four-bar rear suspension on Avo coil-overs.
The back axle is a narrowed Ford 9" unit fitted with a locker differential 'Strange' ring and pinion (4.56:1) and 'Moser' racing half-shafts.
The wheels are 'Weld Pro-Star' racing wheels, 4.5x15 fronts and 15x15 rears. Front tyres are Firestone 145x15s, and the rears are 'Hoosier Quick-Time' 425x15s.
The engine fitted to the car is a Ford big-block 460 cubic inch (7.5 litres) V8. The transmission is a Ford C6 unit.
I am replacing some of the CDS tubes on the chassis as I am not happy with their location. I am also lowering the engine and gearbox 3" in the chassis and mounting the engine and gearbox on motor plates to stop movement. This will also give more foot room inside the car, which previously was very limited. Lowering the engine means that I will also have to move the steering column but I wanted to do this anyway as the angle that some of the steering universal joints ran at weren't ideal. The steering rack is also to be moved backwards 2" as the steering arms ran at too much of an angle, and as the steering wheel was turned, this had a adverse affect on the steering geometry.
The engine is to be rebuilt. I have obtained a pressure and sonic tested block bored 30 thou. A longer stroke Scat crank will be used. This will take the capacity up to 545 cubic inch (9 litre). Scat 6" long H-beam connecting rods will be used along with 'Wiseco' forged nitrous pistons.
I already have 1969 'Super Cobra-Jet' cylinder heads. These were fitted to the original engine and have had extensive porting work carried out by Ice Racing Engines. Valve sizes are 2.25" inlet, and 1.88" exhaust. Valve springs are to be 'K-Motion' K800s. The inlet manifold will be an Edlebrock 'Victor Junior' manifold fitted with a Barry Grant 850 CFM 4-barrel carburettor. Camshaft choice has not been decided yet, but will be driven by a 'Pete Jackson' gear drive. This gives a whine similar to Beetle straight-cut gears - only much louder.
Rocker gear will be Crane gold series roller rockers. Manley push-rod guide plates will be fitted along with a Moroso stud girdle. At the bottom end of the engine, all the studs will be replaced with ARP studs. A CNC machined main cap reinforcing girdle will also be fitted.
The automatic transmission had previously been fully rebuilt with heavy duty clutches and bands and a reverse pattern manual shift kit. Gear selection is handled by a B&M pro-ratchet shifter. I am going to get the gearbox checked out as it has been sat around for a long time. A higher stall torque convertor will be fitted. This depends on eventual camshaft choice.
Cooling system will be a Pace 4-core aluminium radiator. Water will be pumped with a CSI electric water pump.
Exhaust headers I am going to have to custom make. These will go into a 4" collector and onto a 3.5" exhaust system using Borla mufflers. A removable plate will be included at the header to enable running on 'open headers'.
I plan on installing a nitrous system on the car (as if it's not going to be terrifying enough already!).
A friend of mine runs a 1933 Willy's. His name is Jimmy Hibberd. Using a similar engine setup in his car, it produces 700hp and he has run the 1/4 mile in 9.9 seconds with no nitrous.
I know this my seem strange that a person who builds Volkswagens for a living owns a 'hot rod', however, I am a great fan of many different car styles and types, hot rods being my ultimate favourite. I am a BIG fan of the Custom Car Street Eliminator competition. Some of the guys running in this class have run low 8s at 170mph in the 1/4 mile. The cars are street cars that have to run on pump gas, treaded tyres and are fitted with mufflers.
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