The car

The concept! The finished article

The car is a 1958 beetle (technically it’s a 59 model as it was built in Sept 1958), and from the factory it was a solid roof model. The car has however been fitted with a factory Golde 3 fold sunroof which is correct for the year (picture), taken from a 1963 ragtop I had which was past restoration.

Body wise there is few modifications, other than the extensive restoration I have done on it (see the restoration section), and where new panels have been welded in this has been done to match original pressings. The only modifications to the body are the use of a cabriolet decklid for better cooling (picture) and the adaption of brake fluid reservoir steel work to take a duel reservoir pot, custom fabricated by me (picture).

Engine

 

  • 2276cc (compression ratio of 10.5 to 1)
  • Mag crank case
  • 82mm DPR stroker crank
  • Wedgemated flywheel
  • Scat H beam rods
  • Wiseco pistons
  • CB 044 heads with 42mm x 37mm Valves
  • FK87 Camshaft with straight cut gears
  • Autocraft 1.4 ratio rockers
  • Race Trim valve covers with welded on breather take offs (pictures)
  • Scat 2qtr sump
  • A mix of SCAT and genuine tinwear
  • BERG Short Manifolds (N.b these were meant to be DDS manifolds (pictures) but there was not enough material on them to port.)
  • 48IDA twin carbs (pictures)
  • Gene Berg linkage (modified to work with Berg manifolds as they turn the carbs round 180 degrees)
  • CSP oil filler/ breather
  • Equaliser pulley with BERG gland nut
  • External FRAM HP 1 oil filter
  • External oil cooler and fan, automatically activated by a in line thermostat (pictures)
  • MSD dizzy and blaster coil
  • Airoquip fuel regulator
  • 1 3/4" Merged header with turbo muffler handmade by Turbo Thomas (pictures 1, picture 2, picture 3)

Fuel system

 

To feed the engine a holey blue pump is fitted in the front frame heads section, along with a high flow filter. The whole system is plumped with braided AN6 hose, which runs through the chassis tunnel, entering at the framehead inspection plate. At the back of the car, the pressure is regulated with an aeroquip pressure regulator which is attached to the fire wall, feeding a pair of classic cal look 48IDA's mounted on DDS manifolds.

Ignition system

 

The engine runs a MSD 6AL2 ignition system with blaster coil and Billet Distributor. This ignition box has two adjustable rev limits, and one is used as a general rev limit, set at 6,500rpm, where as the other is used with the line lock, for burn outs, set at 3,000rpm. The box is also plugged into a separate RPM activated module used to activate a shift light, as the original Motormeter tacho, does not have a shift light function.

Gearbox

 

Gearbox was built by Bears Motorsport, and is based on a standard ratio type 1 transmission. Specifications are as follows:

  • 3.78 1st gear, 2.06 second, 1.26 3rd , 0.89 4th. Final drive 3.875.
  • Clutch operating shaft - HD suitable for late style release bearing
  • Main casing stock - with extended studs for mid mount
  • BERG intermediate mount and Rhino urethane mounts front and back.
  • Side cover HD ring gear side stock opposite
  • Recon gear carrier with late style bearing for 113/002 mainshaft
  • Nose cone Stock 2 bolt
  • Differential - HD 4 spider gear superdiff
  • New VAG 1600cc ring and pinion set
  • Input shaft - stock
  • Mainshaft set - late 113/002 with 091 bus 1st idler gear
  • 3rd/4th gear sets - stock early style - modified to fit 113/002
  • Mainshaft with welded dog rings
  • All steel shift forks and steel cage needle roller bearings
  • HD Sway a Way short race axles
  • High torque starter

Suspension

 

At the front the car is lowered using an adjustable king and link pin beam narrowed by 4 inches, with the standard pressed shock towers being replaced by laser cut 8mm steel versions, allowing the beam to be fitted with no inner wing modification (just). The beam also has the bracket fitted from a ball joint beam so that a standard later steering damper can be fitted. A later steering box and pitmen arm are also used along with the steering stop bracket, so that the turning circle can be adjusted to stop the wheels scrubbing the inner arches. Shocks are lowered KYB Gas shocks. The camber is also adjusted by the use of two set of camber compensators, and longer beam bolts.

At the back, the car is kept at standard height, but with the addition of up rated KYB Gas shocks are fitted. A Berg engine traction bar is also fitted to stop the frame forks flexing under hard launching.

Brakes and wheels

 

Brakes

At the front the brakes are standard late model VW disk brakes drilled for Porsche 130 PCD stud pattern. These have been fitted using CB dropped spindles specifically for disk brakes. Talbot Horizon callipers, which offer a larger single cylinder (48mm vs 40mm) are fitted for better braking, and studs rather than bolts are used for easy removal and fitting of x. At the back a set of CB Performance Roto Hub disk brakes are used. These are again drilled for Porsche pattern, and have been fitted with studs, rather than bolts.

As disk brakes are fitted all round, as well as up rated callipers the master cylinder has also been changed to a larger Porsche 944 unit. This removed any excessive travel on the brake pedal, and improved the braking performance no end. Also fitted within the braking system is a Hurst Line Lock, which is used to lock the front wheels, for burn outs and good launches of the staging lights.

 

Wheels

Wheels are genuine Porsche Gasburner (Mahle) magnesium wheels (Please note these were not fitted during the build, cheap MWS wheels are used). These wheels being made of magnesium are very light, but as a down side are also prone to cracking. It took a lot of searching to finally find a good set.

Interior

 

Inside the car, a full interior is to be maintained, which will been trimmed similar to a standard interior for the year. However, the standard front seat have been swapped for early 911/ 912 seats, which although similar to standard VW seat, additionally have headrest, as well as adjustment. Fitting these seats required the sectioning of original seat runners, which means the seat can still be adjusted forward and back.

As seatbelt were not originally fitted in 1958, 4 point harnesses have been added. The shoulder straps of these are attached using a custom fabricated harness bar which attaches to the b pillars, but still allows access to the back seat (with a bit of a squeeze).

The dash has had a number of additional gauges added, such as motormeter oil temperature, and pressure gages, and a VDO tacho. An electronic Dehne fuel level gauge is also added, which has been modified to take a original Dehne fuel gauge face. Even the speedo has been modified, being converted to read in to 120mph by the use of a 120Kph dial face and changing to the gearing inside!! On the steering column is an Autometer mini pro shift light, and the steering wheel is a wood rimmed MotoLita item.

Other hand controls in the car include a BERG shifter, with a Hurst line lock button attached to this.