When it comes to performance, a 1930's economy vehicle labeled "The People's Car" doesn't come to mind. The aircooled VW Type-1 (Beetle) was commisioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche. But because this was the longest running, most manufactured, car worldwide, there are plenty of options for creating a custom tailored vehicle. Radium co-owner JP purchased a 1965 volkswagen in 2004 specifically for this purpose. His main goal was to create a unique Subaru powered VW bug that would be capable of doing wheelies on the street.
A couple quick purchases and here comes a brand new 2.5L Subaru STi block...
...and an oversized SuperTech valve job from Tom at Port Flow. JP fabricated a stainless steel muffled exhaust system.
Power was transmitted to the wheels using a Rancho prodrag transaxle with an aluminum spool and Sway-A-Way heavy duty swing axles.
In order to properly operate the twin disc clutch's heavy pressure plate, the VW cable actuation was swapped out in favor of a hydraulic master and slave cylinder.
The VW 4 wheel drum brakes were swapped out for disc brakes with 4 POT calipers from Wilwood (below). A Wilwood adjustable proportional valve was required as well as a line lock for drag racing burnouts, both shown above.
JP wired in the EFI system which uses a AEM Universal "Race Box" EMS mounted underneath the rear bench.
For 5 years the car was transformed and looked great, externally.
But in 2009, JP decided the Bug needed a full restoration as there were some necessary body repairs and quite a bit of rust underneath that needed attention. First thing was to separate the body from the pan.
Next, the old floor pans were cut out and new floor pans were welded in place, shown below.
The entire chassis was then powdercoated gloss black (above). Also the adjustable beam, tie rods, control arms, etc. were powder coated (below). New QA1 double adjustable shocks were installed to help weight transfer for massive wheels stands
Once the widened Porsche Fuchs wheels were reinstalled, the vehicle was aligned.
After the body shell was painted Lotus Aspen White Pearl and reinstalled, the floor pans were insulated before the carpet was installed.
Four jack points are fabricated from aluminum and anodized Radium green.
The headliner and all of the glass was reinstalled and a roll cage was built to comply with racing standards.
Lightweight power windows were installed in order to avoid window crank interference with the roll cage.
The roll cage ties the chassis, body, and engine together for a solid mount.
A Porsche 993 Turbo OBC tachometer is used with a working coolant temperature and road speed digital display.
The factory 2 point harness was tossed for Sparco 4 point harnesses and a modular harness bar. To avoid snapping a neck with 1960's seats without head rests, retro (period correct) ProCar seats were installed.
Because the VW body is a natural air foil, JP designed a removeable wing to keep the car planted down the track and to aid in cooling the secondary radiator and intercooler.
The angle of attack on the wing is adjustable for optimal downforce.
The revised car kept its classic look with modern touches.
The front and rear fenders were slightly widened in order to fit race tires.
Radium Engineering oil catch cans take care of oil separation from the cam covers and crankcase.
The engine runs flex fuel (E85) and starvation is cured thanks to the Radium Engineering E85 Fuel Surge Tank. Radium Engineering fuel pressure gauges are used for monitoring pre and post surge tank fuel pressures.
The front weels are 15x7 with a -21 offset (shown). The rear wheels are 16x9.5 with Hoosier drag radials.
The classic Porsche headlights use modern HID H4 bulbs. The original turn signals on top of the fenders were deleted in favor of European bullet signals.
With the exception of the VW headlight bezels, the classic chrome was removed in favor of texture black powder coating.
The car will be strapped on the dyno and is projected to make over 500whp thanks to the Garrett GT3076R turbocharger.
1965 VW Type-1 Beetle by Radium Engineering
Subaru STi EJ25 Block and Portflow WRX Heads
Crower Retainers, Springs, and 264 Cams
Super Tech 0.5mm Oversized Valves
Radium Engineering Oil Catch Cans
AEM Alternator Pulley
Unorthodox Crank Pulley
Radium Engineering E85 Fuel Surge Tank
AEM Race EMS, FPR, and Fuel Filter
Aeromotive Fuel Filter
RC Engineering 1000cc/min Injectors
FJO 1000cc/min Staged Injector Solenoid
Radium Engineering Fuel Pressure Gauges
GM Flex Fuel Sensor
550hp Garrett GT3076R
DEI Turbo Blanket and Wrap
DC Sports Header, Up Pipe, and Muffler
Radium Engineering Boost Solenoid
STi JDM Intake Manifold
RC Engineering 65mm Throttle Body
K&N Air Filter
Spearco STi Intercooler
SPAL 6.5" and 14" Fans
Fluidyne Radiator and Oil Cooler
C&R Aluminum Radiator
Rancho Pro Drag with Rhino Case and Aluminum Spool
KEP Twin Disc Clutch Kit, Flywheel, and Engine Adapter
Sway-A-Way HD Axles
Porsche Widened Fuchs, 15x7 (-21), 16x9.5 (+5)
Wilwood 4 POT with Proportional Valve and Line Lock
CB Performance Rear Disc Brakes
KCW Adjustable and Narrowed 4" Beam
Sway-A-Way HD Springs
QA1 Double Adjustable Shocks
Car Creations Front Hood, Deck Lid, Widened Fenders
Porsche Speedster Headlights
Aero Catch Hood Latch
Sparco 5 Point Harnesses and Steering Wheel
CNC Pedal Assembly and Slave Cylinder
Porsche 993 OBC Tachometer
Scat Pro Car Seats