barefootskater Dork
10/15/19 9:43 p.m.

In keeping with the startathreadbeforetakingposessionofthecaryet theme, I present my forever car:

This ratty 1973 Super Beetle

from this thread a while back:

Barefootskater said: 

I want a mid 70s super beetle (should've never sold my 73) build a high strung 1776 with a carb throat for each hole, good heads, a rather silly cam, strong freeway trans (overdriven 4th, make 3rd WORK dammit), disc brakes everywhere, try to balance the car better (maybe fiberglass rear fenders and decklid), and empty my bank account on the suspension. Like a wannabe 914 but cheaper and, dare I say, better looking. (Runs and hides)

I've been dreaming about doing this for a couple years now and my fascination with light small cars just makes it worse. That and I have ACVW in my blood.


Some history: I grew up in SoCal, raised by VW people. My parents are building a ‘59. My mom has had several over the years, my step dad has had them too. His step dad was a VW guy way back when and when I say I have ACVW in my blood I really mean it. The first car I ever bought? VW. What did I learn to wrench on? You guessed it. 

So in an effort to not hate myself I have been avoiding CL for a while and I’m not on FB. My amazing wife however, is, and she likes to enable me. So yesterday she shows me the ad and says “when are you ever going to find another one for that price?” So this evening I went to see it, no real rust, complete minus a few small and easily sourced parts, and not too far away. A deal was made and I’ll be towing the thing home tomorrow if all goes well. 

This is gonna be slow. I have small kids, a challenge car build for 2020, and in the near future will be taking a pay cut to start a new career path.  But this is what I want. I want a Super. I want a 1.6 that’ll rev to the sky. I want a dropped VW that is loud and proud. I won’t win many races but I’ll have fun anyway. 

I love my wife. 

preach New Reader
10/16/19 4:05 p.m.

Awesome...well, except for the 914 dig. Nice butt dragger!

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
10/16/19 4:13 p.m.

I always thought a build like you described would be fun. But then I remember how much driving my mom's stock 73 Super Beetle convertible sucked. I have never driven a different air-cooled Beetle so I don't know if it was just that one or all of them

barefootskater Dork
10/16/19 4:21 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

You know, I've never driven a convertible one. After 72 they were real dogs in stock form. Something something EPA something 42hp. I bet the convertibles were a bit heavier and I know they had cooling issues. My 73 was the only car I"ve owned where I felt like I could out-drive the car. It isn't an experience for everyone. But I like it. It'll eventually see some autocross and due to planned mods I know I'll be classed where I could never be competitive, but still, the heart wants...

TurnerX19 Dork
10/16/19 4:30 p.m.

I have driven both. The sedan has potential, the convertible is a lame dog.

ebonyandivory PowerDork
10/16/19 5:21 p.m.

I had a '73 Super Beetle too. I sure miss the car but I don't miss the CO migraines.

Up here in Massachusetts with those skinny tires and rear engine, I felt invincible in the heaviest snow.

I wish I never sold it.

barefootskater Dork
10/16/19 8:08 p.m.

Well I have the title and I confirmed the VIN matches. The car is officially mine. But plans to flat-tow it home were dashed when I discovered the left rear tire won’t hold air. No worries though, this weekend I’ll have more hands at my disposal and a uhaul trailer. 

Cotton PowerDork
10/16/19 8:22 p.m.

I'm a big beetle fan as well and will be following along on your progress.  I'm actually about to build a dual carb dual port.

Check out Prescott Phillips new book on rebuilding AC VW engines.  It's really good.


Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
10/16/19 8:38 p.m.

Kudos to your wife. It's a reminder of a discussion I had with my wife last year.

I was getting deeper and deeper into the spending for the deferred maintenance on my first Miata. I told her that I thought I should probably sell the car and stop doing autocross.

She said, "Absolutely not." That's a phrase that I don't think had ever come up in our relationship.

bashr52 New Reader
10/17/19 7:07 a.m.

Just my .02. Other than the machine work needed, the price difference between a 1776 and a 2110 is marginal. No replacement for displacement! I would suggest thick wall 92's over the 90.5's, at least make it an 1835. You'll have to have the case cut for the 90.5's anyway. If you already have a case cut for the 90.5's, they do make thick wall 92's with the base cut down to the same size as a 90.5. 

barefootskater Dork
10/17/19 8:53 a.m.

In reply to bashr52 :

Jury is still out on what I do when I build the engine. Part of me wants to keep it stock bore. Not really sure why. Definitely going to keep a stock stroke. But it’s a year or so until I start that part of the project. Need to focus on the thunderbird for challenge next year. 

akylekoz SuperDork
10/17/19 9:15 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

I love you wife too, my wife doesn't get my hobby much at all.  She does support my Lemons racing however, mostly due to he friends I've made along the way.

Mike924 Reader
10/17/19 12:31 p.m.

It is nice to find a wife/partner that gets this hobby.  It has been up until just recently that I have been told I will not be able to save them all.  Even though everytime I see another Porsche that could use my attention, my wife will let me look, but reminds me I have two currently running restorations at the moment.  

Hang on to that one.  She's a keeper.   yes

bashr52 New Reader
10/22/19 7:34 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

If you're set on stock stroke, go big and do a 1915. If you're concerned about doing case mods with a larger stroke, at least consider a 74mm stroke for a "baby" stroker. With the right set of rods it is a drop in mod and no clearance needed.

barefootskater Dork
10/22/19 11:31 a.m.

In reply to bashr52 :

A 18% increase in displacement is no joke, and bears thinking on. I want this thing to spin 7000rpm and modest power is fine, not really seeking max numbers but more max fun if that makes sense. Balancing size, cam, compression, rocker ratio, head choice, carbs.... I have a lot to think on. 90hp makes these cars really fun, and isn't all that difficult, even 80 would suit me just fine probably.


Cotton PowerDork
10/22/19 11:49 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

What's a good recipe for 80-90hp with dual carbs?  I'm definitely not married to the idea of a 1776, just want to keep it somewhat simple.

barefootskater Dork
10/22/19 12:14 p.m.

In reply to Cotton :

Hard to say as I don't have that much engine building experience and none of it involved a real dyno. By the 1/4-mile math based on weight my mom's last car made about 85 with a 1776, mild street cam, stock heads and twin 40 webers. My last super was around 110 with 1641, aggressive cam, stock heads and 7psi through the stock 34pict. I think a 1915 should be easily 90hp with street heads a mildish cam and twin 40s.

2002maniac Dork
10/22/19 1:27 p.m.

Nice score! Rust free bugs are pretty rare these days.  


PS. Be on the lookout for bunch of crapboxes and a HMMV driving by your house on Saturday.  I'll wave.  A buddy of mine planned a Gambler Rally starting in Cedar City and I think the course is going pass your 'hood. 

barefootskater Dork
10/23/19 12:29 p.m.

In reply to 2002maniac :

I wont be home! Plan is to be balls deep in the Funderbird. Sounds like fun though.

bashr52 New Reader
10/25/19 7:16 a.m.

Whatever you do, if you want to spin to 7k on a regular basis and have it survive, you need a quality bottom end and balance the snot out of it. Good heads are going to be key as well. I wouldn't suggest a 110 cam, the power band will be all over by 5500. I have the FK8 and love it, the Web86 is popular as well, but you're going to need the heads and displacement to back up a cam that size.

barefootskater Dork
10/26/19 5:01 p.m.

That took more effort than I was expecting. First I had to borrow a truck, in this case a suburban with a 4l60e. So you know... towing with fear of finding new neutral gears. Then we had to fix the trailer which needed done anyway but required a new battery for the winch, 4 new tires, new wiring and lights. Then finding a day free of more pressing duties. Then the car was on the worst trailer I’ve ever seen and was tucked into an impossible corner. We actually used the winch to drag the old trailer out of its corner on flat tires. Then the car has three tires which hold air and one that does not. Not at all. Winch to the rescue. But it’s home now. And not somewhere I can leave it but I can’t put it in a better spot until my other wheels get here on Tuesday. Anyway. Pictures. 

That tire tho. 

The only rust spot I can find. It’s bad by desert standards but very fixable. Interior is roached. 

And the engine doesn’t turn, is missing some cooling tins, carb is MIA, but other than that seems at least complete. It’s pretty bad, but I love it. 

barefootskater Dork
10/26/19 8:10 p.m.

In reply to bashr52 :

I’m honestly torn between building 85.5x69, heavily porting the stock heads and throwing in all the cam I can fit just to see what it’d be like, or building 94x69 with big heads and a street friendly cam because aside from the heads it wouldn’t cost any more and it would make more power. I have time to think about it though. 

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