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'56 Oval

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:22 am
by T-34
G'day all,

I came out to the salt this year and was instantly hooked, so knew that I had to return in 2010 with something to race.

Been planning this for a while now and finally taken delivery of the new project, so decided to come and say hello.

The car is a 1956 Oval windowed Bug, and the plans are to use it for the salt, and then the rest of the year change out the gearbox and use it for the drags.


The patina will stay, but the floor pan will likely be split from the body and completely rebuilt. The whole car is relatively rust free but has been a little neglected.

I already have an engine - I've borrowed this from another project of mine, it should push the bug along quite nicely. It's based around a VW Type 4 engine, and runs at 2.7 litres. The engine will also be turbocharged and run a DTA EFI unit. it should hopefully produce somewhere in the region of 300bhp, although until it see's a dyno, this is little more than a guess. I built this for my road car, but decided that it was wasted in a road car and needed to be used in anger.



Not too sure what I'm going to do for a gearbox yet, I have a 915 5 speed (Porsche 911) box from the other project, but fitting this will mean modifying the rear subframe, and I don't really want to do any permanent mods to the body.

My first job is to look over the pan and fix up any rust issues. Then I can get the cage sorted out. The suspension also needs to be dropped, and the rest of the safety gear sorted out.

I'm sure I will have lots of questions as the build progresses.

I will keep you posted.


Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:01 am
by T-34
OK First question...

Can anyone recommend cage builders here in Adelaide?

I'm not set up to bend tube, and would rather trust the construction of the main safety device to someone who's done it before.

A CAMS approved builder would be good too as the car may get used for other CAMS sanctioned events.


cage builder

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:29 am
by penny
peter brown at donegal engineering, lonsdale .

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:53 am
by T-34
Cheers. Will give give him a call.

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:24 pm
by T-34
Managed to speak to Peter earlier, great guy, thanks for the lead.

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:58 am
by Rob
You might want to check the Rulebook, Section 3:12 regarding appearance.

Had a lot of Beetles back in the day so will watch the build with interest.


Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:01 pm
by T-34
Will do Rob.

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:17 pm
by T-34
3.12. Appearance: All vehicles entered in an event must be maintained so as to present a neat appearance

What's the consensus on patina? The body is solid, but the paint is sun faded and has some surface rust (as shown in the photos). I was planning on clear coating over it to retain the look (I think they refer to it as 'original paint' :lol: )

Window rubbers etc will be replaced with new. Any rusty bits will be repaired, and the pan will be completely rebuilt. Wheels will be original steelies with moon discs held on with dzuz fasteners (as per rules) - these will be blasted and powder coated. All chrome trim will be removed, but lights will be retained.

I may replace the glass with lexan, but not sure on this yet.

Am I headed in the right direction? or will the patina be a problem?


Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:14 pm
T-34 wrote:
3.12. Appearance: All vehicles entered in an event must be maintained so as to present a neat appearance

What's the consensus on patina?

Am I headed in the right direction? or will the patina be a problem?


Personally patina is cool and is not a safety issue , and I believe will add to the character of the event . Its accepted at Bonneville and El Mirage .

Question ... What class do you intend to run in ? 2.7 ltr engine would slot you in F capacity rating . Looks like you could be in F/GC as the engine design would be too different from the original design to slot into F/PRO . One BIG problem , I hold the F/GC and F/PRO records and would appreciate it If you dont break either of my records . Now as I be the starter on the short course where you would race , I may use my discesionary powers :lol: ... only joking :lol: ... go for it .... :D
Are you the guy that turned up with a VW this year that said they were goin to do 150 mph , and it went bang ????...

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:31 pm
by T-34
DON NOBLE wrote:Are you the guy that turned up with a VW this year that said they were goin to do 150 mph , and it went bang ????...

Nope wasn't me.

Not sure what class it will fall in yet - haven't checked, although I agree that it probably wouldn't be production as they never fitted the Type 4 unit into the Beetle (didn't turbocharge them either :twisted: ). Basic engine is still VW and same configuration though.

What's the current F/GC and F/PRO records stand at?

Give me something to aim for :wink: :D

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:05 am
OOPS , ah a turbo , well that be a different class to what I mentioned before . That should put you in F/BGC . Nobody has set a record in that class yet , which means its an open record . So if you complete a timed run , the record would be yours ( assuming no one else is running in that class , and if there was , you would have to do the fastest speed) .
Something to aim for ? Well as there is no record for F/BGC , and you should have approx 300 hp ( and I had 250 hp to get 141mph in the station wagon ) , VW should be slipperier ,um... go for the nice round figure of 150 MPH

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:51 am
by T-34
DON NOBLE wrote:um... go for the nice round figure of 150 MPH

LOL- it seems last time someone mentioned VW's at 150mph they went bang, so I might just set my sights at getting it to the salt and getting a run (or two) instead. If I get a soft record in the process - great - I'll have some bragging rights for down the pub :lol: So, looks like your record is safe for the moment - not worth running without turbo either, as engine would run like crap - there is very minimal overlap on the cam.

Still not sure of speed at the mo as the one thing that I can't get my head around is the VW transmission. The trans I have for my other project is a 1983 Porsche 911 SC box, this is good for about 148 mph in the stock 911 with stock ratios, but to fit this in the Bug means some mods as the selector shaft sits at the top of the nose cone, not at the bottom like a stock VW box. At this stage if I can fit a VW based box this would be my preference.

The big brain block I have at the moment is relating to ratios for VW boxes - there's plenty out there for building close ratio boxes for drag racing, but AFAIK nothing for ultimate speed ie no really tall diff ratios, and it's not like I have the option of fitting a different differential as the box and diff are all in one.

What do the rules say about removing the rear guards and running a REALLY big wheel / tyre combination :lol: :lol:

I'm hopefully going to hook up with a VW transmission guru on Wednesday night, Will find out what he has to say.

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:45 pm
by Rob
You could also run a thread on to try and hook up with the Yanks that run VWs.

I'm wondering too if something could be done using the early Kombi hub reduction units with different gearing or gears reversed if possible. It's been too long for me to remember.


Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:56 pm
by T-34
Something along the lines of redux boxes would work great although i don't know if they would handle the power, plus might be a bit of a bitch to fit as they effectively raise the ride height.

Just stumbled across an interesting article on inverting G50 transmissions for use in GT40 kits - the G50 is the replacement for the 915 box. Could work for the 915 although from memory the bell-housing is offset from the gearbox centre line.

Another possible solution might be to use a cable selector kit on the 915 - this way it won't matter where the selector shaft is.

A few ideas at least.

36 Hp challenge

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:42 pm
by nitro-nige
You can have a look at the USFRA 36 Hp challenge.

"Tom Bruch's small 1378 cc single port 36 HP turbo motor at 103.497 MPH"

You might get some ideas for cages, gearboxes etc.