Hey guys, great to see someone else taking the plunge with some VW power. Personally I think that as a power plant the VW base is fine - but then I'm a little biased
VW style transmissions can be a bit tricky - there isn't really that many ratios available from the stock VW range, BUT there are a more or less unlimited range available from aftermarket sources, but unfortunately you will have to part with some $$$'s for the privilege.
For the ultimate, take a look at Hewland gearboxes, the early versions were based on the VW box, but they now have bespoke cases. Complete boxes / ratio sets are still available. There is also the possibility of picking up a used unit from a formula three car. These are expensive, but you might get lucky. http://www.hewland.com/svga/mk9.html
Rancho boxes also offer a variety of ratios, although not as many as Hewland. If you go this way, give me a holler, I can put you in touch with a Rancho importer here in SA.
The other option is to use a Porsche box - you can use a 901 (fitted to early 911 / 914) this does not offer too much of an advantage over the stock VW box and has a dog-leg shift pattern (a right PITA IMHO).
Next up is a 915 box from an 80's 911 - these are a 5 speed unit and should be good for what you need. plenty of aftermarket ratios available. Does suffer from stiff shift and overheating when run for extended periods - no issue at all over the distance travelled here tho.
If you've got some extra $$$'s you could go with the G50 - this is the successor to the 915 box and also came in a six speed version - again all the ratios you need to go well over 200 in a road going 911 - so will deffo have some to suit your needs. Very strong box, does not suffer from 915 issues, but is a very spendy bit of kit.
I personally have a 915 from a 911 SC in my project car - this was good for about 150 - 160 in the 911 - Factor in some tyre diameter changes and the stock box might work out good for you. Can't really comment on how successful it is in my car as I wasn't finished in time for this years event.
There are already a couple of VW lakesters out there, would be good to see one here in Aus. Was considering building one myself, but need to get one project out of the way first.
As some inspiration, here's a couple of pics
Been trying to find out more about this one - a VW powered lakester featured in a US magazine.
Dick Beiths 36 horse powered 1963 VW lakester record holder of 129mph (record still stands)
And here's what he's hoping to beat it with at Bonneville later this year - an insane beetle based streamliner
Good luck, and if you think I can be of any help - just give me a holler.
PS - If you're interested, there's a great interview I did with Dick Beith in our online ezine - follow the link in my signature - there's also a VW salt racing group there too.