12a VW Beetle

NZ Performance Car - - 4 & Rotary Nationals 2017 -

Although we’ll for­give you for mis­tak­ing this as Greg’s first well-known bug, on closer in­spec­tion, you’ll find that it’s far from it. This mish­mash ’58-floor­pan ’60-body Volk­swa­gen Beetle was built in no more than 22 days from start to fin­ish — yep, 22 days, peo­ple. The rea­son that’s bloody im­pres­sive, if you haven’t picked it al­ready, is the fact that it’s now 12A bridge­port pow­ered. A bridgey in a bug? Blas­phemy!

It all be­gan af­ter Greg sold up his first bug and headed up to Whangarei the fol­low­ing day to pick up the rotang, but it was an idea that was clearly al­ready in the works, as six months prior, a gearbox adap­tor plate had been ac­quired out of Oz to suit the 1500 man­ual. A spare Beetle sit­ting in a friend’s shed was se­lected as the lucky re­cip­i­ent, although it ended up hav­ing its body chopped up for its floor­pan alone, be­fore a sec­ond Beetle, pack­ing a gag­gle of bet­ter bits, was pur­chased and got at­tacked with the saw, too. The box was bolted to the ’58 floor­pan, while the ’60 body was cut open to al­low for in­stal­la­tion of the ra­di­a­tor pipes. With the en­gine and box mated to­gether, the wa­ter­works were then made to work in the con­fined space.

“Marc from Te Rapa Auto Elec­tri­cal came around and wired up what it needed to run, and, be­fore you knew it, videos of it run­ning were float­ing around on the net for the first time, a day out from nats,” Greg told us.

A last-minute ef­fort was made to get all the other things sorted, in­clud­ing an ac­cel­er­a­tor ca­ble to en­sure that it would be able to roll into the halls un­der its own steam, then, two hours later, it was driven off the trailer into the event.

“I think the most ex­pen­sive part of the build was the amount of al­co­hol con­sumed,” Greg said, laugh­ing.

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