Five ways to make it bet­ter

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

UP­PiNG 1

Per­FOr­MaNce

Its mod­est power and per­for­mance suited the Bug, but there are op­tions if you want a bit more grunt. Re­plac­ing the orig­i­nal Zenith car­bu­ret­tor with an SU or We­ber is one route, and will prob­a­bly set you back a few hun­dred pounds. An­other oomph-in­duc­ing pos­si­bil­ity is fit­ting a four-branch ex­haust man­i­fold and sys­tem for greater ef­fi­ciency, ob­tain­able from Reliant Spares for around £240.

GO larGe 2

De­pend­ing on how you view orig­i­nal­ity, you can swap the en­gine for the larger 848cc unit used in Reliants such as the Robin and Ri­alto. Good for 40bhp, it will pro­vide a use­ful boost in per­for­mance; you can find sec­ond­hand units from £500, with fully rebuilt items go­ing for £1000plus. An all-syn­chro­mesh Reliant gear­box is pos­si­ble, too, with Reliant Spares sell­ing a re­con­di­tioned and adapted item for £500.

keeP iT FeTTleD 3

Con­sci­en­tious main­te­nance will pay div­i­dends when it comes to a Bug mo­tor’s longevity, and that starts with reg­u­larly re­fresh­ing the oil and con­sum­ables, which is es­pe­cially im­por­tant if an­nual mileages are very low. Also, don’t neglect the cool­ing sys­tem – reg­u­larly flush­ing the sys­tem and re­plen­ish­ing with the cor­rect con­cen­tra­tion of anti-freeze will pro­tect the al­loy parts.

4 elec­Tri­cal Pre­caU­TiONs

Fire and glass­fi­bre cars don’t mix well, so adding an iso­la­tor switch to the bat­tery is a good move. Fit­ting is easy and you can buy a good qual­ity item for just a few pounds

5 Tak­iNG THe weiGHT

If you can garage your Bug, the club’s Ron Biggin ad­vises prop­ping the canopy open slightly. That takes the weight off both the body and the latch­ing mech­a­nism, which will be use­ful if the car is stored for lengthy pe­ri­ods of time.

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