Don't blame me...
Blame Thom Taylor and Steve Stanford, it's squarely their fault after all, for drawing scads of bitchin' "Volksrods" over the years, but they always end up in Hot VWs magazine. Of course that makes sense, but why not in the hallowed pages of R&C?! Face it boys and girls, pickin's gettin' mighty slim these days and creativity is paramount. Kent Fuller, esteemed dragster chassis fabricator, may have started the whole deal in earnest, with his revolutionary Volks-rod back in the late '60s. Much more recently, and probably the pinnacle of Stuttgart street-neats, would have to be Fred Hidalgo's black beauty the Stinkbug. Resplendent in gloss and satin ebony with a bare bones interior (and I do mean bare bones) and an early Ford front suspension. It was so right on that another couple of guys got with Fred to ask permission to produce a complete "kit" for the masses.
There will always be naysayers when it comes to a project such as these, and that's fine. It's a strange phenomenon perhaps, but many hot rod and custom lovers cut their teeth on VWs (including me-Ed.). The Cal-look style that came about in the early '70s legitimized the lowly VW Beetle as a real deal hot rod, albeit an air-cooled hot rod of German descent. By and large, the Volksrod movement has become more and more accepted. The point of this Dream Car piece is not to convert, it's to show just another couple of examples of mild-to-wild projects that many enthusiasts could take on ... projects that would certainly scratch a hot rod fabricators itch!
This is a rather involved endeavor, but boy-howdy, it would knock people out! An abbreviated pair of deuce 'rails with custom crossmembers front to back feature spring-over, or even suicide-style, tube front axles. A completely twitchy 2.0L-plus stroker with dual 48 IDA Webers feeding spent gases out custom 2-into-1 headers mounted up front (yeah, like a real hot rod) adapted to a 'glide or Turbo 350 driving a short 'shaft to a Halibrand V-8 (oh, the irony) quick-change. Hang the rear from quarter-elliptics and bell-cranked forward mounted shocks so all that is seen is the quickie and a tube bumper ... and don't forget the '37 Ford taillights. Some 13x16 ETIIIs on M&H slicks along with 18x3 Radir 12 spokes round out the rollers. A buddy with a Pullmax could make the progressive length louver patterns a reality. Also, '32-style lower body and wheel arch reveal; slanted B-pillar and nasty leaned chop; '36 Ford windshield frame and sliding ragtop install for the cloth roof insert vibe; and finally, a high and tight, rolled and louvered rear pan with provisions for the aforementioned '37 taillight stands.
This one is so easy, but the results are incredible! Any pre-'64 Standard Beetle sedan is the basis for this svelte hair dryer. Skillful slicing is essential when cutting the roof off , but basically you need to leave just the right areas attached so as to pull off the illusion of a full-time, real-deal roadster. No roll-up windows take care of a big headache. Reworking the cowl to resemble a roadster unit takes some planning, as well as a neat resolution to the reveal over and across the top of the early "W" lid (steel re-pops are now available). You'll have to drop a little dough for the DuVall-style windshield, though. The rear fenders have neat scoops cut into the leading edge with cooling duct work to go back to the fan shroud. Fabricate an early split-window-style dash and a large banjo wheel from Flat4. Our golden red semi-phaeton phantom looks bitchin' with a stock-style interior done up in sage tinted leather. Ditch the running boards and clean up the bottom 'rail of the pan so as to be presentable (don't forget to reinforce the pan now that we have no roof). Some added touches are the 16x4 Vee-Dub wheels and '36 Ford taillights and stands along with '52 VW cowl vents (crotch coolers) and ribbed Briz bumpers. Don't forget to cut some little reliefs under the bumper for the twin Abarth style exhaust tips. "Sexy" and "Beetle" in the same sentence?! Yessir!