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Author Topic: The maligned and misunderstood 1835; an important part of VW hot rod history  (Read 10776 times)
Jim Ratto
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« on: April 14, 2017, 00:56:25 am »

If you've been into hot rod VW's for any time now, you've either owned or knew someone that ran an 1835. And, depending on your background and mentors, you might have always viewed the 1835 with a certain amount of suspicion. There's no shortage of tales regarding cylinder heads blowing out, rings never seating, cylinder walls collapsing and gallons of smoking blowby streaming from every seam, seal, and orifice.
All due to the displacement? All due to the bore diameter? Or poor engine building practices and poorly matched components?
We used to get Type 2's in the shop for tune up's, and even engine rebuilds, with 1835's in them. We'd all keep our distance and look at the customer like he had feet coming out of his ear holes. ("How on earth can you get away with running an 1835 in a Bus?)

But to be honest with you, some of the coolest and fastest street cars I can remember growing up around ran 1835's. And I don't remember the cars being disabled all that often. Many of the kids that ran these had no other car to get them school and work.

What's your 1835 story?

Jim
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ida2332cc
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 03:40:33 am »

Great topic jim.  My dad used to drag race vws in the 70s and he has always used the 1835cc engine with good success. He always used stock crank not counterweighted, stock conrods, and a cam that was of his own grind 9(i actually have one on the shelf but dont want to use it as i wont be able to get another ground again.)40x35 valved heads, 40mm dels and it had run a best of 13.01 qtr mile which was good for the 70s.  I have built and used many 1835cc engines myself and never had any problems that others have had, i always measure piston and bore, use flex hone to make a better cross hatch, paint barrels black and make sure cooling system is working as it should be. Personally  im a big fan of the 1835cc engine. I have also started another 1835 build (so far just case prep) but will be built like my dads old one as a budget racer engine.
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Neil Davies
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 08:40:04 am »

One of the guys from our club, Half A Brain Vee Dub Club, ran an 1835. I joined in spring 1995 as a 17 year old with my first Beetle, and the club had been active for a couple of years already, with most of the members in their early 20's, and hardly any of them had any responsibilities other than turn up for work on the Monday after a show - remember that in the UK VW events tend to start on Friday and go on all weekend. One couple in the club decided to go without their summer holiday and go to a VW event every weekend from April until the end of September.
Keith was a little quieter than some of the other members, although he still knew how to let his hair down. He had a '71 1302, polished Empi 8 spoke copies, lowered in the front but not at the back, one of those stripe paint jobs that went along the doors, rising up the sides and across the roof, in a metallic grey, silver and red. Not as in your face as it sounds, but certainly noticeable. Then there was the engine. A chromed out engine bay, with a wedge shaped fan shroud, a pair of twin carbs (44IDF's,  I believe) and an oil filter hanging under the rear wing, next to to the aftermarket header, which I seem to remember was a merged system with a Bugpack tuck away muffler. I don't remember Keith ever taking the car down the strip - I think he worked weekends so didn't get to as many shows as the others - but he made it to most club nights, and I always thought that the car sounded amazing. An urgency about it that was somehow different to the other engines in the club. I'd heard that 1835's weren't to be trusted, but Keith had this one dialled!
I moved away to university at the end of 1996, came back during holiday times but it wasn't quite the same. Keith had apparently decided to build a bigger engine - somewhere around 2.1 litres but I don't remember it getting finished, and I don't think I've seen the car or Keith in about 17 years.
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Fastbrit
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 13:56:10 pm »

I ran a 'sweep the floor' 1835cc engine in my Bay-window Camper, which was a real mix of parts: case I'd used for a race season, Bugpack 69mm c/w crank, Rimco rods that happened to be lying around, a pair of 44 x 37 044 heads that were just sitting there, Engle 120, dual 42DCNFs and a light flywheel. It ran well enough and cool enough to be the tow car for my race car, pulling No Mercy, tools, spares and provisions for the weekend on a heavyweight trailer. All I did was keep the CR to about 8.0:1, ran a 19-row Serck oil cooler under the left wheel arch and fitted cylinder head and oil temp gauges. Melling oil pump, deep sump and that was it. I drove by the head temp gauge when it started to rise, I backed off for a mile, then got back on it. Oil temp never went over 200F.
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 16:30:02 pm »

I needed this thread! I have a set of the Mahle/Cima 92As sitting in my parts stash. Cam and heads may be changed up. Thanks for the thread.
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 18:44:05 pm »

Cool insights guys, thanks for sharing. Keith, we had a desert rat kind of guy that used to come to BH, with a olive-drab green '65 Bus, with reduction box trans and all, that ran an 1835. Typical of my boss back then, convinced him that the world would end if he continued another mile running the 1835 (Engle 120, 44's and 041 heads- which was probably a good known combo in the 80's and 90's) and instead he should have a 94 x 82 in his bus with S/Eliminator Bugpack heads and a 110. Well, as you might expect, what was a good running, issue free bus, turned into a high strung prima donna that liked to drop valve seats, break exhaust valves and hitch rides on flat bed tow trucks back from Saline Valley CA. In the 5-6 years the guy kept coming back, that bus never ran as well as it originally did.

Another guy... I probably posted about this guy and his car a long time ago. A guy had dropped off a bunch of new engine parts at the shop, for our mechanic to assemble. It was an 1835 with beautiful welded VW heads, 42 x 37, they were typical for the late 1980's-early 90's style, fully done up welded intakes above and below, big oval ports, flycut, milled fin, just killer primo street heads. In the box of stuff was also a K8 Engle, Autocraft black 1.4 rockers, and Berg 44 DCNF carbs on welded Berg manifolds. This combo still sounds like an ass kicker today. And it was back then. It was installed in a stock-looking red '65 Bug with original red paint, stock wheels and pretty mild tires. The only give away was the big turbo muffler under the car and the merged header. The car was insane and just killed the tires all the way through second gear and part of third. And it was the guy's driver. And it was never back from problems.

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Sarge
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2017, 21:07:39 pm »

Nice topic, Jim.  The 1700 with the 300cfm Holley Bug Spray and Engle 125 cam  Roll Eyes became an 1835 when the first sets of
NPR 92's appeared in the early '70's... what a difference they made!!  I maligned and stood on them a lot....
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 23:58:49 pm »

Nice topic, Jim.  The 1700 with the 300cfm Holley Bug Spray and Engle 125 cam  Roll Eyes became an 1835 when the first sets of
NPR 92's appeared in the early '70's... what a difference they made!!  I maligned and stood on them a lot....

The first 1835 engine that I ever got a ride in was Sarge's... First with 40 P11s then later on, with IDAs. With a gutted aluminum interior, THE loudest VW I have ever ridden in! I love it.
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modnrod
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2017, 03:02:21 am »

My favourite snarly "fun" engine has always been an 1835.
I cruised in a mate's 1835 Beetle occasionally, WAY more fun than my small bore stroker in a Square for a weekend hotrod (although we both jumped in mine for a highway trip). He then threw an 82 crank in it, and even though it was quicker it lost some of its urgency and grins, after a few years he sold that engine off and went back to the 1835 again.
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Torben Alstrup
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2017, 11:07:30 am »

Conservative DCR and especially tight deck or zero deck saves the 1835s.
I have built a few over time, but never for a bus.
I usually zero deck the pistons/cylinders and make the tolerance in the heads. That way you get less heat into the cylinders, so they stay round longer. Superior oil cooling helps too.
Keith, with that much oil in the system youd be half way to Milton Keynes before it reached oprating temps  Roll Eyes Grin

T
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Doktor
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2017, 14:42:42 pm »

A friend of mine bulit 1835cc engine in 2007. as a final exam in high school for machinists in Slovenia.
He used Mahle 92's, cb lifetrs, Engle W120, 044 heads (40x35), twin 40 Dellortos, lightened flywheel and stock non c/w 69mm crank, fully ballanced.
Final touch was full chrome engine tin, chinese of course.

That engine went to original '65 sunroof beetle, and later was sold to another guy who still uses it in his rat-look '54 oval.
This was also a first beetle with performance engine that I had a chance to drive. In lower rpm, engine was nice enough to drive in town, but it pulled wery nice above 2500 rpm.
80000 km (about 50000 miles) later, it still goes very nice, with no blue smoke, or any kind of problems usualy asociated with 1835ccm engines.
Engine components are also from a usual "no-chance" list (crank, cam, p&c)... Shocked


Doc  Wink Cheesy
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Martin S.
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2017, 16:47:55 pm »

A few years ago when I was poking around looking for machine work I found a set of NOS NPR 92s on the shelf at a mothballed engine rebuilding shop. What a surprise! I should have bought them.
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Sarge
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2017, 16:59:01 pm »

When DDS first released the NPR 92's, guys were putting lots of compression in their motors.  With 92's, they quickly found out about heat issues,
cylinder distortion, smoking and, upon tear-down, lots of broken ring lands.  By keeping things less compressed, you could actually bypass a lot of
those issues and have a relatively sane engine without throwing down for a stroker crank.  As for that noisy ride Dean described... I went through
that on a daily basis.  Back then, I was selling life insurance; the boss NEVER wanted to see customers with me... go figure!

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nicolas
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2017, 18:55:25 pm »

as a type3 guy, i always went the 1776 route. but like stated before 1835's would bring more bang for buck. they work(ed), i think a lot of them were build over the years, it was the biggest engine with a stock crank and  94's with a 69 crank weren't that popular until 12- 15 years ago over here in Europe mainland. so in fact fairly 'easy' to build (and to fk up), hence some being less than reliable due to different factors.

attention to Peter!!! : are you digging boxes out of your garage yet, to build your old 1835?  Grin Grin  Tongue
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modnrod
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2017, 00:32:35 am »

 Back then, I was selling life insurance; the boss NEVER wanted to see customers with me... go figure!


I would have thought a quick drive in a little tin can with a barely contained bomb in the back would have helped sell life insurance.......... Grin
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Sarge
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2017, 12:55:29 pm »

Hahaha, good point!  One day back then I remember well... I had a representative from the company I was working for along for the day.  Unfortunately, he'd
just had a vasectomy two days earlier and, between the tight confines of the fiberglass bucket seats and my hammering the throttle, was in even greater misery
then the operation had left him in.  Needless to say, he didn't last past lunch... Grin
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2017, 17:49:40 pm »

Hahaha, good point!  One day back then I remember well... I had a representative from the company I was working for along for the day.  Unfortunately, he'd
just had a vasectomy two days earlier and, between the tight confines of the fiberglass bucket seats and my hammering the throttle, was in even greater misery
then the operation had left him in.  Needless to say, he didn't last past lunch... Grin

I vote this for best post ever on the Lounge
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2017, 17:59:00 pm »

Ok, dumb question time. How would this engine run with stock to mild heads, a 110ish cam, and the usual cheap ass Empi exaust 1 3/8"? That is what is in the stash. I can run a tight deck and open the chambers around the valve per a few porting articles I have and the Fisher book. That means keeping a deck for squish and some compression. 8ish to 1? Exhaust should I look for an 1 1/2" to get the heat out? Carbs are 40 Dell and can be used with larger vents. Currently on a 1600. Have a C/W 69 crank for it as well.
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Sarge
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2017, 19:55:02 pm »



Hahaha, good point!  One day back then I remember well... I had a representative from the company I was working for along for the day.  Unfortunately, he'd
just had a vasectomy two days earlier and, between the tight confines of the fiberglass bucket seats and my hammering the throttle, was in even greater misery
then the operation had left him in.  Needless to say, he didn't last past lunch... Grin


I vote this for best post ever on the Lounge


You're not just blowing smoke up my skirt, are you?!? Grin

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vwcab
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peter


« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2017, 20:35:47 pm »

as a type3 guy, i always went the 1776 route. but like stated before 1835's would bring more bang for buck. they work(ed), i think a lot of them were build over the years, it was the biggest engine with a stock crank and  94's with a 69 crank weren't that popular until 12- 15 years ago over here in Europe mainland. so in fact fairly 'easy' to build (and to fk up), hence some being less than reliable due to different factors.

attention to Peter!!! : are you digging boxes out of your garage yet, to build your old 1835?  Grin Grin  Tongue
In 1983, when I was at high school,( am I that old now???),I  bought my 1835 from a schoolfriend, who had used it in an autocrossbuggy.I could get it really "cheep"  as it was in pieces....(and a schoolboy remember).
Another friend,who was good at building engines,put it together for me.I did (do) not know much about the specifics from the engine,only that pieces came from "DR-tuning" (a famous vw tuner back than).It had the NPR 92 's,a lighted flywheel,Weber 40's,and........
It was "FAST" (remember,the vw scene here in Belgium wasn't that strong,and cal look?HuhHuh?
The engine sat in my '72 beetle and was my daily driver for 2 years (in '83 and '84) for going to school and work.First my bug had 5,5 Sprintstars (lemmerz or Ritter overhere),and later also a set 6"#14's.I also remember back than,once in awhile doing streetracing (yes I know,it's illegal), and boy, it was FUN!!!!!(you should have seen the faces from the other boyracers, when that BUG was faster)
Later on I have used the car at circuitracing,and it was during one of these......I blew the engine.(a whole in the "3"piston....  sounds familiar?)
The engine was taken apart, put in boxes,and......still there.
@ Nicolas......I know my friend,...... I know.
So,that's my story of my 1835.   Wink
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VWGlassee
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2017, 23:52:52 pm »

I've bought one a couple of years ago. It had been sitting in a shop for a couple of years.
Gave it some good cleaning, service and repainted all the engine parts and never had issues with it (so far)  Wink
All I know for sure is that is has dellortos and street eliminator heads.
Good for 103.5hp on the wheels.

Puts a smile on my face every time I drove it  Roll Eyes
(It has been allost 2 years now because the bug is in resto)



Yannick
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2017, 20:59:38 pm »

Ok, dumb question time. How would this engine run with stock to mild heads, a 110ish cam, and the usual cheap ass Empi exaust 1 3/8"? That is what is in the stash. I can run a tight deck and open the chambers around the valve per a few porting articles I have and the Fisher book. That means keeping a deck for squish and some compression. 8ish to 1? Exhaust should I look for an 1 1/2" to get the heat out? Carbs are 40 Dell and can be used with larger vents. Currently on a 1600. Have a C/W 69 crank for it as well.

I think you'll find this will be a great, fun driver. I wouldn't go too big on venturies. Maybe 34 maximum. Yes it would run better with some kind of real merged exhaust. I think this would run good from idle to 5500rpm.
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brian e
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2017, 21:23:04 pm »

Ok, dumb question time. How would this engine run with stock to mild heads, a 110ish cam, and the usual cheap ass Empi exaust 1 3/8"? That is what is in the stash. I can run a tight deck and open the chambers around the valve per a few porting articles I have and the Fisher book. That means keeping a deck for squish and some compression. 8ish to 1? Exhaust should I look for an 1 1/2" to get the heat out? Carbs are 40 Dell and can be used with larger vents. Currently on a 1600. Have a C/W 69 crank for it as well.

I built a very similar engine, but used a Web 163 and it worked really really good.  My heads were stock valves, but ported, 9.0cr, w/ 40idf's 30mm vents.  It ran way better then the previous 1915cc with a 110 and kads.  All other parts and CR were the same.  Both had 1 3/8" header and hideout muffler. 

Brian
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brian e
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2017, 21:46:01 pm »

A few years ago I started collecting parts to build a ratty 1835cc based on one of Ratto's stories.  I still have a set of Kad's, VZ15, old 40x35 heads, 10lbs flywheel, and an old C/w stock crank.  I should get all the parts back out and toss it together for the dune buggy. 

Brian
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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2017, 04:15:33 am »

Pretty sure I have the 34 vents for the 40 Dells. Just have to enable it to breath through the heads I've got or invest in CBs Panchitos with good chambers.
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henk
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2017, 09:23:57 am »


[/quote]
Another friend,who was good at building engines,put it together for me.I did (do) not know much about the specifics from the engine,only that pieces came from "DR-tuning" (a famous vw tuner back than).It had the NPR 92 's,a lighted flywheel,Weber 40's,and........
It was "FAST" (remember,the vw scene here in Belgium wasn't that strong,and cal look?HuhHuh? [/quote]

DR-tuning does still exist today,but it is the son who in charge and the make mainly engines now for small aircrafts.
But it are still  flat 4 engines(and flat 6).

Henk!!!
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2017, 13:37:27 pm »

Almost 15 years ago I bought a rusty Karmann Ghia from up da country that reportedly had an 1835 in it. Car was pretty cheap, and I beat the seller down further. Got the car home, pulled the engine, and sold the rest of the car for what I paid. So, even if it isn't am 1835, I scored a free engine.

Pulled the engine apart, and sure enough it's got 92s ... one VW head, one Eepco head, and stock cam. I put new bearings in, added a set of Kadrons and a 1-1/2" merge, and drove it a lot! Good for 17.0s in the 1/4 mile, it wouldn't scare anyone, but it ran pretty nicely. It got mothballed when my 2110 was finished, and then went into service in a friend's heavy Super Beetle and worked well in there, also.

I still have it, and plans are to pull the heads for a little work, a few other experiments, and into my Baja Bug. Not sure how soon anything will happen, though.

Pretty sure I have the 34 vents for the 40 Dells. Just have to enable it to breath through the heads I've got or invest in CBs Panchitos with good chambers.

What other vents do you have for the 40s?



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Brian Rogers
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2017, 14:32:16 pm »

28s and 34s. You set me up with the idles. Runs quite nicely I might add. I don't beat on it but it gets out of its own way. People here think it's bigger than it is. I just run it because I can. I drive it because I can. I won't embarrass myself or let me get banned by posting pics. Tuneing it was a good experience. Learned a bit.
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guillaume
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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2017, 13:07:19 pm »

Edit :
After opening it, I had a surprise as it is not a 1835 as advertized, but a 2083 with a 78.4 okrasa crank.

I received an old school 1835 built during the 70's by KRE Kawell Racing.
I will take some pics to let you know what was inside it back in the days.

Just as it is before studying it :
- Kawell heads ported and polished (dual springs and a fin removed for higher compression),
- counterweight Okrasa crankshaft,
- Full flow like the 70's Empi system,
- 92mm cylinders with pocket pistons,
- dual Weber 48 ida carbs.

All the other parts are unknown for the moment.

Will tell you and I'll ask Dave Kawell if he can have any info to document this engine (who was it built for, when, what kind of car, ...).
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 11:39:15 am by guillaume » Logged
Jim Ratto
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2017, 00:29:50 am »

Way back in 1987 there was a kid that worked at the BAP import parts place in Livermore, which was a tiny, hole in the wall place and could be a decent alternative to driving all the way to Hayward to BH. Especially if you doubted if your car would make it.
Anyway there was a kid that worked there named Bryce, who was odd, but cool enough. The owner of the place was an older guy named Charlie, who had a background of hot-rodding 356's and 912's. Bryce had a '64 Bug with stock wheels, no hubcaps and a primer job. His motor was an 1835 with a Claude's cam (some kind of short course, wipe your lifter bores out thing with a mile of lift at the lobe and no duration) and 44 IDF's all exiting out a merged header with QP's. No frills, just European blades and dumped in the front. The car hauled ass though. One night we spotted him in the suburban area near the freeway, and went chasing after him in my '67 (which was anemic, to say the least at the time, 1641, dual 34ICT Webers, stock regrind cam, 009 and a header with glass pack). As soon as he got wind we were toying with him he was gone. There was no hope of me catching him. I felt really embarrassed and crappy about my car for a long time after that. Which ultimately resulted in me going to work for a VW shop and changing a million motors around in my car. But Bryce's car had something going on that we never knew about... I never did figure out what else was going on under the decklid of his car.
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