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THE STUTT BEE GASSER!!!
After the last update devoted to Mouse Trap, compiling some pages about the STUTT BEE owned by Audley CAMPBELL, a VW specialist who owned Stuttgart Motors in Chatsworth, is very cool because those gassers followed the same trend : take a classic oval window bug, add some power and a cool nickname, put some fiberglass parts there and there, and some years later, just chop the roof in the neverending quest of speed!
Adding that the remaining gasser just hit the european floor last winter and you get the idea : that section has to be made to understand and show full respect that gasser deserve.
We already all knows of the Stutt BEE, but who had already heard of the Stutt BUG? To be honest, I noticed that the bug on the picture below was the Stutt Bug not so long ago... As it was sooo evident it was the Stutt Bee...
Very cool early in the morning picture of the Stutt Bug by Mike DITTY.
That picture needs a little detailing... First, the word Bug is evident... No doubt about the spelling... I read a while back from Deano that VW of America was not happy at all that a race car sports the nickname "Bug". This explain that... Except the rear wings, all parts seems to remain german steel, even the bonnet and the chrome trims. Headlights are original ones too. Rear wings seems to be already round shaped and both doors feature one piece window... A one of a kind shape that remains on car's entire life. Note also the rims spin off knuckes. The car was already Stuttgart and German car parts sponsored. I wonder what the decklid is... Judging from the emboss, it looks like an ugly fiberglass one you found on custom bugs. Dating such a picture is not easy but I guess it's back from 1968 or early 1969. If you ask me, I would probably say 1968.
What about this for a cool & never seen before picture?
The scene took place at a Washington state NHRA race probably in 1970. From what Lonnie recall, there was an issue with the Magneto timing... From left to right : Creature (Richard BAYS mechanic) looking into the Stutt Bee Dodge tow truck, Lee LEIGHTON, Audley in blue shirt magneto in hand and Richard BAYS in orange shirt looking at the scene!
Same wrenching scene from a different angle! From left to right : Lee, Audley and Creature helping!
Typical pit scene showing a proud Audley moving the Stutt Bee. I'm in love with this picture from Ron JOHNSON. I wonder if the scene took place at the same NHRA race? I would esily say yes judging by Audley clothes...
Now let's compare the pictures... Very interesting, right? The car now sports a fiberglass EMPI bonnet without handle. And ... if you look closely (ok, very closely...), the bee now gets wings... From the Bug to the Bee... I guess the picture is from 1970. Note the helping guy pushing the rear buggy bar please and that the bug kept his stock headlights at first.
An "ohhh my god" picture used with permission by Jim Sarge Edminston. Awesome!!! And the helping guy with he STP hat is still there, joking the photographer.
The buggy pushing bar is evident from this rear shot, as well as the EMPI eyebrows decklid! Note the "Sorry 'bout that" and the "VW Powered - Injected with Bug juice" letterings.
Another earlier (1969) picture provided by Jim. Seems that one was took at the old Irwindale Raceway, because of the now famous Snack Bar sign in the background! Seems another gasser is on the background : the Dune Buggy Supply fiberglass pearl violet oval window! Awesome!
BEE'WARE OF THE STUTT'S STING!!!
Below is a very interesting article found in the Complete Volkswagen Book #2. Enjoy!!!
We often use an old expression "built for show, not to go". This innocent lil' ol' derogaty slur has been used to describe many of the pristine, jewel-like denizens that inhabit the car shows... many of which appear more like hot-house hybrids than motor cars.
Picture of the Bee outside Audley showroom... From what Lonnie recalls, the shop was always immaculate as the gassers used to be... Photographer unknown.
But Audley Campbell's Stutt Bee put the inevitable exception to the slogan. For his mid-11-second bug is so clan you could eat off it and yet so quick than it has earned an enviable reputation as being a real competition gobbler.
Picture by Lonnie REED sometimes in 1971 at the NHRA Winternational held at Pomona. Seems Audley was removing the gasser cover.
ENGINE & DRIVELINE :
The Stutt's suds started life as a pair of '68 crankcases, but often Audley got through, even its mother wouldn't recongnize it. Starting with the "no substitute for cubes" theme, a 92mm bore was combined with an 82mm S.P.G. roller crank/rod combo to give the once anemic 72 cubic-inch bug motor a healthier 133 inches.
Another OMG picture by Lonnie REED on their way to Washington state NHRA meeting!
Intake valves were increased to 44mm, exhausts to 35mm. Working from the cam on out (a Norris experimental grind featuring .536 inch lift, 246° duration on the intake, and .511 inch lift, 340° duration on the exhaust) we find a set of lightened and heat treated tappets, Norris chrome-moly pushrods and EMPI 1.4:1 rockers. Heads were the work of master Dean LOWRY and encompass what is really needed to pass the gas plus giving a power-packing 12.0:1 Compression Ratio. The now familiar 48mm Webers on Deano's intake manifolds take care of the air/fuel miwture, as does a Lowry-designed exhaust system to exit the burned gases. Fire in each hole is by Vertex using a lead of 35° and ignited from a set of Champion L60R plugs.
Picture by Ron JOHNSON sometimes in spring 1970. Love those gold hairs... Looks like the Stutt metalflake paint...
Sending the Audley estimated 220hp @ 6500 rpm to the '64 Porsche transaxle is left up to a '66 1300 flywheel chopped to 11 lbs. and a 180mm Porsche Carrera pressure plate/diaphragm disc setup. Like the Schley's and Clarkson's, Audley's transaxle has had the full treatment, from close-ratio gears to a highly strengthened gear case.
Detailing of the engine was superb even on a race car....
CHASSIS & BODY :
Campbell's is the old timer of the bunch. A '56 type beele front layout (but with a Deano tube axle setup, steering dampeners, VW spindles, no front brakes) makes up the forward suspension package. Although the steering wheel remains circa '56, the location of the box has been changed to accomodate the front axle. Rear suspension is stock, brakes are from a '63 Porsche, while the wheels (Deano's 13-inch front, 15-inch rear) and tires (Firestone 5.20x13's front, M&H 6.60x15's rear) are specially items.
Picture at OCIR by Glenn MILLER.
The 15 year old body (!!!) still remains its stock appearance, but in deference to a better power/weight ratio, Adley has installed a 'glass hood, decklid and rear fenders. The balance of the bug's body is steel. All the windows have been removed and lightweight plexiglass has taken their place. Front and rear lights are '56 and '67 respectively. Instrumentation is kept simple, with an Auto Meter tach the only gauge to look at. VW's were never what you'd call plush, but when people like Audley start to lighten, what is left is usually pretty grim. Yet the Foyega-built bucket seats and stock appearing headliner, door paneling and rugs make the Stutt anything but an eyesore. The Bee's color scheme is a 32-coat, Charlie Wilson-applied gold metalflake with black fogging to accentuate the car's shape. Audley Campbell's pet project started some 3 years and beaucoup dollars ago. Yet, like Audley said, "When the racing bug bites you, you never know what's going to happen".
Unknown photographer... Note the now removed headlights.
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