Street, Race, Offroad. Vehicle Preparation and Tuning.

1966 AWD Rally Bug

This car was my introduction to fabrication and race car building. I went a little overboard after a trip to see the Pike's Peak Hillclimb back in 1987 or so when the rally cars first ran the mountain.

AWD Rally BugI built this VW Bug in 1985 and began racing it in Pro Rally events in the PNW. Every time I crashed it, I'd make 'improvements' When I first started with this car, it was a fairly stock Bug with a 1900cc engine sporting dual Weber 44 IDF carbs, an over the counter Baja Bug skid plate, KYB shocks, and Armstrong snow tires.

Front viewAfter one crash, I decided the stock front beam suspension was too flexible, heavy, and not cool. So I ended up basically tube-framing the car. I added Saab 99 upper and lower control arms and Saab 96 spindles along with inboard coil-over suspension, and a Datsun R160 differential mounted upside down with 4.88:1 gears in it.

EngineI built a 2733cc (82mm forged, counter-weighted crankshaft and 104mm forged pistons) TIV based engine and put a large Rajay turbo on it drawing through a heavily modified Holley 600 cfm four-barrel carburetor.

Yes, the body was removable. I put a slide-out tilt-up one-piece front end on the car, and the rear fenders and engine cover were fastened with quick-release Dzus fasteners. The doors had pit pins and also were quickly removeable.

TransaxleThe transaxle was a piece of work. It started out as an 091-1 transaxle from a Vanagon. I first had a bearing support welded onto the stock nosecone, and I built an output shaft that slid over the end of the pinion shaft. That used CV joints and a drive axle inside the tunnel going to a billet in-and-out box to disconnect the front differential for street use. I welded the transaxle differential into a spool. Eventually a friend machined a billet nosecone, as the welded-up stocker wasn't up to the task.

Race History