Davies Craig Assists in Cooling the 'VW Beast'

19/05/2017 09:00AM

You don’t often see Davies Craig thermo fans and an electric booster pump on a 64 VW Beetle, but this is certainly no ordinary Vee Dub!

This chopped VW has a sting in the tail via a Subaru WRX turbo engine and gearbox whilst being fitted with a water to air intercooler. This monster is being built with only one purpose in mind!

Its destined for the salt lakes in outback South Australia (Lake Gairdner to be precise) to compete in speed record runs conducted by the Dry Lake Racing Association (DLRA) that has become a magnet for high speed vehicles in much the same way as Bonneville in the USA.

Owner Mike Drewer who admits to being on the “wrong side of 60” says the project is his last fling in motor sport competition and was brought about by a combination of a passion for VWs and land speed record attempts.

‘My father had a VW when I was a kid and I also saw the Donald Campbell Bluebird Land Speed Record Car paraded in Adelaide after it had done 400mph plus on Lake Eyre back in 1964’.

While the little VW isn’t being built with that speed in mind, somewhere between 150 and 200mph ‘would be quite an achievement’, Drewer (who used to race Australian Formula 2 open wheelers) believes.

The car build has been undertaken by Simon Richards at Rickos Road and Race in Adelaide and commenced with finding a couple of old beetle bodies and a good floor pan.

‘It’s been quite a job with the six inch body chop, extending the wheelbase, installing an IRS rear end, constructing the roll cage, making a custom fuel tank, installing the on-board fire extinguisher system, making a parachute mount, building the coil over suspension, mounting a Wilwood competition pedal assembly and Kirkey race seat and full harness, and installing the Subaru WRX drive train’.

The engine is to be fitted with larger injectors and turbo monitored by an Autronic ECU and Motec data logging dash, while the gearbox has been converted back to a 2WD unit by Subarugears. X-Force Performance Headers will be fitted. 

The radiator and barrel intercooler are PWR units and Davies Craig thermos fans are mounted downstream on the radiator core which is placed horizontally where the original VW fuel tank was in the nose of the vehicle.

The passenger seat area now features a large ice box with internal copper coil for the Davies Craig electric booster pump to supply super cool fluid to the intercooler.

A Davies Craig electric water pump is also being contemplated for the vehicle which is nearing its build completion.

‘We still have to give it a ‘rat rod’ style paint job, obtain the Goodyear speed record tyres and set the car up with a heap of castor to achieve good directional stability. Then it’s a matter of dyno work on the engine, and plenty of test runs at a local airport’.

‘We won’t get to Lake Gairdner until next year, and then I guess I will see if I can still drive fast in a straight line!, Drewer joked.

Stay tuned for more news on this totally unique VW-Subaru.