Tom & Mike Drewer - 1964 VW Beetle Speed Record at The Dry Lakes Racers Australia

10/05/2023 12:00AM | By John Benson 0 Comment(s)


After years promoting the virtues of motorsports, public relations guru Mike Drewer has been racing for himself across the salt bed of Lake Gairdner in South Australia.

Drewer is well known among Adelaide's media and motorsport organisations for his tireless work promoting the likes of the former Clipsal 500 and the Formula One Australian Grand Prix.

Since retiring, the 70-year-old has been altering a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle for himself.

This includes "chopping" it back to make it more aerodynamic and installing a Subaru motor, fitted with a Davies Craig Electric Water Pump (EWP150) along with an esky he fills with dry ice for the turbocharger's intercooler and a Davies Craig Electric Booster Pump to assist with coolant circulation.

"The original Volkswagen Beetle had about 45 horsepower and mine has about 300 horsepower, so it's a beast of a thing," Drewer said.

"It's like driving exceptionally fast on a well-maintained dirt road with a drifting surface," he said.

"There is no traction on the salt. It's very, very hard but it has no grip, and because it's such a vast salt lake you do get side winds and things like that, so it does capture your attention."

Recently Mike and son Tom returned to the salt flats of Lake Gairdner in ‘The VW Beetle Beast’ and set a Land Speed Record for it’s class. Drewer stated, “The car has an intended speed of more than 320kph which remains the goal”.

Tom is the current record holder in the Blown Fuel Competition Coupe and Sedan - /BFCC category, recoding a speed of 145.578 (mph)


Record @ Speed Week at Lake Gairdner in South Australia

Year Vehicle Class MPH PB Record
2018 1964 Volkswagen G/BFCC 131.830, 118.937, 67.786, 135.685 - Open
2019 1964 Volkswagen G/BFCC - 135.685 135.685
2020 1964 Volkswagen G/BFCC Cancelled 135.685 135.685
2021 1964 Volkswagen G/BFCC 0, 0, 146.327, 160.401 135.685 145.578
2022 1964 Volkswagen G/BFCC Washed Out 160.401 145.578
2023 1964 Volkswagen G/BFCC   160.401 145.578


Vehicle Specs

Vehicle Make Volkswagen
Vehicle Model 1964 Beetle
Vehicle Class BFCC
Chassis VW
Engine Subaru WRX Turbo
Gearbox Modified Subaru by Subaru Gears
Diff Modified Subaru by Subaru Gears



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