One of our favorite things about vintage VW Beetles is that the possibilities for modification are endless.
Danny McGee sent us photos of his rally cross 1967 beetle and we knew we had to share it with our customers.
McGee has been building Volkswagens for more than 30 years and incorporates his own style into each car to make them one of a kind.
His 1967 beetle's exterior is inspired by some classic automotive manufacturer race liverys. The rear of the car is adorned with classic Bosch graphics created by McGee. A Golf Oil stripe dresses the front and rear of the car. Art deco checkered patterns add some unique flare to the rear apron and running boards.
This bug doesn't just look sporty. It's got an 1835 CC engine in the back to power through the dirt and tarmac. McGee said the engine has Mahle 92mm Pistons, CB Performance street eliminator heads, an Engle W120 Cam, 1.25 ratio rockers, Udo Becker tool steel lifters, a full flow system and 7 quarts of oil capacity. It was built for racing and driving in the hot arid western climate. He says he plans to add thickwall 92mm pistons to the engine this winter to make it even more sturdy. The thin cylinder walls of standard 92 pistons are one of the only downsides of the 1835 cc engine combination.
An external oil cooler is bolted to the decklid reminding us of Japanese Bosozoku styling. McGee also created a custom exhaust featuring a racy supertrap style muffler. He says this gives him the sound he is looking for from a straight through exhaust without those annoying backfires.
McGee runs Bilstein shocks all the way around for performance handling and reliability. He has Pirelli tires on all fours for maximum traction on and off road. Recently he outfitted the rear of the car with wide Porsche cookie cutter wheels for off road racing events.
This car is not just a showpiece. McGee races the car in SCCA rally cross events. He says the event coordinators graciously let him run even though the car doesn't really fit a particular class.
Rally Cross is a mixture of tarmac and off-road racing similar to auto cross timed events. Many enthusiasts have proven VW bugs are great off-road machines through years of off-road racing. We hear from several customers racing rally cross in their beetles and bajas. It looks like the perfect affordable motorsport for vintage VW enthusiasts.
McGee puts the car to work on the street as well. He takes it from his home in Utah to Colorado for race events. The roof rack comes in handy during these trips. Although McGee said loading four tires on the roof may have been a bit much for the car on a hot day in the mountains.
Like many owners he is constantly modifying and improving his car. A perfect example was his exhaust, which looked very unique sticking up between the body and the rear bumper, but ended up putting too much heat on his rear tail light. This left one tail light melted during his trip to Colorado. He has since redesigned the exhaust and eliminated this issue.
No matter what you like to do with your car McGee's enthusiasm is a great lesson in enjoying what you have and building it to suit you. We love the creativity that enthusiasts have and their ingenuity. The moral of the story is to build what you like and learn from others. See what works and put your own spin on it. Most importantly have fun with your hobby!