MrChaos New Reader
March 16, 2014 8:56 a.m.

Stupid idea yes or no?

EvanB PowerDork
March 16, 2014 9:01 a.m.

No, do it.

March 16, 2014 9:23 a.m.

Awesome idea. Our region once had a Super Beetle that was fairly dominant in M2

Knurled PowerDork
March 16, 2014 9:37 a.m.

Paul's Super Beetle is pretty dominant in Detroit too

(Paul has the 911. I'm still hedging my bets that the RX-7 appreciation curve will be steeper than the 911SC's so I can get my own soon)

March 16, 2014 9:44 a.m.

I'd rather the torsion beam than Mac strut for rally cross but if you could steer with the throttle I could see that doing well.

TeamEvil Reader
March 16, 2014 10:04 a.m.

Yup, stupid idea. Looks cool though ! !

Maroon92 MegaDork
March 16, 2014 10:19 a.m.

Stupid idea, yes or no?

crankwalk HalfDork
March 16, 2014 11:34 a.m.

I think this is one of the few avenues that a classic Beetle could actually be competetive. Go for it.

MrChaos New Reader
March 16, 2014 11:39 a.m.

In reply to crankwalk:

I know right. RWD, lightweight, decent offroad handling,I mean they race mostly stock beetles in the Baja 1000.

moparman76_69 SuperDork
March 16, 2014 11:47 a.m.

Doesn't sound crazy to me

JFX001 UltraDork
March 16, 2014 12:41 p.m.

These guys run Class 11 Stock Bug. I am also a fan of their promotion of Diabetes Awareness :

mad_machine MegaDork
March 16, 2014 12:52 p.m.

I would do a superbeetle with it's macstrut front. Too many pieces are interchangeable with the 924/944 not too

TeamEvil Reader
March 16, 2014 1:11 p.m.

A LOT of beefing up to do in order to make the later ball joint-style front end work for you, better off looking for an older Beetle with a link/king pin front beam as a starting point. Of course, then you have the swing axle rear suspension.

It isn't nearly as easy as it seems, not if you want to be competitive or even have fun without breaking each weekend.

Look on The Samba, post some questions, just because you begin with a cheap Baja Bug, doesn't mean that you won't be spending real race car money to get it right. Do your home work and you may decide against, there are a ton of cars with a stronger base built-in from the factory.

Just saying. Don't be seduced by the buy-in or the cool factor, you're really going to have to re-design and re-built everything. Part by part, piece by piece.

captdownshift Reader
March 17, 2014 7:07 a.m.

google Raphael Orlove and read his baja bug adventures and attempts to rallycross with it. It's one of the few readable things on jalopnik.

EvanB PowerDork
March 17, 2014 7:25 a.m.

You can also look up info on the Huebbe rally beetle for ideas.

N Sperlo MegaDork
March 17, 2014 9:26 a.m.
moparman76_69 wrote: Doesn't sound crazy to me

As much as I make fun.. Yea. I was gonna say this.

Knurled PowerDork
March 17, 2014 11:50 a.m.

The only problem I see with actual Beetles (instead of 911s) those is that the sprung:unsprung weight ratio is way out of whack. They bounce a lot over bumps and rough areas. One of the drivers of the local Beetle mentioned that the car was beating him up a lot. This was shortly before they quit running it, and also at a fairly smooth course location (S&M).

irish44j PowerDork
March 17, 2014 4:00 p.m.
Knurled wrote: The only problem I see with actual Beetles (instead of 911s) those is that the sprung:unsprung weight ratio is way out of whack. They bounce a lot over bumps and rough areas. One of the drivers of the local Beetle mentioned that the car was beating him up a lot. This was shortly before they quit running it, and also at a fairly smooth course location (S&M).

One of our locals basically had a carbon-copy of that experience. He drove it to the events and said that just doing that was brutal. Then it would usually break and he'd spend all afternoon trying to get it so he could drive it home again. It was somewhat hanging in there with MR, but couldn't keep up with the top-5 or so...

I'd still say go for it, but don't expect it to be all that competitive or reliable without a TON of work on it.

MrChaos New Reader
March 17, 2014 4:19 p.m.

there are tons of "rail buggies" around but I doubt those are scca legal.

Knurled PowerDork
March 17, 2014 7:59 p.m.

Oddly enough the Beetle seemed to never break. About the worst thing they ever had to deal with was adjusting the belt, and they used to have oil leak problems.

IIRC it was a 2200+cc engine but still on a single barrel carb. With a bus transmission they were in 3rd gear even on short courses.

An aside, I realize that there have only been three occasions where an RX-7 of mine failed to finish an event. Two suspension failures and one electronics failure. Not bad for ten seasons of playing around. BUT I attribute this to a remarkable ability to be able to get home combined with ruthlessly weeding out questionable parts before they turn into problems. I don't know if a similar maintenance strategy was also in play with the Beetle.

At the last event it ran at, I lost 1st and 2nd gears and 5th was making funny noises. But I drove it home.

Iusedtobefast Reader
March 17, 2014 8:17 p.m.

I thought the same about rail buggies but those usually have a ton of "push" in them as all the weight is in back.

Knurled PowerDork
March 18, 2014 6:57 a.m.

The ones I've seen rallycross looked like they had the directional stability of an arrow shot backwards. At one event they put the car on the trailer after three runs since they couldn't go down the course without looping it, even in a straight line.

Kenny_McCormic UberDork
March 18, 2014 10:48 a.m.

In reply to Iusedtobefast:

All the weight in the back is putting it lightly. I can stand inside the push bar of my Dad's and pick the front end off the ground without much effort. I'm pretty out of shape for a 21 year old.

March 18, 2014 12:57 p.m.

I once deadlifted the front of a Beetle... To the amazement of my friends... Had to come clean about which end the motor was in.

Is a cutting brake out of the question?

What about locking the rear axles together and steering with the throttle? Not enough HP I suppose.

edizzle89 New Reader
March 18, 2014 1:27 p.m.

ive always wondered if a little added front ballast would help in bettles/rails, i dont think it would take much

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