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Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 6:11 p.m.

All mid-engine super cars had trick lexan engine covers so you can see the power plant, so I had to do that also.  Have a solid metal cover for track days.

It now has nice stainless hinges and locks...


Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 6:25 p.m.

After a few years of building, in 2017 it became time to start a "final build".  Didn't powdercoat the chassis.  It was a cost issue, and I always worry that with powercoating you may not see cracks developing during routine inspections.

Aircraft hardened 60 thousand aluminum bottom bonded and riveted was step 1.

Oh yeah... the tail pipe on the right side is just a dummy, to fill the dimple and carry out the "stock" look.

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 6:39 p.m.

A few minor details.  A special tach fits in the original speedometer hole.  For street driving I use a Garmin for a speedo.

The tail lights have LED conversion kits.

The tires in the pictures are street tyres.  OBTW, same size as Spec Miata rubber.  (track day tires)

Engine runs on VP 112.  So, no, I didn't drive it all the way to the ROAR.  Built a customtilt bed trailer for the beast to get to places like Road Atlanta.  I have an enclosed trailer, but the open trailer is old skool, and really gets more views on the super slab.

But I street drive the bug on Sundays around town.

I had a white Ford van before the GRM project.   :)

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 7:08 p.m.

The gearbox is a Porsche 5 speed.  Couldn't use a 914 shift rod in this low a chassis.  Used a Rabbit cable shifter.  You will see we had to craft a new mechanism and convert to a side mount.  No small deal.   And it works sweet.

Of course Eric is a hell of a craftsman.  I can't stress that enough.  He gets a lot of credit for the start of this build.  We laugh all the time because when I started to really try to build the car, we would discover many new "challenges" he hadn't thought of with the original plan.  


Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 7:24 p.m.

I've been a GRM reader for a long time.  I love the "grassroots" part of the GRM nation.  Love the idea of folks laboring away in their home garages trying to build stories.

Tim also got my respect when he sponsored the ARRC at Road Atlanta.  I managed to win a few of his trophies in my Club Continental.  35 years of great cheerleading all of us in the "nation".  So... instead of lurking, i finally signed onto your great forum.

I am hoping that readers will realize that really neat builds can happen in little home garages with a really limited tools and resources.  Mainly it requires desire, and the ability to learn.  It is actually easier than back in the 70's.  So many great forums, and of course...Youtube.   So much info that is easy to get.  My shop is 24' x 36' , no post lifts.  Mostly hand tools.  An in-expensive MIG with gas, and a band saw.

I only have about 1,000 more pictures.   wink

eastpark Reader
1/6/20 7:36 p.m.
Purple Frog said:

I only have about 1,000 more pictures.   wink

Keep them coming! Great stuff!

octavious Dork
1/6/20 7:58 p.m.

Awesome!  Simply awesome. 

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 8:08 p.m.

When i built my new shop in 2017.  I had to downsize from the old shop.  But, I designed it for a two-post 12' lift.

I use a chain hoist in the trusses to lift the body off.   But, dreamed of a two post jack, if not for the bug, then for all the street cars...

Ran out of money fast. Didn't get the lift.  I came up with a great compromise.  It's a neat German made floor jack made in Germany.  It has a 33" lift.  It is the cat's meow for getting the car high enough to remove the engine out the bottom.  Yes, Virginia, the engine has to come out the bottom.  I've done it a few times now.

It comes from Pelican, and is relatively expensive (~$600).  But...cheaper than a two post lift.

Its a fact Jack.

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 8:34 p.m.

A few documents:

The dyno graph for the engine...

The gear chart for the car:

I really don't think 191 hp will push that flat windshield up to 127 mph.   LOL   (Might be fun trying)

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 8:44 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Even the Porsches you see racing in IMSA that look like 911s... really are mid-engine.  When both Porsche and Corvette go mid-engine, you know the debate is over.

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 8:49 p.m.

When some "gray hair" my age is blocking the fast lane, the stock horn may not be enough... one could always hit the air horn button.   devil

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 8:55 p.m.

This isn't my first rodeo.  In the 60s and 70s I altered quite a few VWs.  

AngryCorvair MegaDork
1/6/20 9:02 p.m.


Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 9:16 p.m.

When a boomer like me posts this many times in one evening there's a chance of going into shock.  wink

Enough pictures for today.

As night sets into the swamp i need to put the bug to bed.


Recon1342 HalfDork
1/6/20 9:38 p.m.

In reply to Purple Frog :

So, why "Purple Frog"?

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/6/20 9:51 p.m.

Back in the last century I wanted to post on a forum for Formula 2000 / Formula Continental owners.  It was a fairly inflamed site.  So everyone had an avatar.

It was after midnight... I had to dream up an avatar.  When the wife and i got married being that our favorite color was purple, all the wedding decorations were purple.   And, as we hauled the race car all over the country she wanted the motorhome to leave like a day early so she could stop at antique stores along the way... always buying things that had a frog theme.

So... I put purple and frog together.  The rest is history.   All over the country in SCCA land, I'm known as Purple Frog.  Most don't know any other name.  ( It's a witness protection program thing.)

OBTW, i went ahead and posted over 10,000 times on that other forum.  (megadork)

Shadeux Reader
1/7/20 6:54 a.m.
Purple Frog said:

When a boomer like me posts this many times in one evening there's a chance of going into shock.  wink

Enough pictures for today.

As night sets into the swamp i need to put the bug to bed.


So very very cool! Thank you!

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/7/20 9:33 a.m.

One issue I ran into was how to activate the clutch.  In the 914 it was cable operated.  Since the project started with a 911 engine the design was for  a hydraulic clutch system.  The clutch arm in the bellhousing has to be pulled towards the rear of the car.  I talked to a bunch of FV guys.  Then waltzed through the interweb looking at possible solutions.  It always seemed to come around to the Wilwood "pull" slave.  That unit seemed to get a lot of bad press, especially from guys with 5.0 Fox body Tangs.

I decided I had no choice and pulled the trigger on the Wilwood unit.  There have been no negative issues to date.  It's activating a very heavy sprung Porsche racing pressure plate.   Obviously the challenge was to get it mounted in a place that didn't interfer with half shafts, exhaust tubes, frame braces, etc.  It ended up attached to the rear of the chassis with a long rod extending through the maze to the clutch arm.

Bleeding the system takes patience.  

The next hurdle soon came to light.  I couldn't get enough travel.  In previous pictures you can see the footwell/pedal area is fairly small and crowded.  And the clutch pedal only has about 3" of movement.  With a 1/2'"master i couldn't get enough travel on the slave.  Had to order a 7/8" master cylinder.   That got enough movement... but with about ~150 lb of foot pressure.  So one can skip gym sessions, just use the clutch.   (Surgeons General Warning: Don't try to push this small pedal barefoot.)

Immediately, I could now drive the car.  A couple of yee haw smoky burnouts down the driveway, then within about 6 shifts, i couldn't get it to shift.  Dang!  Turns out the beautiful crafted formula car style clutch pedal could not handle the manly man forces.  The pedal curled into the front bulkhead.  That created the need to add some unwanted weight to the car and build a clutch pedal out of 1/4" plate.  Success.

Anyway, for those wondering, I've had no problems with the Wilwood slave.


CrustyRedXpress Reader
1/7/20 10:02 a.m.

Welcome to the forum...amazing build!

There's been some threads lately about a VW powered or bodied 2k challenge car-always great to see people building   fast stuff with bug parts.

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/7/20 10:46 a.m.

Unfortunately $2k buys 1.5 dampers or 1.3 fuel cells on this build.   frown

I have always followed and enjoyed the 2K Challenge, but from the get go we knew this build was in a different playground.

On another forum I have been called the "King o' Cheap", and I made every attempt to keep the costs down.  I treated the build as I do my business and from Day One I kept a spreadsheet of every cent spent.  In some ways it was surprising how inexpensive the build was (if labor is not calculated), then on the other hand it is one very expensive 63 bug.  I found that adding the "P" word to any part has an economical impact. (e.g. even the pistons are a custom part# from J&E)  Luckily for me, my perspective was from a view of what it costs me to campaign my Formula Continental, so that kept me from going into panic mode.

I have a friend that is a certified appraiser for Hagerty.  For insurance purposes I paid him to do a real appraisal. I thought the result was fair.  If you paid a shop to build it the cost would exceed that appraisal because of the extreme labor.   That said, I would be dreaming if i thought my heirs would ever get the appaised value.  wink  

These projects of passion aren't done as investments.  When you shift into 3rd and the rear breaks loose its all worth it.

T.J. MegaDork
1/7/20 11:32 a.m.

When the pic of your van with the bug on the trailer in front of GRM world headquarters was posted a couple days ago and there was a comment that you needed to post some details on the bug, I was not too excited. I am glad to say just how very wrong I was. Amazing build and the sleeper theme sure fooled me.

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/7/20 12:15 p.m.

Funny thing that...

I think we carried out the "sleeper" look a little too good sometimes.  At events people just sort of walk by.

So, I've started opening the rear deck lid, then it gets immediate attention.  "where's the motor?"  Upon further review they get involved in really looking at it.

During this build sticking to the "sleeper" concept was hard for me.  I'm a resto-mod/pro touring sort of guy.  I was always tempted to go to splitters, whale tails, scoops, brake ducts, etc, etc.  I tried to stay true to Eric's original concept.  As you can see we even intentionally did not install a cage.  I could not get the engine compartment deck any lower because of the cool Webers.  At a stoplight downtown we didn't want to give away any clues.  (I do have sketches of a  possible bolt-in cage.)  I've driven it pretty fast, and I know how the body is attached to the frame... if it goes to serious track day use, I personally would build the cage.  On the other hand I have rolled a few bugs and find the body is a pretty good cage in itself.  In multiple roll occasions I've never even lost glass.  laugh

A big discussion point has always been paint.  Every Lady (even Mrs Purple Frog) asks, "When are you going to paint it?  and what color?"   Most of the Gentlemen say, "Oh no, Don't paint it! Leave the patina."  Folks that remember my cars in the 60s want me to extend the tradition of painting with Rust-o-leum Orange applied with a nice brush.  LOL

Purple Frog
Purple Frog New Reader
1/7/20 12:25 p.m.

To maintain the "sleeper' theme, I avoided all decals and such.

With one exception.  Have to salute the GRM nation!

Yikes, when you get that close, you really see the patina on the original 1963 paint. surprise

slowbird Dork
1/7/20 12:31 p.m.

Awesome. You'll fit in just fine around here. smiley

noddaz SuperDork
1/7/20 5:35 p.m.

To say that car is incredible would be an understatement!  That is really quite some car.  Which is also an understatement.   I will just stop blubbering and say thank you for sharing it with us.

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