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Huge progress on the ’66 ‘vert

The problem when you don’t do an update in eight months is that you forget all that has happened, or worse, you finish the project and haven’t told anyone – well updated it on here.

So loads and loads of progress on the ‘vert. I’ll break it into two parts. Getting it ‘finished’, passed and home and then the fine tuning.

Finished and home. Rapido did an amazing job putting the car back together. Of course loads of bits were missing and needed order, only to be fitted and then the old bits turn up Jbut that is to be expected. Windows with brackets sawn off, very odd, random length handbrake cables etc. etc. but they persevered and pulled it all together. The beast of an engine was plumbed in and the AC fitted, disc brakes all round, breather tanks added, EFI wired and finally the Megasquirt added and base mapped online by Shaun at MS2 Tuning in the UK. It all worked and sounds amazing.

Next was off to Filo D’oro for the headliner, hood and rear window fitting. Again, a great job, especially as they mainly do upholstery and had a go using the less than extensive instructions, but youtube is your friend and all was good. I changed to an off white headliner at the last minute as the mohair one I’d order looked like my grandmother’s curtains!

Off the RTA and a first time pass. It sounds unlike any other VW flat four I’ve heard, and it shifts. I need to sort the speedo and the rev counter to see what’s going on, but once I get a bit of time I’ll hook up the laptop and log it on a spin. I’ll also work out how to record a decent soundbyte and get it on here.

Home and passed, what happened next. Well it is still in need of some proper mapping as I say, but it is fine to drive, so I took my wife and son for a coffee at a local haunt. They loved it as did I, but it was a bit like being in the Red Arrows – three wheels rubbed and it trailed plumes of tyre smoke.

I should have guessed, as the tyres sat proud and the suspension is quite soft. I managed to salvage a pretty unused 2 inch narrowed adjustable beam from a car that was about to be scrapped. I may post about this car later, it’s the gift that keeps giving!

The offset on the 8 spoke wheels I was using wasn’t right either so I went back to the fully restored originals – Wide-5’s and very similar to the Lemmerz on the 356 with the larger slots. Obviously going from 4×130 to Wide 5 was not going to be simple, but the brakes and spindles etc where all there and restored, so I opted to go back to drums on the back and bought a Wide-5 disc brake kit for the front.

With this all on the wheels are nicely tucked and I actually prefer the look. I just need to drop the front a bit, its at the top of the adjuster at the moment, and to add the handbrake cables and arm etc, the pull arms where missing from the boxes of bits.

Next, some tuning and enjoy before it gets too hot… but that’s when the AC will come into its own…

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