dune buggies and hotVWs May 2020

Dedicated to promoting and preserving all aspects of the Volkswagen air-cooled hobby for enthusiasts worldwide.

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OCI Media
12 期号


2020 hotvws so cal vw week this june

I am already feeling overwhelmed after learning about all the events that are coming to Southern California this June. It is going to be even bigger than last year; it will once again be the largest VW event week in the world. If you wish to cover as much as you can, you need to be well prepared… I will describe all the events in an effort to make it easier for you to choose. First of all, I should mention that it will be very challenging to cover all the events. But, I will tell you EVERYTHING that will happen during this wonderful VW week, which we now call “hotVWs So-Cal VW Week”! If you are crazy enough to drive and run around Orange/ L.A. Counties, you can probably cover…

still inventing

It’s really amazing. The Beetle turns 82 years old this year and new parts are still being developed. And I mean really new; no reproductions of sheet metal, seals or mechanical parts – though it is important that we have these reproduction components available to keep our air-cooled sweethearts on the road. Gerhard Oettinger with his company Okrasa was one of the first, if not the first, to modify the Beetle. The first performance accessories for the small Volkswagen were invented by him. And Joe Vittone from EMPI became aware of this. In turn, Theo Decker, founder of TDE in Germany, visited EMPI to sell his two-carburetor kits. You see, the old speed shops all had connections to each other – without the internet and emails. Today there are still companies in…

thimble tubes & turning right

Thimble Tube What holds the thimble tube that feeds the accelerator cable through the fan shroud? Mine has come loose and the cable is rubbing against the shroud. Am I missing a clip or something? Kim Fortner Port Allegany, PA Kim, these tubes have been coming loose forever on VW guys, and it’s frustrating! VW had a plastic clip on dual port motors that helped a little, but usually fell off and got lost. Most VW guys will just go behind the fan shroud and slip a piece of rubber hose around the tube, then secure it with a hose clamp. This is pretty effective, but can be hard for you do on an engine after it’s installed. My personal thing to do is to modify the end of the tube on the rear…

vw campers

Was there ever a more iconic vehicle than the Volkswagen Microbus Camper? Of course, most everybody just assumes they’re all “Westies”, referring of course to Westfalia, who started converting Buses in 1951. Westies are easy to spot, with their angled pop-tops, but even those weren’t consistent over the years. Split Window models from 1956-67 had small tops designed to only accommodate someone standing up inside. Then in 1968, with the introduction of the Bay Window body, Westfalia had tops that were hinged in the front with a child’s cot inside. That was improved in 1974 by hinging them in the rear with a full-size bed inside. Westfalia continued camper conversions with the newer Vanagon body through 1992. But while the most familiar conversions were done by Westfalia, there were a number…

on barns, fields, and finds

I have people frequently ask me about buying Buses. Many of them just want, well, “a Bus”; but some of them long for the full barn-find experience of their dreams. Now, it is indeed a wonderful dream to find a Transporter in a barn where it has been resting for the last few decades since the original owners got too old to drive it. So, there it sits with a thick layer of dust and 22,000 miles on the now flat original tires. That is a nice thought, but ultimately a pipe dream. Other folks would be happy with just a nice straight Bus with no rust, that has been sitting out getting sunbaked. Of course, it is super cheap because it only needs the mechanical work that the lucky…

monster garage!

One of the most fun experiences that I have ever had in the world of VWs was in 2005 as a part of the TV show Monster Garage. I’ve told many people the story, but I don’t think I have ever written about it in Grinding Gears. With the recent announcement of the return of Monster Garage to Discovery Channel, this seems like a perfect time to tell the tale . Let’s turn the calendar pages way back to the’80s and the days of the SOTO Bus meets and other local So-Cal VW events. There were many faces on the grassy show fields those days and like myself, there were a lot of young enthusiasts pouring in and out of the scene. One of these young faces was Jesse James, who…