"Beetling" magazine article
There is, of course, also an oil cooler. This is a rather special one, developed during 1970 for the Porsche 908 sports car, but which fits very neatly into the space underneath the spare wheel well, behind the grille (see picture).
To transfer this power to the road the standard VW clutch is used. The firm developed a close ratio 4 speed box, which gave road speeds of some 45, 65, 85 and 101mph at 6500rpm. This is now available for sale to the public, at some £160. Later on, the works used the newly-homologated (then) 5 speed box from the VW-Porsche 914, which, also at 6500rpm, gives speeds of approximately 33, 49, 65, 85 and 106mph. A limited slip differential is used.
On the suspension side, the modifications are few. The front wheels have a negative camber of ½°, but the rear wheels are left completely alone. The cars are in no way lowered, and Bilstein provide the shock absorbers. Stiffer rear suspension has in fact been tried, and also a stiff stabiliser bar on the rear; both give quite good results. The brakes are standard, except for the rear wheels having larger wheel cylinders. In the early part of 1971 (before 1302S discs were enlarged) stock brakes were still used! The wheels are 5½J, shod with 155 SR or 165 SR 15 inch tyres. The chassis has very little extra protection, apart from welded on plates to protect the jacking points. Sump shields are used, made out of the usual dural.
These cars were developed over the years 1971 to 1973, and the latter was their most successful season, using top drivers like Tony Fall, Archim Warmbold and Bjorn Waldegard. At the end of the season various plans were made concerning the 1974 season, but then the oil taps were closed a bit, and everybody panicked. This was a particular shame, because the Salzburg people had just got an agreement from Wolfsburg to produce a short run of special Beetles. These, it is rumoured, were to have been of 2-litre capacity. This would have enabled Porsche Salzburg to have gone to 2-litres (Group 2 does not allow any capacity increase), and presumably, about 150 reliable horses, which was really necessary to take on works Saabs, Escorts, Fiats etc which were all turning out some 170 plus. But the plans never, of course, reached fruition, and, apart from one of the 1302s, all ten cars (a mixture of 02s and 03s) are up for sale. The prices vary, but £1900 to £2100 is the range. In fact, the cars have been standing idle for almost a year because (a) rallying was banned in Austria until September, due to the oil situation, and (b) the attempts to import them into Germany, where there have been several interested people, have been thwarted by German traffic regulations. So if you want a good used Beetle for rallying, it may be worth a try.
We mention that they are all for sale except for on 03S. Why? Because that one was used as a basis for the virtually unbeatable Porsche Austria Rallycross Beetles, which are doing so well in the Embassy Championship. We take a closer look at these exciting 170-plus horsepower machines in next month!s Beetling.