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Issue 02 | Summer 2010 |


Bug In #35 IKW Budel 45 Years DKP Irwindale 1st of May Mexican 1000 O.C.T.O. OEBC Picnic

€14,50 | £12.95 | $21.95 | ¥2400 ISSN 1879-6508

9 771879 650009


Rometsch Special

GFK ’57 Samba

Radikal Rat Look

A huge feature on these rare coach built VW based specials

One of the cleanest Sambas in the world was built in SoCal

’53 Oval fitted with ground scraping Titanium & a turbo


Up-To-Date Rometsch, all types & sizes!

There’s a lot going on in the scene, be sure to catch the latest news, stories, events and photos on our website:

Featured cars 87 113 6

Cal Look Flash Back


12 | Porsche 356 Beetle German built 63 bug using as many Porsche 356 parts as possible.

34 | Rometsch Special We travelled to Hessisch Oldendorf to document the complete history on these gorgeous coach built cars.

64 | German Folks Klub Samba


A full feature on what's probably the most perfect deluxe bus in the world.

80 | High School Dream

The Bugazon

Rick Sadler's 1967 Cal-Look beetle. High performance VW built in CA.

87 | OCIR Bay Window Panel Double door US-Bug In early bay.

113 | Radikal Turbo Oval Ground scraping air bagged turbo charged 53 oval makes sparks fly.

128| Viva El Bugazon!



This insane Baja bug still wears its battle scars from a 1000 mile drive.

Rolando’s “family” car

Porsche Beetle

138| Turbo Charged 13 Window


Ed Fox was sent on a mission to the Route 66 and shot this superb bus.

’57 GFK Samba Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |



Words: Georg Otto Translation: Kobus Cantraine | Yves Maertens Pictures: Andreas Reinhold


It’s been a dream for many to have a humble Beetle beefed up with Porsche performance. Daniel Schäfer made his dream a reality, building a ’63 Beetle with all the Porsche 356 parts he could lay his hands on.

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


O.C.T.O. Meet 2010

Words: Johnny Jimenez | Brendan Finn Translation: Yves Maertens | Georg Otto Pictures: Niels Timmerman

On Saturday, June 12th, 2010 the Orange County Transporter Organization held their annual summer Pre-Classic meet at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Ca. This huge annual event is open to 1967 and earlier Buses only. Things kick off early with the gates opening at 6:00 am.  > 20

Show | O.C.T.O.

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |



The Grundmans have an amazing collection of aircooled VWs and in there are some very rare coach build cars. This issue we take a look at their fabulous Rometsches. Words: Georg Otto Translation: Kobus Cantraine | Yves Maertens Pictures: Kobus Cantraine | Niels Timmerman

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


Words: Georg Otto Translation: Kobus Cantraine | Yves Maertens Pictures: Kobus Cantraine | Niels Timmerman

Let’s have a closer look at the latest project by the Grundmann family, their just finished 1951 Rometsch Beeskow CoupÊ.


Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |



GFKs ’57 DLX Words: Georg Otto Translation: Kobus Cantraine | Yves Maertens Pictures: Niels Timmerman | Erwin Stok

Restoring a VW Bus is quite a task nowadays. The cars are big money especially Sambas - and finding the right parts is often a challenge. It took Carlos Guzman six years to finalize his '57 Deluxe, but now it's picture perfect. Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


Cal-Look Flash Back Words: Kobus Cantraine Translation: Yves Maertens | Georg Otto Pictures: Kobus Cantraine


It’s an era that will later become known as the crazy ’70s, and the kids in Southern California are doing all sorts of trick stuff to their Beetles. Some just want a cool-looking ride, others go way further and build big engines to beat Mustangs and Camaros off the lights...

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


n southern Belgium there are plenty of super slammed rides to be seen; Gianni Sanchez, the main figure behind the infamous Walliforninan Radikalbugz gang, is the man responsible for most of the suspension work on these ground-scraping “hoodride” VWs. The Oval that we’re presenting to you here was the first car that Gianni equipped with Air Ride suspension, more than four years ago now. The car broke down early in its life and was stored in a shed with the engine removed. It sat there for years and the paint started to deteriorate. Its owner wanted to restore it, and totally dismantled the car – but that was as far as he got. Frenchmen Bertrand Droupsy found the car in Kortrijk, Belgium, with its original dealer sticker still on the rear of the car. He loaded up the poor old stripped-to-pieces Oval and took it straight to Gianni’s workshop. They’d never seen such a solid, rust-free Oval body! The heater channels and the inner wings were totally spotless. After a moment’s pondering, they took the bull by the horns and proceeded with the project as originally intended. Gianni ordered a few boxes of Air Ride equipment from America and started to assemble the Oval. It took him about eight months to complete the car. The Air Ride setup was designed and built by Gianni. It consists of a single Firestone air bag that moves the lower half of the front beam (narrowed 15cm!). The lower leaf springs have been replaced by a chromoly steel solid rod that’s connected to the air bag. In the rear there are two air bags to make the car rock up and down. The original torsion bars are still in place but the spring plate has been majorly notched to create more ground clearance. In the end the rear was adjusted down by three splines and it’s simply pushed upwards by the heavy duty air bags! Shortly after the car was finished, Bertrand opened his VW parts business


called PlaneteVW, and he had to sell some cars to fund his new venture. Gianni was first on the list of potential buyers and he didn’t hesitate for a single second. Now that the car was Gianni’s to play with, he installed his 1776cc motor with a B&M Blower on top inside the Oval’s engine bay. To protect the floor-pan he built two tubes that were attached just in front of the beam; inside these are two solid Titanium rods. They measure 20cm X 55mm, and he lowered them about 2cm to prevent the floor-pan from scrapping the tarmac - as an added bonus they will light up a whole street at night-time when he dumps the suspension on the ground. At present Gianni has fitted his Turbo engine in the Oval to run it in, and then he’s going to mount it in one of his latest projects... Stay tuned! er Süden Belgiens, die Wallonie (oder spaßeshalber auch Wallifornia genannt), ist das Zuhause der Radikalbugz, einer Gang mit ultratiefen Hoodride-Volkswagen. Verantwortlich für diese Fahrwerke ist in den meisten Fällen der Kopf der Crew, Gianni Sanchez. Bereits vor vier Jahren stattete er den hier vorgestellten Ovali mit einem Airride aus. Es war sein Erstlingswerk mit dieser Art der Federung. Bevor der Wagen aber zum Showstopper wurde, mussten viele Jahrzehnte vergehen, die er größtenteils in einer Scheune verbrachte. Ziemlich früh im Leben des Ovalis sorgte ein Motorschaden dafür, dass man ihm das Herz entfernte und in besagtem Verschlag abstellte. Der ehemalige Besitzer wollte den Käfer eigentlich restaurieren, doch über das Zerlegen kam er nicht hinaus. Irgendwann entdeckte der Franzose Bertrand Droupsy den Wolfsburger in der Nähe der belgischen Stadt Kortrijk. Nach Klärung der finanziellen Bedingungen lud er den VW auf und schaffte ihn zu Giannis Werkstatt. Der rostfreie Ovali-Body überraschte die beiden


There are many toys inside Gianni’s giant toybox, the Black Baron volksrod won Mooneyes’ award at EBI


Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


The 2010 MEXICAN 1000 Rally


Show | Mexican 1000

Words: Kobus Cantraine Translation: Yves Maertens | Georg Otto Pictures: Kobus Cantraine

The NORRA MEXICAN 1000 was held for the first time this year, it’s a Baja race that covers 1,000 miles and goes from Calexico all the way down to La Paz! Three days of Racing through sand, stones and loads of dust only open to vintage vehicles that competed in a real Baja 1,000 race before 1989! > hen we heard about the Mexican 1000 rally we instantly knew that this was an event we had to cover in the magazine. The first ever Vintage Nostalgia Off-Road Race organised by N.O.R.R.A. (National Off Road Racing Association) was open to cars that raced in Baja 1000 races before 1989. A three day rally that takes its participants from Mexicali all the way down to La Paz! Not an all-out, off-road endurance race like the Baja 1000 races of today, here the whole course was divided into timed stages and transit legs more like a Paris - Dakar style challenge. This event looked like it was going to be something special right from the outset. The organisers created a fantastic website displaying tons of historic photos and videos of period races, and before long the list of sponsors and participants was growing day


by day. Only allowing vintage vehicles with a racing pedigree naturally narrowed the field of potential competitors right down, but they still had almost 100 registered teams with some big names in the mix. Parnelli Jones, Bruce Meyers, Bob Gordon, Rod Hall (who hasn’t missed a single Baja 1000 since 1967), and Andy and Scott McMillin were just some of the famous off-road racers who took the start. We hooked up with the support team of Lorenzo Pearson and Jeff Quinn, who had entered the West Coast Metric ‘Bugazon’. After loading up a van with some dirt bikes and supplies, we headed for the Mexican border, which we crossed in Calexico. The start of the rally was in Mexicali just south of the border, and it was only in the parking lot at the host hotel that we realised just how big this rally was going to be; the line of cars progressing through

technical inspection seemed to be endless. There was some collection of metal to admire in the paddock. Lots of local Mexican racers with Class 11 Beetles, a whole bunch of purpose-built buggies and single-seater rails, but also loads of hardcore American steel from Ford Broncos to two-door Oldsmobiles with cut out fenders and huge tyres. There was even a tiny early Saab 96. It was altogether a fantastic display of a wide variety of old desert racer cars and vintage motorcycles. Just as the sun began to set, the ‘Legends Party’ got going, with special guest Bruce Meyers sharing stories from back in 1967 when the first N.O.R.R.A Mexican 1000 was held. This race then became the Baja 1000, and in 1973 was taken over by Mickey Thompson’s S.C.O.R.E organisation. Fast-forward to 2010, and the N.O.R.R.A. crew went out of their way to recreate a ’67

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


Words: Kobus Cantraine Translation: Yves Maertens | Andreas Reinhold Pictures: Kobus Cantraine


The Bugazon had not been raced since Lorenzo Pearson’s son Scott campaigned it in the 1989 Baja 1000, and it has been on display in their company museum ever since. Over the years Lorenzo has restored a number of famous off-road racecars that were multiple winners of races like the Baja 1000 and 500, the Mint 400, the Score Riverside Race, the Dam 500 and Mickey Thompson Coliseum Race. These rare off-roaders are a forgotten part of VW racing history and everyone is welcome to stop by and check them out at West Coast Metric in sunny Southern California. The museum is open Monday to Friday 9am-4-pm. Phone (800) 247-3202 and just ask to see the collection. 128

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


the assembly of his newly refurbished cruiser. Since he finished it he just can’t stop driving it, and he’s taken it to every possible car show in the So-Cal region as well as his family on a few long road trips. This bus was made for cruising... and that’s just what it’ll do! l Salvador, South America. Vor 50 Jahren war Rolando Alvarado erst fünf oder sechs Jahre alt, als er regelmäßig mit seinem Vater in einem ’54er Ovali mit Winkern herumfuhr. Er erinnert sich, dass er in dem Wagen gespielt hat und diese Erinnerung haben ihn sein Leben lang begleitet. Mitte der 80er Jahre besaß er für eine gewisse Zeit einen Cal Look Käfer, aber er verkaufte ihn für $500 nachdem der Motor kaputt gegangen war. Er ging durch eine schwere Zeit ohne VW bis er sich entschloß, einen Bus zu kaufen. Jetzt ist ein neues Jahrtausend angebrochen und Rolando hat sich entsclossen, sich einen 13-Fenster Deluxe Typ 2 Bus zu zulegen. Leider war seine erste Erfahrung mit einem Bus keine schöne. 30 Minuten nachdem er den Bus gekauft hatte, brannte der ganze Bus aufgrund eines Benzinlecks nieder…


Beautiful Gasburner wheels and potent Wilwood brakes fit this bus perfectly

Long spoonlatches ensure that there is enough air flow in Rolando’s Type 2

Black Banjo, Berg Shifter and Carbon series Autometer gauges


Rolando ließ sich davon nicht entmutigen und innerhalb einer Woche fand er einen weiteren Bus! Diesen Bus seht Ihr gerade vor euch. Der Wagen hatte seine originale Türkis-Weiße Lackierung und bis 2002 hatte Rolando ihn gelb lackiert und ihm einen 1776er Motor und einen Satz Empi 5-Spoke Felgen verpaßt. Das Interieur wurde zeitgleich mit der Gelb-Weißen Lackierung neu bezogen. Rolando entschied sich für einen qualitativ hochwertigen Tweed Stoff. Ein gute Wahl, wie man an dem immer noch tollen Zustand sehen kann! Für einige Jahre fuhr er den 13-Fenster Bus herum und es sammelten sich ein paar Steinschläge in der Lackierung. Es war zeit für eine Veränderung, also brachte Rolando den Bus zu einem örtlichen Karosseriebetrieb… was jetzt folgt habt Ihr sicherlich alle schon einmal gehört… der Bus blieb für ein Jahr unangetastet und nichts passierte bis der Lackierer schließlich einen „Quick Job“ ablieferte. Wir müssen nicht erwähnen, dass Ronaldo nicht glücklich mit dem Resultat war und er den Bus noch einmal lackieren ließ! Die Farben wurden speziell angemischt um sie einem Spielzeugbus anzupassen, den Rolando in seiner Sammlung hatte. Er mochte die Farbkombination so sehr, dass er sie in 1:1 sehen wollte. Sobald der Bus seine letzte Lackschicht bekommen hatte, machte er einen Termin mit Victor Menjivar Jr. Beim So-Cal Performance Lab. Rolando liebt es, seine Autos zu fahren, er wollte einen zuverlässigen Langstreckencruiser, einen Bus, der ihn und seine Familie überall hinbringt, jederzeit und mit einer angenehmen Geschwindigkeit. Nachdem die Beiden alle Möglichkeiten un Optionen durchgegangen waren, entschlossen sie sich dazu, eine 2.3 liter Typ 1 Maschine mit speziell angefertigtem draw-through Turbo aufzubauen. Shag Leone von SL-1 Racing wurde beauftragt einen Krümmer und Ansaugstutzen herzustellen, die von Shag speziell für den T3/T4 hybrid Turbo und einen 40 DCOE Weber Vergaser, der für den Turbobetrieb modifiziert wurde, ausgelegt wurden. Der Ansaugstutzen wurde mit einem JGS 40mm waste gate versehen und auf Spiegelglanz poliert. Wir müssen sagen, dass dies wirklich eines der saubersten Turbo-set Ups ist, das wir bis jetzt in einem Bus gesehen haben. Das ganze horizontale Layout des Turbos paßt einfach sehr gut zum design des Busses. Die Mannschaft von Performance Lab verkabelte außerdem den Bus neu und baute weitere Kabel für die MSD Zündung und die Auto Meter Instrumente ein, mit denen der wertvolle Motor überwacht wird. Rolando wollte, dass der Bus sich wie ein modernes Auto fahren läßt, also bestellte Performance Lab ein Super turbo Freeway Flyer Getriebe. Für angenehme Straßenlage sorgt vorne eine speziell gefertigte verschmälerte Achse mit Tieferlegungsachsschenkeln und


Rolando loves to drive his cars and he wanted a reliable, long distance cruiser, a bus that would take him and his family anywhere, anytime and at a very comfortable speed.

Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


Words: Joan van de Wetering Translation: Kobus Cantraine | Yves Maertens | Andreas Reinhold Pictures: Niels Timmerman


IKW Budel 2010

International Beetle Weekend

Awesome! The 2010 Budel VW show attracted over 23.000 visitors, 3.000 aircooled cars and 200 trade stands, making it one of Europe’s largest events. AirMighty Megascene presented the new Vintage Show area, a field full of stock pre ’67 VWs! > Summer 2010 | AirMighty Megascene |


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Next time... 162

AirMighty Megascene #02 - Summer 2010  

Welcome to the Summer 2010 issue of the 'AirMighty Megascene', the first European VW magazine! In three main languages English, German and F...