VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Discussion related to classification of cars in the NEHA series.

VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Postby Vworks » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:28 pm

Hello All,

I have been lurking around the forums recently and I need some help with a project car I have and the possibility of using it to join a hill climb event.

Short background: I am long time street rodder and now am itching to actually give my project I have not touched in years a purpose.

Car: 1971 VW bug, built in the pro-street style, full frame, IFS, 9” rear, 5.3l w/th3500, 6pt cage, only ever driven to cruise nights :(

Idea: rebuild to comply with safety standards – rework roll cage(FIA?, NASA? Which standard?), seat mounts, fuel cell…… adjust suspension, change wheels/tires…..

Question: Before I do this, if I rework the car to comply, would this qualify to race in any of your events? Would I be better off starting with something else?

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Re: VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Postby Super1303 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:43 am


Looks like and sounds like a blast! I don't see why you would have any problems. That thing would be a perfect fit!

In my opinion the Best thing to do is start a build thread and post some, detailed, pictures of where it's at now and you areas of concern.
Someone will chime in if they see something not cool.
Biggest problem I see are those floor mats!

I also would suggest working at one of the events, if you haven't already, show up with the car! I know I and others would love to see it.
Meet the lunatics, get some pointers, Ideas and see hows things run an all that.

Here's a link to find the Technical Regulations. http://hillclimb.org/rulesregs.html

Is that a 71 Super body?
Is this car in the Lyndonville area or was? I think I've seen it.

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Re: VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Postby walterclark » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:02 am


Hillclimbing and in particular NEHA is a great place to run what you love. We can find a class for nearly any car, and what is more important - everyone has fun! Some do hillclimbs to beat everyone in a particular class, but most of us drive the car we love, try to do better each event, and share the enthusiasm others have for their car.

It looks like you car can fit into a Street Prepared class and certainly Prepared (if the cage is brought up to our minimum requirements).

Our cage rules are pretty flexible, to permit a wide range of safe designs. Assuming your tubing and mounting feet meet the minimum size and material requirements for our series, it looks like a few added braces will get you up to our rules. We do accept and encourage building to rules such as FIA Art 253, NRS App B, RA, etc. we dont subscribe to just one of them. While our minimums are probably less than many other race bodies, we encourage going well beyond our minimum requirements. If you plan to run the car somewhere besides NEHA, and the cage rules are more complex restrictive there, it is often a benefit to you to follow those. If you read ours you will usually find those other rules also meet ours, or it is a fairly simple matter to make that cage comply with ours as well.

When designing and fabricating safety features into the car dont forget that cars racing in our hillclimbs tend to hit rocks and trees which penetrate more into the car than flat walls or guard rails, and frequently a car will hit more than one (not flat nor smooth) thing in an off. So what is considered safe for drag racing or even road circuits may not be enough to be safe at a hillclimb.

We dont require fuel cells in any class, but we do reserve the right to require whatever fuel containment is employed is safe to run at our events. As an example using the bug... A front mounted fuel tank is almost by definition going to be located in the front end "crush zone" and while this area is the most logical area to put a fuel tank considering what space is available, a structure to protect the cell and a race bladder to decrease the likelihood of a major fuel leak from a frontal impact might be required by our chief tech guy.

We are pretty particular about seat and harness mounting. We like the seats and strap mounts to stay in place and the straps to all pull at the right angles. We dont require FIA labeled seats, but non-FIA race seats require a back brace. We accept the OEM seating and belts that are in good shape in cars that dont require a cage (that run above "breakout"), otherwise we want to see a 1 piece race seat and in-date harnesses.
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Re: VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Postby Vworks » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:31 pm

thanks for the support guys, this is encouraging news!

i have to finish some other project first, but i think the bug will be next winters project. when i get to it i will certainly start a post here and hopefully work through it with you guys!


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Re: VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Postby sachilles » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:03 pm

If that is the case, bring the car to an event, and work the event. Have Don and Walter look it over to point out issue you can resolve in your build out.

In general, if the car is safe, we'll find a class for it to run in. Can't guarantee if the car would or wouldn't be competitive in the class....but I guarantee a smile on your face.

As to the cage, I suggest that you look at our cage rules, then think about any other type of racing you might have interest, and build to the more strict standard of the two. You'll find that we are refugee's from other disciplines, so when tend to tackle problems from different angles.

Welcome aboard, and I can not stress enough to come check us out, and let us check out your car before you start re-imagining it.
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Re: VW Bug street rod - any hope to race?

Postby drummingpariah » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:13 pm

Welcome, Matt! I'll second Seth and Evan's advice of bringing the car out and just seeing what kind of pace events typically carry. A typical event has a good chunk of waiting for your next run, but we're all expected to know when our group is about to run and where we should be waiting. Being ready to pull up to the start line on time is critical, so I'd suggest trying to work there at some point. If that's your plan, I recommend ear plugs, as standing next to cars launching all day can be pretty loud.

For me, my whole first season was just a process of learning which parts of each hill were scary, and which parts I could carry more speed through. Bringing a regular 'unprepared' street car would give you ample opportunity to learn the hills.

Finally, if you come out to an event, bring a helmet. You can ride along with another driver for our morning 'familiarization' run if someone has a free passenger seat.
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