Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Life and Times of Karmann Electra

Last spring most of my car buddies were building chump cars for the Spokane 24 hour in July. I was interested, but not enough to get myself on a team. A few months before the event, one of the guys from the VW club finds this Ghia on Craigslist.

This is the same guy who in 2008 says to me "We should enter a car in the 36 hp challenge at Bonneville"!
Now the way THAT turned out was that he dropped out and never helped at all, but my other buddy and I built the car and had a great time. We beat the record we went there to beat, the engine held together even after something like 7 measured mile runs at 14 lbs of boost.Here's the car/engine.

I asked one of my buddies who road raced many years ago if he wanted on the team, and he said yes. The President of the VW club wanted in, so that was our 4 people. So the guy whose name shall never be mentioned went and bought this car. He paid $300 for it thinking it was worth that much for the rollcage. I brought it to my place and we started working on it. Worst choice for a Chumpcar ever!
The cage turns out to be 1.25 tubing when it needs to be 1.5.
This car is the biggest pile of rusty crap I have ever worked on.
The previous owner has taken a torch to the suspension and bent it for more camber on the right side. That all has to be replaced.
The body is actually at least 4 different cars (sort of) welded together.The doors are skinned and welded on.
This thing has been sitting in a field for at least 10 years.