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Wimer’s Winner

May 4, 2016
7 minutes read
Wimer’s Winner

Some of you may recognize the name Chip Wimer. A long-time VW guy, he has owned a number of high-quality Volkswagens, including a restored 1956 Beetle Sunroof with a Judson-supercharged 36hp engine, as well as a 1949 Deluxe Split Window with an Okrasa-powered engine, a 1965 Highroof Type II Panel and a low-mileage Type III Ghia that saw a lot of press, including Colin Burnham’s famous book, Classic Volkswagens. He was also the founder of the Type III Ghia Registry.

Chip had to remove himself from the VW scene for a number of years while he concentrated on his career and family. However, once a VW guy, always a VW guy. Soon, the urge for German steel bit him once again. Rather than pursue another vintage restoration, Chip decided to go the opposite direction with a VW Beetle-bodied racecar.

Now that his sons were heading toward driving age, he figured a pan-off racecar project would get his sons involved in a family oriented sport; one they could help Dad out with during the buildup of the car. As luck would have it, Chip found this ’66 in a carport less than three blocks from his house. Describing the condition of the car as “worn out,” Chip talked the owner out of the car for the paltry sum of $200, and the project was towed home to the Wimer garage for a complete teardown.

Once the car was completely apart, Chip and his sons stripped all the undercoating off the pan, and had Mark Bruto at BFY Obsolete parts (Orange, Calif.) weld in the Ron Lummus Racing solid raised (one inch) trans mount. The pan was then treated to a powder coat in gloss black. After getting the pan back, the new suspension components were installed and the bare body was placed back on the pan. Then, Ron Lummus Racing (Anaheim, Calif.) installed the 10-point chrome moly cage, which is tied into the rear frame horns. Now, it was off to the body shop, where Jim and Jake Jones of Class Acts Auto Body (Beaumont, Calif.) straightened the panels and applied the L-456 Ruby Red paint.

The T-bars on this sweet ’66 may not look like anything special but they are, indeed. Phil Leadley, who used to own what was probably the nicest Romestch in the world, made these T-bars in early 1974, and belonged to the Der Renwagen Fuhrer (DRF) VW club.

SAW Performance provided some 28mm torsion bars to help with the impact of hard launches, and Competition Engineering provided some front shocks, which attach to the Suspension Techniques three-inch-narrowed, ball-joint beam. KYBs in the rear round out the package. C.B. Performance dropped spindles mate with stock front brakes, and in the rear, a Type III gave up its drums, shoes and backing plates for the cause. Rolling stock consists of Flat-4 replica BRMs, wrapped with Kleber 145-15 tires in front, and M&H 26x6x15 slicks in the back.

The heart of this car, as with any racecar, is the engine. The Rimco-machined case was full-flowed and clearanced for the intended bore and stroke. A C.B. Performance forged 82mm crankshaft is mated to BUGPACK 5.5-inch connecting rods which are, in turn, connected to Cima/Mahle 90.5 pistons/cylinders, giving a 2110cc displacement. Compression is set at a stout, but livable, 10-to-1. An Engle FK-89 cam tickles the Autocraft 1.4 to 1 rockers. The heads are a set of dual port units that have been re-worked by Steve Tims. They have been welded, ported, polished and have stainless-steel 42mm intake and 37.5mm exhaust valves.

Steve also relocated the sparkplug holes for better flame travel. A pair of the Weber 48 IDA carburetors perched atop BUGPACK tall manifolds and swung by BUGPACK Tayco-stlye linkage, provide the air/fuel to the heads. The gases exit via a Phoenix 1-3/4 inch merged header that was ceramic coated.

Spark is provided via an MSD Digital 6 box, with two-step rev control, blaster coil and NGK plugs. The two-step limiter is activated by a pressure switch on the staging brake. The internal components were assembled by George Jimenez Racing Engines of Anaheim, Calif. On the George Jimenez Racing engines dyno, this somewhat small cc’ed engine produced a whopping 190hp at 7000rpm.

Starting with a Steve Tims-gusseted swingaxle trans case, Kevin Richardson of KCR Transmissions, stuffed it full of Erco gears, an aluminum spool, heavy duty side cover, pro-rings on second, third and fourth gears, and a 3:88 ring and pinion. The gears consist of a 4.11 first, 2.46 second, 1.78 third and a 1.32 fourth. This may not be the best for interstate freeway driving, but good enough to propel this car into the low 12s, with high 11s in sight. SAW Performance axles get the power to the slicks and the 1700lbs. Kennedy pressure plate is relieved of its duties by a Berg shifter.

The interior is austere, adorned with Jaz Poly seats and BFY door panels. Other than that and the necessary gauges to monitor the engine’s vital signs, there isn’t a whole lot in there. What is there, though, is very nicely detailed. An RJS five-point harness keeps Chip in the driver’s seat, and soon it will keep 14-year-old Tony, followed by 11-year-old Nicholas, planted in the seat.To date, this family project has run a best time of 12.09 at 108mph, at Carlsbad Raceway in Carlsbad, Calif.

Chip and sons would like to thank all of the people involved with making this family project a reality. First and foremost, Chip wants to thank his wife, Terri, who has not only supported the project since day one, but also attends every event that the Wimer family goes to.

He would also like to extend a big “thank you” to Steve Tims, Kevin Richardson and George Jimenez.

Article Source: www.vwtrendsweb.com


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