Equipped with a hefty 6.2-liter LT4 GM engine and Tremec TR-6060 transmission, this 1966 VW Type III Squareback Variant 1600 project challenges conventions. While compact, air-cooled engines are synonymous with iconic Volkswagen cars, this venture from Niagara Dyno Service defies norms by fitting an immense powerplant into the vehicle. The project involves a significant departure from the original setup, with a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 GM engine replacing the modest 1.6-liter, theoretically yielding ten times more power.
Originally delivering around 650 horsepower in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, this V8 engine finds itself in a considerably smaller and lighter body, ensuring its 650 horses are harnessed far more effectively and, quite frankly, terrifyingly. Although the layout transitioned from rear- to front-engined to accommodate the substantial engine, the rear-wheel drivetrain remains intact.
This setup is facilitated by a Ford nine-inch rear axle linked to the small block engine through a Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual gearbox. The custom frame, including the Squareback body, was meticulously welded to ensure ample clearance between the engine and the firewall.
The focus for the builders presently lies in finalizing the powertrain before addressing cosmetic aspects. One builder expressed the intent to retain the vehicle’s rustic appearance, aligning perfectly with the sleeper car aesthetic.
Exterior enhancements are likely to be minimal, with the exception of the unmistakable roar of the V8 engine and the presence of wide tires.
Consequently, the equipment list might not be filled with lavish exterior embellishments. Interior work remains extensive, with the current cabin featuring a Recaro bucket seat installation and a roll cage for safety.
An intriguing point of consideration is whether the distinctive gill-like vents on the rear quarter panels will be preserved. Originally designed to channel air to the rear-mounted engine, these vents now face redundancy due to the engine relocation.
As the project build series embarks on only its second episode, the most exhilarating developments are yet to unfold. Without a doubt, this endeavor is one to closely monitor.