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Newbold's Racing Bug

Sideburn tester and poet, Travis Newbold has finished a new project and supplied this blog post that was written in chunks over a year and posted on his own 747Rider blog.

I was just starting to settle in to my new shop, filling up wall space with posters, arranging my motorcycle feng shui, of course feeding my constant fetish for hoarding junk. Now that I have my own yard the first thing I did was go drag my Pop's old 1956 Willys jeep out of the field and start to finish what he started 35 years ago when he went to rebuild the engine and then the family fell apart. Never mind that I am my father's son! I have a yard. Let's fill it with junk already. And then a few days after starting to tear into the Jeep an old timer came into my shop asking if I would like a few old dirt bikes he had rusting away in his yard. He had an impressive junk yard; cranes, tractors, classic rust heap, big-finned, cat-eyed beauties. Acres and acres of junk. He had to clean it all out as property tax was whipping it's enslaved free world order down on his old timer back. I am sure that will never happen to me. No way. Next to the rusty old dirt bikes was a VW bug... Just like I always wanted. Even my favourite colour. And wouldn't you know, it literally followed me home.

Mary Ellen was the owner/operator of this 1966 Volkswagen 'car for the people' right up until 1973 when it was parked running. Parked too close to the road though, and parts disappeared until the shell was all that was left rotting right into the ground where I plucked it. What have I got myself into? Why am I having trouble sleeping? My brain only produces dreams of replay scenarios like mating a Subaru engine to a VW transmission, converting to independent rear suspension, disc brakes, fuel cells, cages, harnesses... madness. I may be losing my mind but the creative process has unlimited potential. 

The Subaru flat four is just like a big Honda engine. My valve seat tools fit perfect and say what we all want to say about cages but at least their valves cost 1/5 of the price of motorcycle valves. Even OEM. Heads are re-built as the half of the valves were bent a mere .010" form the head on impact the ol' 2.5 RS suffered. Free loader Freddy scored again when my neighbour gave me another Subaru 2.5 engine with the smashed cam pulley and timing belt covers I needed. I can't help it, the freakish four wheel gods just keep giving me the ingredients...

As with all my two-wheeled builds, I did this on a tight budget. How tight? well tighter than a Nun's...  you know. Typical trash bin ravaging, junk yard scourer, freeloader Freddy every friend, acquaintance, person who will talk to me charity bit and piece conceivable.

Really it is just a bunch of time plus a $50 66 VW bug shell and a $75 crashed 2000 2.5 RS It is amazing what you can do with help from decent people and eBay.

As soon as this winter freeze breaks I am taking this "Edeamame Commie" straight out into the desert and hopefully having more fun than a well-oiled midget. The real vision is the Colorado Hill Climb Association 2WD rally car class. Something to do between the motorcycle class. The sickness is real. Sweet motorcycle Jesus, save my two wheel loving soul. er, hail satan! Oh holy father of hot fast nasty speed! Hell yeah! Fricking rage cage chariot of fire take me home.

Photos: Jon Wallace/Brapp Snapps & Travis


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