Just when you think youve seen every trick VW Beetle out there, something like this wild 1976 targa shows up. Professionally built by Dave Kent of Carcraft back in the day for VW itself, it is an incredible relic of the 70s that has been in protected storage for decades and only recently recommissioned for the street.
The list of body mods is extensive, but this car started out as a stock 1976 Beetle convertible. Perhaps the most striking feature is the targa hoop behind the front seats, a custom-formed single piece of steel 11 inches wide that was stitched into the bodywork with a seam, so that it looks removable. The headlights were adjusted, now sitting more vertically in the original front fenders, and the taillights were frenched into the rear fenders. And speaking of the fenders, they were widened 2.75 inches front and rear and remain steel, not fiberglass. Of course, that was only possible because both front and rear bumpers were shaved, along with a lot of the exterior trim. The paint is the original combination of bright yellow, silver, and satin black which is certainly eye-catching. Targa graphics remind onlookers what theyre looking at, just in case the radical hoop didnt clue them in, and it works as advertised with a folding rear half and a rigid panel that fits between the hoop and windshield header.
Stock Beetle buckets were retained, but theyve been reupholstered in a more upscale cloth that works well with the radical bodywork. Subtle was the key here because they didnt want to distract from the impact the custom sheetmetal, and its in fantastic condition today. Black carpets, custom cloth inserts in the door panels add to the luxurious feel thats often missing from stock Beetles. The original round speedometer is still ahead of the driver, who grips a fat custom steering wheel, but the rest of the dash is smooth, without even a radio to interrupt the clean lines. The back seat is still in place, upholstered to match the front buckets, and its still usable despite the targa conversion. The front-mounted trunk remains largely stock, complete with the original spare tire and wheel that have never been used.
This was no mere static display car, either. The engine is a big 2240 cc unit built by VW Racing Engines and designed to be more powerful than a Porsche 912 yet street-friendly. A custom Okrasa crank, 912 Porsche rods, NPR finned aluminum jugs, and a set of flat-top pistons make for a bulletproof powerplant that is unlike any Beetle youve driven. A custom Erson valvetrain and a Holley/Weber carburetor add to the fun, along with a custom-built exhaust system featuring a Walker muffler intended for a Jeep. The suspension remains largely stock, although oversized chrome wheels wear fat 205/70/14 front and 225/75/14 rear tires.
This is a fully documented, pro-built machine featured in period magazines like Hot Rod and an incredible piece of VW history. If you want to make a big entrance at the next VW show, nothing will do it better than this. Call today.