The mantra of a certain eclectic Texas town is to keep Austin weird. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 1970 Bug is Austin-located, and with a Mazda 13B is kind of weirdly wonderful. Hopefully for its seller, the price won’t weird you out.
Around here, two grand for a working car is usually considered a deal. Add to its being a runner the fact that yesterday’s 1985 Honda Civic Wagon was also set up for some serious ground clearance and you get a slam dunk 83% Nice Price win.
You might remember Monday’s Texas-resident SEAT - a car that was atypical of everything for which the Lone Star State stands. Today’s Austin-based 1970 Wankel-powered VW Bug not only seems as eclectic as its home town, but also proudly lets its state’s freak flag fly on its door.
Switching a car from air-cooled to water is no mean feat. Add to that the need to keep the engine in the caboose, and the radiator somewhere where the air flows and that means you’d typically be laying more pipe than Ron Jeremy.
The builder of this ’70 Bug has done just that, tossing out the original VW flat four for a hummeriffic 13b from an ’85 RX7. That motor, while stock, is said to be freshly rebuilt, and is cooled via an aluminum radiator up in the front where the Bug's spare tire normally lives.
Other notable mechanical features are the Megasquirt ECU, Gene Berg short throw, new steering and suspension bits, and the wise choice of stainless steel for both cooling and exhaust.
It also should be noted that this Beetle has been fitted with disc brakes all the way around. Original Bug brakes are about as effective for stopping as is trying to put out a fire by farting on it. With the added poop the 13b provides the better clampers are a prudent measure.
Visually. . . well, it’s kind of a clapped out Beetle. There’s some rust on the running boards, and the car seems to be at least three shades of old man underwear in various places. There is that flag on the door, and if that’s not eclectic enough, there’s a big-ass tach sitting just ahead of the windscreen - on the outside - ala Pontiac’s Judge.
More gauges take the radio’s place in the flat dash, and ahead of that is one of those steering wheels you might find on a forklift or carny ride. Looking somewhat incongruous, facing that are a pair of Subaru WRX thrones.
While many aficionados prefer the earliest cars - split windows and the like - should you want to have a Beetle and “do things to it” then you can’t do better than picking one of the post-‘68 models as they come with 12 volt electrics and fully articulating IRS as opposed to swing axles in the back. This ‘70 is a good base for all the mods made, as it enjoys those updates, and it’s one that no one in particular will ever lament for lack of originality.
The question for you now is whether or not anyone would truly lament paying the seller’s $5,500 asking price for the honor of taking over ownership of this 13beetle. What do you think, is that a reasonable price to pick up this Texas two door? Or, is that price too high to apex seal the deal?
H/T to ninjacoco for the hookup!
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