Beetles have been going up in price lately, but $25,000 is still really, really steep for one. Even so, this 914-engined little beauty just outside of Los Angeles is pretty damn tempting. As in I'm a little scared of making a decision that will result in a spousal stabbing.
Now, sure, calling a 914 engine a "Porsche" engine is a little misleading. Yes, it was used in the Porsche 914 (and the 912e) but it's really a VW Type 4 engine, which was also used in VW Type 4s and later Type II buses.
These engines weren't really screamers from the factory, but they have a lot of performance upgrading potential and were VW's most advanced air-cooled motor ever. The 2.1L motor shoved into the back of this 1970 Beetle looks to have been quite extensively modified. It has a 911-style cooling fan and shroud, a pair of nice Weber carbs, and the underside looks cleaner than the clinic where I had this awful cyst on my knee lanced.
The dash looks sort of like someone took 911 instruments and crammed them onto a Beetle's little panel dashboard, and then for fun grabbed about 25% of the switches from KITT and stuck them on a nice little center console thing. It's clear by looking in the window that this is Serious Beetle Business going on.
It's got a 5-speed from a Porsche 911 (this is a nice upgrade for highway driving) and some great low-back seats. All the interior looks good, the brightwork on the exterior has been blacked out as a subtle warning that this Beetle is Not To Be Fucked With, though I think they should have finished the job and blacked out the bumpers as well.
I think a conservative estimate for power output from this engine would bee somewhere in the 130-140 HP ballpark. On a car that weighs around 1800 lbs, I'd bet this silverbeetle is seriously quick.
$25,000 will get you something modern and fun like an FR-S or an Abarth 500, so this car has some real competition on the new and safe side of the equation. But it's hard to imagine any trip in this wonderfully sorted Beetle as being anything but awesome, right?