New Volkswagen Club

Recently we were invited to take part in a new Volkswagen club just starting up. It is called the Gold Country Volkswagen Club, and it is looking for members! You will need Facebook to access their new group online, you can find the link here Gold Country Volkswagen Club.

The club is an open group. The description on their page reads:
“Gold Country Volkswagen Club is a group of air and water cooled Volkswagen fans in the Northern California gold country area. Ranging from Grass valley to Sonora and the greater gold country area. We organize family friendly events and donate to charities.”
Jason Boggs is the founder, and is looking for members to participate in activities, decisions for the club, rides, etc. All VW’s in the NorCal motherlode area are welcome. They are JUST starting out, but the more the merrier so please spread the word and give their page a “like!”

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VORRA Night Vision 250 Newsletter

Here is the June Newsletter containing the information for the upcoming July VORRA race, the NightVision 250. It is in PDF format, just click the link below:

June VORRA Newsletter

There’s also the basic schedule information available at the VORRA website itself:

Basic Schedule for NightVision 250

Remember, if not enough races pre-register, the race will be cancelled. If you plan to attend, please remember to register soon! Good luck to all competitors.

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On My International Harvester

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Oh yes, that’s right – TLR doesn’t just work on just Volkswagen and German. You might remember our buddy the 1964 International Scout from awhile back. We had a lot of honing to do in the cylinders just to make it run, but what a work-horse it is. We use it for property work and mowing:

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Larry G will be totally thrilled that I posted this photo of him. ;)

Anyway, this has been a project five years in waiting. Or actually more, if you consider how much love there is for big toys and big tractors. But we have been searching and waiting for the right tractor to come along, and here it is, an International Harvester 3414 with a backhoe. They were made from 1961-1968, though we’re unclear what year this one is as the plate has worn away. We seem to have a penchant for 1964′s though, so it would be oddly poetic if it ends up being as such. It doesn’t run (just like the Scout didn’t). Isn’t that a surprise? ;) But Larry G will have it running in no time, and most likely there will be VW parts installed on it as well. We are excited to be able to complete our projects more efficiently with the addition to this yellow beast to the fleet.

Oh, and it will have green wheels too. ;)

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A giant shout-out to our friends from Big Mama’z Towing in Placerville, CA ((530) 642-0950 and on Facebook Here). If you want the job done in a professional manner with safety as the number one priority, and at a decent price, they are your guys. Please support local business and consider Big Mama’z if you are in need of transport.

Oh yes…you know that Larry G will be incorrigible singing this song now that he has two of them:

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Stranded in Death Valley – tale of what not to do

Recently this story popped up among racing circles, and I think it’s a good reminder of what not to do. Especially if it messes with Mother Nature in places that you aren’t familiar with, and ESPECIALLY if you don’t quite have adequate survival training.

This is a long article, so beware that you’ll have to take some time to read if it you do. Us off-roaders of course do this for fun, but we stock provisions and keep communication with pits. In the middle of Death Valley with just a Camry? Not so fun. Check out the photos of the damage he did to the undercarriage at the end of the article. Wow. Luckily it turned out okay for them, and they weren’t hurt other than his pocketbook for his very expensive mistake. Others haven’t been so lucky. Yet another lesson in why we shouldn’t rely on electronic devices solely – personal navigational skills and paper maps are so underrated nowadays. And also another lesson in letting pride get in the way gets you nowhere – like in the middle of Death Valley.

Click to read: Stranded In Death Valley Pt. 1

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Going green, Vandamm style

Now with school being out for the kiddos, we are safe to break the Van back down to rebuild status. You might remember a previous post regarding our awesome new Fox Shocks specifically built for Vanagon Syncros?

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Well, it is time to actually put those to use. We also are installing new zero lift springs, and eventually a new set of tires so altogether the Van should be taller by about four inches. First thing is first, though…the breakdown/rebuild of the engine has commenced. Larry G plans to rebuild it TLR Gary Herrod Style, and I have been told it will even sound like the Green Booger. You certainly won’t miss a Vanagon that sounds like a race car and has some giddyup to match. We dummied in the shocks and new springs to fit everything…this isn’t the final product yet, but you can tell how awesome it’s going to be:

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And Larry G procured some stock steelie rims from a Rabbit. I said we can only put them on the car if they aren’t black – so we settled on Booger Green. Of course we did. So now you know what I’ve been up to:

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All of this is a dream finally realized – while we aren’t racing this year, we ARE making progress on things that need to happen, like customer’s cars, our own cars that we’ve sadly neglected, and improvements that make our work easier and more efficient. One that note, one very big improvement that Larry G is excited about (yes, excited) is the installation of our new lift:

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It doesn’t get much better than that!

Ah, I almost forgot. There are two other VW meets coming up, and we would like to pass the information on to you:

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(copied from their Facebook page)
JUNE 29, 2014 AT RIVERBEND PARK IN OROVILLE, CA. HWY 70 @ MONTGOMERY EXIT / THE BANKS OF THE FEATHER RIVER CAR SHOW, VENDORS, SWAP MEET ALL ON GRASS OR BLACK TOP
MANY AWARDS BEING HANDED OUT/ TOP 20 AND PEOPLE CHOICE!
FOOD, MUSIC, SWIMMING, FISHING, PLAYGROUNDS FOR THE KIDS
RAFFLE WITH GREAT GIFTS AND 50/50 CASH RAFFLE END OF DAY
ENTRY FEES {PAYABLE AT THE GATE UPON ENTRY}
SPECTATOR PARKING & ENTRY GATE OPENS 8:00am $5.00 per car
SHOW CARS VW’S ONLY AIRCOOLED OR WATERCOOLED $20.00EA
SWAP MEET SPACE {PLEASE NO OILY PARTS ON GRASS} 20X20 SPACE $40.00EA
VENDORS SPACE SHOP OR BUSINESS NEW PARTS $50.00EA
SPONSORS NEEDED SPONSORSHIP( $150+$50 DOLLARS IN MERCHANDISE FOR RAFFLE)
INCLUDES VENDORS SPACE,SHOW CAR ENTRY,NAME ON EVENT T-SHIRT,NAME ANNOUNCED

SHOW PROMOTED BY
NOR-CAL VOLKSTERS AND VW-VIBRATIONS
VW CLUB CUSTOM CAR AUDIO 530-519-0143 ED 530-282-3857 GREG

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Project Lift-off Jetta

Mission – to take this:

Before lifting the Jetta, and with 195/60/14 tires.

Before lifting the Jetta, and with 195/60/14 tires.

To this:

After lifting the Jetta, and with 195/70/14 truck tires.

After lifting the Jetta, and with 195/70/14 truck tires.

Mssion accomplished obviously.

But let’s back up. WHO does that to a Jetta?! And an MK3 Jetta?! Well, we do. Before you shake your head at our TLR silliness, or apparent boredom, we actually live on a dirt road that mimics those of which we labor upon with our off-road machine the Green Booger. While that may be a little bit of a dramatic description, no one likes miles of washboard. So the Jetta, who is already a Frankenstein custom car, has to be modified further. The MK3 is one of the most solid Jettas produced and is a perfect candidate for modification. Larry G had an idea and fabricated his own lift kit for the Jetta, which added an additional two inches to our recent lift just from the addition of larger truck tires instead of stock. Skeptical at first about the modification’s height, the maiden voyage proved the car handles better than before (besides the obvious enhanced ability to negotiate jumps), especially if you don’t mind being on three sometimes in turns. Which we don’t.

Larry G's fabricated coil spring perch next to the stock one.

Larry G’s fabricated coil spring perch next to the stock one.

Rear before.

Rear before.


Rear after.

Rear after.


Front before.

Front before.

Front after.

Front after.

After lifting the Jetta, and with 195/70/14 truck tires.

After lifting the Jetta, and with 195/70/14 truck tires.

Side view after lifting the Jetta.

Side view after lifting the Jetta.

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After lifting the Jetta, and with 195/70/14 truck tires.

Just random updates…we’re busy…

Apologies for the lack of activity here. We’ve been busy, as you can imagine. Car show and race season gearing up, TLR product going out, kids ending school – you know, things. Of course, taking taking pretty much two years off from racing means we are working on everyone else’s cars in the meantime, but also proud to do that.

Booger update – the car is currently apart, and the engine is strewn all over the engine room. We did get our shocks back from FOX for their rebuild (a previous post was made about that) and we plan to have it back together in time for the September Bugorama, hopefully.

A possible visit to Bonneville to attempt to set a land-speed record in the 36hp class is in the works. Not with our own car, but we are proud to assist in making a customer’s dreams possibly come true with this new and exciting project. More on that later – it’s a slow process to get there, but once it happens, it happens quickly. Sort of like a land-speed record.

Lots of research going here on for Datsun to VW VR6 or Chevy V8 conversions going on. More on that later. Are you intrigued yet?

Definitely worth note, our friend Brad Martin (previous featured…you know, the orange oval window ragtop turbo bug?) recently visited the Live On, Drive On car show in El Dorado Hills on May 17, 2014 and the 2014 May Bugorama in Sacramento, CA on May 25, 2014. He was given the award in his class in both shows – this makes three for three, including its first show ever at the Smith Flat Hangtown Hangout on May 4, 2014. Congratulations Brad!

There’s more, but I’ll leave you with this – my friend, these are special-built Fox Racing shocks specifically for Vanagon Syncros only. They are also ONLY available at Gowesty Camper Products. We are so excited to install these on our Syncro, especially after five years of driving now TWENTY-EIGHT year old original shocks.

That’s how Gary parked the Vanagon Syncro one night recently. LOL

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Also, here is ANOTHER car show coming up! This is generally a good one, don’t miss it!

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Well these, my friend, are special-built Fox Racing shocks specifically for Vanagon Syncros only. They are also ONLY available at Gowesty Camper Products. We are so excited to install these on our Syncro, especially after five years of driving now TWENTY-EIGHT year old original shocks.