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Time Until El Mirage
2009 INTERNATIONAL 36hp LAND SPEED CHALLENGE Wow! ! ! 2008 was a great year for the 36hp CHALLENGE with two 36hp land speed records broken along with the forty six year old, all time top speed for a 36hp engined Volkswagen Beetle land speed record held since 1961 by Dick Beith. In addition.......

....it was announced the 36hp CHALLENGE will become International in stature with a crew from Europe scheduled to make a run on Bonnevilles salt in 2009. Combine this with the new Ghia category and the upcoming year looks like it will be a lot of fun.

As we turn the corner to 09, the 36hp CHALLENGE celebrates its fifth anniversary having been conceived in 2005 as a way to test our 36hp engined Volkswagens against standards set in the late fifties and early sixties when both the cars and engines were still new. Interest in Volkswagens venerable 36hp engine has continued to grow and some difficult to source parts are now again being produced. Forums dedicated to modifying and maintaining the 36hp have found their way to the forefront on the web making modifying your 36 and participation in the 36hp CHALLENGE even easier.

For those new to the 36hp CHALLENGE concept, land speed racing venues in Utah, Texas and North Carolina make racing readily accessible to participants on both coasts as well as mid-America. Essentially, you drive your 36hp bug from a standing start, accelerate full throttle for one mile and your top speed is recorded. Five engine categories allow you to compare your speed with others in similarly powered Volkswagens and the highest top speed each year receives an antique trophy recognizing their achievement.

There is NO ENTRY FEE to participate in the 36hp CHALLENGE! The 36hp CHALLENGE is strictly for fun, for the Spirit of the Challenge. When you race, the sanctioning body will receive its entry fees from you of which nothing comes back to the Challenge. We have no sponsors or advertisers, we have nothing to sell, heck, we cant even write off the cost of making this happen for a tax break. That is also part of the Spirit of the Challenge.

Returning in 09 will be the SSS(Super Stock Single) category with the current record resting just north of 81 miles per hour. This class is for all the VW folks who would prefer to use their technical talents to build a motor rather than their wallets. SSS rewards ingenuity and skills, sort of an old hot rodders approach!

And as for those two traditional records that initiated this quest, they still stand, untouched and unchallenged. I f you have a vintage dual carb or supercharged 36er, the 36hp CHALLENGE was designed for you. Please join us!

Below find sites to gather more information on land speed racing and the 36hp CHALLENGE. If you have any questions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 435-752 4359 after 7pm (MST):

Vintage Speed information... TheSamba.com
General LSR Information... saltflats.com and ALL related links!
USFRA... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. West Coast
ECTA... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. East Coast
Texas Mile... texasmile.com Mid America
36hp CHALLENGE... burlyb.com

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Episode 1) Overview Video

Episode 2) The Transmission

Episode 3) The Engine

Episode 4) The Drive Train

Episode 5) Body and Paint

Episode 6) Dyno Run

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