It sounds like a simple questionn to answer, so why am I having such a hard time figuring it out?
Most people in the VW Beetle community are one of two kinds... Stock or Modified. Let's face it... there are probably more of us that like to tinker with our VW's than there are who wish to keep them stock. My hat goes off to those who properly preserve the history of the car down to every metric nut and bolt, but that is a special kind of person. The rest of us hacks can't leave our Beetle alone. Many of us also want to make them lower, higher, noisier, more colourful, or faster.
In our youth we all used our limited budgets to cosmetically modify out stock 1600cc engine. But at the end of the day there was nothing we could afford that would actually make our cars go faster. In my case, I dreamed of one day getting a larger engine with dual carburetors. That was the Holy Grail as far as I was concerned. Any true custom Beetle you saw at the show had to have "Dual Carbs!"
Flash forward two decades and I find myself at a crossroads. I am currently building my dream car (Project #Super71) and trying to nail down the specifications I want for my motor... but over the years I have noticed a huge change in the classic VW community. When I go to a show these days, everyone has dual carburetors. There are so many options on the market these days that it's pretty easy and affordable to to setup any size VW engine with a set of dual carburetors. That got me thinking and I decided that I wanted to zig when everyone else was zagging! So I picked up a 44mm EMPI HPMX centre mount carburetor kit. I figured it would give me the extra power I wanted, plus it would be easier to service and stand out in the crowed that is the dual carburetor setup.
I was extremely happy with my purchase and tucked it away for safe keeping until the time comes to prepare the engine for my Super Beetle. That should have been the end of this story, but something happened that threw a wrench into things.
Enter a newly acquired pile of dirty old VW parts. My mechanic was done with these parts and said I could have them. I packed everything up and brought them home. You can learn more about this adventure on my previous blog post. Luckily for me there was a set of original Italian made, dual 44mm Webber carburetors that just needed some TLC. I cleaned them up to see what condition they were in. It took a can of cleaner and some scrubbing but these things look good to me. So now I have to ask myself... what do I do with them?
I am now in possession of my Holy Grail, but I thought I had moved on to my centre mount EMPI HPMX setup. I am in a unique situation. I have options and I don't know what is best for my project. Do I go with the unique centre mount setup that will help me stand out, provide performance with easier maintenance? Or do I just go with the dual Webbers and call it a day? If it was just about performance it's a no brainer, but if you follow my site you will know I have plans to drive from Toronto to California upon completion of Project #Super71. I have been toying with the idea of using the EMPI centre mount for my long road trip, and then switching to the dual webbers when I return. I guess only time will tell what will be the best solution for me.
I would love to hear what you guys have to say. Please leave your comments below.
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