Shane and Troy Child decided it was high-time to build a custom VW together, so they spent the next fifteen years to do it!
BY DEAN KIRSTEN
We really dig hearing about family-built VW projects - father and son, father and daughter, or how about a pair of brothers! In this case, the two Child brothers are old brother Troy (51), and brother Shane (44). Both live just a few miles away from each other in beautiful Ogden, Utah, but Troy has the larger garage of the two, so that's where most of the action took place. Some fifteen years ago, Shane located a 1956 Oval window sedan, hardtop that was in need of a home, since it had been sitting outside in a field for umpteen years. It took $500 and a lot of ropes and jacks to raise the sedan out of the dirt and onto their trailer. From the street, it didn't look all that bad, and even up close, it was still doable. But once the old paint was blown off with a blast from the sand man, its true identity came out. It was by all who saw it, a poster child (no pun intended) for rust repair.
Like so many of these older Volkswagens, the bottom 6 inches were non-existent, and were still laying out in the field somewhere returning to the elements. Donor steel was needed... and lots of it! So over that decade and a half, the brothers located four donor cars that had good sections here and there, but were too far gone to come back to life. One of them provided a ragtop clip, so the '56 could be a true sunroof car. The others supplied the rockers, heat channels and bulk heads that were neatly put into place by the two Childs, and Pat Jamison. From there, Jim Coyle (A&J Auto Body) and Josh Nilson (Nudeez Customs) each from Ogden, Utah, worked on the body to get things straight and remove all the trim. And once the '56 was cherried-out and ready for paint, the brothers got together and chose a few gallons of R-M Diamont Orchard Metallic paint - nice choice!
As the Oval body was sitting outside drying and looking totally bitchin', all they had to do was turn around and look at the condition of the floorpan and it was back to work! Like the lower half of the main body, the floorplan was in sad condition, since it was in direct contact with the ground and other toxic elements. New pan halves were in order, along with another blast job to get the metal clean enough to weld. A fresh coat of gloss black paint followed, which preserved it for the distant future. Now it was time for assembly. Since this VW was going to be "nose down" in front, a new front "Ultimate" beam was in order, which narrowed the front track by 4 inches, and placed a swivel in the center to allow some attitude adjustment. All four corners received new wide-five, "Bad" disc brakes, along with KYB shocks and stock torsion bars. Rolling stock included a full set of chromed Torker 15 x 5-inch wheels from Midland, along with a pair of 145x15 Nankang front tires and 205/65/15-inch Toyo Eclipse radials on the back. A fresh tall-geared swingaxle was also installed, thanks to Jay Stuart for his rebuilding efforts.
As the body came down onto the floorpan for the big finale, a call was made to Pat Downs at CB Performance for a turnkey 2332cc engine with all the CB goodies inside, and a CB EFI system outside. There's 200hp on tap, when this baby is running around 6500 rpm, which is just slightly more than this '56 had originally - (by a factor of five)! Pat used an 84mm CB crank, 5.352" H-beam CB rods and 94mm Wiseco pistons. Valvetrain consists of a CB #2246 cam, Manton pushrods, CB Super Stock rockers with CB's VW-650 springs. Cylinder heads are 044 Super Pro CNC heads, fitted with 44mm x 37.5mm valves, and machined for 9.0:1 compression ratio. What sparks and feeds this beast is a complete CB Magna Spark II ignition, followed by a Magna Fuel EFI system, using two 48mm throttle bodies for the smoothest ride around. Underneath, Pat selected a 1 5/8" A-1 Sidewinder exhaust that was fitted with the optional V-band, and eliminates that normal three-bolt flange and flat gasket.
Engine compartment detail followed, once the body was lowered and the engine installed. There's a BMD pulley system, custom-painted fan shroud and engine tin, polished Clyde Berg breather box, and custom firewall. All the fuel lines and fresh are hoses are stainless from XRP.
With the Bug now a rolling/running ride, it was time to take it over to have the upholstery done, which was all the way down to Gabe's Custom Interiors in San Bernardino, California. Gabe Lopez and crew took the stock '56 seats and reshaped the springs and foam, followed by making some custom covers out of light and dark gray vinyl with purple piping for accent. The headliner was done in gray Alcantara, while the top was covered with black Stayfast cloth. Carpeting was sewn in with gray German Squareweave with gray vinyl binding. Trunk was covered in matching materials and style, along with a custom-painted and detailed gas tank. You'll also find an Empi/Hurst shifter inside, Pedal Werks redone pedals with Cruiser throttle, Pioneer 560BT stereo head unit in the glove-box, JL Audio XD70015 amp, JL Audio C3 front speakers, JL Audio 10W-3U3 subwoofers and custom street rod inside door and window handles. That cool steering wheel is called an "Alien" from Airkewld, and the VW speedo has been modified to read up to 200mph, by North Hollywood Speedometer. Wiring was handled by Pat Jamison, stereo installation by AudioXtreme of Riverdale, Utah, chrome plating by Ogden Chrome, pinstriping by Chris Kierran and last but certainly not least, they received tons of support and patience from both of their entire families and friends.
ENGINE: 1600cc Type-1
BUILDER: Pat Downs, CB Performance, Farmersville, CA
CRANK: 84mm, CB Forged, chromoly, chevy journals
RODS: CB Performance H-Beam, 5.325" long, ARP bolts
PISTONS & CYLINDERS: 94mm Wiseco pistons, Mahle cylinders
RINGS: Wiseco, 4mm x 1.2mm x 2mm
CAM: CB #2246, .452" lift, 314 duration, 107 centers
VALVE SIZE & MAKE: 44mm x 37.5mm stainless steel
ROCKER ARMS: 1.1:1 CB Super Stock w/swivel feet adjusters
HEADS: CB Performance 044 Super Pro
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.0:1
IGNITION: CB Performance Magna Spark II Ready to Run Kit
INDUCTION: CB Performance Magna Fuel EFI, dual throttle 48mm bodies
INTAKE MANIFOLDS: CB Performance aluminum, port-matched
EXHAUST SYSTEM: A-1 Sidewinder 1 5/8" V-band connector, ceramic coated
FLYWHEEL: 12v/200mm, lightened and balanced.
CLUTCH & DISC: 200mm KEP Stage 2, Daiken Super Disc
OIL PUMP: CB Performance 30mm full-flow cover, System One filter
DYNOED HP/200hp @ 6,431rpm
SPECIAL MODIFICATIONS: CB AS41 Super Case, welded behind #3, Manton pushrods, CB oil cooler, Clyde Berg oil breather box, XRP flex lines, BMD pulley system, painted fan shroud to match body color.
TRANSAXLE: 1965, Swingaxle
BUILDER: Jay Stuart, Syracuse, UT
RING & PINION: 3.88:1
GEAR RATIOS: 3.80 first, 2.06 second, 1.26 third, 0.89 fourth.
SPECIAL MODIFICATIONS: Super Diff, side cover, welded third/fourth gears