German Body, American Heart, Canadian Ingenuity

Rust is a hell of a thing. Nothing sucks the wind out of your sails faster than finding car cancer under a generous helping of body filler, and sadly rust is something every Canadian enthusiast has to deal with to some degree. Often the amount of rust plays a significant deciding factor in the final outcome of a build. That was the case with Ron Vizelman and his 1974 Super Beetle.

Ron purchased the Volkswagen hoping it would make a decent lightly modified runabout, but when he stripped back the paint nothing was quite what it seemed. Left with a topside that somewhat resembled a Beetle and an underside that was missing in action, he decided to take a drastically different route than most.


With the factory Volkswagen pan and associated suspension rendered useless, Ron was free to literally go in any direction he wanted. Having previously put a V8 in the back of a Beetle, and not liking the handling dynamics, he opted to go front-engine rear-wheel drive with this car.

The quickest route to that was narrowing and shortening a Chevrolet S10 chassis.


Narrowed and shortened is a bit of an over simplification though, because the upper and lower control arms have also been reworked, and the car is on air. A small block V8 seemed like the next logical choice, but Ron instead continued to venture down the path less often traveled.

The motor he opted to use for his ‘Angry Bug’ is a 4.3L V6. The 4.3 was introduced to the S10 chassis in 1988 and carried on with minor revisions until the end of the Blazer’s second generation run. It’s a fairly inexpensive motor that asks very little in terms of maintenance, but is by no means a power house.


Ron has accessorized his engine with assorted billet pulleys, and brackets, many of which he built himself. However, the most eye catching thing under the hood is the T3 turbocharger.

A moderate 8psi of boost is dialed up at present and water/methanol injection helps to keep things cool in the absence of an intercooler. The setup makes 217 horsepower and 326 foot-pounds of torque, but it hasn’t seen a proper dyno tune yet.


Inside, Ron has again done away with many of the factory Volkswagen components. The Chevrolet steering column came with the chassis swap, and he’s added a simple three-spoke wheel fit with Wolfsburg edition horn button. Behind the wheel is a custom gauge array to monitor the V6’s operating condition.

The most interesting part of the interior however is the seat selection.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, those are BMW Mini Cooper S seats that have been shoehorned into Volkswagen surroundings. They get a little lost in the overall insanity of the car so I’m glad Ron pointed the detail out while I was still fixated on the motor.


In the rear, Ron has added a hefty whale tail spoiler and 4.5-inch wider rear fenders to keep the wheels within the body.

With the Beetle completed, Ron’s now got his sights set on his next project – a 1952 Mercury truck. For that he’s thinking twin-turbo power plant, but he hasn’t let slip exactly what. Given how creative his Beetle is, it could literally be anything. 

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom



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Cool to see a GM swap other than an LS haha! There is a local shop that specialized in building the Atlas I6 during its heyday. Even in stock NA trim, it was a pretty impressive: 4.2-liters, DOHC, 24v, VVT, 250+ hp, 250+ lb/ft.

Relatively low redline if I remember right, but peak torque early on was an acceptable trade off. Come to think of it, might be pretty cool to see someone swap one of these with a turbo into a C5 or C6 Corvette, just because.


He really F*** all the standards first by shifting the engine to the front and using a non-V8 American engine(i was sure it's a V8 while clicking on the link).
By neglecting the standards the small VW gained more character, and the execution is great. That's a very nice build.


Saw this thing at the Berlin Klassik earlier today. Glad to see some Canadian content so local.


Yeah, I missed Berlin this year, the results of a friends wedding and being old. However I think another Hunter was onsite.


I want to know what wing that is. This made me want to build my 67 beetle so bad! Very cool and clean build!