I was reflecting on Memorial Day and the meaning and got to thinking about the past and searched the Internet for stuff that I thought of during my reflection.
In the early 70's I was working in VW dealerships in the Seattle area. It was entry level stuff but it was the midpoint of VW as a cheap alternative to the Detroit muscle car. You could spend a tenth of the money hopping up a Beetle and have a very formidable competitor on race day. Bracket drag racing, autocross and rallies were big back then and we could take a Beetle to the track and race it, bone stock, against muscle cars and depending on the driver and the reaction time actually beating cars much more powerful. It was all about dialing in.
To dial in you needed to know how fast your car ran through the 1/4 mile. After several practice passes you would come up with a dial in time. During the actual bracket racing you were not allowed to go faster than your dial in time or you were out. Obviously, consistency plays a large part in racing brackets. If your car runs a consistent time each time down the track it is much easier to dial in. Of course, you can always dial in at a much slower time and stand on the brakes if you're going too fast at the end of the race. It was part strategy and part consistency. And it was tons of fun to get a head start down the track while a bigger more powerful muscle car sat at the start line for an extra couple of seconds and then had to try and catch you before the finish line.
That was just one of the memories I had during this time. We used to make all kinds of things out of the little Beetle. Dune Buggies, Woodies, Sand Rails, Race Cars, Air Planes, Boats and RV's. Yes, I said RV's. There was this guy who sold a set of plans to build a Beetle camper. It was shown and described in Mechanic Illustrated. The plans cost $55.00 and it was said you could build one for $1500. plus a Beetle. While several were built it didn't become a real big fad.