Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Own a Piece of Mulholland Drive History: Paul Newman's Insane 300+ hp VW Bug
Reaganite Republican ^ | May 6, 2011 | Reaganite Republican

Posted on 05/06/2011 2:10:19 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican


Even casual observers of legendary actor/director/racing enthusiast and professional driver/philanthropist Paul Newman can tell you that amongst his widely varied personal interests,
the boy liked his cars... and particularly the fast ones.


The late-great movie star also possessed an independent streak that contributed to his aura and celebrity appeal, thus in the wake of initial Hollywood success of the early 1960s -starting with 1963's The Hustler- the free-thinking Newman went and got himself not a new Cadillac convertible, Rolls, or Ferrari... but a cherry-red 1963 VW Beetle Convertible.  He was soon recruited by VW's agency in the US to pose in ads with his car-
a no-brainer for Volkswagen.



Paul Newman's fame and wealth swelled by late Sixties with epic performances in Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Then while training to drive a race car for the shooting of 1969's Winning, Newman acquired a serious interest in real-world racing that was to develop into a second career for him (and his salad dressing ain't bad, either!). 

I myself attended a Trans-Am race in the mid 80s where Newman ended-up at the top of the podium, and he once even finished 2nd-in-class at the prestigious 24 hrs of LeMans- the man was really a pretty skilled race car driver- not a poser at all. Alas, once Newman started hitting the track regularly, he never again shot films during the summer racing season.

But it didn't take long for crazy ole Paul to get a wonderfully crazy idea in that same Summer of '69: "I wonder what a V-8 like that would do in my Vee Dub?" Of course there's only one way to find out, and the task fell to California-based Indy car builder
Jerry Eisert (apparently cost no object). 


What Eisert's shop created came to be known up on Mulholland as the "Newman Bug"- a very professionally-executed
300 hp VW Beetle convertible featuring not just Ford 351-W V-8 power but an exotic race-style suspension, 5-speed HD gearbox from a
Ford GT40, heavily reinforced floorpan/unibody, much chrome, a front-end customization to accommodate a radiator/cooling system, aluminum brakes, etc... an incredibly balanced and capable package considering this machine was created from an air-cooled, 40 hp economy car first designed in the 1930s... and the whole back seat is now stuffed with engine.

In the wake of it's complete restoration, the historic 1963 VW 'Newman Bug' has now been put on the market: they're asking $250,000... and it just might bring it, a special car in every way:


More photos/details at Reaganite Republican


Enjoy your weekend, FReepers
___________________________________________


IMDb   OldBug.com   LATimes   Wikipedia   h/t Speedunque




TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Miscellaneous; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: cars; celebrity; hollywood; newman

1 posted on 05/06/2011 2:10:23 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican
Pfft. Why would I want a wimpy Beetle with only 300 hp? I'll take this one:


2 posted on 05/06/2011 2:15:33 PM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOP_Party_Animal
Geeez, that is one hell of a suppository.
3 posted on 05/06/2011 2:18:58 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Put Obie in a dress and call him "The Last Queen of Scotland".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Reaganite Republican

Cool story. I’ll have to show it to my grandson. He just got his first car: a 1975 red VW superbug with a ragtop.


5 posted on 05/06/2011 2:29:52 PM PDT by Alice in Wonderland
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alice in Wonderland

Uh... maybe you’d best NOT show it to him lol


6 posted on 05/06/2011 2:33:27 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: gov_bean_ counter

“Geeez, that is one hell of a suppository. “

What an innuendo. (Italian suppository)


7 posted on 05/06/2011 2:33:48 PM PDT by Cyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

Many years ago I worked for a Datsun race team.
We were at Elkheart Lake, Wisconsin for a race.
There were many classes and Paul Newman showed up and entered a porche. Goodyear showed up with a truck load of new stickum tires by far the best made to that point.
Newman bought the entire truck to not allow anyone but him to use them insuring him a win.
Just saying./


8 posted on 05/06/2011 2:35:22 PM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOP_Party_Animal

I would pay to see him pull into a smog check station with that lol


9 posted on 05/06/2011 2:35:51 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

I hear ya

Big racing fan here


10 posted on 05/06/2011 2:37:04 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

While racing Porsches in the early ‘70s, I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Mr. Newman, just outside of Donnybrooke, the track that is now Brainerd Int’l Raceway, Brainerd, Mn.
He was every bit the gentleman people said he was. Most polite, and a great sense of humor. He had racing stories that had us almost crying from laughter!


11 posted on 05/06/2011 2:39:32 PM PDT by Fireone (Heating the tar and readying the feathers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

Paul Newmn, when alive, was one of the bad guys. A heavy contributor to liberal causes and politicians, and a member of the board of Directors of Handgun Control, Inc.


12 posted on 05/06/2011 2:40:09 PM PDT by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cyman

LOL!!!


13 posted on 05/06/2011 2:41:22 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Put Obie in a dress and call him "The Last Queen of Scotland".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican
Dude, pimp mah bug!


14 posted on 05/06/2011 2:41:24 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: from occupied ga

My parents met him at a big NYC fundraiser where he was the keynote speaker. All who met him came away feeling dirty..


15 posted on 05/06/2011 2:42:41 PM PDT by Broker (Mabuhay!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

great actor, great humanitarian, lousy liberal scumbag.


16 posted on 05/06/2011 2:52:37 PM PDT by Sudetenland (TSA - Theatrical Security Affectation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bockscar

What’s the MPG on that little beauty I wonder?


17 posted on 05/06/2011 2:56:05 PM PDT by Bitsy (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

Neat car but I have to disagree about the salad dressing it is awful as are all of the Newman products I’ve tried.


18 posted on 05/06/2011 3:00:35 PM PDT by chris_bdba
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican
I saw a 60’s VW with an Olds engine hanging on the transaxel.
19 posted on 05/06/2011 3:01:12 PM PDT by mountainlion (America land of the free because of the Brave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: Reaganite Republican

I wouldn’t give 1K for a bug with a water cooled V8 motor.

You can get 300hp out of a air cooled porsche 911 motor and it will fit in a bug way better than that ridiculous monstrosity in the article.


21 posted on 05/06/2011 3:05:41 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

What is this “smog check station” you speak of?

Is that something that is found outside of the Free United States?


22 posted on 05/06/2011 3:16:49 PM PDT by EricT. (I'm going to spend 68% more than I make this year- I hear it's the responsible thing to do..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

What vintage Datsuns? Z-cars? I had one (HLS30, 2.4L, American version) from, IIRC, May 1970.


23 posted on 05/06/2011 3:17:42 PM PDT by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher
There were many classes and Paul Newman showed up and entered a porche. Goodyear showed up with a truck load of new stickum tires by far the best made to that point. Newman bought the entire truck to not allow anyone but him to use them insuring him a win.

That's about what you'd expect out of a NASCAR team owner, which he was at one point ;-)
24 posted on 05/06/2011 3:29:40 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Broker
All who met him came away feeling dirty..

Don't liberals always leave you wanting to wash your hands after shaking eith them?

25 posted on 05/06/2011 3:31:51 PM PDT by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Bitsy

3 gallons per mile lol


26 posted on 05/06/2011 3:43:40 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican
Check this out. 1300 Horsepower rocket powered transaxle mounted to a Volkswagen Bug. Posted a quarter-mile in 9.36 seconds at 168 mph. And that was with the Thermonique Turbo Axle dialed back to only 500 hp!

Iowahawk: The Real Acme


27 posted on 05/06/2011 3:45:04 PM PDT by Haiku Guy (If you can read this / (To paraphrase on old line) / Thank a TAXPAYER!.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Haiku Guy

Big deal, I saw a 7 billion HP plutonium-powered bug once

See I can do oneupmanship lolol


28 posted on 05/06/2011 4:06:48 PM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Fireone
It's difficult to be born and raised in Cleveland, OH and turn out pretentious (even if you are a Liberal and a genuine movie star).

But somehow and except for the genuine part, George Clooney manages it where Paul (who bragged about graduating "summa cum lager") Newman failed. According to everybody and in spite of his politics Paul was a good dude.

29 posted on 05/06/2011 4:32:20 PM PDT by katana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Erasmus

A very poor 510 team out of Schmidt Datsun out of Chicago


30 posted on 05/06/2011 4:36:44 PM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

I bet you it sounds like a muffler-less dump truck when running....


31 posted on 05/06/2011 4:52:42 PM PDT by ArtDodger (Reread Animal Farm (with your kids))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fireone
Great story. He's the only lib I've ever had respect for. He was every man's man in "Cool Hand Luke". Photobucket
32 posted on 05/06/2011 5:04:24 PM PDT by Ronald_Magnus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Joe Boucher

Was that in the SCCA Showroom Stock series? The 510’s were pretty competitive in that class, IIRC.


33 posted on 05/06/2011 5:53:32 PM PDT by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre

I wouldn’t give 1K for a bug with a water cooled V8 motor.

You can get 300hp out of a air cooled porsche 911 motor and it will fit in a bug way better than that ridiculous monstrosity in the article.
*************************************************
AGREED ! , A 351W is too heavy ,,, I used to race with someone that had a Porsche 356C converted to wankel 13B power and just the added weight of the cooling system ruined it ... it was pretty close to 250hp and would have weighed less than Newmanns bug... A V8 bug would have been a novelty ,, but it really wasn’t a huge stretch of the imagination,, he just copied what people were doing with the 65+ Chevy Corvairs , converting them to V8 power with a SBC in the back seat area.. Give me a modern Porsche anyday...


34 posted on 05/06/2011 6:30:58 PM PDT by Neidermeyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Reaganite Republican

Nope Paul Newman hands down. Paul may have acted cool but my main dude who exude real coolness regarding cars and racing was STEVE MCQUEEN -)


35 posted on 05/06/2011 7:34:15 PM PDT by Patriot Babe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: from occupied ga

Agreed, I just like the car


36 posted on 05/07/2011 12:03:32 AM PDT by Reaganite Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Erasmus

510 was a great car for two reasons,
It was cheap, so lots of folks could afford them.
They were a basic simple vehicle easy to set up.
And yes.


37 posted on 05/07/2011 4:21:20 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Bockscar

I have no idea. My bet is that it is not all that good :)

Hollywood kills me. They can all talk the talk but walking the walk is another thing. In general,they are all egotistical, self indulgent, pampered, delusional, pompus @sses who believe in the world according to them. IMHO, or course:)


38 posted on 05/09/2011 6:20:24 AM PDT by Bitsy (!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson