Lewis Clark‘s wild turbo-streeter was featured in the January 2012 issue of Hot VWs.
By Bruce Simurda | January 30, 2015

Photos by Bruce Simurda

Lewis Clark isn’t one of those guys who has always been into Volkswagens, although his first VW was a 1972 Beetle. As a youngster, one of his friends owned a ’73 Beetle, and Lewis learned to drive a stick with it. Eventually, his mother bought him a Beetle too, even though he was too young to drive. Basically, she said he couldn’t drive on the road until he turned 16 and got his license — and got it insured! So up to that point Lewis would drive it in his backyard after high school, and give it a tune-up pretty much every month — learning valuable mechanical skills along the way. As Lewis put it, when he finally got his license, “My friend and I were rolling!”
Lewis’ custom is over-the-top in many areas, with stout 2275cc turbo power, and trick interior by Chuy’s Upholstery featuring Sparco seats wrapped with Sesame Vis 2D Cream vinyl. Fiberglass dash holds VDO gauges and flat panel monitor.
That was his first and pretty much last VW for many years, as he began modifying a variety of other cars. That is, until he came across the 1965 Bug you see here. As he tells the story, “I purchased the ’65 from my friend Brian Ross for $150 — he wanted to build it up himself, but didn’t have the time. So when I got it home and my family saw the car they were just shaking their heads and telling me that it had no potential. But people who know me for building import show cars knew that it would be ‘no problem’ and eventually be another show car. But I had to buy a lot. I started taking the car apart just so I could look at it and see what needed to be repaired and bought. Then I purchased new fenders, front and rear aprons, and hood. Next I towed it to my friend Josh Franklin’s shop (EK Autoworx in Gardena, California) and told him I wanted to go crazy with this car, and he went for it! I’m into candy paint jobs, and wanted an orange color, so Josh and I got a Nova Orange base and Kandy Tangerine 3-stage paint from House of Kolor. This was perfect, but needed something more so we went with some real life flames starting at the front and fading out to the middle of the door.” But there was a lot more to it than that, as the rear fenders were modified by bringing the lip two inches toward the rear and down three inches — all fabbed in metal — and a custom fiberglass dash, with gauge pods and recess for TV monitor, was added before the car was sprayed.
The 1965 chassis received a little attention from Old Speed in Paramount, California, with the addition of their custom 4-inch narrowed beam, So. Cal. Imports’ 2-inch drop spindles, chrome by Alberto’s Polishing trailing arms, and KYB lowered shocks. In the rear Lewis added chrome axle tubes and chrome stock spring plates. Disc brakes were added all around, and feature chrome plating and drilled rotors. Completing the rolling chassis are Anteras chromed spoke wheels — 17x7-inch front and 20x8.5-inch rear, both wrapped with Dunlop tires.
When it came time to reassemble everything, “I had to replace all the wiring with a custom loom designed by myself — but being that I’m a System Specialist for the FAA, this was no problem. I have a crazy audio and video system which sounds like a home theater! Also added six VDO gauges so I could monitor everything on the engine and audio system.” That stereo system, which is quite elaborate, consists of three MTX 8500 subwoofers, two MTX components speakers (51/2- and 4-1/2-inch), two MTX amps (one for the high and mids and the other for the three MTX subwoofers. There are also three flat screen TVs — two under the hood and one on the dash — as well as a Play Station 2 under the hood for the kids to look at, and get excited about.
Inside, Lewis wanted the lightest color of cream to make it look not only luxurious, but also super clean. Chuy’s Interior in Carson, California was chosen for the job, which included Sesame Vis 2D Cream vinyl, custom wrapped Sparco seats with orange embroidery, 4-point harnesses, custom door panels, and tan Porsche carpeting. Interior details also include the custom fiberglass dash and center console that hold VDO Cockpit gauges, a 7-inch monitor, stereo unit, and several switches. The steering wheel is a custom spider billet unit while the shifter is the popular Scat Dragfast. There is no back seat in Lewis’ ‘65, as the area is stuffed with the MTX subwoofers. Can you say, LOUD!
Crazy audio/video system consists of three MTX 8500 subwoofers, two MTX component sets (5-1/2- and 4-1/2-inch), two MTX amps, three LCD monitors (two under hood and one inside car), and a Play Station 2 under the hood.
With so much power in the entertainment system, Lewis needed serious power out back to satisfy his “need for speed.” Fulfilling that requirement is a turbocharged 2275cc engine, built by Eddie at Suck It Easy Racing in Hawthorne, California. The potent mill, which produces an estimated 280 horsepower on 110 octane racing fuel, is based on a T3/T4 .50 A/R T04E oil-cooled turbo system that breathes through a 600cfm Holley 4-barrel carb and produces 14 pounds of boost. Handling that horsepower is an Empi aluminum case stuffed with Scat’s 82mm forged stroker crank and H-beam rods, Mahle’s 94mm pistons and cylinders, and an Engle FK-8 camshaft running through Scat’s 1.25:1 ratio rocker arms. For heads he used CB Performance’s D-port ported and polished heads with stainless steel 42mm intake and 37.5mm exhaust valves, hi-rev valve springs, chromoly retainers, and billet steel carbon nitride treated retainers. The combination is set up with a 7.7:1 compression ratio. For gearing, the original 1965 swingaxle trans was beefed by Shawn Moore in Anaheim with 3.88:1 ring and pinion, Super-Diff, heavy-duty side covers, welded 3rd and 4th gears, welded cross shafts, and stock gear ratios. Complete details of this engine/trans combination, which he recently drove from Gardena to the Bugorama in Fontana, are included in the spec box.
Definitely a treat to the eyes, Lewis’ custom has reaped its share of awards, including a first in Full Custom and Best Use of Color at the 2011 VW Classic last June. And besides those already mentioned, he thanks Patrick Paxton, Chris Isiah Aka (CI), Omar and DRE for their inspiration, his two daughters, Jasmin and Jessica, who believes their dad can fix anything, his sister, Aqueta Clark, and his mom, Alice Harris, and dad Lewis Clark, Sr. who raised a son talented enough to build this outstanding Full Custom Flyer.
ENGINE/TYPE 1 DISPLACEMENT/2275cc BUILDER/Eddie, Suck It Easy Racing, Hawthorne, CA CASE/EMPI, Type 1 aluminum CRANK/Scat, 82mm stroker, forged, 8 dowels RODS/Scat, H-beam, 4130 chromoly, 5.500-inch PISTONS/Mahle, 94mm, forged, Mahle rings CAM/Engle FK-8, .382-inch lift (.477 w/1.25:1 rockers), 298° duration, Scat straight-cut gears LIFTERS/Scat PUSHRODS/Scat, chromoly ROCKER ARMS/Scat 1.25:1 ratio, solid shafts OIL SYSTEM/Gene Berg pump with full-flow cover, remote Fram HP1 filter, dual remote-mounted 96-pass oil coolers HEADS/CB Performance D-ports, ported and polished, HiTec Supergrip stainless steel 42mm intake and 37.5mm exhaust valves with Stellite tips, Hi-Rev valve springs, chromoly retainers, billet steel carbon nitride treated valve locks COMPRESSION RATIO/7.7:1 IGNITION/MSD distributor and 6Al ignition INDUCTION/T3/T4 .50 A/R T04E oil-cooled turbo with Holley 600cfm 4-barrel carb, 14 pounds boost EXHAUST SYSTEM/3-inch custom pipe from Turbo Systems FLYWHEEL/200mm, 12-lb., 8 dowels CLUTCH/Kennedy Stage 3 pressure plate, Kennedy four-puck disc HORSEPOWER/280 (estimated) SPECIAL MODIFICATIONS/powdercoated and graphicked fan housing, powdercoated Scat valve covers, chrome 75-amp alternator with 4-gauge wire for high amps, Gene berg breather box, braided lines, TRANSAXLE/1965 SWINGAXLE BUILDER/Shawn Moore, Anaheim, CA RING & PINION/3.88:1 GEAR RATIOS/3.78:1 1st, 2.09:1 2nd, 1.32:1 3rd, 0.89:1 4th SPECIAL MODIFICATIONS/Super-Diff, heavy-duty side covers, welded 3rd and 4th gears, welded cross shaft, high torque starter, match-painted case

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