VW jumps neighborhood streets
700-hp VW Baja Bug jumps neighborhood streets

Idiot Gets 2 Weeks in Big House

“Ultimately [the police] caught me by my name being on the side of the car, not blurring out my license plate, and I didn’t expect the video to go that viral.”

Blake Wilkey, 27, was the owner and driver of the 1967 VW bug (aka Shark Attack) in the YouTube video titled “Urban Assault,” posted on January 22, 2016. In the video, he is shown driving and jumping the 700-horsepower off-road vehicle through a few towns in San Diego. The video got over one million hits in a short period of time after it was posted (that number was at 1,634,357 on May 26).

On May 22, Wilkey rolled out to the fourth annual Air Cooled Fiesta VW car show at Southwestern College, one of the only places he could legally visit because it was “work-related.”

“I had to do two weekends at the downtown jail, 45 days of house arrest — unless it is to and from work only,” Wilkey said. “It's just been a major drag.”


It's always great to see great interaction in our VW forums. It just goes to show what an awesome community we are building here. One user, Rob57 shares his specialized performance enhancements, so I present to you without further adieu, Rob's excellent post on how to up your horses on the cheap! - (and please, contribute your thoughts readers!)
A radial engine is one way to go about it!
I am often asked about performance improvements for VW/Audis/Skoda/ and Seat... the latter two are European only VAG models with Skoda also being sold in Australia/New Zealand. I will provide a list of suggested enhancements to up your HP and drivability for typical VAG engines and manual transmissions. They're in no particular order.

1) Free flow intake air box (BMC and K&N make good ones),

2) larger diameter exhaust pipes from the CAT (catalytic converter) back (there are many good ones Autotech, Leistritz, Remus, Sebring, ANSA are but a few... key thing is that they are TuV approved), (Be aware the CARB Rules apply in California regarding such modifications)

3.) Schrick makes a 268 degree inlet cam shaft that is easy to replace on the 4 cylinders DOHC engines that will instantly make a huge difference in performance... get a good torque wrench and new valve cover gasket and your good to go.

4.) Most gasoline powered VW power plants use an ECU that has two curves on it... one is for regular gasoline and the other for premium or High Test... switching out your ECU chip with a performance one will give you more juice at a low cost, but will require you burn only premium fuel, there are several good ones out there with Superchips from the UK as good as any,

5.) A quaife differential is an expensive enhancement that should be considered carefully... it is noticeable when accelerating from zero as compared to a stock car, but really has a high price tag for just a few tenths off the 1/4 mile times.

6). suspension upgrades are a good place to improve drivability; larger front and rear sway bars and uprated structs and shocks are always good... be careful about lowering Springs with it best to buy systems of Springs and struts/shocks that are designed to complement one another in purpose designed kits Such as Koni/Eibach or Bilstein/HR. If you like a very stiff drive quality for extra stiffness consider a front strut tie-bar that connects between strut towers under the hood; otherwise, it may be too stiff to your liking.

7.) Tires and brakes are about equally important to stop with assurance. An expensive brake upgrade while putting less than performance rubber down is a waste of your money. (Galfer makes a great Big Brake upgrade kit for VWs; as good as Brembo but 1/3 the price, but is generally unavailable in the USA, so you'll need to find a suppler in the UK to ship it to you. A call to Autotech or Europarts might get you there faster.) Use upgraded pads or you may burn through them faster than you are accustomed.

8. Short shift kits take getting used to... if you are very good at operating a M/T then consider a short shift kit; otherwise, you will burn through your clutch much faster getting used to one... Sachs makes good clutch kits for VWs; Luk is a bit better! Short-shift kits are easy to install and good ones are sold by reputable suppliers.

Please remember to always buckle up for safety and this includes times when your on a race course and properly qualified, obey all traffic rules and track rules too! Drinking and driving never mix and driving a modified car which can accelerate much quicker makes it potentially more dangerous!

Growing up, I always found it fascinating that no matter what vehicle was out there, somebody would find a way to shove a V8 in it. That would usually mean a Chevy motor stuff into something that could support it in the first place.

First: a confession, or rather a string of confessions. Over the years, I have been a willing wrenchman in this pursuit of upgrading horsepower. I once put a Chevy 350 in an early 70s Jaguar XJ6. The original engine was a piece of crap and the car was sturdy. Plus the parts to do it were readily available by mail (pre-internet days). I put a 350 in a Chevy Vega. This was popular at the time and all you had to do was change motor mounts, the transmission hump and if you were smart, you would upgrade the brakes so you could stop the suddenly heavier vehicle. The list goes on and on. I committed many atrocious acts of Frankenstein-level vehicle swap/transplants. It was fun, it was easy and there was nobody there to stop me. I could keep you here for days on this topic, but I thought it was appropriate to share given the subject.  

In all my years, I never imagined that I would see something like this. I had seen very complex sand rails and dune buggies that had VW roots but really didn't look or act anything like a VW. I had heard of these many years ago, I read about a couple in a magazine sometime in the 80s, but here it is. A Volkswagen V8 Beetle Bug. For real.

VW PURISTS - This is your chance to look away.


Here is the heresy and brilliant lunacy of this project in a nutshell. Gone is the original rear engine, air-cooled wonder of the VW motor. Gone is the original chassis. In is a front-mounted V8 powerhouse that is stroked out for more power. A full 2 x 3 steel tube chassis replaces the original, along with an integrated roll bar, a fabricated transmission tunnel, a relocated gas tank and all kinds of madness.


Builder Dale Nelson goes over his entire plan and offers tips on how to build one yourself, if you want one that is. It looks like a really cool project.


For my tastes, despite my past at having done things like this, I would prefer to restore a classic over going this far into modding something that will end up nothing like its intended design. But perhaps that is because I am getting older and it is getting harder to find these classics. I suppose if you find a nice donor, have some time, a welder and all kinds of tools, you can say you did it once the same way I butchered Jaguars that Brits probably pine for and wince at.

Well it's not much news, but it is a bit telling of the situation at hand. News emerged that indicated Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller had a two minute conversation with United State President Barack Obama this week and during that quick conversation, he apologized for the dieselgate scandal.

Mueller shares:

“I took the opportunity to apologize to him personally for this matter” and “I also expressed my thanks for the constructive cooperation with his authorities and naturally expressed the hope that I can continue to fulfill my responsibilities for 600,000 workers, their families, the suppliers, the dealers."


It was a nice token of gratitude in a regretful situation. It is also not something that is likely to rattle investors any as it is clear that the company needs to be in good graces with some of the leaders of the biggest markets in the world. There are other ramifications beyond gratitude and public displays of cooperation. It is still possible that the company may see massive fines that have yet to be determined. The environment and emissions standards that come along with that subject has been a principal subject of choice for the President's administration. This kind of outreach may serve to show that Mueller and his company have turned a new leaf and will continue to keep good relations wherever possible. Whether that influences the regulatory agencies involved in the forthcoming fines is another matter that remains to be seen.

Mueller also pledged to continue the company's push towards electric vehicles.

Most of the American public has heard about the Dieselgate scandal. To be totally honest, it is very difficult to avoid the news anywhere you look. Recent news showed how the auto manufacturer Mitsubishi admitted that it has 'cheated' fuel economy tests for the last 25 years. While hardly an epidemic, we now have two international car companies that have been found with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. It begs the question - are emissions regulations too restrictive?


Mitsubishi knowingly committed these acts over a twenty-five year span and about 625,000 vehicles are under this scope of improper testing. The numbers could sway wildly in the days and weeks to come, but Wall St. had no problems reacting to the news. The company's value took a major hit, losing about $3.9 billion to date since the news first broke. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also ordered the company to retest its vehicles.

Mitsubishi vehicles underwent a variety of tests that toyed with standards set in Japan starting in 1991. Adding the spectre of egregiousness, Mitsubishi reports having discovered the fault in 2001, but they refused to update testing methodologies. The company thus far reports that four models were part of the manipulated data. They include:
the eK Wagon and eK Space, which are manufactured and sold by Mitsubishi, and the Dayz and Dayz Roox which is anufactured by Mitsubishi and supplied to Nissan Motor Company.

The question remains. Are these companies cheating to gain profitability? How could it have gone on for so long? Are worldwide regulatory agencies creating a tough situation where companies are choosing this self-destructive path?

General details were announced today about a plan from car manufacturing giant Volkswagen to car buyers in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen vehicles were affected by the scandal, more than 480,000 in all. Owners will have the option of having the automaker buy the vehicles back or have them fixed by Volkswagen. Senior United States District Judge Charles Breyer did not provide an actual cash amount, but he added that the deal would include "substantial compensation."

Apparently, many details are still being worked out. This leaves many wondering what is going to happen next in terms of repair, in terms of compensation, and in terms of timing. What this announcement does say is that the general terms have been arrived at.


According to the reports, Volkswagen will be called on to set aside funds for green automotive technologies in addition to a fund designated for corrective efforts to address the pollution that never should have been emitted.

Some $1 billion dollars will be set aside for the owners and the repair tasks. If you're curious about the Volkswagen deal and you have one of the 482,000 Volkswagens affected by the deal, here is your easy cheesy guide to determine if your vehicle is one of the targets. All 2-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine vehicle owners can choose repairs or buybacks, including those with leased vehicles. The models include the VW Jetta, Golf and Passat models dating to the 2009 model year.

However, there is still no agreement regarding the 90,000 vehicles or so belonging to Audi and Porsche owners also affected. Those 3-liter, six-cylinder motors also were part of this chicanery, but those owners will just have to wait.

At the end of the day, Volkswagen must be relieved to be able to move on as soon as possible, although the damages have been estimated by some to be over 30 Billion dollars.

The word is that the day may finally be upon us where Volkswagen announces it has made a deal in the ongoing diesel debacle. The deal is expected to cover all elements that it is going to take for Volkswagen to make things right by the EPA, Volkswagen owners, and the public at large. The final cost is expected to be in the billions.


While many are expecting the forthcoming announcement to be very bad news, there are plenty of opinions that say the company just wants this all to be over with, thus the deal is a positive. Insiders have reported the negotiations have been delicate and complex, and it covers penalties, repairs, recalls, and the future for Volkswagen in America.

The deal announcement comes on the mandate of San Francisco-based United States District Court Judge Charles Breyer who ipmposed a Thursday deadline for a settlement with the federal government and with vehicle owners in the United States.

As far as possibilities go, the regulatory fines alone could reach $18 billion. However, the actual amount imposed is expected to be much less than that. As far as the 600,000 or so cars that are affected by the modifications, it is tough to put an exact number prediction on that. Some reports are saying the company will buy back half a million cars. Who knows, but it looks like we are going to find out what happens very soon.

Some of you may recall the 'Punch Buggy' or 'Slug Bug' game. Some of us still play it (with your kids perhaps). Well, wherever you learned it, that game has been going on for decades now and it turns out there are variants, 'official' rules, cultural references, and more out there.


Yes, 'Slug Bug' is well-documented apparently. Starting with an official Wikipedia page entry (there are people that are extremely dedicated to cataloging everything on Wikipedia).

Punch buggy (also called punch bug, punch car, punch dub, piggy punch, slug bug, or beetle bug[1]) is a car game generally played by children in which participants punch each other on the arm upon first sight of a Volkswagen Beetle while calling out "Punch buggy!" or "Slug bug!" in reference to the Beetle's nickname, the Bug. The color of the Beetle is also stated.[2]

You would think a simple game with the simplest of rules would not require documented rules, but someone has gone through the trouble nonetheless. As the author notes:

As I've mentioned elsewhere on this site I've been playing Punch Buggy for at least Thirty-Four over Forty-Two Years. That makes me somewhat of an expert on the subject, at least in my opinion...

Regarding the game of Slug Bug the rules are the same. Slug Bug is simply Punch Buggy by another name. It's rather like 'tonic' 'soda' and 'pop'. What you call it depends on where you grew up. Personally I refuse to grow up, but that's neither here nor there...

There may be other car punching games out there, but this is The Original.

Punch Buggy even showed up on a Simpsons episode in a humorous clip:

So, the next time you overhear your kids in the back of the car playing this age-old game, remember that for some people, this is not a game at all, but serious business.

Once upon a time, the Beatles called it quits. Whether or not that is your kind of music, there is little doubt that the band was iconic and when they packed up their gear for good, it was big news.

FILE - OCTOBER 5: 50 Years Since The First Beatles Single Released: A Look Back At The Beatles  A group portrait of the Beatles, straightening their ties, backstage at the Odeon Cinema in Luton on 6th September 1963. (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon. (Photo by Tom Hanley/Redferns)
FILE - OCTOBER 5: 50 Years Since The First Beatles Single Released: A Look Back At The Beatles
A group portrait of the Beatles, straightening their ties, backstage at the Odeon Cinema in Luton on 6th September 1963. (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon. (Photo by Tom Hanley/Redferns)

Well, we're not here to talk about that, but something of that era to say the least.


There is a rumor that says the beloved Volkswagen Beetle will be ending production in 2018. Autoline has put out a suggestion that calls for an end for the vehicle after twenty years of production. Relaunched in 1998, the Beetle was pulled out of the design attic and received much fanfare.

The model line was reinvented year again just a few short years ago with a newer generation that you can find in showrooms today. The problem as Autoline reports it: demand. The Beetle is a segment of vehicle that undoubtedly has a devoted following and staunch admirers. However, there is a greater demand for compact utility vehicles (CUVs) that threatens to supplant production of the Beetles. Whether the news is a genuine leak (and somewhat true) or a prediction from the company remains to be seen. What we do know is that the move stands to upsets many devoted fans.


Isn't there enough CUV models on the streets? Volkswagen needs to make shrewd moves and keep all the fans they have. The Beetle is one piece of iconic design that they may want to embrace after the recent troubles endured by the company.