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USFRA Hosts the 36 HorsePower LandSpeed Challenge

Bonneville Competition for Old School VW Classics!

Once again the ROAR of Pure Volkswagen Power echos across the famous Bonneville Salt Flats.

Phil Freudiger VW land speed racer at Bonneville in 1959. This SS36 Beetle's top speed was 67.56 miles per hour.

Current 36 HP Challenge Class Speed Records

The USFRA is proud to host the 36 HP Challange annually at World of Speed.

The Challenge: Find out how fast your 36hp Volkswagen bug can go at the mecca for all land speed racers, the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah. Drive your bug from a standing start and accelerate at full throttle over a full mile until it’s ultimate top speed is reached in a precision 132 ft. Sped Trap, and do it with the same street legal bug you drive every day. The owner of the 36hp based bug that achieves the highest speed at one of the sanctioned events will be awarded a genuine early 60’s Volkswagen trophy commemorating his/her record.

The 36 HP Top Dog:On Sep 17,2008, Tom Bruch broke the all time LSR 36 HP sedan record of Dick Beith at Bonneville with Gaylen Anderson's 66 sedan and Tom Bruch's small 1378 cc single port 36 HP turbo motor at 103.497 MPH. Tom made three passes over the old record at 6,000 RPM with 12 to 14 lb. boost. The second run turned 86.4 MPH in the 1/4 mile and 103.056 at the 1/2 mile mark and held 6,000 RPM for the rest of the mile. The motor lived through all three runs which is a testament to the strength of the 36 HP motors. The 1956 engine is entirely vintage parts including the 50 year old ISKY 2-J cam that can still set records.
Could your bug be the next Bonneville Record Holder?

Jan Atkinsons SSSBB Super Beetle

Colton McAllister at speed on the 130 course.
The diesel in the background is on the Long Course.

The USFRA's specially prepared 130 MPH Club Course and precision timing system allows you to see how fast your VW bug really is, without building an actual out and out race car. Accelerating over a standing start one mile track, then thru the 132 Ft. Precision Speed Trap, provides four times the seat time while subjecting your VW to less abuse than you get drag racing. Stock transmissions work fine and roll bars are not required (in closed body cars) for the speeds achieved. There is no finer way to participate in the rich traditions of LandSpeed Racing. The 36 HP Challenge provides enthusiasts with a Bonneville experience that will not be forgotten

The Challenge features, in addition to the new STONE STOCK 36hp class, modified safety requirements developed specifically (and Only) for the 36hp class Volkswagens running at the USFRA's World of Speed. Two point lap belts will be permitted (instead of mandatory 3 point harnesses), as will “S” speedrated tires(these tires are commonly used and readily available for Volkswagens). These rules specifically for the 36 HP Challenge, have been approved to reduce the need for interior modifications to your restored interiors and eliminate the need to purchase expensive high speed tires for vehicles whose speeds will not exceed 100 miles per hour.
Note: "H" Speed rated tires (or higher) with metal valve stems and caps and 3 point seat belt system (or better) are required for any vehicle that exhibits speed in excess of 100 mph.

Only Stock bodied or Cal Look bugs, Type 2’s, Karmann Ghias and USFRA specifically pre-approved vehicleswith 36hp based engines, which meet safety requirements, qualify to run in the 36HP LANDSPEED CHALLENGE. Go to for specifics.

BODY/VEHICLE RULES- Any year stock Volkswagen Beetle, Super Beetle or Cal-Look bug, any Karmann Ghia or pre 1967 Type 2 Bus, Kombi, Single or Double Cab pick up. Herrods Helper(or replica)rear wings are allowed on Bugs exceeding 100 miles per hour.
All convertibles and sliding cloth sunroof bodies require added safety equipment- i.e. 4 point roll bar- (see the 130 MPH Club Rules).

All metal body panels and fenders including all lights and VW bumpers must be mounted in the stock manner and fully functional.

All loose items must be removed from the passenger compartment and trunk.

Four engine categories allow every 36hp bug owner to qualify for the 36 HP Challenge.
Engine Categories:
SS (Stone Stock)-Stock 36HP engine with single 28 PCI carburetor with no modifications except the venture and jets. Must be equipped with a stock VW style exhaust system and tips, air cleaner, any Bosch distributor and coil (Pertronix Ignitor is O.K.!). 12 volt electrical system, full flow oil system, engine balancing and three angle valve cuts are O.K.! Stone Stock class limited to stock displacement of 1192cc

DSS (Dual Super Stock)-Modified 36hp engine with a single 28PCI carburetor (modifications are HIGHLY recommended!) and 36hp single port VW cylinder heads(modifications are highly recommended!). Any displacement however engine must retain STOCK cylinder head stud locations (8mm studs are O.K.!). No displacement, camshaft or header limitations. Intake manifold can be modified or handcrafted.

K36 (Supercharged/Kompressor)-Any pre-1970 mechanically driven supercharger (ore reproduction Pepco/Judson/Shorrock/Godfrey) or pre 1965 mechanical fuel injection. Requires any Bosch distributor and coil. No displacement limit limitations (engine must retain stock cylinder head stud location (8mm studs are O.K.!). Dual period correct superchargers are acceptable. Hilborn, Enderle, Rons style mechanically driven fuel injection systems are O.K.! No camshaft or header limitations. Turbochargers and electronic fuel injection systems are not allowed. Deck lid standoffs are not allowed.

NA36 (NA36 NEW AGE)-Any turbocharged or post 1971 supercharger (,) post 1966 carburetors or electrical or post 1966 fuel injection fuel injection or non-traditional external engine modifications. No displacement limit but must maintain stock cylinder head stud locations (8mm studs are O.K.!). Must use 36hp style cylinder heads (aftermarket heads are allowed-Porsche heads are NOT allowed. Must use 36hp “style” valve covers and gaskets (aluminum covers are O.K.!) ! Dual turbochargers or superchargers are acceptable. Intake and exhaust components can protrude through the deck lid but scoops are NOT allowed. Deck lid standoffs are NOT legal.

Safety Requirements and Class Rules

NO Nitrous Oxide, No Nitromethane, No Hydrazine, No Methanol, No Ethanol allowed in ANY 36 HP Challenge Classes.

ONLY at the USFRA's World of Speed


?? Questions??
Email for specific 36hp Challenge information

Dick Beith, Volkswagen land speed racer in 1960. His DSS36 top speed was 80.874 miles per hour

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