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Old May 10th 2010, 11:20
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Post LA Performance '03

by Vujade, Photos by Lee Arnold
Dec 16.2002

The 1303 Beetle you see here in these Photos is from LA. No not Los Angelos, California, but LA Performance a Volkswagen Tuner from the UK, which is owned and operated by Lee Arnold from Rushden, Northants. Lee who is only 34 years old, has been tinkering with VWs for over 20 years now and has owned a total of 12, including Type 1s, 2s, 3s 4s and even water cooleds too.

Lees current ride is this bright Fantasia Green 74 1303. He is running Glass Fiber running boards and wings in addition to lightened doors. From the outside this car grabs your attention, but it is what is under the skin that will hold your it there.

Starting with the engine, hes running a 1.9Liter Type 4. Displacement is a healthy 1911cc of pure exhilaration. Lee used a stock 66mm stroke and 96mm NPR pistons with stock cylinders connected with stock rods. Heads were modified by LA Performance and are heavily welded. They feature 44mm x 38mm valves with stock rockers that have been modified to use 911 adjusting screws. Cam duties are taken care of by Webcam.

To cool a motor like this, Lee chose to use a 911 shoud also by LA Performance, with additional cooling from a 16 row Perma Cooler. Lees engine breathes thru a pair of Weber 48 IDFs that have been properly jetted to work with this motor. And finally all spent gases are extracted thru a handmade 4 into 1 header with a turbo muffler by LA Performance.

To connect all of this power to the ground, Lee chose a 5 speed 915 gearbox from a 74 911. Gear ratios are described as extremely long, enabling Lee to push his '03 to 55mph in 1st, 70 mph in 2nd, 95 mph in 3rd and 115 mph in 4th. Although Lee admits that he has never had it flat out in 5th gear. For his sake, lets hope that he never gets the chance to fully test 5th gear.

Now youre probably wondering what keeps Lees car from crashing considering the performance it is capable of. It can all be summed up in one word ... PORSCHE. Lee pirated his front and rear brakes from an early Porsche 944. These will dramatically alter the stopping power of any VW and are highly recommended. The front suspension consists of special LA Performance slimline struts, which are small enough to allow a 7 wide rim under the stock fender.

Also up front Lee has a 19mm sway bar and a LA Performance Strut Bar too. The rear suspension consists of dropping it one spline and also LA Performance 22 point adjustable shocks. Wrapping out the suspension is a set of 16 x 7 Porsche 993 Cup wheels with 195/45/16 front and 205/55/16 rear tires from Bridgestone.

As far as the interior is concerned, what is left of it that is, consists of a pair of Porsche 944 bucket seats, no rear seat, and carbon fiber door panels. To round out the interior, Lee installed a a few gauges from VDO, consisting of tach, oil pressure, oil temperature and lastly a clock.

A car of this caliber definitely takes time, money and help from a few key friends. Lee would like to thank Eddy for his help with building the '03, Charlie for help on the website and especially Kath for putting up with him for the last 20 years.

Lee has told me that there is already a new German Look VW being built to replace this one, thats going to be even more radical and even faster then this one. I dont know about you, but I cant wait to see what Lee Arnold has in store for us next time. Whatever VW Lee builds to next,Im sure that it will be just as nice as this one!
'73 2316 TIV GL Standard Bug (quasi)

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1303, super beetle

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