|FL||VW 1300||VW||Street legal|
1969 Sebring Car
|-||John Hancock||Austin||VW 1600||VW||-|
|-||Hugh Kleinpeter||GA||VW 1600||VW||-|
|-||Gene Beach||FL||VW 1600||VW||-|
|2002||Ed Ziegler||Houston||VW 1300?||VW?||currently racing|
Raced in 1969 Sebring 12 Hours (Car #67) by Bill Boye & Russ Shirey (retired after 6 laps with brake problems). Restored by Gene Beach in 2002 for new owner Ed Ziegler.
I visited Bill Blose, who was an employee of Gene's both at the race car shop, and later for a little while in his architectural practice. He was a friend of Scott Beach, who also worked there, and gave me a fair bit of information, some of which I already had perspectives on from other sources, but some of which was also new. He lived outside of Ocala, so when I went up to close the deal with Carey Culpepper on #102 in December, I stopped by to visit him. He had no idea that there were two Beach Mk4s less than 30 miles away from his house.
Attached you will find photos of Bill in the only Mk4B street car Gene ever built - he and Bill and Scott worked on this car, making it street-legal in some very inventive ways (the windshield wiper installation story was a hoot!), so that eventually it was in fact licensed. Bill drove it in autocross events when he wasn't driving it to school (he was in his late teens at the time), and the pictures are from one of those events. The car was unpainted, just finished in a red-orange gelcoat, had headlights, turn signals in the rear, and was powered by a 1300cc VW.
There weren’t many people finer than Gene, but he was a terrible businessman. I saw Gene in his first ever SCCA race in a Crosley at Fort Pierce, FL.
I was a VW dealer in Vero Beach and had done stuff with FVs with Gene before. Following Zink‘s run at Daytona in '69, I went to Gene for a VW-powered car for Sebring 8 weeks later. Gene said he had nothing and production orders were backed up, but he had built a Mk4B street car for himself with 1300 stock power, although it hadn’t had much use.
Gene thought about it for a while and then called me to say he thought there was no way that car could be made ready for that race, but he would sell it to me for $1500, and told me to not show up at Sebring with it in that stock configuration! We ran a 1500 in the race that we built at the VW dealership, The induction was twin Weber 48s, which we now know was way over-carbureted but it ran good. We rebuilt the car from top to bottom before the race.
I had a miserable practice at Daytona, we had trouble with the new Isky dry sump system (they had Iskendarian dry sump pump #3). I started race, passing many cars on front straight (Porsche 911s and the like). We had made thirty or forty laps when my co-driver spun and stalled the car. When it wouldn‘t restart, so the enthusiastic corner-workers tried to be helpful and push-started the car. After a few more laps, the race officials announced over the PA that they had disqualified it for the push-start.
We had a good SCCA club racing history with the car after Sebring, then I sold it to a buyer in Texas without the motor.
Mike Alexander and I drove from Austin, Texas on a Wednesday straight thru to
Florida. Gave a woman (Mrs. Boye ?) a certified check and hooked the
car/trailer up, got a steak dinner, and then drove straight back to Austin
arriving late Thursday.
We went to work on
Friday a.m., left early and “tested" the car Friday
BTW - there WAS a motor in the car! but no battery. Battery came out of my ’67 Chevy. Changed oil & spark plugs and put it back on the trailer.
Alex raced the car at Green Valley Raceway on Saturday, 3rd co-owner David Smith drove on Sunday both in GVRA’s Group I class.
My last race in the 109 chassis was the 1977 Carrera de la Capital street race in Austin, Texas. Finished 2nd in Group 1.
Gene Beach & Ed Diehl