YouTuber John Reynolds chose a 1973 Super Beetle for his project for a few reasons… first, the flat windshield standard Beetle is way more popular and has been restored, modified, slammed, or patina’d probably thousands of times — it seems the Super is the car nobody wants. Second, the ’73 is the first Bug to come with, in John’s opinion, the sexy curved front windshield. The ’74s and later had (again, in John’s opinion) the less desirable bulbous 5 mph bumpers. Third, the Super’s wider trunk is a better fit for a wider radiator. The US Supers had built-in louvers for optional A/C which works very well to get airflow to the radiator. Additionally, the strut front suspension just works better and gives a better ride quality than the older Beetles — plus, all of John’s projects are 1974 or older to be smog exempt in his home state of California. Finally, John’s older brother, Jerry (RIP), had a ’73 Super Beetle years ago and he thought it was possibly the slowest car on the planet. So he rectified that problem. But what about the ridiculous elephant foot taillights? Well, he got used to them, and hopefully, nobody will slam into the back of him because they couldn’t see his brake lights.
The entire process with all the parts and labor required is certainly too long to list here, though highlights include the turbocharged 2.5-liter Boxer four crammed into the tiny rear engine bay. With a custom intercooler, a Garrett turbo, and a custom exhaust manifold, the setup reportedly produces up to 517 horsepower when running on E85 fuel. Those 517 ponies are about 16 times what the car’s original air-cooled flat-four would have produced, so needless to say, this bug is no longer ‘the slowest car on the planet.’ Complementary modifications to support the massive power gains include a 2009 Subaru WRX’s five-speed manual gearbox that’s been converted to two-wheel-drive transaxle status, plus 930-gen Porsche axles. Brake calipers from a Mk4 VW Golf, a later-year Super Beetle’s steering rack, and QA1 shocks also fit into the mix. Read more and check out video of the Supersleeper doing it’s thing >