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Hooniverse Goes To Bugorama 76 At Sacramento Raceway


Late last week while cruising around the internet, I found mention of the 76th Bugorama event (obviously there are a few of them per year). Being a part of the aircooled Porsche community, I’m almost obligated to be a fan of the old aircooled Volkswagens, and this show was pretty darn cool, I must say. It was a good long day in the sun, and it was a worthy way to spend my Sunday afternoon. A VeeDub friend of mine and I packed up and headed out at about 6AM to get there by 8 for the start of the swap meet in the morning. I thought the twenty-dollar entry fee was a bit rich, but what can you do? Follow along on our journey, and try to make one of these events some day.

The Swap Meet

I walked in in the morning with just a couple ones in my pocket, not thinking I’d see much that I needed to buy. I was wrong, though, as I have a knack for picking out the best Porsche memorabilia from a non-Porsche event. This time, I picked up a copy of “The Porsche Guide” by Sloniger and the “Complete Porsche Owner’s Handbook of Repair and Maintenance” Clymer manual, both a bit worn, with cracked spines, but complete. I got the Porsche factory “Tech Specs” book for 911 and 912 through the end of 1967 as well. The best piece that I picked up, though, was a nice Schuco wind-up 356 toy. Everything was included, and it’s a nice display piece for my desk.


This VW Bus ice chest was pretty cool, but I wasn’t about to pay 400 bones for it. I took this photo and the vendor said in a gruff voice “I should put a sign on there that says ‘Pictures $3′”. I know he thought he was making a joke, but he just sounded like a jerk.


This set of rims had “14X4” stamped into the face of them, so it’s safe to say that these have been modified a bit. I’ve never seen a wheel with a foot and a half of dish, but here they are. You’d have to have a pretty wild aircooled engine to turn these wheels, let alone spin them up with slicks mounted.


Are you the keymaster?


You could find pretty much everything you needed for your old aircooled here, from complete engines (of varying completeness and niceness) to trim bits of every flavor.


You could even find complete cars ready to take home.


This topless bug-on-bags almost convinced me to take it home. The asking price of $2800 bones was pretty good, but better senses prevailed.


Sheetmetal everywhere!


Tail light assembly? Check. Master cylinder reservior? Got a half dozen or so. Peugeot 504 Diesel Haynes manual? Yeah, of course I have that.


If I had a spare shop space or two, this cabriolet would have been another candidate to drag home. I’ve always loved Beetle soft tops, and this was a pretty solid starting point. Of course, I’d have to find a 90 hp Porsche 912 engine to stuff in the back. Man, that would be a riot.


This old square window had seen better days, but again, would have made an excellent starting point. A little rust, but no rot.


The Luftgekühlter

After the swap meet, we walked over to the now full car show area.


This big bus was a pretty cool rolling advertisement.

I’ve seen bunches and bunches of squarebacks, and even a few fastbacks, but I have not seen too many notchback Type 3s out there. There were more than a couple of them at Bugorama, which I enjoyed. The one above was quite clean, and the one below was less so, but no less cool.



I could type 181 reasons why this Thing is the best, but instead I’ll just resort to cheap puns.

This Speedster replica wasn’t all that convincing, but it sure looked like fun. I think those are 914 seats.


For a moment, from some vistas, you could almost believe it was the mid 1970s.


More Things. I like these things.


Not a bad lineup.


This little red VW KG was in the for-sale area with everything rebuilt for about 8 grand. That emblem alone is almost worth the buy in price. They just don’t make emblems like that anymore. The Germanic precision of Karmann is evident, especially against the flamboyance and Italian-ness of Carozzeria Ghia. This emblem has a deeper meaning.




The sports car with the heart of a bus. I wasn’t ever a fan of the Type 4 engines in the middle of 914s, but man that chassis is a riot.


Can’t help but love a nice clean 993. Values of these have gone stupid recently, but you can’t really hold that against the car.


A Type 34 Karmann Ghia? Oh yeah, this show even  has one of those. We saw one on our way to the show early in the morning on the highway, but I can’t be sure it was this same car. Chances are it was.





The Wassergekühlter


I’ve had a soft spot for these Corrados for a long time. I’m not really one for ‘Stance, bro’, but this one was well executed. IMG_6228

The Bitch Basket. The white wheels really set this car off. It was another candidate for “follow me home” status, but alas I did not pull any triggers. IMG_6167

I love, love, LUVs. What’s not to LUV?




Fahrvergnügen Kaninchen GTI



The Drag Racers


Oh wheelie bars, what is more awesome than you?


Here it is, the car from the lead image. It’s an all-fiberglass 356 speedster drag racing car. I want so much to hate it, but I just can’t. There is too much awesome here for me to hate it. I saw it run a few times, and it was interesting. It’s got a large bore Type 1 derived flat four, and an automatic transaxle to help keep bracket times tight. I liked it, but with a body like that, I’d want it to be running in the 9s.


Regardless, this ride was sweet. It makes me want to build one of my own. With about 300 horespower and a big turbo.



Is this even legal?

I love Karmann Ghias. Very nice ripper. IMG_6177

Some of these cars made a whole lot of noise to not really go all that fast. I think I saw a couple cars in the tens, which is quick when you consider a stock VW Beetle used to take 28 seconds to get to 60.


This was another automatic transaxle car. I think things were acting up, though, because the revs REALLY dropped between shifts.

In The Parking Lot

At lunch we walked back to the car to drop off our goodies for the day and walked around to take a few pictures of the attendees cars in the parking lot.


Steeda badge on a Focus ST? That’s promising. IMG_6214

Gotta love an early Z car. IMG_6213

This Raptor had a few goodies bolted on as well. I like that pre-runner look.IMG_6212

Nothing wrong with this. I can’t imagine how rare it must be to find a cap top for a Rabbit cabby.IMG_6210

A nice Porsche 912 in the lot. This color looked like Dolphin Grey, and it looked gorgeous.IMG_6209
A Holden in the states? Yeah I know it’s a Chevy SS, but still cool that they swapped the badges. Gotta keep people guessing.IMG_6215

Like I said, I love Karmann Ghias.

A Tribute To Ray Vallero

I don’t really know the whole story with this, but I’ll tell it as best I can and hope someone can chime in afterward to fill in the bits I don’t know.


Ray Vallero was the owner of Vallero’s VW Werks (later Vallero’s Auto Repair and Machine) in Auburn, CA. Back in the 1970s, as a way of helping promote his business, Ray got involved in the Volkswagen aircooled drag racing scene, and built a couple of cars with his shop’s name on the side. My personal favorite, and the one that gained the most notoriety, was this chop-top Porsche 912 with a 1915cc engine in the back of it.  IMG_6121

I’m not sure how, or why, but after he retired the car and sold it off, it ended up in the UK for a while. Earlier this year, the car was returned to the US and somehow it was decided that it belonged back in Ray’s care. The hope was that the car would be restored and run again in anger at Sacramento Raceway where it was effectively born. From the looks of things, some of his friends in the racing community banded together to get the car returned to the Sacramento area and get it back to Ray. If you want to get a little weepy on your Tuesday morning just after a holiday weekend, here’s the video of Ray being reunited with his old 912 that he hadn’t seen in 22 years.

Ray was a great guy, and I went to visit his shop last summer and sat and talked with him for a couple of hours one Sunday afternoon. He didn’t know me from Adam, but he had all the time in the world for me, because I showed an interest. He was more than happy to show off his shop, he was proud of what he’d done there, and he was ecstatic to talk about the 912 and those ‘glory days’. He still had one of the custom mechanical fuel injection setups that he’d built for the car all those years ago. Waiting in a rubbermaid container for the time when it could be reunited with the car.


Unfortunately Ray suddenly passed away recently, only about a year after the car returned to his shop, and he hadn’t yet had the opportunity to make much progress. The car was brought back to Sacramento Raceway, but unfortunately it stayed on the trailer rather than making runs down the track.


It is the hope of those same friends that the car will be revived and run in his honor. Hopefully soon, and hopefully I’ll be there to see it. He was such a cool guy, and this was such a cool car. Even though I only met him the one time, and I’m sure I didn’t make much impact on his life, he made an impact on mine by being so generous with his time. I had a moment of silence next to this car to honor him, but it was that moment that made me realize he deserves more than silence. He deserves to have 1915cc of fury run down the quarter mile again. That would be his honor.


  • Krautwursten

    Judging from those snapshots there’s a suspicious lack of double cabs in the US, apart from one T3 hiding in one background. Were they ever sold on the North American market, or are all of them imports?

    • Bradley Brownell

      There were actually a lot of Doka, but I apparently didn’t take any pictures of them.

  • Vairship

    Why are the bed sides on an F-250 taller than the roof of a VW Caddy?http://i1.wp.com/hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IMG_6212.jpg?resize=720%2C480 Because Princess Tiny-dink has to brag about his oversized truck…

  • Thomas Kerr

    As the “custodians” of Ray’s 912, my wife and I would love to see it run down the track once again. It is unfortunate that Ray never finished the transaxle for it (the original one was separated from the car long ago) before he passed. He had plans for a new one and was working on lightening the chassis as well.

    • Bradley Brownell

      It deserves it. What are you doing about a windshield? Is the fuel injection being returned to the car?

      As the build nears “completion”, please stay in contact, will you? I’d love to be there for it’s maiden voyage.