RENN SPORT BEETLE
This 1975 Calypso Coral Red Beetle was bought from VEE motors in Edenvale. It has a Type 4, VW Transporter, Big Block 2.4 litre engine with a genuine 5 blade Porsche 911 turbo cooling system installed. It has the standard 71mm stroke but a 105.5 mm bore. The engine build & modifications were done by Franz Czepek snr. ( This is a proper sleeper and can easily be underestimated). It still stated that its a 1300 on the decklid.
We have replaced the EMPI wheels with aftermarket Fuchs Porsche Targa-type 15” wheels, running 205’s in the back and 195’s in front.
Looks as if the Beetle engine caught fire at one stage. The previous owner used high-density foam panels in the engine bay to cleverly hide the paint damage. These have been stripped off and taken back to bare metal and resprayed coarse silver. Both rear fenders and the deck-lid have also been repaired & resprayed. Both bumpers have also received a fresh coat of black.
There are extra custom fibreglass panels made to facilitate better air-flow and cooling in the bay, as well as many, one-off shiny aluminium panels for the back of the firewall and side panels. Dynamat has been laid under these panels. The super dangerous and badly installed fuel pump, that was connected directly onto the coil, has also been changed. The fuel is now supplied from the right side and all electrics re-routed left.
I’ve done some extra modifications and tweaks and turning it into a SP look-alike/clone. From a distance it would look like a tribute SP, with all the externals, but obviously NOT have the 1600 engine in it, nor the 14” Rostyle wheels with the chrome trim-rings fitted. We have exchanged the solid black seats to black with red tartan inserts. We also fitted an essential metal SP rain-catcher, to prevent water issues with the twin carbs.
We have sprayed the inside of the decklid silver and the inner side of the rain-catcher silver too. Its sprayed red on the vent side however, so when you look through, it flows with the matching red body colour. Im retro-fitting a SP dash pad with SP style ‘Cockpit’ VDO gauges, but replacing the volt gauge with a oil temp gauge. I finally found 2 SP (Petri AG Sport) steering wheels and refurbed a good one from them both. (They pretty hard to find). A lower front SP/Kamei-type spoiler will also be fitted. The rear valance will not be blanked-off, as my pipes come straight out and are not accommodating the SP 1600 free-flow system. The little center console, round the gear lever has also been fitted. I’m still on the lookout for a set of stone guards and door handle finger plates.
Doing these alterations would not fool any SP Beetle aficionado or SP fan. So, I’m calling it my Renn Sport Beetle and my Kamei-style over-roof decal/sticker will be RS instead of SP.
I had a 1977 Silver-Cloud SP with blue tartan seats in the 80’s but had to unfortunately sell it ! Still bleak about it, as I’ve always liked their unique looks especially the sporty dash with the tacho/rev-counter and the ‘out-of-box’ tartan seats.
These distinctive SP models were originally released in Arctic White, Sunburst Yellow and Silver Cloud Metallic and the colour range was later supplemented with a Calypso Coral Red. These 4 colours were joined by a limited production number of 50, ‘Midnight Series’ Metallic-Black SP’s with a silver body stripe. The SP1600 (114Z Body plate) was produced by Volkswagen of South Africa.
They are considered very collectable and were only produced from late 1976 to 1978. ONLY 3096 were produced in total.