Up until this point, the engine and “super structure” were only tested out in the 1974 template bus. We used our experience of trial and error with that sacrificial vehicle to finally cut only the necessary metal out of Minerva to fit the new engine. When the moment of truth came, the superstructure fit like Legos into Minerva… all that planning paid back in spades.
The official top speed of the 1972 VW bus was 75mph; but, from a performance standpoint, Minerva was only capable of about 55mph before she would start to shake and feel unsafe. Therefore, we gave her a brand new suspension that will not only allow Minerva to handle higher speeds but her braking distance will be drastically improved and much safer. The brakes are Wilwood four piston calipers with drilled rotors.
The suspension is from a company in Oregon called Wagenswest who specialize in custom lowering parts for VW buses. Once finished, Minerva will sit a full four inches lower than her stock ride height making her not only look like a sleek custom van but also handle very well due to a lower center of gravity. The GM hubs and the VW hubs were different… if we left them like this, there would be two different wheels in the back and two different wheels in the front.
We wanted WMMR crew to be able to get regular tire rotations down the road so we took the parts over to RPC Driveline in Pennsauken, NJ to have the hubs machined. You’ll see their machinist Ethan walk you through their process.
Thanks to Ron Francis Wiring for helping us with our rats nest of a wiring nightmare.