How to Build a VW Drag Car

Written by simon breedon
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How to Build a VW Drag Car
The Volkswagen Beetle can be easily modified into an aggressive drag car. (Jessie Jean/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The engine-roaring, tire-burning power of a drag car is not beyond the reach of a Volkswagen Beetle. There are wide range aftermarket modifications that can be made to customise a VW into a drag race car. Replace the engine and tires, modify the exhaust system, reconstruct the body, lower the suspension, and in no time, the car will be in racing condition. You are just a few modifications away from having your very own VW dragster.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Modify the engine by installing a supercharger, or turbocharger. High-performance aftermarket add-ons like superchargers and turbochargers are essential to increase the horsepower of a drag car, and this is especially true for a Volkswagen. The turbo charger enhances the power of the engine by increasing the airflow blown through the combustion chambers of the engine, which makes the fuel burn faster and increases the engine's horsepower.

  2. 2

    Modify the suspension of the Volkswagen by lowering it and replacing the stock shocks with enhanced high-performance racing shock absorbers. This will lower the car's centre of gravity, increasing the handling capabilities and making it more aerodynamic. It also makes the appearance more aggressive. The more level the ride, the easier it is for the car to maintain a steady push forward, ultimately making the car quicker off the front line.

  3. 3

    Replace the muffler and exhaust system with an aftermarket exhaust. After market high-performance mufflers and exhaust systems can be purchased from an automotive accessory store like Mopar.

  4. 4

    Enhance the look of the car's body and aerodynamics with a body kit . Visit a site like Andy's Auto Sports or R&R Racing and browse through the different designs they have for your VW model. Modifying the car's body can involve anything from adding a front air dam, or a ram air bonnet, to adding a ground effects kit. These modifications also provide more horsepower by increasing additional airflow to the engine.

  5. 5

    Switch out the stock tread street tires with high-performance drag racing slicks. These tires are standard for drag racing. They are wider, slightly underinflated and flatter to provide better traction between the car and the track. This will provide the car with improved acceleration.

  6. 6

    Install a fire extinguisher and roll cage. This is a standard safety precaution for every drag car. No drag race car is complete without a roll cage and extinguisher. Even those drag cars just constructed for show should be equipped with these modifications.

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