You’re 24 years old. It’s the bottom of the eighth, down 1-0, you and Clemens. ‘Visualize,’ you tell yourself, ‘visualize.’ You need this, because the fear still keeps you up at night. What if some young kid coming up takes away your at-bats, then your position, then your father’s approval? It’s the reason you watch endless hours of tape, keying in on every pitcher’s tendencies. That’s why you know a fastball is coming — inside. You can still see the threads spinning. In your darkest hours, this is what you cling to, like a child sucking a pacifier. Head down. Hips turn. Boom. Rounding the bases, your feet never touch the ground.
So why did I decide to go to a water-cooled Kombi motor? Well, when I worked at Powertune I had the opportunity to see a litre water-cooled motor pulled apart. I was impressed with its potential but not its capacity, but when the litre motor was released it was a temptation too hard to resist. The motor was bought brand new in a crate and I ordered the :1 compression ratio rather than the usual 9:1. I think that the VW engineers have been reading some American VW magazines because the motor came with 40mm inlet and 34mm exhaust valves, dual valve springs, big inlet and exhaust ports and 110 bhp standard. You would think this would be enough, but no...I fitted a Gene Berg hydraulic cam, Rhoads lifters, lighter pushrods, Gene Berg :1 rockers, dual 46 IDA Webers on custom made manifolds, modified Thunderbird extractors with a 2" tailpipe and had the motor balanced along with having the standard crankshaft counterweighted. The transmission has been beefed up with heavy side plates, a super diff and a lower 3rd gear.