Just noticed this on my local Craigslist for $34,500:



Apparently in my neighborhood, although I've never seen it driving around. I don't know anything about this car, but I could check it out for an interested buyer.

Supposedly has a 2332cc 'Gene Berg' motor (is there such a thing?) in a Beck body.

From the pictures, it looks like you could further reduce the weight by about 100 pounds by removing the badges.




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Boothy posted:

Aerodynamic body just ot have the airflow screwed by badges....

Boothy, I think you've got it!

Those badges are some stealthy aerodynamic sleight of hand being played.

As every school child knows, the dimples on the surface of a golf ball cause the boundary layer on the upstream side of the ball to transition from laminar to turbulent flow. The turbulent boundary layer is able to remain attached to the surface of the ball much longer than a laminar boundary and so creates a narrower low-pressure wake and hence less pressure drag. The reduction in pressure drag causes the ball to travel farther.

So how could we create on a Spyder the same dimpled effect that works so effectively on a golf ball without tipping off the scrutineers at our local track? Aha! Those badges aren't for style, they're to shave a few seconds per lap!

And now you know... the rest of the story.


It's not a Beck.  Looks like an early Vintage chassis maybe, or some other knock-off,  but that isn't my chassis.  Also, it has things like the crappy door hinges that Chuck used in the 1980s, which were copied and used by several companies long after we changed them.  I believe we made a change to that design around 1988 and they were completely phased out by 1994 (there was overlap production between CA and Brazil from 88-94).  Lots of other little "tells" too...

So you guys know- Gene Berg Ent. has never officially assembled engines for customers. They sold parts (a lot of which was their own manufacture), and although they built engines for themselves (drag racing and testing in theirs and staff's street cars) there was never any point where you could order a complete engine built by them. Gary, Clyde, and Doug Berg (the sons) all left the family business at different times 20-30 years ago. Gary and Clyde presently build engines, with Gary also doing transaxles while Clyde specializes in head porting. A few years ago Doug was back with GBE but if he's still there I know not.

Anyone who says they have a Gene Berg engine has at least some parts from them. At one time (the '80's and '90's) you could buy everything from them, including Swedish forged counterweighted crankshafts and rocker arms (the forgings done in the same factory that did forgings for Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and I'm sure others, and then machined by GBE), which were exclusive to them. Those crankshafts and rockers are still considered the best in the business, and the longer stroke cranks especially command a very good price whenever one comes up for sale. 

PS- Gene believed the stock doghouse shroud (with flaps and thermostat) with the original engine tin set was all an engine needed, and would NEVER have sanctioned that 911 style shroud on a type 1 engine (in any car- I'm sure he's rolling over in his grave as we speak!).


Carey-  Thanks for setting the record straight.

Al-    I see that GBE currently lists entire engine kits in their catalog, including cases and cranks. But, as they explain here, the cranks are no longer forged by the original Swedish supplier. They're now done in the US. So, I guess you could build an engine entirely of 'Gene Berg' parts, although the quality of the assembly would still be an unknown.

And another question. A part I ordered from CB Performance was stamped 'Clyde's Buggies'. I figured that's what the 'CB' stood for. Is that 'Clyde' Clyde Berg?


That info is years (and years) old, Mitch. I don't think they ever got that program off the ground. You'll notice that at the bottom of that page it says "There are no products to list in this category." Since Gene died (1996?) GBE hasn't been the same. Mrs. Berg has been running things and she can hard to deal with. If you look at an old catalog (the last 1 I have is from 1995)  they sold everything and it was in stock most of the time. Now, I don't think they sell 1/10 of what they used to.

It would be interesting to call them and try to order one of stroker engine kits. I'd like to hear what happens...

Sacto Mitch posted:


Actually, I didn't post this to bash it. Except for the badges, it does look pretty nice, judging from the pix.

Mitch, you're been on here long enough to know that 'bashing' non-conforming cars is an SOC staple   especially if the posters' grammar and sentence structure is not correct.

However, skewed info about a car's pedigree is open game!     


IMHO, take away the badges and you might have a nice car, of questionable pedigree. Seller claims the body is Beck, but I didn't catch any claim about, or statement as to source for the chassis or the actual builder of the car. 

Could the body be a Beck that somebody bought in a kit? If not, that would be a red flag as to the seller's actual knowledge or his/her veracity. I'd have a lot of questions before considering buying it and I'd have the PPI from hell performed on it.

I remember when I first moved from Bakersfield to Ventura and was immersed in the surf culture there. I had a 59 vw ragtop and I completely filled the windows with all kinds of surf stickers to the point of it being ridiculous. For some reason this car reminds me of that period of my life!

JKelly posted:


...Are you sure the stamping didn't say "Claude's (not Clyde's) Buggies?...

Of course I'm not sure, Jim.

I'm an old man. There's not too much I'm sure of anymore - except for death and... wait, what was the other thing?

You've got to admit that 'Claude' and 'Clyde' are pretty close. At least I didn't remember it as 'Bubba's Buggies', although I do like the sound of that.




We have never sold a body without a chassis.  In fact, unlike other builders, we insert our chassis into the body mold and bond them together, then add all the internal panels while it is still in the mold.  This prevents anything from moving/flexing/etc...


Claude's Buggies is Claude Tomlinson, the founder of CB.  Later run by his son Bob (retired)  and now run by Bob's son Rick.  

Yeah Claude's Buggies was around when the first issues of VW greats and Hot VW's were first printed.... Now I know I am getting old. I had all those issues and after years I got rid of them in a move... too bad who would have thought they might have come in handy  


Al, it was an extended sump. The drain plate actually had the logo of Claude's Buggies, which time, age, and perhaps the inhaling of too many acetone fumes had corrupted to 'Clyde's' in my impaired memory.

This used to be called senility, but in this kinder, gentler age, there are kinder, gentler, and far less precise terms for it.


BobG posted:

Carey provided the answer. That's a Beck like I am a ballerina.

So, either the seller doesn't know what he has, or .........

I emailed the seller and told him he didn't have a Beck or a Gene Berg engine. He said he was only passing on the information that he was given when he acquired it.

I suggested he do A LOT more research into what he actually has so he can modify his ad to make it correct. I even suggested to him that absent an attempt to correct it I'd report it as a fraudulent ad to Craigslist since an unknowing buyer would take him at his word and he's wrong.

He seemed genuinely interested in correcting the ad but the proof is in the details.

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