With my one year anniversary on this site fast approaching, and with nearly four months of absence behind me, I think it's time to retake the stage with a dream of mine. Those of you that have read my past articles probably know that a VW Type 3 Squareback is my (semi) attainable dream car. It's difficult to say why I like the type 3 so much, since it's essentially a beetle in a pretty dress. It shares the classic, rear engine H4 configuration as it's older brother, albeit producing slightly more horsepower. Also carried over from the beetle is the Type 3's rugged simplicity; both cars consist of little more than an engine, four wheels, and a sheet-metal body.
However, despite the charm of the stock car, it definitely wouldn't stay that way if I owned one. One of the thing that attracts me to the Type 3 is how easily modified it is. There's a litany of modified parts that can essentially be bolted on, as well as a variety of larger projects. One such modification is the replacement of the stock flat four with a Subaru EJ20. Shockingly, it's not even a massive hack-job; the similarity in engine configuration means that such a project requires relatively little sheet metal modification. Even better, there are ready made kits that allow the Subie engine to bolt directly onto the stock transmission (although it's not strictly advisable, given that the horsepower figures are more than doubled.)
EJ20 in a type 3 engine bay
As far as money goes... Well, a conversion like this isn't cheap. A decent car costs anywhere from $4000 to $9000, and an engine costs in the 2 grand neighborhood. That, along with labor, assorted parts (and probably a new transmission) puts the cost well above 10k. But, as it goes, that's not too terribly much for a dream car... Right?