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Old 06-07-2018, 12:35 AM   #517 (permalink)
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A three part article on a fiberglass kit car from 1958 (2 1/2 examples built).

Thor Archives -

We’ve been researching the first postwar VW specials that were designed and built in America using a body of original design dedicated to the VW platform. At this time we’ve found five early examples as follows:

Bunny Ronco designed and built at least one sports car using the VW drivetrain (not Beetle) which appeared in print in 1947
The Doray company of south Florida built a VW based sports/race car which raced in the southeast USA in the mid 1950s
The Berkeley based on VW chassis/drivetrain debuted in 1957 in California
The Alken debuted in in 1958 using a VW drivetrain/chassis
It was in this timeframe where Nik Gudmunds and Jerry Ball designed and built the “Thor” in 1957 and finished it in 1958 making it an early and unique example of an American designed VW-based sports car.

We are operating at an overall mechanical efficiency of only four percent… Therefore, we find that if we increase the overall mechanical efficiency to only twelve percent we can take care of everybody. That three-fold increase in the overall efficiency can only be accomplished by redesign. – R. Buckminster Fuller

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