1963 Beach Formula Vee Unrestored Barn Find

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As possibly the oldest unrestored Beach Formula Vee in existence, this car is pretty special. Formula Vee was (and is) an inexpensive way to go racing utilizing original Volkswagen Beetle components, and the Beach was a relatively successful early chassis–as a matter of fact, there was one in the first ever Formula Vee race in Daytona in August 1963. Thanks to Charles H. for sending us this great find! It’s up for sale here on eBay for a buy-it-now of $7,000 but lower offers are welcome.

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Although the seller doesn’t tell us much about the car other than it doesn’t run and that there is no history, by researching it a bit on the internet I was able to find some more information.

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Same car, right? This is a picture from when this barn find was unearthed in Texas in April, 2008. This, and a lot more information about this car and other Beach Mk V’s can be found here on this Virginia International Raceway page. Apparently, the car was for sale in 2009 for $6,500 in as-found condition. The page also states that the car was originally sold in the Dallas, Texas area in 1964. Unfortunately, we don’t know anything else, yet.

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That funny looking upper suspension member is called a “Z Bar.” It’s used to combat some of the less than perfect rear suspension geometry of the stock Beetle suspension. According to what I read, you can pre-load the Z-bar to alter the roll stiffness and keep the wheels under control at a particular camber setting. I’m wondering if any Barn Finds readers may know some more? Or maybe someone wants to go vintage racing? Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. jim s

    this would need a PI by someone who know these, checking for past and current damage, plus tube rust. i hope it gets saved and raced again. i like FV racing with cars like this with the more upright seating and still using the VW fan. fields for SCCA FV races were very large back when i was going to watch them and i hope they still are. they are a low cost way to go racing but low cost racing is still very costly. thanks for the link. i love the photo of the FV on the back of a single cab VW truck. great find.

  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    I’d sure like to have this…would be a great way to go vintage racing!

    • jim s

      just hit the BIN and it is yours. once you had it sorted it would be fun to race.

  3. Bryan Cohn

    I raced FV in my first two years of racing, first in a homebuilt running local autocrosses around St. Louis and then in an Autodynamics Mk IV in 1986 when I went to drivers school and racing. Sadly I scrapped the homebuilt car which was a huge error as it was an early 60’s FV……if we all only knew then what would happen to the vintage race car market!

    The Z-Bar is like a sway bar but not exactly. The FV uses the swing axle VW transmission and the Z bar allows the chassis to roll while the tires/suspension stays flat. You have to see it in action to really get how it works.

    Later FV’s have what is called Zero Roll rear suspension. The single rear shock is mounted on a pair of bell cranks and the swing arms push against each other. Same thing though, the chassis to roll while the tires stay flat on the track.

    Too bad there aren’t better photos of the car.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Bryan, thanks for the explanation on the Z-Bar :-) There are some more pictures on that VIR page, although not detail shots of the frame.

  4. Dougm

    A good friend has one he just completed rebuilding, he had many conversations with Mr Beach before he passed. We’ve been looking for another!
    There are a few others around in ready to race condition for about same as this BIN.
    This one will need a bunch, no way is it safe without a complete disassembly, blast, crack check, repairs, updates. Tranny and engine OH approx 5K+ to be semi competitive but it will continue to appreciate in value. A good “fatboy” car, most newer Vee’s need young flexible to shoehorn into.
    World wide absolutely the best road race class out there. 40+ cars and really tight racing at this years SCCA Runoff’s. With so little HP and minimal tire patch these will teach you how to drive smoothly. FV is a “momentum” car, carry as much speed in and thru the turns cause you need every bit when arriving at a straight.

  5. Rich

    I met Gene Beach several times building my own formula v he was a very knowledgeable person. First time I met him at his archectureal office and he spoke very quietly. I thought he just talked that way in the office. So I did also finally he said “could you speak up I am hard of hearing being around race cars all the time. I felt dumb thought I was being conciderate. Truly a nice guy.

    Like 1
  6. Rich

    I built my formula v after building a few dunebuggies. I used 1 inch square tubing mostly and would drive up th st Pete to look at and talk to Mr Beach, learned alot. I raced for about 5 years when I could. I now live in North west Georgia if I can help anyone let me know.

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