GMG Bugs Out With A 1965 Volkswagen Beetle

The latest episode of Fast N’ Loud tackled one of the most iconic cars in history and THE best selling car of all time. Originally designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1934, it wasn’t until after World War II ended in 1945 that heavy production began. Most astute car collectors, including Richard, know that the truly collectible Beetles are pre-1967 and this ’65 is no exception.


The Beetle has come a long way since the 1950s and 1960s evolving every year to adapt to the new generation of drivers and yes, fans of the car. The Beetle was one of the first rear-engine cars to come in two-door convertible and sedan body types. A minor increase in horsepower and displacement and several different rear window designs (a small split window, a small oval window and a larger window) were introduced in the mid-1960s.


What makes the Gas Monkey Garage 1965 Beetle special is that it’s an original paint and original body car with one owner from Houston, Texas. The original owner was an engineer with NASA who kept this vehicle in amazing condition providing GMG with a perfect canvas to work on.


As Charles mentioned on the show, the Monkeys took a stock 40hp engine and replaced it with a 210hp Ukrainian Motorwerks engine mated to a Rancho Billet performance transmission. The engine also incorporates two Weber IDA Carburetors. They also installed a 4-inch narrowed adjustable beams from Airkewld so wider tires on Billet Smoothie wheels could be added. Stopping power provided by Airkewld Bad Series Wilwood brakes and rotors.

The interior features period correct/original materials from TMI Products, a Black Mamba throw performance shifter from Vintage Speed and GPS digital gauges from Speed Hut.  Lots of odds and end parts such as window sills, door latches and chrome sides were provided Wolfsburg West.

We look forward to seeing VW fan response to the GMG 1965 Beetle and what plans on doing with it.




  1. I own a 74 vw bug at the moment, my first car and the car I learned to drive on was a 65 bug. I loved this episode, loved what you did to the bug. I would give anything to have that engine in mine. What the Monkeys did to the interior and wheels was spot on. I usually love stock on a bug but the way it was lowered did look nice, glad you kept the original paint too. Good job guys!

  2. Another home run for the gas monkey team on the ’65 beetle. Really awesome in every aspect! My first car was a ’66 beetle which I bought in 1969. Would be incredible to own it no doubt.

  3. What is the asking price for the 65 bug? Daughter just got accepted to University of Florida and I would love to buy her this bug as a graduation gift.

  4. Not LOL—Yet another Beetle bites the dust. Here was a prime prospect for a genuine restoration–lost forever. I see comments like “cherry”! Cherry what? My hat is off to those who restore these cars to Factory Specs and save them for posterity. The challenge is to preserve-conserve these cars which rapidly are disappearing. jay

    • Nothing was done to the car which could not be put back to stock, which would be great, nothing like going back to a 40hp car with crappy brakes old tired suspension and zero power. They put in a bigger better air cooled engine and upgraded the brakes and suspension, a win win. If they had gone with an ecoboost or LS swap I could see the complaint, but this was done along the no harm no foul route. LOL…yeah I would be all the way down the road as I punched through the gears and listened to the sound of the new engine….Crying out loud if I was forced to put all the old crap back in the car and drive it down the road….. My two cents

  5. WOW!!!!!!! The ’65 Bug build was/is incredible. During the summer of the 11th grade (’85), my parents both a ’65 Bug, clean red with white interior but it only had a 1,500 cc engine. I did a 1.5-2″ front and a 3″ rear drop, single Weber, dual exhaust, 15″ rims with Porsche nipples with the black around the emblem painted red and I took the top portion off the bumpers: so, it always looked like the vehicle was smiling. I had a Kenwood (cassette deck), two amps, separate mids, separate tweeter and a Bazooka Tube; it sounded like a studio and I would play Motown Classics. I worked at Taco Bell and would save up my money to buy parts and I would look at The Hot VWs magazine a dream about the engines and how I wanted to hoop my bug up. Went to the Army and got stationed in Frankfurt, W. Germany, then, my younger cousin wanted my buy so I gave it up.

    Once, I left Germany I got stationed in Monterrey, CA and my first free weekend I got a newspaper, drove up to Santa Cruz and bought a ’67 13-window bus. The bus was cool because it had curtains, pop open side windows and the seats had been taken out by the previous owner and he put down hardwood floors. I updated the dash by adding a Kenwood Mini-Disc player, 3-amps (4-channel and one for each woofer), 4-separate mids, 4-separate tweeters, Kenwood electronic crossover and two Cerwin Vega 12″ woofers; when I sent places everyone gravitated to the bus because it was set up for the party. I did about a 2″ drop in the front and about a 3″-to-3.4″ in the rear with a dual port 1641 cc; I wanted to put a Porsche motor in it but never got around to it. A mechanic came to me a said the he would rebuilt/restore my 64 1/5 Mustang for the Bus and I let it go. So, for over 25-years I have been regretting letting my Bug and Bus get out of my possession and while watching the 65′ Bug build episode last night on the DVR I got so excited because that’s exactly what I wanted/want to do to a Bug and a Bus. This morning, I was talking to the wifey and she said my contact with them, save your money and buy one from them. I LOVE MY WIFE!!!!

  6. I have a 66 and love the stance.

    How much was the front and rear lowered?

    What was used to lower the back?

    What size tires are on the front, rear?

    Thank you

  7. I have a one owner 65 Beetle I am restoring to factory specs. Rubin. He’s old slow and ready to go(with much coaxing). Only Original once! Love what you guys did to this bug by bringing it up to date. Neat that you saved the original paint, looks beautiful. Old Bugs are the bomb! Happy motoring to whoever gets it! Love the front end and billet wheels, cool with classic style.

  8. The last show I saw you guys picked up some English made cars from Arizona. I’m looking for the Austin Healey’s you bought. I had one in 1963 before I went off to war. Would like to restore one now.

  9. Hello, could I get more info on the VW engine? Contact info for the company Ukrainian Motorwerks. Also I have a really nice VW street legal rail buggy for sale. With suicide doors in the frame. For sale. Thanks

  10. Hi guys
    Nice show, greetings from Chile !!!
    The engine used was a ” Ukrainian Motorwerks”, cant find the site, can you help me?

    Thanks a lot !!

  11. Hello from Mexico City! I grew up with a vw 84 and I love these cars… I would love to buy this Beetle if it’s for sale…

  12. I just happened upon this old episode, and as I understand the bug is sold.. what kind of investment would be required to emulate this build in my own garage?.. price of the bug not with standing. This is such an awesome build by the way. Great job fellas!

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