Have you ever felt it was time for a change in environment? Or maybe like you have done something for so long that you feel you need to take a break from it?
Perhaps a little vacation with the family is in order or a night out on the town with the guys. The point is that change can be a good thing when you want it.
Well Scott Lauffer, owner of VW Paradise in San Marcos, California, has been working on Volkswagens for a very long time. If I were to say he's had 20 years total of shop experience that would be a huge understatement. Scott, his wife, Molly, and two sons, Kris and Jason, all help run the shop's day-to-day operations. Building fast VW drag cars is what they live for. You may even recognize their name from several shows they were on-Pinks, Drag Race High, and Monster Garage-for drag racing there souped-up people's car.
With all the excitement of drag racing and TV shows, Scott and his family wanted a release from thinking about VWs every waking moment. So one day his son Kris saw a '57 Chevy pickup parked in a neighbor's yard and told his father about it. Scott thought, sure, why not?
There were some issues with the truck like rust, oil leaks, and the motor had blown head gaskets. It had a clean title so with Molly's blessing to purchase the truck Scott and Jason drove an open trailer to go pick it up. Normally, Southern California weather is nice and sunny, but on this night Mother Nature decided to downpour right where they were heading to pick up the truck. Lucky for Scott, his other son Jason didn't mind getting soaking wet while strapping the truck to the trailer. That is the type of story you pass down to your kids-every year the story becomes more and more elaborate.
After getting the truck back to the shop on Friday night the following day, they had the heads off and found a hole in one piston. With VW Paradise having a full-service all-makes machine shop in the same building they chose to yank the motor and rebuild the darn thing. Scott ordered a Scat 383 stroker kit with Keith Black 12:1 pistons. Scott went with Edelbrock aluminum heads and an Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor to give the motor a lot more power. When it comes to camshafts they can make or break the motor's ability to produce power but Scott didn't want to go all out with a big thumper cam; he wanted something he could drive. A mild Melling performance camshaft was chosen to tame the motor and ensure overall driveability. Scott and Kris said the motor puts out about 330 hp to the rear wheels. Considering the pony's lost going through the tranny and rearend that's a very respectful power number. Kris removed the trans and sent it out to Oceanside Transmission in Oceanside to have them beef up the stock 350 trans to handle the stroker motor's power.
Moving on to the suspension, the previous owner had installed a Camaro front clip from a donor vehicle. Cleaning and replacing the old suspension was in order to get it to drive straight, but other than that the '57 was close to being on the road. The rearend was also replaced with a GM 12-bolt with 307 gears and bolted to a new set of CPP drop springs.
The bodywork was real rusty since the truck was only a few miles away from the ocean. Scott and the boys decided it was not something they wanted to tackle, so they sent the Stepside to Maaco in Escondido. The bodywork was straightened and the rust was removed and replaced with new metal. The paint color was the only choice now. Scott kept his eyes open for a unique color he had not seen on a truck before. One day a Dodge Neon SRT4 drove by and gave Scott a perfect color to paint his truck. With the PPG paint applied, it was now time to finish the bed. Instead of a fancy wood kit, Scott chose to use oak plywood and a high-gloss epoxy finish. The rear inner fenderwells were out of an older Chevy C10 and provided the room to fit the massive 22-inch Coy rear wheels.