Article by Anthony Alaniz. Photography by Ben Hosking / Hosking Industries.
The Volkswagen Bus has become the symbol of the flower power, peace-not-war, love child of the 1960s. You recollect the 1960s and there is the Bus, peacefully lumbering along as a staple of automotive innovation during that tumultuous time in American history.
While the classic Volkswagen Bus may be the most remembered, Volkswagen produced a slew of unique variants of the machine worldwide. And not all of VW’s buses have stayed so peaceful over its history.
One would not expect to pull up alongside one and have it rocket away with 700 horsepower under the hood. Granted, most VW buses aren’t owned by Phil Mizzi.
Mizzi found the Volkswagen Bus in a field; probably where it was left after its owners went on a little soul searching under the midnight stars. As easy as it is to romanticize the Bus, this one was dutifully used as a workman’s truck, a 1954 Volkswagen Barndoor Single Cab to be exact.
Instead of restoring it to its plebeian glory, Mizzi took the single cab bus and turned it into a monster of a beast.
Power comes from a 2.8-liter, stroker Autocraft engine. On top of it rides a Harrop HVT2300 blower, which is usually found sitting upon the 6.0-liter, V-8 engine found in the Holden Commodore.
The Harrop supercharger has a custom water-to-air intercooler setup that helps produce around 700 horsepower—in a VW Bus.
Such a unique build has allowed it to find its way into the pages of VW Magazine Australia and Performance VW in the United Kingdom, thanks to the awesome shots by Ben Hosking.
Save for the wheelie bar and parachute outback, the VW Single Cab looks like another rusty find waiting to find some necessary TLC.
The rusty, dark blue exterior gives the VW Bus character and charm—a sleeper of a look. Inside, the interior is plain, pulled right from the mid-1950s, wear and tear and re-stitched seats in all.
And that is what makes Mizzi’s VW Bus so freakin’ cool. It is something different, something unique and something that can blow the doors off almost anything at the drag strip come Saturday morning.
Mizzi and his Bus are the epitome of what make living the modified lifestyle so much fun—you never know what you will see next.