Inside this low-slung, murdered out, old school hippy van sits a 468 cubic-inch big block Chevy V8 that puts out over 730hp once the shot of nitrous comes into play. It started out as a 1963 VW Panel Van that was used by delivery drivers all over the world and now it’s almost the perfect definition of what you’d call a “sleeper.”
This Big Block Bus is the brainchild of a good old boy that goes by the name Mike “Hot Rod” Row, and it turns out there’s much “more than meets the eye” as the old saying goes with this VW. Aside from the fact that there’s a giant V8 sitting where delivery drivers from the 1960’s used to haul their packages, the rest of the bus is just as unique. For example, the front end was sourced from a Chevy Astro van so he still has the luxuries of things like power steering. The rear end came from a Lincoln Continental, and probably the most bizarre thing on the whole vehicle is the gear shifter, of all things. Mike somehow came up with the idea to use a handle that came from a labor and delivery bed!
While using the handle from a labor bed might be the most unique part about this VW, the star of the show, and overall most badass part, is that motor! As I mentioned above it’s a 468 cubic big block Chevrolet, however, I didn’t mention that it used to be a boat motor. Marine engines are known for being more powerful and reliable than V8’s used in automobiles due to being made out of heavy duty truck blocks. Mike claims his motor puts out 587hp on the dyno, and then has a 150hp shot of nitrous to add on top if he happens to line up next to a Corvette as he pulls onto the highway on-ramp. I say that specifically because he also claims that he ran “side by side” with a Corvette up to 167mph, and that was just on the motor! On the drag strip, he says it will run 12.20 which is close to the time a Mustang GT or Mercedes C63 AMG will lay down. The best part is Mike uses it as a daily driver!
These kind of builds are the greatest because you can guarantee there isn’t another vehicle on the planet like it. There might be other VW buses with V8’s, and some with 530hp Porsche engines, but none like this one. Mike apparently built the entire bus by himself with the help of some buddies, and amazingly he claims to have pulled it off in only six weeks. The guys at 1320Video ran into him at the No Mercy 7 event held late last year and needless to say, where ever Mike stops and opens up those side doors, crowds gather. Especially at any sort of motorsports event. If you like “sleeper” style vehicles then you’ve got to see what some argue to be “The Ultimate Sleeper“, a Toyota Camry with a trick up its sleeve.