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Page 74 of 92

A TITANIC BUG “We’re Not In Class 11 Anymore, Dorothy” By SCORE Journal Staff Photography Courtesy of Method Race Wheels Baja Bug fans have an unwavering love for the off-road VW Bug. The SCORE Class 11, 5-1600, and Class 5 racers continue to compete with these iconic vehicles, which only helps to perpetuate their popularity. Blake Wilkey was one of those Baja Bug lovers who first got introduced to the vehicle when he was a little kid, this fact reminded to him by a photo of him as a child in a VW bug with his mom. “I was always drawn to bugs and the first one I got was a shell when I was 16 that I got for free. I’ve been hooked since day one,” said Wilkey. After racing Class 11, Wilkey had the opportunity to race the 2019 SCORE Baja 500 with Shane and Jax Redline, but in a SCORE Trophy Truck Spec. The experience left Wilkey with a desire to have that kind of suspension and power within a vehicle that he loved. So, he created the off-road Bug he calls JAWS. “The goal was always to have a SCORE Trophy Truck and race at the highest level, but I was also a buggy dork, so we cross-pollinated the two and this is what we got,” he said. JAWS is not a Class 11 bug or anything like it. The body is the only thing that resembles a classic Bug, but with larger fenders. It uses a custom body built by FiberwerX that incorporated fenders, hood, and sidesteps that were designed by Kevin Butts of Quixotic Motorsports. Butts also designed the rest of the car, that features a full 4130 Chromoly chassis with a track width of 92-inches and a 123-inch wheelbase. The entire suspension was custom built and utilizes 4.0 King Shocks, a Camburg four-inch rear end housing, Camburg 6.5 bolt pattern hubs, FK Rod ends, and Wilwood disc brakes and master cylinder. Similar to what a SCORE Trophy Truck would have, the suspension offers JAWS 24-inches of wheel travel in front and 31-inches at the rear, all rolling on a set of X-Comp 40-inch A/T tires and 17-inch diameter Method Race Wheels #103. The combination of the Bug body style with a Trophy Truck suspension wouldn’t mean anything without the right amount of power to launch it off the ground. This came with the addition of a 427 CID LS V8 engine built by Texas Speed that also features a Magnuson Supercharger. Behind the engine is a Magnum Offroad TH400 automatic with B&M racing composite shifter sitting between PRP Pro Alpha seats and harnesses. Inside the cab, a PRP steering wheel and a Holley EFI instrument panel provide the necessary information, along with a Lowrance GPS system and Rugged Radio communications. A Switch Pro panel turns on the vehicle’s electric fans ignition and other components on the vehicle, including the Rigid Industries LEDs. While this Bug doesn’t have wings, it can definitely fly over difficult terrain with ease, and fulfills Wilkey’s love for Bugs and the power of a SCORE Trophy Truck that he experienced. Although JAWS hasn’t been entered into any SCORE Baja races yet, Wilkey plans to test it out in a racing environment, but always with the spirit of having fun first.

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