The Benton Performance Single Cab
Life is fluid. People, machines, clouds, rain etc. all come and go. Just the memories of the various interactions and encounters stay with us for eternity. Of course, for classic car enthusiasts, that isn't entirely true. Some days, with the numerous cars coming and going from the shop, it quickly turns into a blur. Occasionally, we need something to root all that down. A machine, preferably with a horizontally opposed motor....
At Benton Performance cars come, and cars go. Some roll in on flatbeds, others drive in under their own steam. Concours winners, racecars and even barn finds come knocking. Eventually they leave once their needs have been fulfilled. Today however, it’s time to talk about a vehicle that won’t leave, one that has been and will continue to be an integral part of the shop – The Single Cab.
Like most machines associated with the shop, this one has a story. A friend called John a few years ago and told him about a couple cars for sale. As luck would have it, in his back garden sat a 1959 Single Cab, in about one foot of mud and looking rather sorry for itself. The years had not been kind and the owner was not looking to sell either. A deal was struck that day for the 912 that was being sold, but John’s eye was on the truck. Months went by before John received a call, “You still want the truck?” In spite of being in Mexico for the La Carrera Panamericana, he ensured that the opportunity was not lost.
Once he was back, an entire Saturday was devoted to extricating the truck from its muddy home. An engine-out service quickly followed, and it wasn’t long before the VW flat-four burbled to life. A little lettering on the side announced the shop that the truck belonged to and it was pressed into service.
Since then, the Single Cab has hauled motors and suspension bits, gone on road trips, been camping and has even provided seating at car shows and drive-in theatres. She’s got cracks, she’s got a little rust and she’s got numerous battle scars from tackling LA’s mean streets, not to mention racking up thousands of miles. Regardless, she powers on with surprising enthusiasm and an engine note to match. Even representatives of the law enforcement community have stopped her on a couple occasions to inquire about her origins.
Basic maintenance has been carried out regularly, which means that the only issues were rare temper tantrums. For all intents and purposes, the Single Cab is one of the hardest working machines at the shop and will continue to be so, having earned the affections of every member of the team.
After all, an aircooled shop needs to practice what they preach right?