Make dreams come true with this 1959 Volkswagen Bug Gasser


Pepsi Joe, the owner of the classic VW, has Parkinson’s disease and fulfilled a dream by participating in Drag Week.


1959 Volkswagen Bug Gasser - Drag Week
YouTube – Race

There are two types of people in this world. There are those who do and those who don’t. Those who do are not always super powerful or super rich. The doers may be the 80-year-old man who still climbs his ladder to paint the aluminum siding of his house. A Do-er can be a 10 month old trying with all his might to take 3 steps in a row. A Do-er is someone like “Pepsi Joe” Unverzagt (translated as “fearless”) or Mike Murray, like this video posted by YouTube channel Race Your Ride.


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An unusual bond

These two men have Parkinson’s disease and are both very, very fast drivers. For those who don’t know, Parkinson’s disease is a disease that affects the brain and nervous system. The effects of this condition include tremors, stiffness, difficulty with daily tasks, coordination, and walking. Anyone who’s ever been behind the wheel of a car knows that all of this is obviously very important for driving, let alone racing. It is simply admirable and inspiring of these two to share their journey with us. It’s interesting to think that something as horrible as an illness could bring together not just Joe and Mike, but a whole community of car enthusiasts cheering for them and praying for them.


The famous Pepsi Joe


Rear of 1959 VW Bug Gasser at Drag Week
YouTube – Race

The race takes place on the famous Byron Dragway during Drag Week. The first car we see is Pepsi Joe’s 1959 Gasser volkswagen Beetle. A Gasser is basically a type of Hot Rod from the early 50s to the 70s with just one function. His only goal is to go fast on the drag. These cars often have a raised front suspension that looks, well…interesting, to say the least. It looks like this because the weight transfer to the back is much faster when taking off.

Another important aspect of the gasoline car is the engine. A stock Beetle engine produces next to nothing in terms of HP. That’s why Pepsi Joe has modestly replaced its original 1192cc, 36bhp engine with a 385ci stroker engine. To add to his already ridiculous commute, Pepsi Joe has a refrigerated Pepsi trailer that he tows behind his car.


Murray Mobile


1965 Chevy Nova with Mike Murray driving at Drag Week
YouTube – Race

Mike Murray shares the Drag Week moment with his son, who is in the car with him during the races. Mike bought his Chevy Nova in 1985 and rested it for 21 years. He turned the car into a gasser with his son.

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The race against time


gasser4
RaceYourRide YouTube

At this point, races don’t even matter. It was Pepsi Joe and Mike’s dream to be able to participate in one last week of drag. Both have succeeded, and no matter who crosses the line first, they are both winners. The victory line is actually the starting line for these heroic gentlemen, and once it’s crossed, it’s an automatic win for both. The respect for these two riders is beyond words.


Luckily, we’re not the only ones to recognize this, and Mike and Pepsi Joe receive the Spirit of Drag Week award and will forever be two of the baddest Do-ers of all time.


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