Nitro Bug - the world’s only nostalgia NHRA legal Beetle Nitro Funny Car

Posted on February 04 2020

Cool Flo sponsored Nitro Bug VW funny car

As the only nostalgia NHRA legal VW Beetle Nitro Funny Car in existence, the Cool Flo sponsored Nitro Bug is certainly unique.

It took Andy Raw and Karl Harrison over four years to build this funny car, in between crewing on the NUA top methanol dragster and Hawk Racing Team's big showtime ‘Gladiator’ nitro funny car.

Unsurprisingly, Nitro cars get their names from the fuel needed to power these 3000bhp monsters, a mixture that’s usually 85–90% nitromethane and 10–15% methanol. Nitromethane is usually used with rich air–fuel mixtures because it provides power even in the absence of atmospheric oxygen. When rich air–fuel mixtures are used, hydrogen and carbon monoxide are two of the combustion products. These gases often ignite, sometimes spectacularly so.

In the case of the Nitro Bug, its engine using this highly voliatile and unstable fuel is a 500ci (8.5 litre) Hemi V8 with a 6/71 super charger and a massive 21 gallon a minute nitro fuel pump.

Cool Flo sponsored Nitro Bug VW funny car

The Nitro Bug’s performance specs are certainly impressive. It will cover a quarter of a mile in under 6 seconds with a top speed of 260 miles an hour, with a 0 to 100 mph time of less than a second!

But this performance doesn’t come cheaply. A typical race run, with an engine warm up, will use approximately 50 litres of Nitro and a further 15 litres of oil at a cost of £425. The team budget for £500 per run, working out at a running cost of about £100 per second!

Cool Flo sponsored Nitro Bug VW funny car

After each race the Nitro Bug returns to the race pits for a service. This normally consists of a full engine strip. The pistons and con rod are replaced with a fresh set. Bearings are checked and also replaced if needed. In addition, the gear box will be removed and a new clutch pack fitted. With 6 crew members working together, this entire procedure takes under 2 hours to complete.

Cool Flo sponsored Nitro Bug VW funny car

As a race team, Andy and Karl’s history in the sport goes back over 30 years competing in nearly every class of drag racing FIA and MSA. The Nitro Bug team take pride in being competitive and professional in all aspects of our motor sport - whether at the racetrack or at static displays where their funny car will always draw a crowd.

90% of racing the Nitro Bug will compete at is held at Northamptonshire’s Santa Pod Raceway. Not only is Sant Pod Europe’s Best drag racing facility, there are also massively popular lifestyle events held there in addition to MSA meetings. Nitro Bug will also race at the Nitro Olympics held in Hockenheim, where crowds of over 40,000 people regularly spectate.

Cool Flo sponsored Nitro Bug VW funny car

The Nitro Bug team consists of 8 members. All have their individual jobs but volunteer their free time and holidays so we can compete in this sport that we love so much. We are a very family orientated team and encourage members to involve their families and kids to participate.

And not only do they get to enjoy their passion for racing but they also get to do some good at the same time. The Nitro Bug Team’s charity partner Embrace CVoC is a national children’s charity solely focused on delivering emotional, practical and cheer-up support to children and young people, and immediate families, affected by serious crime - including homicide, violent crime and sexual abuse. They offer a range of support for children and their immediate families to help them cope, recover and move on from life-changing trauma. 

It’s something we are all proud to support, make sure you come and see us at Bug Jam 34 this year where we’ll be fund raising for the charity all weekend!

More info on Embrace CVoC can be found via

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