SP Rides: One Bad Kitty
By Michael Kitchens
Owner: Timothy “Timmy” Travaso
Occupation: Owner, Flight Crew Motorcycles
Hobbies: Anything with a motor
Year/Make/Model: 1967 VW MANX
Paint: Hello Kitty Vinyl, Custom Chromed Lighting Hardware
Engine: 2020cc Engine, 48 IDA Carbs, Custom Muffler, Bugpack, Chromed pieces, Steel braided lines, Motorcycle mufflers
Drivetrain: Swing Axle Race Transmission, Super Diff
Interior: Autometer Ultra-Lite Tach & Shift light, Gauges, Grant GT Steering wheel, Gene Berg shifter, Bucket seats
Wheels and Tires: Centerline Wheels with Nanking N-803 145R15s Front, Hankook Ventus H101 295/50R15s Rear
Timmy Travaso believes strongly in being there for his kids. “I love my kids, all of my kids have their own cars,” he says.
His oldest son has an incredible orange truck, his other son has a custom RX7, and his daughter, Abcdee, has this ride. That explains in a nutshell why this gorgeous 1967 VW Manx has Hello Kitty written all over it.
Timmy owns his own shop, Flight Crew Motorcycles, on Hickam Air Force Base, and is situated fairly close to the active runway … hence the name. He’s learned his trade since he was in the 10th grade, when he started working at an automotive repair shop.
Back in the day, Timmy frequently hit up the Old School Banana Patch as well as the Sand Drags at Bellows, where he’d dirt bike it along with all of the other motor heads. As the 80’s came into play, he began to dabble into VWs. He brought in a VW from Arizona, painted it pink and the ride, known as “Something Special,” was impressive for its time. Timmy has a tendency to go all out with his rides — “Go big or go home” is his motto.
This Manx is something special as well. Timmy waited more than 20 years to purchase his first Manx directly from his friend who knew he wanted it so much, he had to sell it to him.
The first step was to rip the entire primer-gray vehicle apart and get it ready for paint. Top Gun Painting’s Gary Torres blessed the car with an amazing paint job — one so incredible that Timmy’s daughter exclaimed that it was “Hello Kitty” pink. The rest is history, and the car sports a very thorough Hello Kitty theme.
This is no pussycat however. Weighing in at a scant 1,100 pounds, this VW Manx features a full race swing axle transmission mated to a 2020cc engine fitted with 48 IDA carbs. The ride features a super differential as well as chrome-plated engine accents, steel-braided lines and a variety of Bugpack goodies. One of the best features is a fantastic cooling system that allows Timmy to drive all day long without having to rest, even though it’s an air-cooled ride.
Although the suspension is stock, it does feature aftermarket polyurethane bushings to help control the flow of the street. The vehicle rides on stunning Centerline Wheels with Nanking N-803 145R15s and Hankook Ventus H101 295/50R15s that are 12 inches wide in the rear.
Beyond the paint, the exterior has gorgeous chromed lighting hardware in both the front and rear. An aluminum gas tank fitted with a billet cap takes up the rear compartment. The Hello Kitty theme is present throughout with vinyl graphics situated on the hood, fenders and body panels, as well as the front window. The interior features bucket seats, a Grant GT steering wheel, Autometer gauges and a Gene Berg Shifter. The sound system is built into the fiberglass cockpit with a sub behind the front seat, a Pioneer receiver and an Alpine amp to power it.
Timmy runs with the VW Club of Hawaii and would like to remind people that there are tons of VW fans out there that should be recognized for their devotion to their craft. One look at this Manx, and it definitely shows that Timmy is doing his part. It’s one bad kitty.
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