The end of Summer has many traditions; the days wane as children head back to school. Temperatures fall as families head towards apple orchards and plan for haunted hay rides. Pumpkin spice is everywhere. But there’s one tradition I’ve particularly enjoyed for the last few years; the live stream from West Sussex, England of the Goodwood Revival.
For me, a lover of vintage cars and especially vintage race cars, it’s a special treat. Both of the events put on by Lord March are impressive in their own right, and if you want to see a little bit of everything the season opener Festival of Speed is probably the venue you should consider. But if you want to see cars and motorcycles from periods you weren’t even alive for race flat-out, the Revival is the one to tune in to. Heavily modified Jaguars, Ferraris, Aston-Martins, and just about everything in between head to the track as combinations of professional and amateur drivers (at least, those with quite deep pockets) take their prized possessions to the limit and sometimes beyond. You might be lucky enough once in your life to witness an original GT40 in person; head to the Revival, and you’ll run across a dozen or so of the model, many of which are driven nearly as quickly as they were originally. This is coupled with period livery and dress on one of the fastest circuits in England, filmed with some of the best cameras out there. The result, as a car lover, is one of the most evocative spectacles conceivable.
Each time I witness a Goodwood event, my love of these race-prepared vintage cars is re-inspired. And though this particular BMW 2002 is just a few years too new to be eligible for competition at the Goodwood circuit, it caught my attention because of the claimed IMSA link.…
The Audi Quattro was not nearly as dominant in World Rally as pretty much every article you read says it was. That may sound shocking, but in the years the Quattro “dominated” the WRC, it only won the driver’s and constructor’s championship together one time – in 1984. In 1983, Hannu Mikkola won the driver’s title in a Quattro, but the constructor win went to – wait for it – a rear-drive Lancia 037. In 1982, Audi’s design won the constructor’s championship, but again it was rear-driver Walter Röhrl in an Opel Ascona that captured the driver’s title. Those shortened, screaming, flame-belching bewinged monsters you’ve seen on numerous clips? Well, the truth is they were never very successful, as the much better balanced Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 swept the end of the Group B period up. If you want real dominance in that era, though, you need to look at the Lancia Delta Integrale, which captured every title from 1987 to 1992.
But the Quattro was evocative. The sound was memorizing. And even if the recipe was perfected by other makes later, it was Audi’s design that revolutionized the sport with unfathomable speed and aggression. So compelling was the Quattro, that long after Audi had retired from Rally and was now dominating race tracks, plenty of enthusiasts were trying to recreate the magic on their own:
One of the things I love the most about Audi is that for some time they liked to do things differently. Now, if you’re Porsche and you’re able to build a reputation around that insistence to do things differently through racing, then you can be a successful company. As such, the closely linked cousin Audi was taken racing by some of the same team from Porsche. The first big attempt in the 1980s was the push to win the World Rally Championship with their new Quattro model. Highlighting turbocharged technology coupled with a semi-revolutionary all-wheel drive system, the Quattro was a positive sensation until the mid-1980s and the death of Group B. Audi then took on Group A with the non-turbo Coupe quattro briefly, and also enjoyed some unlikely success rallying with their 200 sedan. But even success in World Rally Championship events wasn’t enough of a reputation boost for what lay ahead of Audi next, as 60 Minutes highhandedly nearly took the company right out of the marketplace. In order to rebuild the reputation of the company in the U.S., Quattro guru Jo Hoppen convinced Audi to go racing in the SCCA Trans-Am series. Headlining that series were tube-frame V8 behemoths that outwardly laughed as a production based luxury sedan with a measly 2.1 turbocharged inline-5 hanging way out the front pulled up to grid. It turned out they didn’t laugh too long:
When I was young, my family traveled out to Michigan. The year was 1984, and on the trip we went to see some vintage car racing as my father is a pretty big Shelby nut. There were plenty of Cobras and GT350s ripping up the track with V8s bellowing away that day, but what stuck in my mind more was a demonstration that was put on by Volkswagen of America. There were 5 or 6 then-new GTis that were put through their paces, and the particular corner we were sitting at had the train of these hot hatches popping over curbs, dangling a wheel in the air as they slithered through the corners. Sounding more like a pack of angry hornets, they made more of an impression on me than the rumbling Ferrari-killers, and to this day I still smile and think of that day every time I see a GTi. More than once in my ownership of a 1984 example, I even tried to imagine the train of GTis racing around that course on my daily commute to school to the chagrin of all of the other drivers on the road. But the best way to contemplate that magical day in my memory is to check out a race-ready Rabbit:
Getting into the world of historic Porsche race cars is fairly easy. All you really need to do is have a seriously large bank account, and virtually any day of the week a historically important factory race car will be for sale somewhere in the world. What that means most recently in the market is that when you’re viewing those great classic 911 silhouettes from Spa and Le Mans to Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen at classic motorsports events is that you’re looking at – at minimum – multi-hundred thousand dollar vehicles with multi-hundred thousand dollar restorations being run on liquified trust funds. The costs of running vintage cars hard are simply staggering. However, there’s a second tier of vehicles that gets you accepted into the lofty Elysium of vintage racers – period cars that were run by privateers. Today’s 911S is one such car; built in period and raced against the full factory efforts, it has some pretty significant names and achievements attached to it:
I still remember the first time I went to the track and saw the notorious M3 Lightweight. I had read about it coming in the BMWCCA magazine and it looked exciting. Sure, it still wasn’t the full bore M3 that the rest of the world got to experience, but if you were a track junkie it was a recipe made in heaven. With less weight and some trick aerodynamic aids added to the already stout out-of-the-box E36 M3, it was no surprise that several of the BMWCCA instructors who had other 3-series dumped them to get the Lightweight. They were also a hit in Club Racing, where they were turned up a few notches to make a serious track weapon. Today one such club racer is for sale from the seriously BMW-savvy group at Fall-Line Motorsports:
There are very few race cars that I instantly fall in love with. A vast majority of them I see as very cool or with unique aspects, but often I’m left feeling as though I would do something – or many things – very different than the builder. But the moment I laid my eyes on this Rabbit, I fell instantly in love. Now, truth told I had already been thinking about an early Volkswagen race car – this time around, my thoughts lingered on some of the Scirocco SCCA racers. Hunkered down with all-too-awesome gold BBS magnesium wheels and a deep air dam, they just look spectacular to me. That feeling instantly transferred to this Rabbit. One of the earliest imported to the U.S., it’s the desirable Swallowtail model which looks much closer to the original Giugiaro design than the later U.S. built examples. There’s something that’s so pretty, so delicate about the early Golf/Rabbit design. It was refreshingly different from what Volkswagen had produced up to that point, but it was also purposeful in its design. With light weight and a dose of sport, these early Rabbits paved the way for what would become the performance arm of Volkswagen, centered around the A1 based GTi. But even before the GTi hit these shores there were plenty of racers that saw the opportunity to race the Rabbit on a budget. This early build was competitive right through the 1980s; in fact, I bet with the right driver it would still be close to the front today:
If the 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera posted earlier was still a little too rich for your blood, we here at GCFSB feel your pain. While there is a simply joy to seeing Porsches race, the reality of buying into and maintaining a Porsche race car can be a little too much to take for most hobby budgets. What’s the solution, then, if you’ve got the desire to hit the track? Well, for not much money there are many racing BMWs that can be had. From 2002s to E36s, just like Porsches, there is a devoted fanbase of enthusiasts who take otherwise good road cars and turn them into race cars so that you don’t have to:
If this morning’s Quattro was a little too expensive and sacreligious for your taste, there’s a way that you, too can experience the 5 cylinder Coupe magic on a much more affordable basis. The Audi Coupe GT has long been a staple of SCCA’s ITB class; slightly heavier but better balanced and a tad more powerful than the VW GTis, a well built GT is nearly always a front runner in the class when well driven. Today’s example is no exception, as a top contender in the North East. I have a personal connection to this car; at one point, it was mine! I bought this car in pieces and got it mostly together though not running, but the current owner has taken it to the next level and made it a competitive car. Take a look at this rare Oceanic Blue Metallic 1985:
Model: Coupe GT
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Mileage: N/A mi
For Sale :1985 Audi Coupe GT (2wd) with SCCA logbook. (just passed the annual tech) Details: Bilstiens w/750 ft and 500 rear springs Quaiffe limited slip/Welded diff now in car All new power flex bushings control arms/rear beam New subframe bushings New Windshield ( not installed..and very hard to find ) 2 spare blocks, 1 spare head Spare hood,doors Several bins of misc. parts Lots of other spare Audi and race stuff , (toe plates, camber gauge, ect) $ 5500.00 or best reasonable offer.. 8×20 enclosed trailer also available : $4500.obo Would consider trade of Race/trailer package for running Urq. Email only for details and more pictures. firstname.lastname@example.org -John
Unlike the Quattro but like most of our builds, you couldn’t replicate this car for the asking price.…
I’m not going to mince words here: I think this car is fantastic. Not in that high-dollar super-car performance sense of the word, but for the simplicity and execution of the build along with its overall look. What we have here is a 1969 911 body fitted with a race prepped 1.6 liter flat-4 from the 912 that has been mounted as far forward as the body would allow. The 912 was reputed to be a more capable handling machine relative to its more heralded 911 siblings in part because of the better chassis balance provided by the smaller and lighter 4-cylinder engines they utilized. Added to that capable handling is a sub-1800 lb weight propelled by an engine tuned to produce 130 hp. This car is sure to provide lively performance and immense driving fun. I’ll leave our readers to peruse the rest of the ad copy for a fuller sense of all the work done on this car. It appears very well executed.
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Price: Reserve Auction (Buy It Now $28,750)
1969 Porsche 911/912 Vintage SCCA race car. Currently running a fresh 1600 cc. (1.6) Full race engine with test and tune time only(38 min) Dyno sheet HP= 130. Case squirters etc. Engine work and assembly by Tim Herman, Carrera Motor Sports. New Oil Pump, oil service and valve adjust, ready to race. New Generator and volt. regulator. Extra exhaust system, Engine tins, spares with filters,belts, brakes,batt. charger(Car has external batt port on fwd cowl) bushings etc. New slicks on the car now and comes with sticker Hoosier Rains and another set of used slicks on cookie’s.
Chassis is classic Porsche race, well done and very tidy.