Motorsports Monday: 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit Swallowtail

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute

About a month ago, I wrote up a 2002 M20 Turbo built by a company called Manofied. Well, the Manofied folks have been at it again, this time with a 535i. They’ve fully built the car in the style of the Alpina B9, replete with plenty of Alpina parts, some Euro bits, and what appears to be a fantastic individual throttle body engine. The downside? As with the 2002, the price for this build is quite high for a non-original car. But before you jump to conclusions, take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 535i Alpina Tribute on eBay

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Motorsport Monday: 1970 BMW 2002

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 BMW 2002 on Hemmings.com

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Motorsport Monday Part 2: 1985 Audi Coupe GT Race Car

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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:

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Year: 1985
Model: Coupe GT
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed
Mileage: N/A mi
Price: $5,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe GT on Audifans.com

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. racecar05@hotmail.com -John

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Unlike the Quattro but like most of our builds, you couldn’t replicate this car for the asking price. Though not the cheapest ITB car for sale, this car is well built and well sorted. The GT is a unique car for sure, and while on paper it shouldn’t work well as a track car, they’re a joy to drive, neutral when well set up and make you really enjoy the driving experience. Think of this as the E30 of Audis, and you’ll start to understand the magic. Looking at this car I wish I had finished the build I started, but building two GTs at the same time proved too costly and time consuming for me. Still, seeing it for sale makes me pull up my most recent bank statement to see if I can go grab it. This car is a steal, will be much cheaper to run than a Quattro rally car, and will give you plenty of thrills. Plus, most people will think it’s a Quattro anyway. Win/win!

-Carter