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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1974 BMW 2002 Turbo Tribute

I often wonder if you need the real article, especially when discussing rare automobiles. I can think of a few cases where having the replica wouldn’t bother me very much; generally, they’re replicas of rare cars that are just hard or very expensive to come by. For example, I’d love to own a 917K or LH, but first off it will never happen due to monetary considerations, and secondly if I did own it, I’d be afraid to take it anywhere and drive it in anger. But Race Car Replicas make a pretty convincing replica of the 917 that can be had for around $60,000, and to me the look is good enough that I can deal with it not being the real item. The same goes for Daytona Coupes, some rare Ferraris and even some factory-built replicas; Audi’s Auto Union Type C streamliner comes to mind. But what about road cars? If they’re rare, difficult to come by or expensive to keep running, I think the case can be made that a replica is just fine, especially when executed well:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo Tribute on eBay

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