Volkswagen Drag Racing

VW Action showed up in force for this years Slow Car Club event, fielding busses, Beetles, and every other kind of Volkswagen.

Here a couple of busses line up on the start line.

Two standard busses would have had a brilliantly close race, but a lot of tuning goes in in VW circles, so generally one of the competitors would have a big advantage.


As a spectator it was impossible to tell whether a Beetle on the start line would cover the quarter mile in 23 seconds (standard tune) or 11 seconds (very modified). They all looked the same.

Volkswagen beetles

Has anyone come across the book "Still Life with Volkswagens" by Geoff Nicholson? It's a great read with the spontaneously exploding Beetles mentioned almost incidentally in the plot.

Very few of the Beetles at Santa Pod exploded, and the ones that did explode were very highly tuned.

The tea stained bus and the rusty bonnet Beetle were driven by friends. The Beetle was a bit quicker but must have been caught napping on the start line in this photo.

VW bus vs beetle

You'd not normally expect a '70s green Mk1 Golf to leave anything for dead, but this one had no respect for the modern cars.

I've no idea what was under the bonnet, but the quarter mile times were very impressive, especially with no visual clues to the power underneath.

Mk 1 volkswagen golf

Ferdinand's creations were matched up in the tuned Beetle vs modern Porsche 911 race. The Beetle left the Porsche standing on the start line - who needs 4 wheel drive when you can leave the start line on 2 wheels.

Though once the Porsche driver woke up he overtook the Beetle and won the race.

Photo by Rear Admiral Stanbury (Ian)

Beetle vs Porsche

The disadvantage in over-tuning cars with engines behind the rear wheels is that they tend to do wheelies off the start line.

A lot of the Beetles were just able to lift a wheel, but this beach buggy managed a good wheelie every time.

Photo by Rear Admiral Stanbury (Ian)

Beetle beach buggy

The Darkside Beetle was at Santa Pod again (on the far side of the track in the photo).

Following a very fast start, it appeared to be going in totally the wrong direction. I'd guess a bit of slowing down would have been involved in avoiding the wall.

Photo by Rear Admiral Stanbury (Ian)

The darkside again

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