VW Celebrates 50th Anniversary with SCCA at LRP
This weekend (June 16-17), Lime Rock Park observes the 50th anniversary of the second generation of Volkswagen cars. There’s no better way to celebrate than by watching 24 VW Formula Vees in action at this beautiful and challenging circuit during SCCA New England Regional competition.
Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the German Labor Front in Lower Saxony as the “People’s Car.” With cars still a luxury for most Germans, the goal of the new company was to manufacture a car that every German family could afford. The Ferdinand Porsche-designed “Beetle” proved to be both affordable and fun. While production dropped during World War II, demand for the unique vehicles quickly grew during peacetime.
With the Fifties, VW crossed the Atlantic and the inexpensive, stylish cars quickly became popular. Volkswagen of America was launched in April 1955 – the year that one million WV Beetles were sold in America.
By 1973, the popularity of the original Bug had run its course. Volkswagen was ready, introducing a new generation of VWs, including the Golf GTI, Scirocco and Passat, and the brand continues to thrive with its fun and innovative vehicles.
Volkswagen has long been a fixture in American club racing, ever since Formula Vee was introduced at the 1964 runoffs. Formula Super Vee came along in 1970, and proved to be a training ground for many stars, including Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Geoff Brabham, Arie Luyendyk and Davy Jones. VW has also competed in single-marque competition, including the Scirocco-Bilstein Cup and Jetta TDI Series.
While the VW brand currently is no longer involved with racing – focusing on the burgeoning electric car market – the Volkswagen Group remains very active in motorsports through its other brands, including Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley.
SCCA will host the New England Regionals June 16-17. Admission is free on Friday for practice and qualifying and $20 at the gate on Saturday for the races. Veterans, active duty military and kids 12 and under get in free all weekend.
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