Visitors to Santa Pod Raceway last weekend would have enjoyed both fun and frolics at their superb ‘Big Bang’ VW event, but also the incredible sight of a rusty 56 year old VW Van or ‘Bus’ launching down the hallowed quarter mile in considerably less time than it would take a contemporary Ferrari or Porsche. Adding insult to injury, the bus has been deliberately left with its original patina to add charm and character.
The amazing machine, run by team ‘Wheeler Dealer’ from Frankfurt in Germany is a rare early ‘Barndoor’ model. (so called because of its huge engine cover) This fact alone makes it a five figure museum piece (despite it’s outwardly shabby demeanour) But, as you might imagine, all is not standard underneath, with the van packing a highly tuned VW engine.
Built by owners Tom Gotta and Stefan Betzeüga, the Bus went on to set a new World record for non-turbocharged VW vans, clocking the quarter mile in just 12.656 seconds.. at 102.84mph! Impressive enough for any car, but doubly so when you start to factor in the lack of aerodynamics associated with the much-loved commercial. Driven by Stefan, the VW put in consistent performance all day, despite the sweltering heat, resulting in the crowd pleasing times.
With the outright World Record for any shape of VW Camper standing at 12.5 seconds (also set at Santa Pod by a ‘Bay’ window bus) the team have been invited back to the famous Bug Jam event at the venue between the 17th and 19th of July to try and crack the record once and for all – So make sure you’re there to see history being made!
One thing’s for sure, whatever you’re driving, if you see this old Bus in your rear view mirror.. Best to pull over and concede gracefully. Proof indeed that old VW campers never die.. they just get faster!
For more information, or to book tickets, click to www.santapod.com or call 01234 782828.