With so many automakers celebrating some kind of anniversary this year, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the other automotive and motorsports anniversaries that are scheduled to take place this year.
For their part, Volkswagen wanted to make sure that Formula Vee gets its proper recognition as a series that’s turning 50 years old this year. So before the start of the 24 Hours of Daytona over the weekend, Volkswagen led the way in celebrating 50 years of Formula Vee with a parade of the finest cars from the series.
Formula Vee traces its roots back to August 1963 at the Daytona International Speedway. Back then, the inexpensive racecars only made use of 1.2-liter engines that produced less than 40 horsepower with chassis taken from the Volkswagen Beetle. The success of Formula Vee in the US made its throughout Europe and on July 4, 1965, Formula Vee officially held its first race in Europe in front of 50,000 fans at the Norisring circuit in Nuremberg.
Since then, the series gave birth to Formula Super Vee, as well as the already established Formula Vee 130.
The 50th anniversary of Formula Vee was attended by some of racing’s biggest names, a lot of whom also trace their roots in the series. Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was there, as were U.S. star Michael Andretti, Daytona champion Didier Theys, Le Mans winner Hurley Haywood, former DTM greats Hans-Joachim Stuck, Leopold Prinz von Bayern, Klaus Niedzwiedz and Dieter Quester, and rally icon Markku Alén.
"That was a highly emotional experience, celebrating the beginnings of Volkswagen Motorsport against such an impressive backdrop and together with such great names from the world of racing,’ Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito said.
"The revival here in Daytona, where it all began with the first Formula Vee race, has reunited many of these legends and that is something of which we are very proud. Vee are family – just like Volkswagen, Formula Vee is one big family."