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The first Volkswagen Golf race car ever built looks mean and you can buy it

The first Volkswagen Golf race car ever built looks mean and you can buy it

A GTI on steroids with a documented win at Hockenheim

Launched in 1974 as a replacement for the dated Beetle, the Volkswagen Golf became a big hit and quickly transformed into a legendary nameplate that has soldiered on over eight generations.

Although the first-gen Golf was developed as a humble daily driver, Volkswagen also launched a beefed-up GTI model. In addition, the boxy hatchback was converted to race spec as early as 1975. The first Golf race car ever built just showed up for auction at RM Sotheby’s, which will attempt to sell it during an event in Essen, Germany, on June 24.

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Here's A Martini Racing Duo You Will Love!

Here’s A Martini Racing Duo You Will Love!

Includes rare Porsche 934/5 and Volkswagen T2 van

Do you have half a million bucks laying around? Looking to spend it all in one place for a Ferrari or maybe a Lamborghini? Why not buy pair of cool vintage cars wrapped in the iconic Martini livery then? You can do just that a Bonhams’ Spa Classic Sale on May 21st and it will get you a rare 1976 Porsche 934/5 Kremer race car and a 1977 Volkswagen T2 transporter in matching colors to haul all those spare parts at the race track.

The Porsche 934 needs no introduction if you’re a racing enthusiast, but in case you aren’t, you should know that it’s one of the most iconic race cars of all time. Based on the 934, which in turn was a racing version of the 911 Turbo, the 934/5 won Porsche the World Championship in 1977. The Martini-sponsored Kremer took part in this victory too by winning the Hockenheim round with the No. 69 model pictured here. Following its racing career with Kremer, it had two more owners and also spent a few years in storage. Restored to its original livery, it’s estimated to fetch €320,000 to €400,000 (about $356,110 to $445,290) at auction.

Continue reading for the full story.

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10 Rear-Engined Cars That Aren't A Porsche 911

10 Rear-Engined Cars That Aren’t A Porsche 911

A quick look at today’s automotive offerings and you’ll notice that almost all passenger cars are front-engined, while most sports cars come with a mid-engined configuration. The Porsche 911 is the most known exception from this rule, having its engine mounted above the rear axle. The 911 isn’t the only rear-engined car on the market, the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, Renault Twingo, Tesla Model S, and Tata Nano have similar configurations, but all of them are part of the minority. However, it wasn’t always like this.

Decades ago, rear-engined vehicles were significantly more popular. The first notable rear-engined car dates back to 1886, when Karl Benz launched the Patent-Motorwagen. The concept gained more traction in the 1930 and remained somewhat popular until the 1980s. Mostly found in small, affordable cars, the layout allowed for the rest of the vehicle to be used for passengers and luggage. It was also preferred by many carmakers since the drivetrain can installed easily at the factory compared to front-wheel-drive layout where the driven wheels also steer the car.

Continue reading for the full story.

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1962 Volkswagen Double Cab Transporter

1962 Volkswagen Double Cab Transporter

Volkswagen’s stab at the U.S. pickup market

Early Volkswagen products are immensely well known. Show a photo of the Type 1 Battle or Type 2 Microbus to any random stranger, and you’ll likely get correct answers. American culture in the 1960 and 70s catapulted the two Volkswagen products from mere transportation to cultural icons. Nevertheless, Volkswagen made several variations of the Microbus that aren’t nearly well known. This 1962 Double Cab Transporter is a prime example.

The Double Cab, or as it was known in Germany, the “doppelkabine,” got its start when Volkswagen discovered aftermarket companies creating double cab versions of the single cab Transporter. VW adopted the idea and began production for the 1959 model year. The enlarged passenger compartment offered room for six occupants. Like pickups in modern days, the extra cab space cut into the available bed space. Nevertheless, the Double Cab Transporter made perfect sense for construction crews, farmers, and of course, the occasional hippie.

The Double Cab Transporter was an innovative piece. Its chassis was shared with the original Microbus, including its rear-engine, rear-drive, forward cab architecture. Because of the rear engine design, the Transporter’s bed floor was raised, leaving room beneath for the drivetrain. This also made loading and unloading cargo a breeze, since the bed floor was at waist height. The Transporter’s bed walls were also hinged, allowing all three sides to fold flat against the body, making it a true flatbed truck.

Though the Volkswagen truck wasn’t overly popular, it did help create a lasting impact on global truck production and sales. It was in 1963 that President Lyndon B. Johnson imposed the 25 percent tariff known as the Chicken Tax. Among other things, the tariff was designed to protect U.S. automakers form overseas competition importing vehicles. This swiftly cut off the supply of VW Transport vans to the U.S. To this day the Chicken Tax still prevents automakers from importing foreign-built trucks to the States.

A pristine example of the Double Cab Transporter trucks recently cross the auction block at Mecum’s 2016 Monterey car week. Though it didn’t sell, Mecum estimated this fully restored truck would sell between $65,000 and $85,000.

Continue reading for our full review on the Volkswagen Double Cab Transporter.

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Jerry Seinfeld To Auction Off A Handful Of Porsches And Volkswagens From His Collection

Jerry Seinfeld To Auction Off A Handful Of Porsches And Volkswagens From His Collection

Some of the most iconic Porsche models in history will be a part of this auction

Jerry Seinfeld may be known for being one of funniest comedians in the business, but those in the auto industry also recognize him as one of the most famous Porsche collectors in the world. The star of the legendary sitcom bearing his name reportedly owns up to 50 Porsche models from a number of different eras. It’s laughable to think that Seinfeld’s collection of Porsches is so impressive that he can auction off 16 of his Porsches and still have a collection that’s the envy of every auto collector in the business.

This isn’t a joke. Jerry Seinfeld really is auctioning off a part of his massive auto collection at the Amelia Island Auction on March 11, 2016 in Florida. In addition to the 16 Porsches, he’s also auctioning off a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle and a 1964 Volkswagen Camper, two old school VWs that are expected to get serious bids themselves.

But, the real prizes here are the Porsche models, some of which will probably net bids in the seven figures. Without jumping into every one of the 16 Porsches, a few do stand out for obvious reasons. There’s the 1966 Porsche 911, a card-carrying member of the first-generation 911 models that have come to be known today as the 911 Classics. There’s also the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 IROC RSR, one of only 15 models in existence. The car traces its origin to 1973 when Roger Penske ordered 15 911 Carreras that Porsche built specifically for the International Race of Champions (IROC).

How about the 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder, arguably the most powerful Porsche sports car racer to have ever been built? A lot of people may be too young to remember, but the 917/30 packed a twin-turbocharged, 5.4-liter, 12-cylinder engine that could produce as much as 1,200 horsepower. It really was the wildest race car for the wildest racing series of its time.

Then there’s the coup de grâce of the collection, which is saying a lot considering the other Porsche models that haven’t been mentioned. It’s a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, a car that has proven to be a million-dollar seller at an auction setting. In fact, one of its brethren sold for a staggering $3.685 million at the same venue back in 2012. That was four years ago. Care to imagine what Seinfeld’s haul is going to be on this car alone?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Original Herbie Sells For $86,250 At New York Auction

Original Herbie Sells For $86,250 At New York Auction

One of the most under-appreciated movie cars of all time just sold at an auction this week for $86,250. No, it’s not any one of the iconic movie Mustangs that we’ve drooled over in the past. It’s not even a Transformers car. It’s a Volkswagen Beetle, or to be more specific, it’s Herbie, the Love Bug.

The iconic movie car went under hammer at the Treasures from the Dream Factory auction, held by Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies in New York. The total might not make your eyes pop out ala Herbie, but at the price that it sold, it immediately became the most expensive Volkswagen Beetle ever sold in an auction setting. According to Sports Car Market, the $86,250 paid for Herbie barely edged out a 1955 Beetle Cabrio that sold at Amelia Island in 2014. That model, considered in mint condition, sold for $82,500.

As far as Herbie is concerned, the model that sold in New York is the actual car that was used in the second and third movies of the Disney franchise, hence its unique status of being the actual movie car, and not a replica. It carries the iconic livery, complete with the red, white, and blue racing stripes and the “53” decals on the hood and doors of the car. It even has the original set of gears and pulleys that were put in place to allow a stunt driver to drive the car from the rear seat, making it look like the car was autonomously being driven.

The identity of the winning bidder wasn’t disclosed, but rest assured, whoever walked out of the auction as the new owner of Herbie had himself a pretty early holiday treat.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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1956 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

1956 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

There’s plenty of debate whether the 1908 Ford Model T or the Volkswagen Beetle had a bigger impact on the development of the automobile as a cultural icon. Both of these Everyman vehicles were produced in phenomenally high numbers and helped to shape the future of cars. The Model T left its mark with a low cost and incredible versatility, as well as a simple design that lasted for decades. The Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle stuck around even longer, in an era marked by constant changes in technology. So what set it apart?

The little car that would go on to sell over 21 million units was first imagined in 1933. In a twist of fate that surprises some people, the car was commissioned by Adolf Hitler, and designed by Ferdinand Porsche (who may have cribbed much of it from a Czechoslovakian Tatra). The car was intended to be a durable, easily-produced vehicle for the masses, and Hitler dubbed it the KdF-Wagen. The acronym stood for "Kraft durch Freude," which translates to "Strength through Joy." And then World War II happened.

Understandably, the KdF-Wagen didn’t get off the ground. After the war, however, the factory was in British hands, and they fired it up to provide transportation for British soldiers on German soil. Renamed the Volkswagen Type 1, the car joined the ranks of simple, affordable cars like the Citroen 2CV and 1957-1975 Fiat 500 as the nations of Europe got back on wheels. The first Type 1 quickly picked up the nickname "Beetle," and was first imported to the United States in 1949, but it took a few years to catch on. Only 159 were sold in 1949 and 1950. Things took off in the late 1950s, and at its height the Type 1 was selling over a million units a year.

Continue reading for my full review of this original Beetle.

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Jay Leno Reviews Gabriel Iglesias' 1966 Volkswagen Bus: Video

Jay Leno Reviews Gabriel Iglesias’ 1966 Volkswagen Bus: Video

It’s not often we see Jay Leno driving slow or underpowered vehicles. But when he does, his video reviews are equally enticing. After showcasing his massive 1950 Nash Airflyte in December 2014, and the stylish, yet not-exactly-quick 1971 Citreon DS in January 2015, the former TV show host hopped in a 1966 Volkswagen Bus. Also known as the Camper, Kombi, Microbus or Transporter, the first-generation VW Bus is as iconic as the Volkswagen Beetle, and arguably the world’s most celebrated minivan. To top it off, the Bus you’re about to see belongs to Gabriel Iglesias. You know, the "I’m not fat, I’m fluffy" stand-up comedian who’s into classic cars, besides nearly inflicting death by laughter during his live shows.

As you might expect, the conversation between the two is sprinkled with plenty of giggle-inducing moments, including Iglesias explaining how he learned to drive a stick from his sister. On a more serious note, the comedian reveals that his father owned a 1968 Volkswagen Bus, which became his first car, until he sold it to get something a bit more reliable. He began missing the Bus as soon as he parted with it, so he eventually went on to buy another one, this time from 1966. But enough with the spoilers, just click play to learn the full story behind Iglesias’ classic minivan.

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VW Launching the Convertible Bug in Dedicatory Fashion

VW Launching the Convertible Bug in Dedicatory Fashion

Volkswagen has a long history of doing things the right way, especially when it comes to the maker’s storied past. One of the key moments in VW’s recent history was the release of the New Beetle back in the late-1990s. In this instance, Volkswagen made sure to build a car that was new, but still paid tribute to its historic predecessors. When Vee-Dub redesigned the New Beetle in 2011, dropping the “New” in the process, it hit a homerun in terms of making it look even more retro, yet remaining modern.

Volkswagen is now in for yet another change for the Beetle and it is again paying direct tribute to its past. This new change is the upcoming convertible models, which will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. According to a Car and Driver report, VW is making three special edition Beetle convertibles that pay homage to its past generations, one for the 1950s, one for the 1960s, and one for the 1970s.

There is no mention of what each decade’s special edition will come with, but we do know that they will include: unique color schemes, custom upholstery and white-wall – yes, white-wall – tires. From what we can tell, these three launches will not gobble up every Beetle convertible, so there should be plenty of normal convertible Beetles available for those that don’t want a special edition.

We all have to stand and applaud VW for not being afraid of paying homage to its very humble roots as the “People’s Car” and a car that was not the most popular amongst hot rodders of the day. As soon as we know more details on these special dedicatory Bugs we will let you know. One thing we hope for are a nice set of dog dish rims that came on the Bug through its early years.

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Classic Tuning: Wild Volkswagen Scirocco

Classic Tuning: Wild Volkswagen Scirocco

With all the buzz about the new Scirocco from Volkswagen, it is Top Speed’s duty to remind automotive enthusiasts everywhere about where that car came from. Just look at this beautiful 1st generation Sky Rocket. The tuner has tastefully created a clean, slammed VW. Despite the cars reserved appearance, the choice of wild orange paint, wide stance and severely stretched tires this Scirocco can’t help but be loud.

Thanks to Speedhunters for finding this photo.

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1955 - 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

1955 - 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia was manufactured for almost twenty years - from 1955 to 1974 - with only minor changes to its design. This is an achievement that few other automobiles in its class can claim.

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