Volkswagen Revives 30 Years Old Golf to Celebrate Pikes Peak Return

1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak 9 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak1987 Volkswagen Golf 2 Pikes Peak
Volkswagen has been absent from the world’s most famous hill climb race for over three decades. This year, the Germans will be making a comeback to the Rockies with the all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak, in an attempt to break the world record for this type of vehicle.
Before the race kicks off on June 24, Volkswagen thought best to revive the car that was the last one present on the Pikes Peak: a second generation twin-engined Golf.

Created by design engineer Kurt Bergmann, the car was ready for the 1987 race in just six months. It features two four-cylinder engines pumped with a large KKK turbocharger. The 1.8-liter units develop a combined 652 horsepower, propelling forward a car that weighs only 1,020 kg (2,248 lbs).

Despite the outstanding numbers that made up the car, the Golf II failed to impress mainly because it failed to finish the race. A quarter mile or so from the finish, one suspension ball joint succumbed, leaving driver Jochi Kleint with yet another failed attempt to conquer the course.

But all that is well behind Volkswagen now. This year, plans are that the new racer will wow the world. Oblivious to the fact that reviving a car that failed might jinx this new run for the title, work is now complete at the carmaker’s shops.

The restoration was not without difficulties. For the revival of the car, VW had to remove the rear of the Golf, affected by the high thermal loads involved in racing. Also, foam cladding in the tank had disintegrated, ending up in the fuel supply system.

“We want to retain as much of the vehicle’s original condition as possible – after all, this unique race car is absolutely steeped in history,” said Jörg Rauchmaul, Volkswagen’s head mechanic.

“We’re just refurbishing the technology and making the car roadworthy again.”

It’s not yet clear if roadworthy will translate in Volkswagen taking the car to various shows or even tracks in the coming months.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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