1998 VW Beetle: Reader Ride

By: Keith Beard, Photography by: Keith Beard

Presented by

Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle
Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle
Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle
Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle Keith Beard's VW Beetle

Can you imagine cutting laps at the Nurburgring in Keith Beard's VW Beetle?

 

1998 Volkswagen Beetle Race Car

This was a brand-spanking-new ’98 model Volkswagen, bought in the US by Ross Palmer, taken as a new car to AKG, where they decided they were going to race it at the Nurburgring in the same year they bought it! They contacted the factory but they wouldn’t sell them a race engine for it. They didn’t want the car in Europe because it wasn’t due for release there until the autumn after the race.

Instead, they pulled a motor out of an Audi A4, installed it in the car and they got it there. They did the 24-hour, in which they crashed and had damage to the front guard. The repaired it and managed to finish in 131st, which was considered a good effort for an unproven car.

They kept the car there and ran it there in the six-hour later that year when it was driven by Sir Jack. The interesting thing about it is the car is absolutely original down to the wheels and tyres, which have still got over half tread on them. It’s all as it was shipped back from Europe and it’s still in good nick. It’s a collector’s piece, the first New Beetle to ever run at the Nurburgring.

Both cars were found in the same shed, both previously owned by Ross Palmer, they both took a hell of a lot of cleaning. They were dirty, but still original. As with the BMW, the Volkswagen needed new fluids and it ran like it did the day it was built. I think this is a collector’s car, not an everyday car. They’re both worth keeping, but I’m not in a position to hold onto the cars.

I love the Beetle...I love the Beemer too, but the Volkswagen is so fun. The only problem is that it’s quick, but quiet. It’s like you’re driving a very fast road car. The difference is all the AKG gear, the roll cage, coilovers, NASCAR tank, seats with the harnesses.

Valuation:

Road-going Beetles of this generation start at around $5k. Search VW Beetles for sale.

 

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