Volkswagen Restores Twin-Engine Pikes Peak Golf

Volkswagen is bringing a new electric racer to the Pikes Peak hill climb next month, so they decided it was time to show their original attempt some love.

VW’s last try at Pikes Peak’s race to the clouds was a Mk 2 Golf. But this one was twice as special as a stock version. That’s because the racer had two engines. A turbocharged 1.8L four in the front, and another in the back. That gave the racer all-wheel drive and 644 hp. And since back then the hill climb was all dirt, things like a missing center differential weren’t all that important.

Ultimately, the car did not do well in the race. A failed nipple on a lubrication fitting cracked and a suspension joint failed, stranding the car just a few corners from the top.

Now, Volkswagen has restored the car, while trying to keep it as original as possible. The car was in reasonable shape, having sat since the race in 1987, but it still needed work. Mechanic Jörg Rauchmaul coordinated the restoration and enlisted original designer Kurt Bergmann to help.

Most of the rear of the car needed to come out. Bushings do not last 30 years and needed replacement. The one-off parts were made to measure then and now. The foam in the fuel cell had also disintegrated and had been sucked into the fuel injection system.

The restored car is being tuned for somewhere closer to 500 hp. That way it will be reliable, not just fast. that way it will be able to vintage race reliably.

The restored car was shown at the Techno Classica event earlier this year and is expected to come out to more shows and events.