Back in September  Volkswagen hit 205 mph with the Beetle LSR on the Bonneville Salt Flats, but it wasn’t the only VW on the salt.

The World of Speed event at Bonneville hosts a remarkable number of cars and classes, including the 37 HP VW Challenge.

It’s “amateur racing at its purest,” says Barry Burlile, who runs the challenge, because it’s a chance for enthusiasts to try out their VWs at full speed.


As a result of all the classes, and the diminutive engines, not all records are mind bendingly fast. Often the cars don’t even hit triple digits, as was the case for a 1960 Single Cab Transporter that set a speed record at—you may want to sit down for this—57 mph in the SS36 Bus class.

But what the event sometimes lacks in speed, it makes up for in joy. Just about anyone can race, even Jan Atkinson, a great-grandmother, who learned to race when she was 73 years old.

“Jan’s husband taught her how to drive a stick shift and she went out and set a record in a 1972 Super Beetle in a new class” at 119.75 mph, says Burlile.

It’s all just one more example of Volkswagen living up to its name.

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