During last weekend I spotted my old 1964 Beetle in front of our garage. It was bit shocking to see it in such state but the second owner after me uses it as all year daily driver. I owned it for summer of '02 and had a lot of fun with it..
I grew up reading V8 Magazine and Street Race plus their Swedish counterparts Wheels, Colorod and later Power Magazine. I kept day-dreaming about Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, Chargers, Challengers, Cudas, Chevelles, Novas..
While checking for the odd VW photo among old event photos I came across this '65 (or '66?) Mustang photographed in local Hot Rod show in 80's. This Fastback was as cool as it could get, with slot wheels, stripes and fender flares. I subscribed to Popular Hot Rodding in 1986 and got awakened for Pro Street and suddenly the Mustang in the photos looked outdated.
More skeletons out of the closet.. This thing was my favourite Bug 20+ years ago :-)
Hitlerin Kosto (~Hitler's Revenge) is old nickname for Beetle in Finland. When our garage chief Kotten and his friend Tom started drag racing with Tom's old Beetle in late 70's they named their racer with the old nickname. Later when they got more famous they modified the name into more politically correct format by dropping the chancellor's name..
Scanning of 1979 Pori drag race in V8 Magazine. Shows how Kosto is been towed with Tom's daily driver. Kosto was very popular from day one and the guys had bit of a mad scientist approach with racing. At one point Kosto even had a Type II reduction gears to get more suitable gearing (at the time VW parts weren't generally as available they're now) and their first start probably still is the wheel hop record in Finland.
Feature article about Kosto in 1980 V8 Magazine. Season when Tom & Kotten won the Finnish chapionship in Street Altered class (forerunner of Pro Stock in Nordics). At the time Kosto had 1835 engine with 10:1 compression, Scat 326 degree cam, VW heads with 40/35.5 valves and 48 IDAs. Fastest ET with that setup was 13.76.
Scanning from 1981 issue of V8 Magazine, only season Kosto had paintjob other than matt/army green. Reason for the nice blue paintjob was that in 1981 Kosto was sponsored by V8 Magazine. It looked like Kosto felt uncomfortable in nice paint since the season wasn't as succesful as the previous had been. Car was also heavily modified for 1981 season, most notable change is chopping job and Centerline wheels.
In late 80's Kosto was getting bit outdated and Kotten bought a VW powered dragster and put Kosto in storage. Fastest ET for Kosto was 11.683@180km/h in Competition class with 2332cc engine.
Mika Mansukoski was the fastest Finnish VW drag racer in early 90's. He started in street racing classes with his turbo charged 1600cc(?) buggy. Regarding his ETs I found set of low 12-second ETs (best 12.002) with quick magazine search, I am happy to correct it if someone can provide more correct information. Mika's buggy is pictured here in the 1990 Race Car Show.
Couple of pictures from 1990 Race Car Show held in Helsinki Fair Center. The show was organized together with FHRA and Street/Race magazine. Those were the happy days, to me it looks like Drag Racing has shrinked a lot since that in Finland. The progress was really fast those days; from a country where Drag Racing was organized in remote old air-fields, suddenly there were two drag strips and dozens of new drag racing cars imported in late 80's to early 90's
Leif Nylund was one of the most successful drag racers in Finland during the 80's winning many Finnish Championship titles and at least one in Nordic Championship. He started racing with "civilian" 60's 911 with 2.5 liter engine, then continued with another 911 built for drag racing and later had yet another 911 (as a spare car). He spent his career in Modified Standard class and continued in similar Super Stock class when Finnish Hot Rod Association started to fully apply the NHRA rules.
His times in MS were in 13-second range which were due to get car in favourable sub class, most of his opponents had much faster V8s, but Leif usually won them due to his handicap in his subclass. The handicap gave him 2-4 second head start while the V8 guys were still at christmas tree watching the Porsche disappear, catching just at the finishing line and most cases just after it :-) During the Super Stock years he got into 9-second range, fastest ET I saw while browsing old magazines was 9.901.
I tried to dig more about the cars and engines but came bit short handed. There was one feature article about Leif's Porsche in Street/Race magazine but that wasn't exactly filled with details. One of the sad events was the '87 race in Seinäjoki where the 911 got sabotaged, someone had poured sand though the oil filler over the night at the pits. Leif's 911 is pictured here in 1988 Super Car Expo in a slant nose 935 disquise, held in old Helsinki Ice Hall like many 80's car shows.
One of my all-time favourite cars photographed in 2006 Volksworld Show. Even though the 1835cc engine is bit on the modest side compared to other JG54 cars, Steve's 'Vert is my favourite car in the club. Not by much since the quality of their cars and the overall impression about the club is awesome. Really looking forward for this years events.
This '51 (if I remember correctly) Split Window built by Ari Huhta is one of the most beautifully built cars in Finland ever. Along with Matti Äyräväinen's Ghia it is one of the two really exceptional Finnish Volkswagens. Both shared unbelievable level of detail and craftmanship. Ari's Looker is pictured here in 1989 American Car Show. He seems to operate his own Volkswagen related business Kokkolan Auto-Fix.
Speaking about late models.. While browsing/organizing photos from last year I came across this one. Only VW that I saw on my job-interview trip to Sophia Antipolis was this lame original height late model, photographed in starting line of Monaco GP. The climate and area are just perfect for (open top) vintage Volkswagen, but haven't seen too many aircooled Volkswagens in any of the trips to Cote d'Azur.
One of the best views that I have ever seen through windshield, except the Loews chicane (which photo is lost).
Berndt Carlsson's world famous Pink Lady Oval. Pictured here (if I remember correctly) in American Car Show in Helsinki 1984. The builder/owner was a famous painter in Sweden who moved to California during the late 80's.
Tekniikan Maailma, Finnish magazine similar to Popular Mechanics, had a series of building inexpensive fun car in late 80's. The end result displays perfectly all the ideas Finnish custom car magazines had interpreted as part of the look; lowered stance, fenders molded into the body, pastel colours, colour coding (like handles and wipers) parts etc.
Naturally after the magazines came out they created a following which was still evident in mid to late 90's. Both photos by Pete Siiskonen.
The coolest Xmas card this year came from Wolfparts, manufacturer of high-quality replacement panels for Vintage Volkswagens. In this era of poorly fitting replacement parts I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate Woffe's work. OG quality 50's fenders are in top of my wish list, available hopefully someday somewhere..