1977 Volkswagen Rabbit Track Day Car For Sale SOLD!

Rabbit GTi Track Car Wallpaper

It is time to part with our faithful ‘77 Rabbit that has served as a great entry into amateur motorsports over the last 7+ years. We’ve done numerous track days at Portland International Raceway (where the Indy cars used to race), autocrosses, and several runs at the Larison Rock Hillclimb. Unfortunately the car has been sitting for a couple seasons and just isn’t being used anymore with other projects in the stable. It’s time for a new owner.

This car was built by a professional Volkswagen mechanic who was working at Independent Auto Werks (Bug Werks) here in Corvallis at the time. Together we carefully pieced together all the proven parts for this MK1 platform:

– Engine is an MK2 2.0L bottom end with 1.8L 16 valve head. This combination is well documented to provide an immediate 15hp gain over the base 2.0L 16v configuration for 155hp total. At around 1850lbs it really scoots! We opted for the simpler CIS-E fuel injection as it’s easier to work with than the later Motronic setups. While the motor has seen action over the years, it still provides lots of power. It is still fitted with stock cams to maintain reliability and driveability to and from the track.

– Exhaust is optimized with a dual outlet manifold for reliability, then routed to a Techtonics race downpipe and on to a matching Techtonics exhaust with Magnaflow muffler. Yes it’s noisy but not in a ricey way. Very distinctive tuned 4 cylinder VW water-cooled sound.

– Engine is coupled to a lightweight VW Motorsports flywheel and Sachs clutch combo which allows the motor spin up with ease. Power is sent through an 84 GTi close ratio transmission. The transmission makes some noise on deceleration but has since we built the car some 7+ years ago. I expect it’ll be fine for limited track usage as there is no issue finding or using all the gears, but may require a rebuild at some point considering.

– Suspension is simple but well sorted. An H&R Cup Kit consists of matched springs and shocks (non-adjustable) for a mild drop and more sporting ride. Front upper and lower stress bars are fitted along with a rear strut tower brace. Also a heavy duty rear sway bar is fitted. All bushings were refreshed when fitted. The ride is very flat but not harsh. This combination helps to dial out a lot of the understeer and cornering is easily controlled with gentle throttle response.

– Brakes are upgraded discs up front from an MK2 GTi and we retained the drums in the back. We had originally fitted rear discs as well but had issues with lockup in the back due to the light weight. Willwood proportioning valves are installed for fine tuning.

Two sets of wheels are included. The car is currently riding on “snowflake” GTi rims with mismatched tires to get you to and from the track. Also included are aftermarket alloys with used road racing slicks. Available for separate negotiation are some very rare, period correct Intra 14×6 German alloys that replicate the look of early Porsche 928 rims. The Intra rims would be perfect if you’re considering this car for a GTi restoration.

Interior is stripped and focused on only what is needed for track work. An early Passat steering wheel is fitted for better feel and textured race pedals are in place. A Sparco Pro 2000 race fixed back bucket is fitted for the driver and a generic aftermarket seat is in place for the instructor. Both seats have 4 point Schroth harnesses. The stock dash is removed and a custom console is fitted with gauges to monitor oil, water, charging, and revs. The heater core is still intact but it blocked off at the moment. Can be reactivated to warm the interior on cold mornings. Rear defroster works as does instrument lighting. Most carpet and sound deadening is removed, so it’s very loud inside the car and you hear every creak, rattle, bang, and bump. But with a helmet on it’s just part of the experience.

– The exterior is a decent 5 footer. In honesty it’s a poor Maaco paint job that was applied before we acquired the car, but it can be made to look decent as seen in the photos. There are lots of chips, dings, dimples, and yes surface rust. I have tried to capture the worst of it in the photos. This car is not ready for the show circuit but plenty presentable as you make your entry into amateur motorsports. Features GTi fender flares and aftermarket replica European bumpers. All lights work. Headlights are European H4’s with city lights in the park position. Color matched GTi airdam is also fitted.

The good: This car is very well sorted and should clear inspection for autocross, trackday or hillclimb. A simple tuneup should be applied but runs fine with no stumbling and tracks straight. To be used for road racing or rally you’ll need additional safety equipment like a rollbar or cage, fuel cell, window netting, fire suppression, etc… But even after sitting for a few seasons it is running well with just a new battery and a full tank of gas. I also put new tags on the car today so it’s registered until 2013. I drove the car in a spirited manner this afternoon and it made me wish I had space to put it on jack stands and come back to it someday.

The bad: It does have some surface rust on a 5 foot paint job and a couple holes in the floor boards. But for what it was built for it’s ready for more action with just minor TLC. After a thorough once over, I wouldn’t hesitate to drive up to Portland, track it, and drive back like we have numerous times over the past several years.

This car is perfect for someone who is looking to get into local amateur racing or a GTi restoration project. Please email me for more information or to arrange for a look in person. Here are links to my personal blog with stories about how we used the car (note the time stamps):

Please email me if interested in more information or a closer look at the car. I am asking $2350 obo and the Intra wheels mentioned are available at additional cost. With a full price offer I’ll include a used but legal autocross helmet, magnetic numbers, and the fire extinguisher. I’d love to see this car find a home that will appreciate it and the time spent putting it together. Thanks for looking.

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Good Looking Datsun 1200 Race Car For Sale on the Cheap

Paul and I are going to prep the Rabbit for sale soon. It’s been a fantastic introduction to track days, auto-x, and hillclimbs, but it’s time to move on to new endeavors.

That said, if I was going to be looking to get back in, I’d be looking for a used race car that was already built. And this little Datsun 1200 looks like a perfect way to get to the next level: amateur road racing. Making the step from track days to actual road racing is an expensive proposition, especially if the car you plan to campaign isn’t prepped already. Think cage, fuel cell, fire suppression… not to mention the gear! Might as well start with a budget car that’s ready to go considering. Hell, the DCOE’s and Minilites have to be worth half of the asking!

If you’re curious about budget racing, check out a new site I’ve set up for some friends that are going ChumpCar Racing: RoadToChumpCar.com Sounds like Leo and Gabe are guest driving a car late in January at Willow Springs. I’m really excited for them and looking forward to following their progress. Good luck guys!

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Honda S2000 Update: Track Day #2

Back from another great track day with the Cascade Sports Car Club. This club is always well organized with good instructors. Turned out to be a nice late summer day with the temps touching the low 90’s, which provided fantastic grip!

I’m really feeling very comfortable in the S2000 and despite all the internet folklore of the AP1 being tail-happy, I’m pleased to report that this is another rumor we can put to bed. Sure if you lift off and yank the controls in the middle of a turn 9 at 100mph, you kind of deserve what you get. But I had two gotcha moments and both were easily caught with smooth controls. This isn’t to say I’m a genius driver, but rather, it’s a really well balanced car and very forgiving with gentle hands.

Here are some pics from the pits that my buddy Gabe took:

I hear he has video too, so I’m hoping to get my hands on that and will post if I can.

Sadly this was probably my last track day of the season, but one of the most memorable days out in recent memory for sure. Big shout out to Gabe who convinced me to attend at a late date!

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Take a lap of Portland International Raceway

This was shot just recently and demonstrates the proper line to follow in a front engine, real wheel drive car, at Portland International Raceway (PIR):

Source: Portland BMW ACA Club

This really gets me in the mood to plan a track day or two! Especially after getting the S2000 out to the auto-x last weekend!

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A Beginners Guide to Laguna Seca on YouTube

Here’s a cool video of an S2000 at Laguna Seca narrated by an instructor for a track day. It’s super easy to follow along and the Honda S2000 just sings all the way around the track. Interesting that he notes the corkscrew is completey screwed up in Gran Turismo too. As much as I wish my GT experience would translate to real world instruction at courses I’ve never visited, this reminds me there is no substitute for the real thing.

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