A Sideways VW Van Makes A Surprisingly Good Race Car

When you think of a perfect track car, does this come to mind?

YouTube | Barcroft Cars

When you think of a perfect track car, what pops into your mind? Is it a monstrous bruiser like the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE? A precise corner-carver like the Porsche 911 GT2 RS? Or is the answer really always Miata? 

If none of those apply for you, we strongly suggest you consider a sideways 1976 Volkswagen Camper Van for your track day escapades. At the very least, you'd always be the only one in a crowd. YouTube channel Barcroft Cars recently sat down with Jeff Bloch, the creator of this topsy-turvy microbus, to take us through the looking glass and show us how the project came together.

Raced it for the first time last month, ran all weekend, 224 laps on 2 mile road course

1.8 liter, 16 valve gti engine, 120 horespower, 100 mph, 0-60 in 8 seconds

1988 VW Rabbit base - both bumpers have welded mounts, other mounts elsewhere on the body to connect 1976 VW camper bus body.

Regular body still exists under there for the most part - weird to see him lift the trunk lid and rear window to show it

Sides are made of lexan panels + tube frame with one-way vinyl wrap to give the illusion of roof and chassis on either side. 

woodern nardi racing wheel from a maserati - of course

Race cars are great. Quirky race cars, whether that be by accident or on purpose, are even better. Just look at this sideways Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus camper running around a 24 Hours of LeMons track, made by the same guy who once turned an old police helicopter into a race car.

But it wasn’t actually the Microbus doing the “running” part, just like a 1985 Toyota Van Wagon made the old chopper go. This sideways 1976 Microbus shell, made by LeMons shitbox series legend Speedycop and named the “Trippy Tippy Hippy Van,” is mounted on a 1988 Volkswagen Rabbit and powered by a 1.8-liter GTI engine. Speedycop said the engine makes about 120 horsepower and will go from 0 to 60 in about eight seconds. Its speed caps off at around 100 mph.

But never mind the power figures. You just have to watch this thing. Speedycop said this sideways trooper managed 224 laps around a two-mile road course recently, and it’s obvious that all of them must have been delightful to see: