24 Hours of Lemons: How to Race a 1976 VW Microbus On Its Side

Racing is so damn easy for these dirty hippies, they did with their eyes closed. Sort of.

byJames Gilboy|
Volkswagen News photo


No, there was nothing funky in your coffee this morning, save for the double shot of sugar-free pumpkin spice syrup and accompanying aspartame. This van really is on its side, and yes, it races like that. Removing a few panels from its side (or roof) shows that underneath the bodywork of the 1976 Volkswagen Microbus lies the chassis of an equally green 1988 Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet, which is somehow wedged inside the tight interior of the Microbus. The team that built this contraption, Speedycop, has elected to outfit themselves in an array of matching green tie-dye shirts and miscellaneous hippie attire, to fit with the theme of racing a mind-altering car. The name chosen by Speedycop is beyond fitting: the Trippy Tippy Hippy Van.

Some may recognize the name Speedycop from their past creations built for the 24 Hours of Lemons, the budget-friendly junker endurance racing series. They are the brainiacs behind some of the strangest vehicles ever to be called race cars, such as the famous upside-down Camaro, built on the chassis of a Ford Festiva, or the world's first road racing helicopter, which is not only the first of its kind, but it's also the first amphibious endurance racing car ever built. Oh, and they built it to promote a charity. These are the same folks who would later run the Lemons Rally in a three-wheeled Reliant Regal, a sister of the vehicle made famous by a certain British motoring show.

Though we at The Drive have seen some truly strange automotive engineering over the years, this nutty van is right up there with some of the greats, along with another contender we stumbled across just this morning. 

Let us hope the van encounters no accidents on track that roll it over, lest it becomes the Flippy Trippy Tippy Hippy Van.

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