VW for low-cost ral­ly­ing

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence His­toric crowns, be­low

Fran­cis Tuthill has un­veiled a plan to make the VW Beetle an af­ford­able pack­age for en­durance ral­ly­ing and is head­ing to Africa next week to test the project on the in­au­gu­ral Rift Val­ley 1000 Rally.

The 1974 Beetle was built in Fran­cis’ work­shop at Tuthill Porsche to the fa­mous Salzburg rally VW spec­i­fi­ca­tion. It will now tackle up to 1000 com­pet­i­tive miles in the five-day event that starts on De­cem­ber 9.

“I’ve had this idea for a sim­ple, af­ford­able en­durance rally car for a while,” said Tuthill. “Peo­ple are now ral­ly­ing all over the world, in search of great ex­pe­ri­ences. The ques­tion that so many ask is, what car can they use for ral­ly­ing that does not cost a lot of money rel­a­tively speak­ing, but is re­li­able and en­joy­able to cover thou­sands of miles in? There is only one an­swer for me: it has to be avolk­swa­gen Beetle.”

In 1977, Tuthill fin­ished the Lon­don to Syd­ney Rally 36th over­all in a Beetle. While he still owns that car, much has been learned over 40 years. Tuthill’s lat­est build is a fresh take on a con­tem­po­rary Beetle rally car.

“The con­cept is to of­fer a turnkey en­durance rally car for roughly the same price as the donor Porsche 911 re­quired to build a top-flight Tuthill en­durance rally car. The aim is just to fin­ish,” said Tuthill. “This project has to start some­where, and what bet­ter place than Kenya in De­cem­ber, on a beau­ti­ful rally with great rally peo­ple? I am very ex­cited to see how the Beetle per­forms.”

It has taken some sort­ing Tuthill will de­velop a turn-key en­duro car

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