We have homologation to thank for some of the best cars of the 1980s: BMW M3s, Audi Quattros, and Lancia Deltas, to name a few. They’ve graced us with their boxy fenders, their high-output engines, and their rich motorsports roots, firmly planted in the soil of race tracks around the world. Unbeknownst to some, though, Volkswagen was privy to their own product of racing: the Rally Golf.
In 1956, Renault introduced the world to the Dauphine, a rear-engined economy car that succeeded the pint-sized successful post-war 4CV. With its remarkably small size, beautiful aesthetics, and fantastic practicality, it was an immediate success, having sold more than two million units by the time production ended 11 years later. Despite building so many, however, chances are that you’ve never even seen one until now. At least, what remains of it.
The American market has never been all too hot on the whole “hatchback” thing. We’ve got a handful, of course, but chances are the first hatchback to come to mind for most Americans will be an EG or EK Honda Civic. That’s likely to be followed by the Golf and GTi. Past that, it’s anyone’s guess. For one reason or another, it never caught on, and if you ask me, it’s a tragedy.
Since its introduction in 1938 until 2003 when the last one rolled off the assembly line, Volkwagen has built more than 21,500,000 aircooled Beetles. Yes, that’s a lot. Surprisingly, though, it’s part of what makes Luigi di Gioia’s ’64 Beetle all the more impressive… It’s astoundingly rare to find classic, unrestored examples in such condition, let alone modified extensively. Luigi’s Beetle still wears its original paint which gives way to perfection throughout the car.
Many car purchases are fueled by impulse, which is often followed by buyer’s remorse. In the classic water-cooled VW world, impulse buys can literally destroy your bank account and wreak havoc with wives and girlfriends. Fraught with hidden rust and hidden running issues, buying an old VW on a whim is trouble. There isn’t a truer car to adhere to the old adage: The best things come to those who wait.