Everyone has this other side of his persona. Some dudes are downright docile most of the time but let loose once in the company of cheerful friends. Such can also be true with automobiles. There are in some ways, Mr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde cars, which reminds me of this double persona. The type of car that can be used practically everyday yet on weekends let loose its secret in another venue.
The early Shelby Mustang personifies just that. It is an everyday car, one that was even offered as a rent-a-car in its heyday. Owners and those who rented it eventually raced this on a weekend, as this performance car was really tuned to take the track. Of this genre, my favorites of course would be the cars from Stuttgart, the everyday sports cars from Porsche. First would be the 356 Speedster, a lightweight delight that was favored by the weekend racer. Another is the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS a very desirable stormer at the track in the 70’s. Both are at ease on the street as well as beating club racers with bigger engines on a Sunday. Now, this is what I call ‘Rebel Racer’ and it comes to mind, images of James Dean in his Porsche.
An ideal mold of a ‘Rebel VW’ would be a body beaten, bruised, rough on the edges 1965 Karmann Ghia. No glam-up car here, just real scars and scratches showing it was meant to be driven…fast. A reliable and bulletproof 2.7liter boxer motor with multi-carbs, is blueprinted for daily drive and weekend sorties. The radically reworked suspension is beefed up with tubular space frame stiffening the aging chassis and rolls on massive wheels. Obligatory roll cages, bottle of fire extinguisher, bonnet straps are outfitted for safety not vanity. Just plain, ‘keeping it real’ would do just fine, and this surely is what this “Rebel Yell”.
Karmann Ghia 2.7 RS…. Rebel Speedwagen