Trackside Outtakes: 1975 VW (Race Car) Transporter

VW race transporter

This unusual VW Transporter was spotted near the entry to the paddock area behind the pit buildings at the Sandown Historic races last year.

VW race transporter rear

I expect it is a custom build, because other than a CC post by Paul on stretched VW campers I haven’t seen anything else like it.

VW race transporter interior

The Transporter had been beautifully restored, inside and out.

VW race transporter loaded

At the end of the day I was able to see what its cargo was…  (note the narrow “transport” wheels)

Ralt RT4

This Ralt RT4 open wheeler, which car was an off-shoot of the Formula 3 RT3 built in the early 80’s for Formula Atlantic/Pacific racing.  The RT4 was typically powered by a 1600cc Ford Cosworth BDD engine, making around 230 hp.  There were approximately 134 RT4’s built between 1980 and 1987 which is actually a large production run for an open-wheel racing car.

Roberto Moreno Ralt RT4 Aust GP winner 1981

Roberto Moreno Ralt RT4 Aust GP winner 1981, photo from

These cars formed the majority of the Australian Grand Prix field in the 1982-84 period when it was held at Calder Park each year on the northwestern edge of Melbourne and dominated by Brazilian Roberto Moreno; he was beaten once only, by Alain Prost.


Ralt was established in 1975 by Ron Tauranac, who was the designer of the Brabham racing cars, with two world championships to his credit (1966 & 67 constructor’s as well as driver’s) after Brabham was bought by Bernie Eccelstone.

Formula Vee

But perhaps a more fitting payload for a VW Transporter is a Formula Vee racer!


These also fit more easily on a standard Transporter, and would weigh several hundred pounds less than the RT4’s 1230 lb approx (550 kg).  Don’t forget you need spares and tools on top of that, so it adds up to a considerable load.

VW at Phillip Island

The VW Transporter’s performance limitations are well-documented, but assuming it has a healthy engine I’m sure it would perform adequately on the highway.  This appearance at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit attests to that, being roughly 2 hours from Melbourne.  At least in the heavy traffic on the return journey you would have the opportunity to bask in the attention such a unique vehicle undoubtedly receives!


Further Reading:

Cohort Outtake: VW Super Bus

Curbside Classic: 1965 VW Deluxe Micro Bus “Samba” – Tinnibus – a comprehensive look at the VW Type 2