Words and Photos by Ezekiel Wheeler
If you know anything about motorsports history, names like Hans-Joachim Stuck, Michael Andretti, Prince Leopold von Bayern and Mika Arpiainen should ring a few bells. What do they all have in common? A racing series simply known as Formula Vee. This year Volkswagen Motorsports celebrates the series 50th anniversary and in grand fashion as well. Holding parade laps moments before the green flag ushered in the 51st Rolex24 at Daytona.
The series is best known for is open-wheeled cigar bodies, 40hp 1.2L four-cylinder boxer motors (later upgraded to 1.6L 200hp as the series matured). Formula Vee started in 1963 at none other than the Daytona International Speedway in VWs first official motorsports debut.
We were on hand to witness the historic gathering at the VW hospitality tent. Rubbing elbows with Stuck, Prince Leopold and Arpiainen got us wondering what would an inexpensive racing series look like today? Who knows, maybe one day Formula Vee could make a return, for now we tip our hats to these racing pioneers and hope for the chance when enthusiasts reclaim the fame we deserve.