Thursday, 26 November 2015

While most of us satisfy ourselves owning one Hot VW, Johnny Walklett likes to have a little choice in what he uses to boil the hides on the strip... his 63 Bug is currently the quickest street car in the club, and his beautiful 65 Ghia also makes an appearance on the board, and now he's turning out this beauty! In his own words he's not building anything wild for it 'just' a 2276.... Another RENNWAGEN car we can't wait to see out.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

One thing we're doing as a club to make things a little more competitive, is having an annual club shootout based on ET's run throughout the year. This will be kicking off properly in 2016, but we also wanted to recognised the efforts of those who have turned up, raced and represented the SAS RENNWAGENS  on the strip. All those who've run in the year also get a free special edition club T-Shirt. Here are 2015's Rennwagen Hero Members!

Well to mark our return to the club blog how about we remind ourselves of our members and the awesome performances they've accomplished on the strip. Here's our all time club members board.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Well, it seems the old blog format is preferred by our membership so our website has been taken down and we're returning to the blog.... keep an eye out for updates and news from the world of Hot VW's!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Some Club images..........
(hit image for lager version)



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

RENN-WAGENS at Cal look Drag Day 12th Oct 2013

The Rennwagens favourite meet of the year by far, why? Because of the no bullshit vibe, this ain't about fancy dress its about fancy bhp, awesome pit camaraderie and the desire for everyone to enjoy what they love best and that's running the 1/4 mile as quick as possible amongst some of the finest Hot air-cooled VWs in the country.

So how did we do? The answer is our club did awesome, 8 cars from the club stable in attendance, three club members netted pbs which we'll get onto later, along with some other very impressive performances both off and on the track.

First of all well done all members for having faith that we'd see some track time, I don't think anyone would have bet on it and certainly with all members in attendance late morning it was still looking a little bleak. The 2 hr drive to the track paid off for us and so hats off to the other racers who braved much greater distances - we salute you!

But like any Rennwagen race meet nothing comes easy and this meet didn't come without its own combination of cruddy luck, blatant blunders and comedy of errors. Steve's 61 was still without a motor as it sat waiting for collection at Cal look Drag Day Sponsor Aircooled performance's workshop a week prior to the event and Steve and Rich (Stinkhound Performance" were patting themselves on the back when on the morning of the event the bug was timed up and singing better than ever, however a gentle roll down the pits to check brakes etc ended in minor catastrophe when he found himself running on three wheels - future mental note for Steve to check wheel nuts properly. This you would think would take some beating, however a few minutes later Mark Palmer arrived with meltdown and asked the question "who's removed my bonnet" the pressure was off Steve, it transpires bonnets make excellent kites on windy days. Dear motorway If found please return to.......

On the track though it was all business for the Renn-wagens. First up and out of the gate on street radials was Lee Appleby in his 2276 n/a Karmann Ghia, photos really don't do this car justice and is a credit to Lee. Lee was still buzzing from an excellent performance at Vw Action a few weeks earlier ( see link where he ran a pb of 14.05 but Lee was determined to see the season out in the 13s. Guess what.....he accomplished his goal on the day by storming into the 13s with a 13.8sec pass - if this immaculately turned out fast car isn't worthy of a magazine feature I don't know what is. WELL DONE LEE, AWESOME JOB!

Richie Moss of Stinkhound Speedshop was campaigning "the old faithful mota" for what was probably the last time before lil Stink is introduced to the power plant which sits waiting patiently for d day. You'd think Rich had squeezed every last ounce outta that thing BUT he just keeps finding more in it and it seemed only fitting that he'd hit yet another pb at Cal look Drag Day, 11.78 bettering his previous 11.83 - that's no gas, no turbo, NO PROBLEM!!! Fantastic effort Rich!!!

Pb number 3 goes to Mark Palmer with Meltdown and the whole club couldn't be happier for him. Leading up to Drag Day, Meltdown had seen a gearbox upgrade and some aesthetic enhancements including some very cool gold leaf sign-writing done by Mark himself - the car looks badass. You can see a video of one of Marks runs here . Mark ended the day with a 12.71, confident in the knowledge that the setup has great promise, remember marks still just shaking this car down as he balances a full work life and family life. Hopefully a daylight mot planned for next year will allow more fettle time ensuring even bigger leaps forward at the track.

Damo Tomes arrived in his recently featured  Volksworld magazine cover car and multiple award winning 67, having cruised down with fellow club member and partner in crime Neil Payne. Despite being short on time needing to be home by early afternoon It took all of 30secs for Damo to decide that a run out and supporting fellow members from the trackside just wasn't going to feed his fire so into scrutineering and out onto the track he went for some power play, of course being mindful of requiring a trouble free run home, Damo wasn't hunting PBs on this occasion, happy enough to enjoy some track time and club banter - and that's what it's all about, GREAT JOB DAMO.

Neil Payne's upcoming magazine feature 64 looker was looking sharp, and its clear over the past 12 months this guy has really got his eye in with the car. You may recall from the previous blog that Neil took his car into the 12's at vwaction with a pb of 12.8. Neil again ran solid 12's on radials, proving this car has every bit as much go as show and he was clearly enjoying his newly installed line loc resulting in some sweet looking burnouts. Neil's launches were some of the most brutal launches of any of the street cars running on the day, and with a job well done he headed off home to get some of that white gloss DIY painting done which he kindly put off until the evening so he could represent out on the strip. CHEERS NEIL.

 Out of 2013 Drag Strip hibernation came Steve Milward's hard as nails 61 Looker, life's normalities had ensured a quiet season for the 61, but determined to see the year out with some strip time and with the help of Stinkhound Speedshop and a moto overhaul & carb refresh by Daz Chandler at Aircooled performance, combined with a last minute mot on the tow vehicle (thanks Kraftwerk for the use of the workshop) Steve made it to the dance. With the shift light turned down 700rpm to ensure a trouble free day of fun, There would be no hunting of PBs on this occasion but his smile would have suggested otherwise. Steve hit a couple of mid to high 13 sec passes which is none too shabby considering the short shifting. GREAT EFFORT STEVE

Lee Palmer and Dave Jacques of kraftwerk were aiming to complete mission impossible, having worked tirelessly to get the car from literally nothing to Drag Day in a ridiculously short time frame, the car was under the club marquee from the moment it arrived in order to get some of the final jobs checked off the list. The lads worked tirelessly throughout the day only stopping to help crew and support meltdown's run. In a cruel twist of fate the car was scrutineered  up and running and headed to the fire up lane literally 2 minutes too late, with time being called - Dave's counting that as technically a 12sec pass. Unfortunately rain on the Sunday killed any chance of getting out and running, but a valiant effort non the less.

Mike Riley rocked up Friday afternoon in his awesome 1956 23 window 2332cc Efi 15sec samba, with hopes of an early start Saturday morning to see some track time. Unfortunately the weather prevented the track from opening until 1pm and with prior engagements Mike had no option but to head off late morning and so unfortunately on this occasion was without strip time. Mike is alway great value in the pits and it was great you made the effort despite being so pressed on time. Cheers Mike

Other note worthy contributions...

Peachey Cornes proved himself dependable and hard working, transitioning constantly between pairing the cars resulting in some excellent heads up racing, crewing various club cars, distributing racers bacon baps to anyone in the pits who asked, and a hundred other tasks in between. Peach remains our youngest member and despite being the frequent recipient of club banter (borderline bullying lol) he should be safe in the knowledge that his enthusiasm and efforts are acknowledged and respected by us. CHEERS PEACHEY

Brothers Lovatt are a great example of the Rennwagen extended family, club cars are only part of what makes the club, enthusiastic friends who are there to help "CREW, BREW AND DO" is what we need and these guys did just that. THANKS LADS

Dave ward our young friend from the north deserves mention here in our club report, if we could only convince that lad to change his postcode hey Dave. Master Ward was a previous recipient of the Spirit of Drag Day award, and he showed the same enthusiasm on the day.  Dave was not shy of getting his hands dirty and assisted a number of our guys throughout the day. GOOD MAN!!!

And finally our exulted leader and club captain Jamie Palmer, Jamie was a true legend all weekend, despite no car due to it undergoing a naturally aspirated transformation Jamie was on top form all weekend providing top laughs and support. Firstly to assist Steve Milward, he kindly drove Steve's t4 and car laden trailer to drag day on the Friday allowing Steve to balance work and family commitments. On the Saturday evening Jamie took Billy Menace on a 60 mile round trip to pick up a replacement top pulley in order to save Billy a recovery vehicle ride home (fan belt kindly provided by Lee Appleby). Jamie led the evening shenanigans, kicking off the club breakdancing competitions (you can see the video of the final here staring competitions, arm wrestling competition and club jive, never let it be said we aren't high brow. Worse for wear Jamie finally retired to his tent in the early hours but realised he was without drinking water and after beating on Richie Mosses van in search of a cup he headed out into the night to the drinking tap barefoot in the dark and rain, thankfully the light from friend of the club Glynn Morgan's pit space was shining like a welcoming beacon so barefoot he trudged across for shelter and friendship. Rumours around the pits in the morning were awash with contradictory stories of sightings of a yeti or Sasquatch trudging barefoot in search of a watering hole with only a select few really knowing the truth. THERE'S ONLY ONE JAMIE P
(the morning after)

(We don't stop competing when the racing stops - Breakdance final in progress)

What a weekend, Roll on next year! We'll end the report with this cool shot taken by the club pits

photo credits:
wide 5 Photography
Ste Topping
Andi Michelle M
Steve M
other cool shots from the day here

Monday, 2 September 2013

CLUB VWACTION REPORT 2013..........PB after PB after PB after PB

The Rennwagens always have a ball at VWACTION, and have long made it one of our must do events of our calendar, in fact its probably our second favourite UK show to attend after the UK Cal Look Drag Day Despite the usual “real life” issues like breakages, finances, responsibilities and work keeping a number of members from getting strip action this weekend, the Club still fielded an impressive numbers of cars busting a gut out there on the 1/4. The Club scout party arrived nice and early on the Friday, and thanks to a solid club effort was able to get the Pit Marquee established nice and quickly with heat, water and cooking all sorted ready to keep members and friends warm fed and watered – well done people!! With no racing on the Friday, there was nothing left to do but sit back relax enjoy the company of friends and prepare for the Calm Before the Storm. Saturday Morning and First mention should go to Lee Appleby with his beautifully turned out 1969 1500 Karmann Ghia, Lee’s Ghia took best modified Karmann Ghia back in Bug Jam 2004 and the car has lost none of its appeal and looked magnificent out there on the track. Lee has been working hard on the car over the last 12months having swapped the 1914cc for a much more potent 2276cc combination, its also all wired ready for NOS when the time is right. With his very first pass of the day Lee ran a new pb of 14.1 slashing a whole 1.8secs of his previous best. Lee put together a string of 14.0 passes his best of the day being a 14.05 – making it the fastest Ghia in the club, A really superb effort Lee! Especially considering this was the first shakedown for the new motor, the car has some solid 13’s in there for sure and of course if it is possible get tired of that he has the laughing gas to install…………HOLY COW!!!! You can see a video of Lee running Heads up with another Ghia here

Richie Moss was hoping to shakedown his new motor at Action but a couple of last minute issues resulted in him throwing “old Faithful” back in 3 days before the show. Off the trailer straight in the fire up lane as soon as the track opened, he went through the burnout bin producing his trademark smoke storm then threw Stinkhound up the quarter for an 11.85sec PB!!! Rich then bolted in the passenger seat and took Lou on a number of 12.0second passes just for thrills and giggles, Alton Towers has nothing on Stinkhound!! Before taking another solo run and attaining a new pb of 11.83sec, on the back of a monster wheels up. That’s a 2276cc naturally aspirated = no gas! no turbo! NO PROBLEM!!. Rich and club friend Colin Jardine treated us to a great close heads up during the night racing too. Awesome work Rich, a fitting way to retire “old Faithful”, the new motor has got a lot to live up to that’s for sure. Rich now joins the VWACTION 11sec club along an elite number of racers including our very own John Walklett and Kev Donlon.You can see a video of Rich’s wheels up and pb run here

Two PB’s down next up is Neil Payne and his stunning 64 Looker. Neils had more than his fair share of success hunting trophies this year, but on Saturday he was hunting 12’s baby!! Neil has been steadily chopping away at his times and simultaneously climbing the Rennwagens ET Board arriving at VWACTION with a pb of 13.2 which he attained at Bug Jam 27. Fist pass of the day and Neil takes a new pb of 13.1, but it didn’t stop there as Neil continued to run hard all day succeeding in putting together back to back 12.8’s ON STREET RADIALS. Before driving the car home to Staffordshire, Neil parked over in the show display and picked up another trophy this time a top 10 Air-cooled award. A fitting conclusion to a great weekends work, Neil has a lot to be proud of, look out for Neil’s car in an upcoming feature in Volksworld (the photos are already in the bag) as he now takes his place in great company amongst a number of his fellow Rennwagens in the 12 second club! Well done Neil!!

3PB’s in to the day and it didn’t stop there because next we had Mike Riley debuting his very very special last of the Wolfsburg factory built, radio bus. Mike has been working hard incredibly hard to finish the bus, and having now ironed out any last minute niggles following his drive over to EBI 5 Mike was now ready to get back on the Club ET board with his 2332 EFI providing all the momentum he needs. Not one for standing on ceremony, Mike left all his camping gear inside the Bus upon waking up and headed straight over to the fire up lane, fully laden and with a soft launch due to a proven habit of snapping axles Mike attained a PB of 15.9!!!! You can see a video of the run here Mike lined up again and this time allowing his lead foot do the talking resulting in a snapped half shaft, however Mike’s timing is always impeccable and the breakage occurred just as the track was closing for lunch. Fast buses carry spares and so with a little helped from club members mike had the shaft swapped over within the hour ready to drive back to Staffordshire later that evening. We don’t usually do “a man of the match” because the club is far greater than the sum of its parts, but on this occasion I think it’s fair to say Mike was a real star. First up he rocks an incredibly special and potent bus which looks spot on, he was fantastic company all weekend always smiling, he fed every member who asked as well as our Scottish pit buddies jacket potatoes cooked on his DIY stove, he snapped an axle and just laughed and get on with it and finished the weekend looking to set up a club camping evening in the next couple weeks. Well Done Mike and welcome back to the ET Board buddy!!!!

One of the Clubs most consistent club participants John Walklett and his inimitable 63 Ragtop was out there again representing for the club, because John and the car has such a pedigree it’s easy to forget just how quick his full weight street car is. As an aside, John had been preparing for VWAction earlier in the week by hunting motorbikes on the streets of Staffordshire. John participated in a great inter club heads up with Neil, a disply of two awesome lookers running 12’s and due to John bogging on the line it was a great chase to the line with John taking the win with a 12.4 over Neil’s 12.8 – can’t help thinking John lined up next to Neil was the motivation needed for Neil to bag that first 12sec pass. John kept the inter club passes coming and lined up again this time with Lee Appleby in his ghia to give the crowd another cool Rennwagen power display. Unfortunately John’s night racing was cut short with a loud bang mid track forcing John to shut down and coast through. Not to waste anytime John has already pulled the motor and Early diagnosis is a broken Cam. Sorry John!

Final mention goes to Bill Bailey who on his first pass in his Karmann Cabriolet ran a club qualifying time of 15.9

A big thank you to all those who helped put up the Pit Garage, pushed cars, shared food, drink and giggles. Steve Milward and Chris Lovatt for Spotting duties, The Locker Brothers, Paulie B, Rich Batti and all members & partners and friends of the club who helped make it another great weekend for the Club. Finally a shout out to our Scottish buddies who brought down some serious power; Colin , Donald , Jerry and co.

Here’s Some misc pics…………..

Photos courtesy of Darren Jones, Steve Milward, wil7496, Goaferboy,