Volkswagen brought along its Pikes Peak monster to a hillclimb last weekend, just not the car you were expecting
Volkswagen Classic brought along its 641bhp Golf Mk2 'Pikes Peak' to the Internationaler Edelweiß Bergpreis Rossfeld hillclimb in Germany this year, of which it is also the main partner of. The hillclimb took place on September 28-30 along the Rossfeldhöhenringstraße road high in the Bavarian Alps, and just on the German border with Austria.
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Races and hillclimbs have taken place in the region since the 1920s, and extended all the way to the Austrian city of Salzburg. In 1950s the competition became more formalised, and the hillclimb has become a popular event in the region for racing drivers and spectators. The combination of the blatant dangers and the mid-1970s energy crisis put an end to the hillclimb until it was brought back as a historic event in 1998.
Since 2013 it has been held every two years and has continued to attract big entries. A charity element is now integral to the event, with it being volunteer-ran and all event revenue going towards a project for mentally disabled people in the Berchtesgaden district.
The Golf Pikes Peak from the Volkswagen Classic collection was driven by 'Jochi' Kleint, a factory rallycross driver for VW in the '70s and a European Rally champion. He is most famous for his previous appearance in the twin-engine Pikes Peak car though, having driven it at the world renowned Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 1987. The car was quick, until it stopped just short of the finish line. VW returned to Pikes Peak this year with the I.D. R electric prototype, which smashed the electric and overall records for the hillclimb.
Kleint was joined in Germany by Benjamin Leuchter, a touring car driver who drove his usual 345bhp VW Motorsport-developed Golf GTI TCR up the six kilometre hill, which features inclines of 13%. The “Mille Miglia” VW Beetle from 1956, the 1303 S “Salzburg” from 1971, a 1302 from 1972 modified by tuner Theo Decker were the boldest of the VW Beetles that lined up to take the climb, as well as the Brazil-only SP2 sports car.