Thursday, 26 January 2012

'75 Swallowtail Racer

This mkI Swallowtail Rabbit (Golf) was built by GMP Performance in 1975, and fully restored by them in 2010 to celebrate their 35th year of racing. The North Carolina outfit was founded by Joe Klitzsch and his wife Claudia, originally importing AbT, Oettinger and BBS parts, and expanding operations into a full race setup. The Swallowtail began life as a standard 80bhp daily driver, but was transformed by GMP; starting with an AbT intake manifold, dry-sump setup and side-exit exhaust, Joe built it to be an SCCA GT4 race car. The evolution continued with twin-Webers, race cams and forged pistons, along with Sachs coilovers and an LSD. A competition rollcage was necessary, of course, and this was complemented by shell strengthening and custom sway and strut bars; rolling stock was 13x6" BBS rims on slicks, while the body received fibreglass flares and a Zender lip.
It raced successfully for some time, but was retired in 1990 and parked up in the corner of the workshop, waiting to live again... and that pretty much brings us up to date: 2010 saw it receive a full refresh, and now it exists as a charming slice of retro race chic.
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