The ultimate Golf

Flashback

The KAMEI Golf shook up the motorsport scene of the late 1970s, and still holds a special place in the hearts of its fans today.

Motorsport and KAMEI – it’s always been a fascinating and successful partnership. Especially in the 1970s when the name KAMEI was causing a sensation at racetracks around the world, sponsoring up-and-coming drivers such as Keke Rosberg, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Ari Vatanen. Following on from KAMEI’s beginnings in the Formula Super Vee Europa race series, the legendary KAMEI Golf burst onto the scene in 1977 – unmistakeable with its garish red, orange and yellow design.

Packing over 175 bhp at just 750 kg, this racing GTI was the fastest Golf in the world. It could go from zero to 100 km/h in well below seven seconds and achieved top speeds of around 220 km/h. Experienced pilots such as Bernd Renneisen and Mira Lochmann were able to pass even the truest of sports cars. The competition didn’t stand a chance.

The legend continues

KAMEI’s current managing director Thomas Meier was right there on the racetrack during these glory days and still loves to talk about his experiences in the pits. “Being able to see the circus that is racing live and up close was the best thing ever for me back in the day,” declares Meier. Although those days may be gone now, KAMEI recently recovered one relic of its racing past. In a hall on the plant site, there it stands: the legendary KAMEI Golf. From bumper to bumper, the new version looks completely identical to the original. “The original KAMEI Golf was sold to someone in the USA, took part in a few more Group 2 races there and was then probably scrapped after an accident,” explains Meier. “The one we have here was created by one of its ultimate fans and specialists, an exact copy of the original down to the smallest detail. When he offered it to us, we said yes right away.”

 

Around the globe, there was huge hype around the KAMEI racing GTI – and it has lasted to this day. Even in Japan, where model manufacturer Tamiya still produces miniature versions. Some with remote controls, some just models. A new edition of the classic 1:24 scale kit without an engine from 1981 is currently on sale on the company’s websiteAnd as well as the Golf here at KAMEI, there are a further three replicas around the world in Australia, Denmark, England, Lithuania and in the Czech Republic

Even Thomas Meier had never dreamed of such a revival, but now he himself is often found behind the wheel of the KAMEI Golf at classic car events. And so the legend continues.