Formula Vee celebrated its 50th birthday at Daytona in late January, with a parade of classic Formula Vee and Formula Super Vee cars prior to the Rolex 24. Many of the cars were driven by former FV drivers who went on to become international motorsports stars, including two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, who drove the very first Formula Vee car, two-time Daytona winner Elliott Forbes-Robinson, former DTM and sportscar stars Hans-Joachim Stuck and Dieter Quester, and rally icon Markku Alen. “It was great to be here,” said Luyendyk. “I grew up around Formula Vee. My dad drove them and I worked on them, and Formula Vee has been a very big part of my life.” Luyendyk drove the Nardi FV that Hubert Brundage commissioned from Italy’s Enrico Nardi in 1958. “I was flat out and everyone was passing me,” said Luyendyk, “which wasn’t so good, but this was special because the Formcar (modeled after the Nardi) is the first racecar I ever sat in.”
The first SCCA Formula Vee race was held at Daytona in August of 1963, although the cars had raced around the southeastern U.S. prior to that event. Using the 40hp, 1.2-liter engine and running gear from the Volkswagen Beetle, racers put together extremely cost-effective single-seater racing machines to launch a boom that within two years would make its official European debut before 50,000 spectators at the Norisring in Nuremberg, Germany.
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