Broad “sports car” nose and skinny tires are distinguishing characteristics of the 79V, as are the low cockpit surround and angular sidepods.
Photo: Brad Jansen
If I asked you to pick a brand associated with high performance and motorsport, chances are good the name Volkswagen would not be one of the first names to pop into your head. Known as the “People’s car”—and forever linked to the bulbous but iconic “Bug” nee Beetle—by the 1960s, Volkswagen had built a worldwide reputation for affordable cars, but not necessarily performance.
This lack of breadth was not lost on U.S. Volkswagen dealers, including Jacksonville, Florida-based Hubert Brundage of Brumos fame, who had been experimenting with various Volkswagen-based racing specials. Fortuitously, Brundage made a trip to Italy in 1959 and while there toured the workshops of Enrico Nardi. Impressed with Nardi’s ability to build small, nimble racecars around Fiat’s more pedestrian components, Brundage commissioned Nardi to build him two Volkswagen-powered, open-wheeled prototypes.
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