World Famous Karmann Ghia Drag Car Found
Jeff Lenininger's L/Gas Drag Racer uncovered near Hilo, Hawaii
It was a true terror among NHRA's Modified Eliminator. In 1978, Jeff Lenininger did the impossible by winning the Modified Elimintor World Championship in a Volkswagen. Built by K&M Race Cars, this chassis was way ahead of its time, using a strut front end and a ladder bar, coil-over shock rear suspension. While most VW racecars used, and still do, the VW floorpan, Jeff's car was one trick Karmann Ghia! But Jeff sold this car years ago, and not much is known about it since that time, until this past weekend. Working on a lead that we heard at the Hawaii Bug-In, on Monday afternoon, we took a 30 minute drive from Hilo, to a coastal home overlooking the ocean. Upon opening the old wooden sliding door, we saw Jeff's car once again, nearly complete. Even the original 74x88 slipper-skirt engine was still there, with Fumio Fukaya heads, minus the correct welded manifolds. From what we could see, this famous VW could be restored back to its former glory.
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Lasting ImpressionWhen Bryan Ortiz saw an early bus sitting in a driveway when he was just a young boy, he knew he would someday own such a cool looking VW. Years later his beautiful '61 23-Window bus not only took Best Best of Show Custom at the 2014 Classic, it is also featured in the December 2015 issue of Hot VWs!