Formula Vee racing began in 1959 when Hubert L. Brundage commissioned Italian race car designer Enrico Nardi to create the Brundage Formula Junior from Volkswagen components. The concept was to provide an inexpensive, reliable, and competitive racecar for the masses. In 1963, SCCA officially recognized Formula Vee as a racing class. True to its core mission, Formula Vee has continued to be one of the world’s most popular and affordable racecars, even graduating Formula One and Indy 500 winners.
The 100-mph cornering speeds, high G-loads, and neck-and-neck drafting make for interesting and exciting racing. The car’s simple construction - aerodynamic fiberglass or carbon fiber body, Volkswagen beetle engine, transaxle and suspension – level the playing field for drivers. And off the track, Formula Vee requires limited mechanical skills, tools, space, and transportation costs.
Formula Vee is a popular single-seater junior motor racing formula, with relatively low-costs in comparison to Formula Ford or Formula BMW.
The class is based on a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, utilizing a collection of the stock parts to form a competitive race car around a purpose-built tube frame and racing tires. The VW engine, transmission, front suspension, brakes and wheels are stock or modified stock parts. The chassis is a tube frame design and the body is fiberglass or carbon fiber. The intention of this class is for the average person to build and maintain the car.
Primarily a class in the Sports Car Club of America many other organizations have adopted the Formula Vee as a class. Over the years, the rules have evolved to improve performance, lower cost, or to allow replacement of discontinued parts.
In 2008, a brand new ready-to-race car would cost about US $15,000. The car could be bought as a kit for about US $8,000, minus the Volkswagen parts. It costs approximately US $700 per race to maintain.
A top-running Formula Vee will go 120 mph (190 km/h) and corner at about 1.6 g. It weighs a minimum of 1,025 pounds (465 kg) with driver (SCCA GCR 2008 specs).
Each year, FV is one of the classes at the SCCA Runoffs(TM), which awards a National Championship.
Variants of the Formula Vee rules exist in the Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Germany and New Zealand.
A related category, Formula Super Vee, evolved, using the water-cooled 1.6 litre VW four-cylinder engine in higher-tech and faster cars that initially drew much from Formula Ford practice, but later started to bear more kinship to Formula Three or Formula Atlantic chassis. This was successful in Europe for a while, but much more popular in the USA where it ran until the late 1980s.
Australian Formula Vee Web Site
New Zealand Formula First (nee Formula Vee)
Formula Vee (UK)
750 Motor Club (UK organising club)
Formula 1200 - Canada
Category at ODP
Formula Vee South Africa
Formula Vees race on the world’s great road racing tracks - Watkins Glen, Mid Ohio, VIR, and Road America. Contact your local Formula Vee region for a race schedule.
Types of Formula Vees
Since 1963 and the institution of the national competition rules, Formula Vee has produced many types of Formula Vee chassis and engines. Over the years, body types have come and gone - some now considered part of the vintage racing classes. The Formula Vees most frequently used by today’s drivers are as follows:
Protoform (built by Dave Green)
Caracal (built by Fred Clark)
Womer (built by Ed Womer)
Citation and Lazer (built by Campbell Motorsport)
Chuck Tatum (209-478-2790)
Each of the above racecars come with any of the following engines:
Buying a Formula Vee
There are many ways to purchase a Formula Vee. Some drivers purchase their cars from fellow drivers, others through eBay but most gravitate toward the following websites:
Formula Vee Swap Shop
Formula Vee Exchange
A complete “ready to race” Formula Vee ranges from $5000 for a good used car to $15,000 for a fully prepared national level racecar. Any track-ready Formula Vee will likely include some spare parts, rain tires, and sometimes a trailer. It might be useful to consult with a driver before making a final decision.
Renting a Formula Vee
Depending on location, there are prep shops that rent Formula Vees:
Ski Motorsports (Washington, D.C. Region)
Stewurt Performance (New York State)
SR Racing (Central Division)
Noble Racing (Central Division)
Other than purchasing a Formula Vee and having gone through driver’s school, there are some upfront costs that new drivers need to be aware of.
Trailer (an open trailer costs about $500; is lightweight; V6 could tow it)
Vehicle to tow trailer
Tires ($600 - $700/set from Hoosier or Goodyear)
Gas can (5-gallon)
Jack (available anywhere)
Tire gauge (accurate to 0.5 lb)
Driving suit (Nomex)
Desirable (but not necessary):
Canopy (can be built from metal conduit pipes and a tarp)
Getting Started in Formula Vee, Jim Schings ($12.50)
Formula Vee History, Andrew L. Schupack ($15.00)(Order from Author)
Competition Driving, Alain Prost
Sports Car Competition Driving, Paul Frere
Racing and Performance Tire, Paul Haney
Inside Racing, Paul Haney