EPi History of the Screaming Yellow Zonker
is a 16v GTI prototype from VW Sport. The big
difference is that it features All Wheel Drive and
an ABS brake system. It was an evaluation vehicle
for things to come from VW. It is a one-off, Ferrari
yellow, concept vehicle based on a 16v GTI.
This unique concept car was the forerunner to the
Zonker, the two door GTI was built by itself on the
assembly line at Volkswagen AG's, advanced Halle 54,
production facility in Wolfsburg. Unlike standard
U.S. GTIís , the Zonker is equipped with VWís permanent
four-wheel drive viscous system called Syncro
and a VW/Teves anti-lock braking system.
the Zonker was sent to Volkswagen Motorsportsí facility
in Hanover, Germany, where it was fitted a high performance,
16-valve engine, complete with U.S. emission including
catalytic converter, and a close ratio, five-speed
gearbox. VW didnít stop there. Shortly after the carís
arrival to the states it was taken to Callaway Cars
of Old Lyme, Connecticut. There a Garret
turbo charger and custom intercooler
were added. The 16-valve
engine, now developing about 219hp, and Syncro
4WD combination made the Zonker the only vehicle of
its kind in the world. I have obtained the documents
from Callaway presented to VW Sport on the 16v
Turbo DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, 16v
Turbo DESIGN PHILOSOPHY, and THE
DYNO APPROACH. These documents have a great insight
into the development of the Zonker.
to the installation of the engine and transaxle, VW
Motorsports also revised the spring rate and re-valved
the struts to lower the vehicleís ride height by about
1 Ĺ inches. The Zonker also has BBS
one-piece wheels and a BBS front spoiler, rocker
panel extensions and a new rear apron. European bumpers
and mirror housings have been painted to match the
body color. The European quad
headlight grill with GTI & Syncro
badges round out the list of exterior changes.
the one-off GTI shows a 220-kmh speedometer
boost gauge. The seats are custom leather RECARO's
with adjustable thigh bolsters. Leather is also found
on the rear
seats and headrests, door panels, sport
steering wheel and shift
knob & boot. Power windows and central locking
system are also standard features.
??/1987 at Volkswagen AG's, advanced Halle 54,
production facility in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Install ??/1987 at Volkswagen Motorsportsí
facility in Hanover, Germany.
in US ??/1987 at ??
Motorsports Tour ??/1987
CART race in August of 1988 at Meadowlands,
(Submitted by Tom Doblmaier)
I did find a few pictures which I have attached.
The first 2 are of, I believe, your car
I took them at the Meadowlands in NJ in
August of 1988 at a CART race. I was wrong
in that the hood scoop was NOT on the car
yet. I included another picture taken at
the same event of a VW
Pace car - that does have the hood
scoop (but its a US 16V car - not a syncro).
I also included a shot of a GTI
VW used to bring to events a couple
of years earlier in 1985. Its a full-up
race GTI. Roll cage, stripped interior,
no dash, etc.
1985, VW had what they called their "VW
Caravan" which was a rolling display
of 4 or 5 cars that they would setup at
motorsports events. The racing GTI was one.
They also had an SCCA Scirocco, a Neuspeed
cabrio, and I believe one or 2 other cars.
In 1983 and 1984 the Rabbit GTI was a big
seller for VW. Then when they introduced
the A2 GTI in 1985, it was also very popular,
winning Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.
VW was capitalizing on this, and continued
to do so until around early 1993, when they
fell flat on their faces (in the US at least),
not making a decent car (VR6 Corrado was
great but it was too expensive), until the
95 GTI VR6s came out.
good luck and if I find anything else, I'll
email it along. Let me know how you make
Custom Compact Nationals Spring of 1989
at Carlisle, PA USA
(Submitted by Chris Stewart)
Zonker was with "VW Caravan" once
again showing off it's stuff at Carlisle.
Chris attended the show and had taken these
The hood scoop is still NOT on the car yet.
With this new information Callaway had not
gotten the Zonker yet to add the turbo and
hood scoop. Also with the Zonker is a Corrado
Pace Car and the Golf Pace Car.
Install ??/1989 at Callaway Cars of Old Lyme,
to Private Party ??/1992 Oshkosh, Wisconsin USA.
to Me August of 2001 Fairfax, Virginia USA.
Callaway Turbo Sept. of 2001 Turbo Auto,
Nashville, TN USA (Zonker's
Callaway Turbo Rebuild Story)
Down Pipe Oct. 2001 Turbo Power, Cameron Park,
CA USA (Zonker's
New Down Pipe Story)
Callaway Boost Gage Dec. 2001 from 0-60 to a Callaway
-30 to +30 Boost Gage.
to Scott August 2002.