#TBT | In autocrossing, sometimes different is really good

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Dec 21, 2023 | Audi, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen | Posted in Features | From the Sept. 1995 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

When we think of cars that seemed destined to become greats in the world of autocross, certain models spring to mind: Honda CRX, Mini Cooper, Fiat X 1/9, Lotus Super 7 and even the new Dodge Neon. These cars, in the hands of countless enthusiasts, have proven themselves week in and week out, earning scores of victories and titles along …

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Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
10/20/16 11:57 a.m.

Awesome. I love these old articles. Keep'em coming.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
10/20/16 7:42 p.m.

Gotta love the porthole in the Pinto wagon.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/28/16 9:15 a.m.

Yeah, this one was fun to do--back before we printed in all-color. This was even back before you could talk to everyone over the internet.

Yesterday Ed and I picked some more old articles to scan and post. Look for them soon.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/28/16 9:17 a.m.

Nothing oddball about racing a 4-Door Civic! (BTDT)

te72 Reader
5/11/18 10:27 p.m.

Fun article. My very first autocross event was the very first one held in my hometown. I was truly amazed that someone had figured out how to convince our county events complex to host an automotive event that wasn't a stock car race or demo derby. Anyway, among the field that day:

-Volvo V70R... with the kiddos in the back, literally.

-70's era Civic on some really skinny tires. Talk about body roll, but it actually did surprisingly well for the class!

-Typical sports cars, pony cars, etc, nothing unusual to see them out among cones.

-1980 something F150... driven by a grandma in her 70's, with the 302 and 5-speed. Turns out, granny could wheel!

-Speaking of Fords... there was also a 1930's Ford hot rod of some sort or another. Pretty sure the car was pieced together from a few different models. Rear tires were probably 5x as wide as the fronts, and somehow this thing still managed to turn on those motorcycle-skinny front tires... car ended up taking the class win that day.


Really looking forward to seeing what the field looks like this year!

irish44j UltimaDork
5/11/18 10:46 p.m.

I always thought my first autocross car was a bit oddball.. DSP and later EP. It actually finished mid-pack most of the time :)

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
5/12/18 7:51 a.m.

Every car I've autocrossed has been an odd ball. 

Started off in a 1996 Impala SS.

Then a 1982 BMW 320is.

Then a 2005 Grand Prix


Then a 1980 BMW 320 

I guess the BMW's aren't so odd for autoX cars but certainly none of those cars are what you would call a popular pick for the sport. 

buzzboy Reader
5/12/18 8:08 a.m.

The top photo excites me. I'm hoping to get our Lemons W116 ready for some autocross duty. Gonna be FUN in the cones, although a bit slow.

Trackmouse UltraDork
5/12/18 9:14 a.m.

Can you guys do a retro article like this? Basically, this same article, but featuring oddball cars of today. 

captdownshift GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/12/18 7:16 p.m.

Time for me to find photos and result sheets from running the xB, before it was banned ;) :D 

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