This month, the HVA, along with Volkswagen, honored the Black American Racers Association (BARA) and its contributions to the recognition of African-Americans in motorsport during a special presentation at Volkswagen.
Founded in 1972, BARA sought to bring more attention to African-American drivers, mechanics, owners and sponsors within the sport. Lasting five years, BARA grew to nearly 5,000 members, including car clubs throughout the country. Among those in attendance was BARA’s first chairman and renowned racecar driver and team owner, Leonard W. Miller. Author of Silent Thunder: Breaking Through Cultural, Racial and Class Barriers in Motorsports about his time spent racing, Miller is considered the country’s foremost authority on African-American motorsport history.
Along with the recognition of BARA was the presentation of the fully-restored original Super Vee raced by Benny Scott. Together, Volkswagen and the HVA conducted an exhaustive search throughout North America and Europe to locate the car. Once found, the full restoration was completed in two months, with every detail of the car matching its appearance during the 1975 racing season. Through the help of donor chassis parts, the team behind the restoration was able to use rare photographs and vintage racing footage to carefully complete the full, accurate restoration.
Formula Super Vee and Formula Vee were popular categories of road racing in North America and Europe that allowed young drivers the opportunity to test their abilities in reliable, low-cost cars powered by Volkswagen engines. Many of motorsport’s top competitors spent time in one or both divisions, developing skills necessary for a career in racing.