You've heard of the Michael Schumacher versions of the Fiat Seicento and Stilo. You're probably aware of the Mercedes-Benz A160 Edition Häkkinen. But what about the Volkswagen Passat Niki Lauda edition?
Well, it's a thing. Sort of.
The B4 Passat is an increasingly rare sight in the UK, so my eyes were drawn to this example while touring the mountain roads south of Innsbruck. Although the B5.5 Passat is arguably peak Passat (discuss... ), the B4 retains that hewn-from-granite feel of VWs of the 1990s. It also looks great on a set of BBS TLA alloys.
It was only after pulling up alongside the car that I noticed the decals: ‘Niki Lauda – 1949-2019.’
As tributes to the triple world champion go, this is one of the least obvious, but fair play to Herr Lauda's fellow countryman (or countrywoman) for making the gesture. It's what the Austrian would have wanted, probably.
Did Herr Lauda ever travel in a Passat? Maybe on the odd occasion when his Lauda Air Learjet was grounded due to fog and he needed a cab.
Whatever, he would have been pleased to know that his achievements are being acknowledged by a Passat owner, just a few miles off the Brenner Pass.
What next? Could we find a Rover 400 Tourer ‘Sir Stirling Moss – 1929-2020’ in the South Downs? Maybe a Morris Marina estate 'Graham Hill – 1929-1975’ in the New Forest? Or a Renault Laguna Sport Tourer ‘Patrick Tambay – 1949-2022’ in Brittany?
If you own this B4 Passat Niki Lauda edition, Petrolblog salutes you.