Friday, September 28, 2012

Walter Wolf RG500 and 400

Walter Wolf was an Austrian born and later Canadian business man who made his fortune in the oil business. He happened to be a giant motorsport lover and funded an F1 team. He must have been a special character as in 1975 after having purchased a Lamborghini Countach, he claimed this wasn’t fast enough and asked for a special version of it with a more powerful engine. And so, in addition to the special edition Suzuki RG500 and 400, there are apparently 5 ultra rare Lambos named WW around the world as well. The RG500 walter Wolf Special - a very limited, very distinctive edition of the 500cc Suzuki machine that has won seven championships in world-class Grand Prix racing. That racing heritage continued in 1986 with the Walter Wolf sponsored RG500 winning the Canadian National Pro & Amateur 600 Production Championships. The full power Walter Wolf RG500 Gamma of which only 99 were produced, were only exported to Canada. No other venue (including the Japan domestic market) was to ever receive the real deal 95 hp Wolf. Canada WW's are distinguished by a dedicated series of VIN's beginning with the last three digits of 883 and ending with 982. Also the Canadian bikes did not have the WW logo on the gauges nor the WW key that Japanese Wolf's had.
(Update 20-04-2016, I received an email from Bob Truelson a well known name in the RG500 community and he told me that some of the Canadian bikes also had the WW logo in the gauges)
Of the 99 production Canada WW's, a surprising number went to Mexico where Walter Wolf was a big name in F1 auto racing circles. Perhaps as many as 30 of the new bikes were shipped there to very appreciative owners, never to be seen again north of the border. The Japanese market had the Walter Wolf RG400 and RG500 in 1986 with colors like the Canadian model and in another black and red scheme and with different clocks. For the Singapore market there was a WW in a grey color. In 1987 the Japanese market only Walter Wolfs came in a new color scheme with the RG400 having Walter Wolf Racing on the belly pan and the RG500 with "500" on the belly pan. These colors are also known as the Mizutani replica colors, Mazaru Mizutani is a former Japanese 500cc champion and was sponsored by Walter Wolf Racing. This last model is very rare.
For more pics see
Walter Wolf RG500 and 400