- Post is under moderationNAUGHTY #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk2 #VR6 / #Volkswagen-Golf-II / #Volkswagen-Golf-II / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk2 / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen-Golf-VR6-Mk2 / #Volkswagen-Golf-VR6-II / #Volkswagen / #VW-Golf-Mk2 / #VW-Golf-II / #VW-Golf / #VW / #VW-Golf-RV6-II / #Volkswagen /
While some of you won’t get Darren Bates’ naughty ’90s-inspired Mk2 VR6, for those that were there first time around this supercharged terror will be right up your street! Words and photos: Jon Cass.
Ah yes, the ’90s VW show scene. The cars, the people, where are they now? It’s a question that’s been asked many times at shows and meets over the last decade and often results in an entertaining and rewarding conversations as many older show-goers have encyclopedic memories. Go on, ask a dedicated Dub-head about that Mk1 on three-spokes with the purple paint job you last saw in 1998; if they don’t remember it, one of their mates will. Chances are they might even know where it is now, that it’s due to make a return any time soon and that those infamous three-spokes are sat in so-and-so’s loft gathering dust. There’s even a group on social media now to help answer all our ’90s show queries and, to prove our memories aren’t that fuzzy quite yet, it’s got a lot of people reminiscing.
Now, I’m making this sound like these amusing stories and detailed memories are likely to fade away into nothingness if they’re not passed on to the next generation pretty sharpish, almost as though the ’90s show-goers are akin to surviving veterans from the First World War. Thankfully, though, this is far from the truth and more often than not, those same folk who were slaving away in their garage 20 years ago are still coming up with the goods today. The only real difference is there’s Radio 2 on in the background instead of Radio 1.
Proof of this is Darren Bates and his supercharged Mk2 VR6. He’s collecting trophies like there’s no tomorrow and is so full of enthusiasm, you’d think this was his first ever car, let alone show car. Yet, Darren has been modifying VWs since the late ’80s, beginning with a Mk1 cab which set the ball rolling and he’s never really stopped since. “I had to sell that one, but within a month I’d bought another as I missed the first one so much,” he smiles.
His next purchase was an orange Mk1 Cab which then became a regular sight on the show scene for the best part of the next 11 years – from the ’90s through to the early 2000s. It was bright, it was loud and it was heavily modified. It was certainly of its time and a highly respected show car to boot. Numerous trophies and magazine features proved its worth and Max Power (at the height of its popularity) voted it one of its top 100 cars of all time. Hell, even Mike Brewer had it on his TV show, Revved Up! The OEM fans might be shaking their heads in disbelief right now but back in the ’90s Darren was at the top of his game.
“I sold the Mk1 in 2006 and bought myself a Mk2 Edition 1 G60,” Darren recalls. “I soon bought a Mk1 Caddy and, sure enough, couldn’t resist the temptation to slot the G60 from the Mk2 into the pick-up!” The smiles were short lived as the caddy soon met its fate in a collision which sadly wrote it off. “To cheer myself up, I went out and bought a Pearl white Corrado with a grey leather interior and had a G60 in that one also,” Darren remembers. There’s a theme building here, as you’ve probably spotted, but a Noble M12 was soon to randomly shake that up and Darren then held on to the Brit sports car for five years.
“The call of the VW badge returned and this time, I went for a Mk1 Caddy in black with flames down the side,” Darren laughs. “I slammed it to the deck and got it looking just the way I wanted.” The down side of a slammed Mk1 on coilovers was soon realised after the first few potholes. “It was great fun to drive but my back was suffering with the harsh ride; it confirmed I wasn’t as young as I used to be!” The Caddy was sold before Darren’s spine shattered and he set about looking for a replacement: “It had to be a Mk1 or Mk2 Golf as they’ve always been in my blood. I just had to make sure it would be a little more comfortable to drive than the Caddy!”
Sure enough, his next purchase was this car here: an #1989 Mk2 Golf 1.6CL German import lefthooker which was promptly stripped down. The shell was taken back to bare metal to reveal the rot and a new front valance, inner wheel arches and firewall welded in place. The shell itself was repainted an attractive baby blue shade and new rubbers, bumpers, locks and handles were all fitted to the exterior. Underneath, the shell received new brake pipes and brake lines. In contrast to his extreme Mk1 Cab of the ’90s, Darren’s opted for a more restrained look for his Mk2, inspired by other cars currently on the show scene. Having said that, this is still eyecatching enough! “The small bumpers and lack of side skirts and wheel arch extensions show off the Mk2’s lines better,” Darren reckons. “And the welded metal plate across the tailgate gives a flush effect, which I prefer.” There are subtle details, too, such as the door handles with Volkswagen inserts. The overall finish is flawless and the look could be described as slightly oldskool, although that was Darren’s full intention all along. “I didn’t want to tread the huge bodykit and massive rims path but I liked the idea of dropping a few hints towards the cars that were around when I started on the show scene.”
Perhaps the flush tailgate could be included amongst them, although the smoked rear lights, frosted indicators and black painted front valance are definitely old-skool mods.
After owning a string of supercharged G60s, Darren knew this one also had to have similarly forced induction, though rather than use a familiar four-pot he wanted ‘Baby Blue’ to be a little different. “I liked the idea of a supercharger and a VR6,” Darren smiles, “the combination of instant power, bags of torque and an infectious sound were too hard to resist!” A 2.8 VR6 from a Mk3 was located, stripped down, polished and painted to show standard. Darren added new colour-coded blue Samco hoses, water pipes and HT leads. He also fitted a new chain, pulley and sensors.
A normally aspirated Mk2 VR6 is a hoot to drive anyway and some real bargains can be picked up now as people opt for newer 1.8Ts. Darren wanted his to have an edge over the NA VR6 and a V2 #Vortex-supercharger achieved just that. “I had to upgrade to 300 injectors and adapt the sump to incorporate the supercharger,” Darren points out, “but other than that it was fairly straightforward.” The usual Mk2 exhaust has three boxes but Darren preferred to have a custom exhaust fabricated with just two boxes to improve the output. The exhaust also boasts a quirky upturned tailpipe which always attracts admiring glances. A trip to see VR6 guru, Vince at Stealth Racing in Southam, proved to be very useful with the Mk2 subsequently producing 240bhp on the rollers. “I can’t recommend Vince enough, he couldn’t do enough to get my car running at its best,” Darren adds.
He’s also recently swapped the charger pulley to one ten millimetres smaller than standard and running at 6-8psi and another trip to Stealth saw it running at a highly impressive 291bhp. There are plans too for a Devil’s Own cooling system which should see performance improved even more!
To cope with the increase in power, G60 brakes make a good investment, though these are hidden by the Porsche 928 16” rims with a five-stud pattern. The stretched tyres enhance the classic Porsche design and Darren is well pleased with the result. He’s also happy that he can have the benefit of slamming his Mk2 into the weeds if he wishes, whilst still retaining a comfortable ride. We’re talking air-ride here, an option that wasn’t as readily available or affordable back in the ’90s. The Air Lift V2 airride kit is mounted in the boot and even has a colour-coded tank. It shares its home with a neat sound system containing neon lights: “They shine against the chrome of the compressors. It looks really cool, especially at night.”
Once inside, the Mk2 dash may look familiar, though it’s now been treated to extra VDO gauges and a Momo steering wheel with the addition of an iron cross insert for the horn. To the left of the dash sits a useful boost gauge linked to the supercharger. “I wanted the interior to be crisp and clean,” Darren points out, “that’s why pretty much everything inside is black.” This includes the carpets, doorcards, back seats and even the reclining Sparco race seats which cleverly manage to look both supportive and comfy! “The interior is an ongoing love-affair so this may yet see some changes over the next few years,” he adds. Going by the amount of trophies Darren and his Mk2 have won over the past year, it would seem no changes are necessary, but as we all know you ideally need to make progress to keep those trophies coming in.
“I’m often gobsmacked about the reactions it receives; people just seem to love it,” Darren smiles. “The paint, the stance and especially the supercharger are all regular talking points at shows!” And we’re not just talking small shows here either; how’s ‘Best in Show’ at the GTI Festival at Santa Pod for you?
Okay, he may have had some time off from collecting silverware since his well-known Mk1 was sold in 2006 but his latest Mk2 just goes to demonstrate that Darren hasn’t lost his magic touch. He can still produce a show-stopper; it’s just this one’s headunit might be tuned in to Radio 2 instead of Radio 1!
ENGINE: 2.8 #VR6 fully rebuilt, stripped polished and painted, blue #Samco hoses, blue HT leads, V2 #Vortex supercharger, 300 injectors, 2” custom stainless two-box exhaust system with upturned tailpipe.
CHASSIS: 16” Porsche 928 rims, stretched tyres, #Air-Lift-Performance-V2 #Air-ride with colour-coded tank, #G60 brakes, front upper strut brace. / #AirLift-Performance
EXTERIOR: Full respray in baby blue, Frenched tailgate, smoked rear lights, original door handles with chrome Volkswagen inserts, frosted indicators, black front valance, de-locked and de-badged.
INTERIOR: Black carpets, rear bench and doorcards, standard dash with #VDO gauges, Mono steering wheel with iron cross insert for horn, Sparco reclining race seats, baby blue Wolfsburg emblems on mats, #Wolfsburg badged door pins and window winders, ICE install including neon lights in boot, chrome compressors.
SHOUT: My girlfriend Ann for all her hard work, patience and, of course, cleaning!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationON THE LEVEL #VW-Caddy-Mk1 / #Volkswagen-Caddy-Mk1 / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk1 / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen-Caddy / #Volkswagen-Rabbit-Pickup / #Volkswagen-Rabbit / #Volkswagen / #VW /
In an age of quick fix builds it’s nice to meet someone who’s been getting stuck in on the same car for years and years like Carl Levy has with his hot rod-inspired Mk1 Caddy. Words: David Kennedy. Photos: Nick Williams.
“I got in to VWs when I started my apprenticeship at a VW dealership,” Carl Levy started off. “It was inevitable after that wasn’t it? I was always in to my cars, I’ve got my dad to thank for that. He’s a real hands-on kind of guy, but it was when I started working at the dealership that my interest really focused you could say.”
You might think spending your nine to five turning wrenches on VW’s latest wares could put you off having anything to do with them at home, but for Carl it only fired him up more. “Four of the guys there had old modified VWs, a pair of Mk1s and a pair of Mk2s, so those lads hold a lot of the responsibility for this car,” he smiled. Carl eventually joined the fraternity with a tidy Mk2 Driver, his second car and the first to wear the VW emblem.
Under the guidance of his old-school loving colleagues, the Driver ended up running a 1.9-litre 8v engine on twin 45 Dellortos and then, when its sills gave up the ghost, that engine found its way in to another Mk2 that continued to serve him well.
“One of the guys from the dealership’s brothers owned a Mk1 Caddy pick-up and he brought it in one day and took me out for a drive one lunch break,” Carl remembered fondly. “I couldn’t even drive at the time and it was certainly no show car, but I pretty much decided right then that one day I would own one.”
Fast forward a while and Carl had sold the Golf and started looking for a Caddy, which, as anyone who has tried to buy a Mk1 Caddy before will agree, isn’t the easiest of things to do. With most of them being work vehicles from the day they rolled off the Wolfsburg production line you won’t find one that’s had an easy life that’s for sure. And of course, it’s a Mk1, so rot, rust and just general wear and tear is usually a bigger issue than is ideal. The third thing any potential Caddy buyer has to deal with is that, for some unknown reason, a load of them get modified by people who, how shall we put it? They like to do things their own way…
“I found it on eBay and it was relatively local down in Portsmouth so I decided to pop down to check it out,” Carl remembered. “The most important thing was I wanted a solid chassis, the rest of it wasn’t as much of a concern,” he added. “This one was solid but with the fiberglass Audi RS-style front bumper it had, the limo tints and some seriously dodgy wheels to name just a few of the tasteful things it had, it wasn’t much of a looker! It also broke down between me buying it and collecting it, so it actually came in to my life on the back of a flatbed,” he laughed.
“I had no real vision for the Caddy when I got it though, I just wanted a cool truck, I’m as surprised as anyone it came this far to be honest,” said Carl. One thing Carl was sure of though was that it would be a rolling project. “I didn’t want to shut it away in a workshop and build it over seven or eight years, never rolling it out until it was finished. There are so many builds that go that route and probably half of them will never see the light of day or the road again,” he reasoned. “Plus my budget wouldn’t have allowed it even if I’d have wanted to!”
After getting the Caddy running and roadworthy again, Carl set about making it his own. And surprisingly, now that it’s all done and dusted, he managed to stick to his plan of it being a rolling build too! We say surprising because we’ve lost count of the amount of people who say they’re going to do keep a build on the road while they work on it… and then five years later the SORN notices are piling up.
First on Carl’s hit list was the bodywork. The truck had been painted black already but it wasn’t a good job by any stretch. Add the holes left from the dodgy front bumper and it was obvious Carl was going to have to start from scratch. With budget in mind, he split the job in to two halves.
After doing as much prep work as he could himself, the truck was sent off to Elite Panel Craft in Wilton to get the front end sorted out, the holes plated up and a nice fresh coat of Diamond black laid down. On the second visit the GTI arch spats were smoothed and colour-coded, the seams between the rear quarters and the tail-lights were worked over and the bare alley bed was painted in bed liner. With a set of 13” Revolution fourspoke wheels, a nod to Carl’s love of all things old-school, he was happy to take in a few shows that year with the Caddy as it sat.
“In 2012 the interior got a full overhaul, it was time to rip everything out and start again,” he explained. “I had already decided on a black and yellow colour scheme, so all I had to settle on was what seats to go for.” In the end our man settled for a pair of Cobra Classics in black with yellow piping. Retro Retrims, a company who’s name says it all, sorted Carl out with a pair of custom-made doorcards to match the Cobras and while they had the material out, put together a pair of matching B-pillar trims and a complete headlining too. “The roof lining was probably the most challenging part of the interior,” Carl remembered. “All the glass had to come out as the roof lining has to wrap under the seals and be bonded. The roof lining also comes through oversized so had to be trimmed as we went. As the roof lining just sleeves over three metal rods, like an old Beetle or something, the tricky part is getting it even and taught without any sagging.”
When Carl bought the Caddy the engine was like the rest of the car; functional but something of a mess of mis-matched parts. A 2.0-litre 16v was matched to KJET mechanical fuel injection from a KR and a 2.0-litre Passat fuel pump but no lift pump from the tank to the fuel pump housing. This concoction of parts meant that it ran, but under any sort of load it’d misfire due to the lack of fuel getting in to the engine. After trying to sort things out with the fuel system from a 9a 16v and still failing to get it running right, Carl gave up and decided if he wanted to progress, he needed to take a step back towards his beloved carbs. A pair of twin-45s were picked up on eBay and a friend sold on the manifold he had to get them fitted up. Finally, the Caddy’s engine was behaving itself, well, sort of…
“It was pretty tired in general, cylinder three had low compression and the rings were shot,” he remembered. “I did what I could to keep it going for a while as I knew that if I was going to redo the engine it would mean pulling everything out and doing the bay at the same time which is no small job, so there were a lot of shows when the bonnet remained firmly shut,” he smiled.
Eventually though Carl realised that the bay was the last thing on his to-do list that needed ticking off so he couldn’t put it off any longer. At this point there wasn’t much left to do on the rest of the truck and the bay was severely letting the side down. As with everything else, though, Carl had it all planned out before he picked up a single spanner. “With most Mk1 bays, the first thing people do is cut out the scuttle and smooth the whole bay, finishing it in the highest gloss possible with a lot of polished and bling parts. I wanted the total opposite of that,” he explained. “I wanted a stealthy and aggressive look with just a few bright bits to really make it pop, kind of a hot rod thing.”
So rather than lose the scuttle, Carl decided to incorporate it in to the overall look of the bay by fabricating a covering piece for it. Inside the space went the Caddy’s ECU, ignition setup, TCI pack, coil pack, horn and alarm and much of the loom too. “Doing the bay was a complete step into the unknown for me, and a lot of it pushed me out of my comfort zone,” he admitted. “Yes, I’m a mechanic, so people would think it should be easy but unless you work for a very specialist company, you just don’t do this kind of thing day-to- day. I work for a small VAG specialist so the bulk of our work is standard service and maintenance,” he added. “You just don’t get normal customers wanting engine conversions, smooth bays and wire tucks!”
Once the scuttle area was all sorted, the battery tray was cut out and the battery itself relocated behind the passenger seat, the coolant reservoir was junked in favour of a top fill radiator and the washer bottle was also unscrewed and relocated. “I then lost the bulkhead brake linkage and servo by modifying the steering column and pedal box to run a G60 master cylinder off it on the advice of a friend,” Carl explained. “Then my friend Joe came over and helped me weld all the holes up,” he added before laughing, “and he only set fire to it once too.”
Carl stuck to his budget guns when it came to painting the bay and opted for a few cans of Montana graffiti paint. Being paint designed for outdoor use, it proved plenty tough and looks just fine and you would struggle to tell it wasn’t a pro job to our eyes.
“Sorting the wiring out was a nightmare. It was such a mess, me and my other half Becky spent hours and hours labelling everything up, tracing what went where and then extending what needed to be rerouted,” Carl added. “Just to make it harder for us I wanted every wire to be black too, which probably wasn’t the smartest idea in hindsight!”
Finally though, and with their relationship still intact, Carl was ready to put some power back in the Caddy’s bay. The original engine was too far gone so a second was picked up. This, too, was way past its best and uneconomical to repair so the hunt for a third motor was on. Eventually a very low mileage ABF lump was sourced from a friend that had left it sitting unused for close to a decade but with just 15k miles on it. “I took the ABF off him and stripped and rebuilt it, replacing the rings, shells and the oil pump etc even though it probably didn’t need it,” Carl explained. “Then I sent the head off to be skimmed, ported and flowed before getting it back and going over every little bit with 3M matt black texture paint, gold and a few bits in brown to make it pop, painting bits in our spare room and baking them dry in the kitchen!”
Carl’s favourite part of the bay is something that is, well, almost impossible to even spot unless you know it’s there. Deciding that the topmount linkage for the Dellortos was a messy solution, our man set about creating a one-off setup to allow him to run an under-mount linkage instead. Doing this involved creating a one-off reverse mount for the alternator, changing the belt and a whole lot of head-scratching and custom fab work.
“I’ve never seen this done before and people may not notice things like this first time they look, some people may never notice it at all, but when people do notice, it makes it all the more satisfying and worthwhile,” he reasoned.
“Someone once said to me one of the greatest parts of modifying a car is injecting a bit of your personality into it,” he continued. “I completely agree with that and as one of my other greatest passions is American football and I’ve supported the Jaguars since I was a kid and they became a franchise, I feel the little helmet I made in to a catch can is another of my favourite touches.”
Now as we bring Carl’s story to a close, we’ve got to level with you. There is so much to Carl’s build we haven’t covered here, the wheels, the custom bike, the wooden trims on the bumpers, the list goes on. And as much as we hate to leave a story half-finished, we quite honestly can’t fit it all in! You see, when we sent Carl a few questions on his truck we said, like we do to everyone, ‘put as much information in to your answers as possible, it makes for a better feature’. Now, we do this because all too often we’ll get answers back on a feature and we’ve got quite literally one-line responses to work with. Which as you can imagine, makes our lives pretty difficult! Carl though, well Carl went the other way, supplying nearly 7000 words on his truck – possibly under duress, we can’t be sure – typed up by his partner Becky!
“To be honest, a silly goal I set myself a few years back was to get a feature in PVW,” Carl smiled. “I thought it was pretty unrealistic at the time and didn’t see it ever happening, so it’s like a dream that it did and it’s probably my proudest moment with the whole build,” he added. “It’s like reaching the top of the mountain, and as a small fish in a very big pond and means a lot to me.” Carl, it’s been our pleasure!
Custom wooden inset on the front bumper is a nice touch and ties in nicely with the BBS’ centres.
Interior is a lovely place to be thanks to new Cobra Classic buckets and colour-coded Retro Retrims doorcards.
Carl’s other half Becky pulling off the ‘this photoshoot is bloody freezing’ look well…
“I wanted a stealthy and aggressive look with just a few bright bits to really make it pop”
ENGINE: 2.0-litre 16v #ABF , head ported, flowed, skimmed and diamond cut, twin-45 #Dellorto carburetors, custom stainless exhaust manifold going in to custom Torque Technic stainless exhaust system, Mk2 GTI 8v gearbox with 4+E fifth gear, Bugpack rear mount, #Midnight-Garage Stage 1 mount kit.
CHASSIS: 7.5” and 8x15” #BBS-RM wheels in 4x100 fitment, clay brown centres, polished dishes with gold bolts and centre caps, 280mm #G60 brake setup with Goodrich braided hoses, front coilovers, rear axle flipped with 1.5” lowering blocks and custom adjustable bump stops, rear camber shims.
EXTERIOR: Full respray in VW Diamond black, chrome front bumper, mirrors, wiper arms, grille trim and body side trims, tinted cross-hair headlights, crystal indicators, wing repeaters and rear lights, sliding opening rear screen, smoothed and colour-coded MK1 GTI arch mouldings, custom hand-built aluminium bed bike carrier, rear tailgate Pro Net, Flushed rear panel and fold away number plate.
INTERIOR: Retro Retrims black vinyl roof lining, B-pillar trims and doorcards with yellow stitching, deleted rear-view mirror and sun visors, Cobra Classic bucket seats in black with yellow piping, Momo Jaguar wooden steering wheel, Porsche #VDO voltage and oil pressure gauges.
THANKS: Firstly and most importantly my girlfriend Becky Hill. She has been there supporting me every step of the way, she has spent countless hours of her time off helping out and even down to helping me type this write up, Kleenfreaks and everyone involved for all the support, my bosses Martin Thomas and Mike Fealy at M&M Autos for all the support and use of the workshop, Nick Williams for wanting to do this shoot, Joe Mallet for his welding skills, the Bpc_retro gang and the ‘Causing a Scene’ crew, Andrew Monteith for his stainless fabrication skills, Nick Collins and Lewis Simmons for coming and getting their hands dirty and a massive thank you to all the awesome people we have met along the way – you know who you are!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationWOLF WHISTLE #VW-Lupo / #Volkswagen-Lupo / #Volkswagen / #VW / #Volkswagen-Lupo-Turbo
The word ‘Lupo’ is Latin for ‘wolf’ and this particular example is certainly wild in both its appearance and actions. Words: Louise Woodhams Photos: Matt Woods.
“I think the most fun moment I’ve had in this Lupo was upsetting a Ferrari F430 driver who thought he could get away. It’s hardly stock-looking in Porsche GT3 green and with a stripped and caged interior, but people are still shocked to hear it has 393bhp, and that’s before the use of the nitrous oxide,” explains Jamie Jackson with a wry grin on his face.
That wasn’t a misprint by the way; the GTI Lupo’s 1.6-litre engine in standard guise pushes out 125bhp, which means Jamie has managed to triple its power output. If we take the manufacturer’s quoted kerb weight figure of 960kg, this Lupo has an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 409hp per ton. The nearest comparison to that is a Ferrari F50. Interestingly the owner of that aforementioned Fezza has 342hp per tonne at his disposal, and no doubt spent five times as much as Jamie.
So, whilst the haters are going to hate (supercar owners and the purists who object to the outlandish colour scheme and Mk4 Golf 1.8T engine), they can’t deny it’s one crazy machine. In terms of nutty Lupos, we’ve only featured a few: Richard Baron’s (of Venom Motorsport fame) lime green project with the same conversion in the June 2004 issue, followed by a bright red one with an Edition 30 2.0-litre TFSI engine exactly ten years later. So modified Lupos of this calibre aren’t exactly common. But what made Jamie go for VW’s baby? “I saw this Lupo GTI on an online salvage auction going really cheap it was just too good to turn down,” explains Jamie. “I fancied something different and at that time there weren’t many Lupos with the 1.8T engine. It just made sense to make something with a bit of wow factor,” he continued. The Lupo GTI has often been labelled by press as the true successor to the first generation Golf – one of the first true hot hatches, so it’s easy to see why Jamie fell for it.
The 2003 silver car, with just 38k on the clock, was bought from Doncaster Motor Spares (now Motorhog) back in 2006 for just £2750. Having been involved in a front end smash, the first job was to get it repaired before Jamie could move onto the exterior styling. “Prior to seeing the GTI I’d already bought a 1.4 8v Lupo as a project car so I had some parts already stockpiled, such as the wide arches. They’re not something that appeals to most GTI owners but modifying is all about being different, right?” Damn right, Jamie.
In addition, the numberplate and handles were smoothed from the front bumper and door respectively to help it give it a much cleaner look together with an Mk5 Golf boot handle and Cambridge Edition tail-lights. The distinctive Porsche colour is perfect for this car, after all it’s got to have to the show to match the go. The gloss black lips and bronze centres of the 7.5x16” (front) and 9x16” (rear) Klutch SL1 alloy wheels provide the perfect contrast to the bright green. The respray was actually one of the last jobs to be carried out. It was previously white and apparently it got nowhere near as much attention as it does now.
Inside the colour theme continues with the Audi RS6-style seats retrimmed in green and black leather, together with the doorcards and the SW Motorsport roll-cage painted to match the bodywork. To complete the track-look stripped-out interior, the dash and trim panels have been professionally flocked in black and the standard steering wheel swapped out for an OMP item. Playing a functional part is a Gizzmo Electronic Boost Controller, along with Defi gauges to keep a check on what is happening under the bonnet.
Talking of which, the 1.8T engine conversion, which is often complimented for looking so factory, was completed in 2008, by which point Jamie was hankering for more than what the GTI could provide. It isn’t hard to make more power from the 1.8T even with a basic ECU remap, which in this case was performed by RS Tuning, but Jamie decided to go more advanced, stretching the engine’s displacement and beefing-up the lower end at the same time with forged Wossner pistons and stronger PEC Rods. To make the most of these mods, he upgraded to a larger Garrett GT2871 turbocharger and Nortech Tubular exhaust manifold. Bigger injectors and a three-inch exhaust system also help to increase power, together with a Nitrous Express front-mounted intercooler kit.
And how does something with that much power feel? “The first time I took the car on the road straight after the engine had been dropped in I knew once fully mapped it would be an absolute beast! It does feel a little front-end heavy compared to having the stock engine but the way it handles the power is great. The Quaife LSD definitely helps. I also felt a great sense of achievement!”
To withstand the higher RPM conditions ACL race bearings and Vibratec engine mounts have been employed, whilst transmission-wise the gear ratios have been modified to mirror that of a diesel in third, fourth and fifth, and the aforementioned much-needed differential fitted. With all of that extra power, the chassis needed attending to as well. To that end the brakes have been upgraded to #G60 calipers, EBC discs and pads, whilst the suspension has been swapped out for Spax coilovers with Powerflex bushes.
By selling the GTI engine and gearbox, together with parts from the donor Golf, 29-yearold Jamie has managed to stick to a fairly reasonable budget and as the owner of Performance Direct he was able to source all of the parts as well as carry out most of the modifications – bar the bodywork, flocking and retrim– himself. “It’s been a bit of an ongoing project but it’s finally near to the way I wanted it to be. The engine conversion is just awesome – it really puts a smile on my face when I upset the owners of really expensive cars!”
Of course, if he really wants to cause a few tears, he’s always got his 600bhp Mitsubishi Evo 6 to fall back on, but it’s the Lupo that puts a smile on Jamie’s face more. Everything about is this car is just so right; lightweight with a big screaming engine and polarising styling. It may be little but by heck it deserves a big spotlight.
Huge roll-cage, buckets, gauges, and OMP wheel give some insight in to what this little Lupo is capable of.
ENGINE: #AGU-1.8T with #Garrett / #Garrett-GT2871 turbocharger, #Tial wastegate with external screamer pipe, Nortech tubular manifold, three-inch exhaust system, 560cc injectors, #Wössner pistons, #PEC rods, nitrous express front mount intercooler kit, #ACL race bearings, #K&N Cone Filter, #Vibratec engine mounts. #02J five-speed box with diesel third, fourth and fifth gear ratios.
CHASSIS: 7.5x16” (front) and 9x16” (rear) #Klutch SL1 alloy wheels shod in 195/40 and 215/40 Toyo T1R tyres respectively, #Spax coilovers and #Powerflex bushes, G60 calipers, EBC discs and pads.
EXTERIOR: Custom wide arches, smoothed front bumper and doors, Mk5 Golf boot handle, Cambridge Edition lights, resprayed in Porsche GT3 green.
INTERIOR: RS6-style seats and doorcards retrimmed in green and black leather, roll-cage painted in Porsche GT3 green, flocked dash and trim panels, Defi gauges (60mm up to 2bar of boost), Gizzmo boost controller.
SHOUT: All the guys who work for me at #Performance-Direct especially Matt And Foxy , everyone who’s helped out over the years to put the car back together especially my dad, Andy, Streak, Dean, Mark and Richard at Unique Body and Paint, Paul and Andy at RS Tuning and Yorkshire Flocking.
AGU 1.8T boasts GT2871 blower, PEC rods, Wossner pistons and a Nortech manifold. The result? 393bhp, and that’s before the NOS is switched on!Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationJURY SERVICE THE ULTIMATE VW Mk2 GOLF GTI?
We’ve been chasing Jim Offord’s impeccable Mk2 for some time now. We knew it was awesome, but one of the best Mk2s we’ve ever featured? Well, you be the judge of that! Words: Mick Clements. Photos: John Colley. / #VW
After a morning locked in the studio, we were taking in some fresh air outside and knew Jim Offord was working his way around the industrial estate towards us for his turn in photographer Colley’s cave long before we saw him. Not because his supercharged Mk2 is lairy and loud, it’s just that when you’ve experienced the unique acoustics of a G60 you know exactly what it is; the howl from the ’charger ebbs and flows with boost levels. Even just listening to it being parked brings a smile to your face.
The G60 is an engine with proper character. Back in the early ’90s it had so much potential but was compromised in terms of outright power due to its eight valves and the G-Lader’s foibles. The #VAG 20v and 16v turbo powerplants that have followed may have delivered more bhp and tuning options, but a modified G60 with a virtually lag-free 220bhp is no slouch and delivers an unrivalled mix of aural accompaniment – deep throb on idle, ’charger whine as revs build, scream on gear change and a howl when on full chat. In Jim’s view: “The noise is something else and it’s got enough power to put your head into the back of the seat very rapidly.”
We salute Jim for his choice of engine. He’s a very capable engineer and could have installed anything he wanted, but has chosen to refine his Golf his way. To complement the smoothed bay he considered and even bought both carb’d 16v and VR6 setups, but stuck to his guns with the G60. He’s one of the good guys too, who will happily discuss the finer details of the car, such as the centre lock wheels, and has helped out fellow Dubbers, from rookies to scenesters, with a variety of issues along the way: “If I can help out a fellow owner it’s all good. I’ve even saved a few cars from scrappage. I’ve never been in it to make money.”
Pop open the bonnet to see what all the fuss is about and the smoothed bay sets off the G60 unit, with the minimal ancillaries painted satin black and finished off with carbon touches such as the Moroso engine cover and slam panel from the C6 Carbon.
Jim first saw the car in 2010, some time before he owned it. It had the G60 install and had been treated to a top quality colour change to Amulet red (an Audi TT colour) by True Paintworks, and it is still on the same paint. Since then, the sides of the #1989 Golf have been cleared of its original GTI trimmings, with carefully modified 1990 ‘big bumper’ spec side GTI mouldings keyed into CL rear arch spats in their place. Jim has stripped the engine bay a little further and sorted some nice, subtle touches too, such as the shortened door mirrors sourced from Mark Gurney, a one-piece scuttle panel made from RHD and LHD panels and a hybrid front bumper with no numberplate block, similar to USA-spec.
When Jim picked the car up, it had no dashboard and no seats, ideal for the Corrado dashboard install and custom seats Jim had lined up. Jim eventually sold the 8x16” Snowflakes, VR6 radiator and Rallye intercooler to make way for his own mods.
Initially, Jim had fitted Fishnet Recaros after finding a pair cheap on eBay: “The owner apologised for them being tatty, but actually they were mint!” Jim needed to change the cloth and had set his mind on something left-field to retrim in red houndstooth using genuine Harris tweed. Jim helps build wind turbines, and frequently finds himself in the more rural corners of the UK, so he set off on a mission to the Isle of Lewis to buy the material direct from the Harris factory. “It came with a leaflet on how to keep and care for it,” he remembers. “The cloth even had bits of straw in it.” Jim built the seats up himself, using subframes from William Smith.
The centre lock wheels are a high quality motorsport modification, yet easy for the casual eye to miss as Jim has replicated the classic BBS 80mm centre nut for the mounting. This belies just how labour-intensive they were to produce. Jim estimates each wheel took around 250 hours and he owes a big mention to Brad Hoyles for the long hours of trial-and-error machining. The 16” BBS rims were originally BMW fitment, 7” wide fronts, 8” wide rears. There was extensive work in machining out the centres and welding in waffle plates before filling and sanding to create a waffle-less centre.
Adaptors to mount the wheels were fabricated and machined to match the ET30 offset of the fifteen52 Snowflakes whilst Jim still had them. Jim worked with a local engineering firm to develop them to his spec. He used an 80mm nut to replicate the classic BBS centre nut, but it requires 740Nm of torque from the torque wrench he uses when building wind turbines to tighten them up. Sensibly, Jim had a fifth wheel made as a spare, which sits in the rear install wrapped in a space saver tyre and custom tyre warmer. “This is just as well as the guy who made them sold his kit and lathe afterwards and so he won’t be making anymore,” he says. He was aiming for an unveiling at Edition 38 in September 2014. With big pressure to finish, Jim and the two lads he shared a unit with completed the car on the Friday afternoon of the show. Jim will confess that he wasn’t fully cluedup with how to prep a car to elite show standards. Luckily, local detailer Auto Finesse offered to help, telling him to just get the Mk2 to the show washed and the team would help him sort the rest out. So, first thing Saturday morning Jim was eagerly lined up at its stand.
He didn’t enter the show ’n’ shine on the Saturday; he spent most of it cleaning and chatting to mates, but after some cajoling and encouragement from Tank (Patel) and Sam (McMahon) he did on the Sunday and was really pleased to get a prize. “I spent most of the Sunday answering questions about the wheels, and I got runner-up in the Mk2 category too, so I was happy with that,” he grins.
With a new-found taste for competition, Jim entered the Mk2 at the Epsom show in Ipswich the week after, and made it into the 15 winners line-up before securing the Best in Show prize. He met the Low Collective crew there and was all set for Players 2014 a fortnight later, but tragically his mum died suddenly two days before the show and real life took over.
A little later Jim made a return, targeting Show & Glow at Bluewater. Show organiser Simon let Jim display the Mk2 indoors, where most of Jim’s local modified Dubber club, the Low Collective, was displaying. Jim has built a solid bond with Low Collective and he was really pleased to come away from the show with Best Mk2 and Best Wheels trophies. To round off a successful 2014, Jim’s final show was VAG Roots at the legendary Ace Café, where the Mk2 was one of five show winners.
Back in his unit and with winter drawing in, Jim began to put pressure on himself to refresh and improve the car for 2015. He rebuilt the wheels and decided to sell the seats to Auto Finesse, along with enough spare tweed to trim a rear bench. He then set about utilising a Recaro A8 seat that he’d owned for five years, which had followed him from house move to house move (Germany to Cambridge, back to Germany, back to Cambridge and then Kent). Then he found out his friend Matty Loveridge had a matching seat, and so he ended up with a pair. Jim then drafted in Joe at Trim Deluxe to retrim them in Mk6 Golf GTD Jacara cloth and Alcantara. The Jacara cloth was also utilised to cover the tank and spare wheel in the rear install.
The rears of the A8s also received the carbon fibre treatment from carbon genius Paul at C6 Carbon. Paul’s work has increasingly appeared in show cars over the last few years and Jim was happy to head north to secure C6’s services, not just for the seat backs but also the door pockets, door seals, seat trims, front and rear bonnet struts, Moroso engine cover, steering wheel and glovebox.
The aim was to unveil the refreshed look at Ultimate Dubs in March, but time was certainly tight. The Thursday night before the show, Jim picked up the carbon seat backs from Paul at C6 in Darlington, travelled home to Cambridge, then to Brighton for Trim Deluxe to build the seats up, then battle the M25 home to Cambridge on Friday teatime and strap on the helmet torch to crack on with the final touches.
He made the show on Saturday, and was pleased to be asked to display in the Performance VW main corridor and to relax a little and take in everything Ultimate Dubs has to offer as the show season opener: “I enjoyed Ultimate Dubs, it was a great chance to meet up with everyone again.” He drove home from UD with a Top 25 finish and the following month picked up the Best Mk2 prize at Early Edition for an impressive haul of trophies and great recognition for the work he had put into the car.
During a really successful and enjoyable series of shows Jim has built a strong association with the guys at Low Collective and he’s pleased to have been inducted into their ranks. In fact, one member is actually now his landlord. Pat, Gordon, Nathan and the whole Low Collective crew run some cool cover cars in their ranks which means the motivation to keep improving their cars is always high.
So, with that in mind Jim took the Mk2 off the road in late August, with some serious plans afoot for an assault on Ultimate Dubs in 2016. Not a dodgy wrap in orange vinyl, but rather a comprehensive programme of subtle refinements and quality upgrades. We’ve seen some preview pictures of the Mk2 stripped down with virtually no area inside and out left untouched by hand, polishing wheel or carbon… and we know the centre locks are currently on Russ Whitefield’s Jetta coupé now that the two are sharing a unit and spurring each other on. We can’t wait for March to come and see for ourselves how Jim has taken one of the UK’s best Mk2s to an even higher level.
Centre lock wheels took a reported 250 hours of work per wheel. Some serious engineering porn!
“If I can help out a fellow owner it’s all good. I’ve even saved a few cars from scrappage. I’ve never been in it to make money”
G60 engine isn’t the easiest thing to get looking good but Jim’s managed it nicely.
Dub Details #VW-Golf-Mk2 / #VW-Golf-G60 / #VW-Golf-II-G60 / #Volkswagen-Golf / #Volkswagen-Golf-II / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk2 / #Volkswagen / #Volkswagen-Golf-G60 / #VAG /
ENGINE: Smoothed bay with relocated ancillaries and battery. #G60-supercharged install, #Jabbasport Stage 4 charger and chip, head stripped and ported, camshaft reprofiled to #Piper 280-spec, ported manifolds, flywheel lightened and #VR6 clutch, Fresh Reflections custom #G60 radiator and intercooler package, with custom mounting brackets, Moroso carbon fibre engine cover by C6 Carbon. Power rated at 225bhp.
CHASSIS: Custom one-off 7.5” (front) and 8” (rear) #BBS RS 16” alloys with centre lock conversion, 80mm centre nut, wheels painted Tempest grey, 0.5” lips all-round, Nankang Ultrasport 165/40x16 tyres, #AccuAir E-level setup with custom front struts and chassis notches, 16v-spec brakes.
EXTERIOR: Repainted inside and out in Audi Amulet red by True Paintworks, smoothed engine bay, delocked doors and tailgate, rear spoiler and wiper removed, one-off shortened door mirrors, 1990-spec side mouldings, single wiper conversion, carbon fibre slam panel, tailgate struts, bonnet struts and rain tray by C6 Carbon.
INTERIOR: Corrado dashboard. Dashboard and door cards retrimmed in Alcantara, Recaro A8 seats with carbon backs by C6 Carbon, trimmed by Jim and Trim Deluxe in Alcantara and Mk6 Golf GTD Jacaracloth centres, Crow Enterprises harness, carbon fibre steering wheel, glovebox and door trims by C6 Carbon. Les Hicks black roll-cage, rear seats removed and custom air tank and spare wheel installation, trimmed in Jacara cloth, manual door windows.
SHOUT: Paul at C6 Carbon (www.c6carbon.com),
Trim Deluxe (www.trimdeluxe.co.uk), Fresh
Reflections (@fresh-reflections), Auto Finesse, True
Paintworks, Low Collective
“The noise is something else and it’s got enough power to put your head into the back of the seat very rapidly”Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.