July 3, 2022

After a spate of unreliable French scorching hatches, Adam Gough did the wise factor and switched to considered one of Wolfsburg’s best. All was going nicely, till he found Efficiency VW journal and the VW bug bit laborious. That is his modified Golf GTI Mk2 with a G60 conversion. 

Function from Efficiency VW journal. Photographs: Nick Williams.

Adam Gough reckons Efficiency VW, plus a sure Golf we featured beforehand in our Mk2 Insanity version (again in 2006), has so much to reply for in relation to his obsession with the Mk2 Golf GTI and the way his personal challenge spiralled uncontrolled. We’re not taking all of the rap, although. Clearly attending his then native automotive meet, No Rice, and mixing with different like-minded water-cooled VW fanatics clearly didn’t assist his situation, both…

Regardless of showing prefer it simply rolled straight off of a 1990’s German present subject, Adam Gough’s Unimog Orange Mk2 was really created rather more just lately than that. “I didn’t really purchase the automotive till the latter a part of 2008,” the 37-year-old advised us, “however I’ve all the time liked the Euro-look and vehicles from mainland Europe, particularly since discovering PVW.”

Having one thing of a chequered previous in relation to earlier challenge vehicles; assume Fiat Uno, Fiat Panda, a Vauxhall Nova and Ford Capri, it was really a spate of unreliable Peugeot 205 GTIs that finally brought on him to leap ship and swap throughout to the VW model. We’ve all been there… form of!

After driving a white 1.6 Mk2 Driver for some time, the VW bug quickly bit laborious and Adam discovered himself trying to find a sportier GTI mannequin. “I did the same old factor you probably did when on the lookout for a automotive again then, searched Auto Dealer, known as up a few tuners and even flicked via the native free advertisements. Sure, I’m that previous!” The black 1992 Mk2 GTI he stumbled throughout already sported a G60 conversion, which was the primary enchantment, however that was about all it had in its favour initially: “I suppose the automotive was low cost at simply £1500 and fairly straight if I’m sincere, nevertheless, it didn’t have an MoT and the wiring loom used from the G60 conversion was horrible,” he admitted. Whereas he did plan to switch the automotive additional, he by no means supposed to get fairly as carried away as he did (the place have we heard that earlier than – All?).

Modified Golf GTI Mk2 G60 conversion

By the point he’d purchased the G60, Adam was already hooked on Efficiency VW journal, and he had all method of loopy concepts flying round inside his head, nevertheless, it had been a automotive we’d featured again within the 12/06 situation ‘Mk2 Insanity’ that basically caught in his thoughts. “Martin van der Woude’s TFI-powered Mk2, painted in a customized shade of orange with gold pearl actually impressed me to go within the route I did.” You ain’t kidding…

At first look, the 2 vehicles might simply be mistaken for twins. In addition to being orange, each have G60 arches, de-badged Rallye front-ends, single wipers, and smoothed, body-coloured facet mouldings and bumpers. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take you lengthy to start out recognizing the variations as you delve just a little deeper. Adam is fast to level out that whereas the Dutch-build automotive had impressed him, his challenge was by no means meant to be an actual copy.

Modified Golf GTI Mk2 G60 conversion

The place Martin’s automotive featured a TSI in a totally smoothed bay, Adam needed to retain his G60 and maintain a few of the authentic seams and apertures within the bay which his automotive would had left the manufacturing unit with. The opposite apparent variations between the 2 vehicles embrace the door handles (the Dutch automotive’s have been completely shaven whereas Adam fitted Porsche 944 gadgets), the dashboard (Adam retained the Mk2 unit whereas Martin’s automotive had a Mk4 merchandise shoehorned in) and the rear quantity plate recess (Adam opted for a slender, US-spec set-up versus Martin’s full-width however flush recess). Like we stated, the vehicles possibly comparable on first impression, however they’re actually fairly completely different whenever you delves just a little deeper.


A spell of unemployment in 2009 meant Adam discovered himself with fairly a bit of additional time on his arms (even when his money circulation wasn’t fairly so flush), so he determined to strip the automotive down able to ship it off for a full repaint. And fortunately, the extra he stripped out of the automotive, the extra he realised simply how strong the shell was. It wasn’t till the center of 2010, nevertheless, that Adam’s chosen painter (Truxspray) was prepared for the automotive.

“It was Previous Bones Fabrications that smoothed the aerial and the second wiper gap (which was not going to be wanted) in preparation.” Lastly, the shell was dropped off on the paintshop so they may work their magic. And, should you’re questioning, Adam really discovered this explicit shade of Mercedes-Benz Unimog Orange whereas flicking via color charts at Truxspray. It’s secure to say the color definitely pops!

It wasn’t till just a little additional down the street that Adam had the centres of the wheels painted physique color by good friend Ben Wilson, plus he added a few different physique mods: “I really purchased the US-spec tailgate from Paul Ellis, who used to work at Jtec, which added one other customized component to the shell. Then we fitted the brand new entrance wing I’d purchased that already had a T4 vent grafted into it.”

Modified Golf GTI Mk2 G60 conversion

Whereas the shell was despatched off for paint, Adam took this time to ship off the total electrical Recaro inside (that he purchased for simply £150) off for a black leather-based retrim. When you’re nervous that sounds a bit too wise (in contrast with the lairy orange hue that adorned the surface), don’t fear, Adam instructed the trimmers so as to add an orange stitching to the seats and door playing cards, to maintain that customized really feel operating all through. “The retrim was one other discount,” he continued, “I used an workplace furnishings trimming firm that had finished an excellent job on a good friend’s automotive. They solely charged £750!”

As soon as the shell was painted, it was successfully one huge jigsaw for Adam to assemble. Because the automotive went again collectively, a couple of important upgrades have been added to the combination together with, inside, the compulsory Momo 300mm Crew steering wheel, three gauges have been added to the dashboard the place the stereo as soon as lived (the latter being relocated to the glovebox) and a pair of Audioscape door pods. It was at this stage that Adam’s brother, Phil, stepped in to create a easy however efficient boot construct for the JL Audio upgrades that had been drafted in.

Modified Golf GTI Mk2 G60 conversion

Adam is eager to level out that this was by no means a big-buck construct, nor was it a automotive that was simply shipped off to have all of the work carried out, earlier than being collected when it was completed. It’s been a labour of affection that advanced over time and has seen Adam study all method of latest expertise on alongside the best way. “The one issues I didn’t do have been the paint, the retrim and engine construct,” he advised us.

Now, it’s all nicely and good having a fairly automotive, however Adam was solely too conscious he wanted to get his mechanical bits in test, too, earlier than it went again collectively. So, his subsequent focus was on the chassis upgrades. “I initially bought a set of low cost AP coilovers from a good friend, however they’ve been so good I’ve by no means felt the necessity to improve them for dearer gadgets.” Whereas the automotive was in bits, it additionally made sense to poly-bush the suspension elements all through. A 16v anti-roll bar was additionally used together with G60 high mounts and Adam took the time to order a set of Vibratechnic competitors engine mounts for when the G60 was prepared to return in.

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When it got here to rolling inventory, preserving with the discount theme the remainder of the automotive adopted, Adam discovered an inexpensive set of BBS RM 012s on the market, which got here with 1.5 and a couple of” dishes. “I stripped and polished the lips, however quickly bored with the maintenance, so then purchased a set of two” and a couple of.5” stainless dishes from Mk2 man, Chris Keeton. Not solely do they give the impression of being higher, they’re so much simpler to take care of, too,” Adam smiled.

With body-colour centres the wheels screamed ‘Euro-look’, whereas a pair of camber shims out again helped him dial within the excellent usable stance. It took Adam round a yr to get the automotive again collectively and it lastly went again on the street in late 2011: “I couldn’t wait to get the automotive insured and head to my first present, which simply occurred to be GTI Competition at Santa Pod.” It went to a bunch of reveals after that, plus Adam did some drag racing within the VWDRC and at last bought to show the automotive on the PVW stand at TRAX 2018.

“After that present I took the automotive off the street to analyze an engine noise, which it transpires was a cracked exhaust manifold. Whereas I used to be at it, I made a decision it was time to get my spare engine and supercharger rebuilt as I didn’t know the mileage or historical past of the unique engine fitted within the automotive, so it will be again as much as have.”

Modified Golf GTI Mk2 G60 conversion

Lengthy story brief, Adam dropped the top off with Jabba Sport for a full rebuild and upgrades in 2018/19, however this rapidly escalated to a full engine rebuild and modifications to the 1.9-litre spec he’d needed since 2008! “By the point the engine was really constructed and able to go in, I’d form of misplaced the love for the automotive and it sat within the storage uncared for for fairly some time.”

Come January 2020, fortunately Adam bought the love again for the automotive after realising it was the unique engine and bay that was letting the automotive down. “I made a decision it was time to get the brand new engine in, have every little thing else changed, rebuilt or restored. Lots of hours went into smoothing the engine bay, zinc plating bolts, portray or powered coating components. Then Covid hit and earlier than we knew it 2021 was right here.” By April final yr Adam lastly managed to get the automotive as much as Jabba Sport so they may add a brand new set-up map for the contemporary motor, which might then permit him to run the engine in safely.

By Could 2021 Adam had modified jobs and relocated to the Isle of Wight. Lots of reveals might have been cancelled because of Covid, however that didn’t cease us from organising a photoshoot with Adam.


What a journey it had been. So, was it price it? In fact it was. Would he do it once more? Sure, in a coronary heart beat. And what’s the automotive wish to drive? “Briefly, loud! Enjoyable, however loud!” The automotive is clearly no trailer queen. Adam can’t be doing with cruising within the gradual lane on motorways. And what does the long run maintain for the dynamic duo? “I’d like to suit the Eibach anti-roll bars entrance and rear that I just lately purchased the simply use it! Maybe I’ll even attempt to beat my present PB at Santa Pod of 14.1 sec. I’m hoping the automotive’s bought a a mid- to low 13-second move in it because the new 1.9-litre G60 went in.”

So, any future challenge vehicles deliberate now the Mk2 is sorted? “You’d assume I’d have learnt my lesson, however I’m already fairly dedicated to a Peugeot 205 GTI restoration.”

How do you clarify the automotive factor to buddies who aren’t automotive individuals? “Stupidity, is a technique to take a look at it. Think about how a lot we’d save if we weren’t spending cash on vehicles. On the identical time, possibly it’s extra about making a automotive distinctive, the best way need it, having fun with it, the general public admiration and the chums we meet via a mutual curiosity. All of us want a interest, so that you may as nicely make it one you get pleasure from.” We couldn’t agree extra…

Modified Golf GTI Mk2 G60 conversion

Tech Spec: Modified Mk2 Golf GTI with G60 conversion


1.8 8v G60 (PG) over-bored to 1.9 with JE cast pistons and 144mm rods, lightened and balanced backside finish together with clutch, ported and flowed customary valve P code cylinder head, port-matched inlet manifold, throttle physique, Rallye U bend and exhaust manifold, Stage 4 charger with 68mm pulley, Ram Air ProRam filter, 315cc “Crimson” injectors, 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, 2.5” exhaust system with two silencers, Golf G60 front-mount intercooler and HRT radiator, SWG silicone enhance hoses, Venair silicone coolant hoses, O2A gearbox and cable change arrange with hydraulic Corrado pedal field, Magnecore leads, H&H rebuilt distributor, all new real sensors, gas pump, oil pump, bearings and so forth. Full engine construct, operating in and mapping by Jabba Sport. Energy: 235bhp @ 6400rpm (220lb/ft @4000rpm)


8.5×15” BBS RM 012 cut up rims with body-coloured centres and a couple of.5” stainless dishes, AP coilovers, absolutely poly bushed suspension and cross member, Vibratechnics completion engine mounts,16v anti-roll bar, G60 high mounts, rear camber shims. Powder coated and rebuild Corrado G60 single piston calipers, Mtec dimpled and grooved discs, EBC Inexperienced Stuff pads all spherical, braided hoses, Mk4 Golf rear caliper conversion, EBC rear discs, G60 grasp cylinder, Mk7 Golf cap (no sensor), re routed cupro nickel brake pipes


Painted in Mercedes Unimog Orange, G60 entrance and rear arches, Rallye entrance finish with debadged textured grille, smoothed entrance bumper, US-style boot lid and hind lights, brushed Porsche 944 scripted handles, aerial eliminated, single wiper with holes smoothed over, semi clean engine bay, battery relocated in addition, heated electrical mirrors, smoked indicators, SWG clean scuttle panel and headlight eyebrow


Electrical Recaro Mk2 Golf inside, 60/40 cut up rear bench with headrests, all retrimmed in black with orange piping, Momo 300mm steering wheel, 3 gauges within the stereo slot, chrome inside handles, 160mph speedo fitted, stereo in glove field, leather-based gear knob and gaiter, A/C swap panel, headlight adjuster, engine test swap, speaker fade swap, Audioscape door pods


Kenwood DAB head unit, JL Audio elements C5-650x and amplifier 300/4 v2, JL Audio subwoofer and cross overs, Stinger gel battery, customized boot construct