October 6, 2022

A modified Mk1 Golf Driver is a uncommon beast today. Maybe much more elusive is having the ability to pin down a gasoline engineer in these chilly climes. We strike gold this month, although, and discover each. Hopefully, we’ll be let off the call-out cost…

Characteristic from Efficiency VW journal. Phrases: Graham Leigh. Photographs: Matt Clifford.

Thirty-five-year-old Wolverhampton-based gasoline engineer, Scott Russell, was beneficiant sufficient to speak us by his epic construct regardless of it being his busiest interval. Scott began his driving profession in a basic Mini that was engine swapped for a 1430 unit. A Vauxhall VX220, BMW 320i and Mercedes A-Class function in his eclectic automotive historical past with campers additionally enjoying a number one function. Scott has beforehand owned a T4 and a Ford Transit Customized however has now gone full-size and is at the moment engaged on a 2017 VW Crafter for the household’s holidaying pleasure.

Scott bought his first Mk1 Golf again in 2013 within the form of a 1986 GTI Cabriolet. He defined how he obtained the VW bug largely as a result of present scene: ”I discovered that VW exhibits and occasions are simply a lot extra chilled and enjoyable than the Mini exhibits. Modified examples are accepted and welcomed in a approach that I’d by no means skilled within the Mini scene”. The Cabriolet wanted some TLC however Scott was impressed by what he was seeing at numerous exhibits and obtained caught into making it a presentable automotive. A 12 months later, Scott was hooked and wanted a tin-top Mk1 repair. As per Murphy’s regulation, the chosen e-Bay buy was all the way in which up in bonnie Scotland. The 1983 Driver was duly collected and, though removed from the show-winner you see right here, was a well-specced automotive with a rev-happy ABF 16 valve motor already in place. “I ran each Golfs for some time however I bought the Cab to fund a T4 campervan to remain in at exhibits. Me and my spouse, Gem obtained fed up with staying in tents and we appeared longingly on the cosy wanting vans. The conventional routine for us now could be for me and my daughter, Daisy to journey to a present within the Mk1 while my son, Billy and Gem leap within the Crafter. We then all camp within the consolation of the van. Once we had the T4, it blew up on the way in which to VW Pageant at Harewood Home on a Friday afternoon, two hours from house. Not wanting additional disappointment, we slung our tenting gear in our buddy’s T6 and the 4 of us clambered within the Mk1 and retrieved the damaged T4 on the Sunday”. Now that’s what we name dedication.

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Modified Mk1 Golf Driver

As is so typically the case, the modified Mk1 Golf Driver wasn’t initially purchased to remodel right into a present automotive. The intention was to drive it onerous and luxuriate in it. Brakes had been thus a primary smart modification with 280mm G60 drilled and grooved discs, MK3 Callipers, a motorsport pedal field and adjustable bias caring for stopping duties admirably. KW coilovers had been initially put in which suited the efficiency bent of the construct in these early phases. The eagle-eyed amongst you should have seen that this has since been swapped out for an Airlift system with 3P digital administration. That jaw-dropping trip top is achieved with a chassis notch permitting these attractive 15″ BBS RM break up rims with polished centres and stretched 165/50/15 Bridgestone Potenzas to be properly tucked. A monitor rod flip package and ball joint raiser package full the thought of package deal. Scott enthused: “I Simply love the way it sits when aired-out and never having to continually take the wheels off to regulate the suspension is a welcome deal with”.

Modified Mk1 Golf Driver

Though the aforementioned ABF was already fitted, by Scott’s admission it wasn’t the prettiest conversion. Tim at Trick Licks Bodyshop agreed to clean and paint the bay on the proviso that Scott eliminated the engine and refitted it. Scott defined: “I’d by no means eliminated an engine earlier than however Tim was all the time there to assist me. While the motor was eliminated, I used the chance to have the gearbox absolutely rebuilt and ordered many new elements for the engine. I obtained every little thing both chromed or painted earlier than placing the engine again in. I spent many hours after work getting in Tim’s approach arising with concepts”.  This Mk1 follows a much less is extra, well-proven styling components however the hidden consideration to element is excellent. Customized paint adorns the automotive and the end below the smoothed and rolled arches is best than that on the highest of most automobiles. The large bumper delete has been finished correctly and removes the bracketry apertures. Small stainless bumpers complement the chrome trim that features the grille encompass, filler cap, tailgate, facet and display screen trims and window wipers. The deletion of the rear wiper, aerial and rear towing eye are all touches that add to the minimalist Euro flavour. All pink back lights, clear entrance indicators and colour-coded wing mirrors symbolize a couple of cleverly chosen modern touches on an in any other case classic-looking theme, all of which go well with the customized hue of the automotive. “With the variety of man-hours this automotive wanted in bodywork in the long run, I’d have been higher off beginning with a nicer shell as Tim jogs my memory of day by day”.


CE Automotive labored their magic on the mechanicals and Yamaha R1 bike carbs with Okay&N filters on a Borg Brothers customized manifold show that the automotive is about go in addition to present. This set-up is accentuated with the minimal ‘bay that utilises a wire tuck and relocation of battery and washer bottle to the boot. The ignition coil and brake reservoir are additionally hidden. A neat body-coloured strut brace supplies some further rigidity to the chassis while a customized 2″ stainless-steel exhaust system provides to the bark of these bike carbs. A customized radiator retains issues cool and trusty O20 transmission swaps the cogs. CE was additionally accountable for the neat air trip set up.

Modified Mk1 Golf Driver

Contained in the automotive is simply as thoughtfully executed and options absolutely re-trimmed seats in leather-based and Mk7 Golf GTI tartan material with headrest delete and matching booster seat by Joe Elding. The Mk7 tartan theme continues with the customized centre console that neatly homes the Airlift 3P controls and with the matching gear lever gaiter. The chrome touches on the outside of the automotive are complemented by these inside together with door handles, window winders and mirror adjustment knobs. Triple VDO gauges present an iconic method to monitor these all-important Ts and Ps while a hidden audio set up with Floor Zero subwoofers below the seats brings the bass. A leather-based basic Nardi is a well-chosen, inkeeping tiller. And a bespoke boot construct with customized painted air tank brings up the rear.

We’re big followers of this radiant magnificence, therefore the function, however don’t simply take our phrase for it. It’s achieved a powerful trophy haul together with Better of present at GTI competition, Sponsors alternative at Final Dubs, Better of Present at VW Motion, Better of present at Dubs within the Center (twice), Better of present at VDubs within the Valley and Individuals’s Alternative on the Mk1 Golf Annual Gathering. Scott proudly knowledgeable us that it’s gained over 50 awards! “Being on this journal is among the issues I by no means thought could be doable when shopping for this automotive. It’s taken seven onerous years to get to this stage however I’m actually happy with the consequence. This automotive has helped create many comfortable household weekends and recollections and has led to us assembly many good mates. That’s the perfect factor about automotive exhibits for me.”


So, what now? Scott would love a Porsche 996 or 997 which, in fact, could be on air with BBS however for now, the Crafter stays an ongoing undertaking and he and the household simply need to benefit from the modified Mk1 Golf Driver and make extra recollections. Sounds good to us. We’re tremendous grateful to Scott for spilling the beans on his Golf at his busiest time. We simply hope we’re not being charged by the hour.

Modified Mk1 Golf Driver

Tech Spec: Modified Mk1 Golf Driver


Two-litre ABF with Yamaha R1 Bike Carbs with Okay&N filters, Borg Brothers customized manifold Smoothed engine bay with wire tuck, battery and washer bottle relocated to the boot, hidden ignition coil and brake reservoir, customized 2″ stainless-steel exhaust system, customized radiator,  transmission: O20 gearbox


Airlift air trip with 3P digital administration, 15″ BBS RM break up rim’s with polished centres, stretched 165/50/15 Bridgestone Potenzas, G60 drilled and grooved discs 280mm, Mk3 callipers, bias brake pedal field, chassis notched, monitor rod flip package, ball joint increase package


Customized paint, massive bumper delete and small stainless bumpers fitted, below arches smoothed and painted in physique color, chrome tailgate, facet and display screen trims, chromed window wipers, rear wiper delete, aerial delete and rear towing eye delete, all pink back lights


Seats absolutely re-trimmed with leather-based and MK7 GTI tartan material with headrest delete and matching booster seat, customized centre console with Airlift 3P controls, hidden audio set up with Floor Zero subwoofers below seats and tweeters, boot construct with customized painted air tank, Nardi steering wheel