September 26, 2022

Kyle Bush has constructed this beautiful modified VW Caddy and with a father who was a VW mechanic for 34 years, it was maybe inevitable that he’d catch the bug.

Function from Efficiency VW journal. Phrases: Graham Leigh. Images: James ‘Jet’ Jetton.

This 28-year-old welder and fabricator hails from Jefferson, Ohio and has automobiles in his blood. “I’ve been keen on VWs since I used to be 16. VWs are particular to me as a result of my Dad was a VW/Mazda auto mechanic for 34 years at a neighborhood dealership. I didn’t know on the time that his occupation would have such a profound impression on me. When my toys broke, we mounted them to make use of once more. At the moment, I wasn’t conscious that others threw objects away as a result of they lacked the skillset to fix them. While in junior highschool, my science instructor approached my dad and mom telling us concerning the vocational welding program the varsity system supplied. I wasn’t excellent in class, however I excelled in my science course that yr as a result of it was very hands-on. The experiments had been fascinating and enjoyable”.

Kyle was duly enrolled on the aforementioned welding course. He was a pure and was quickly engaged on his personal tasks. On the tender age of 16, he purchased his first VW, a 2001 Jetta. “I used three automobiles, in the long run, to change my MK4 Jetta into to a 2 door coupe. Then I transformed it to right-hand drive and added air-ride”. What number of guys of his age would have been expert/courageous sufficient to take that on? We’ve seen images of the two door coupe and it appears nice however, ever the perfectionist, Kyle is at present constructing a second one to showcase his skillset. He ensures us that this can be even higher, drawing on the interim 12 years of expertise within the fabrication world. Nonetheless, that’s a PVW scoop for one more day.

Different notable VWs which have been loved by Kyle embrace a 2003 VW GTI and a twentieth Anniversary GTI. Kyle dailies his 2011 VW Jetta Sport Wagon and a 1973 VW Factor ticks the air-cooled field. The Factor was saved from the woods it was present in and embellished with completely different pedals, copper door playing cards and copper engine tins to present it the rat-rod look.


Kyle’s father, David Bush had rapport with the opposite chaps at work and launched his son to a fantastic character, George Sineck. “George is an ex-Marine, very brash and humorous. He additionally is aware of the worth of issues. Because the early VWs started to point out their age, he would strip them of all usable elements and retailer them in his barn which is called the MK1 goldmine to some.  What’s your admission to this stockpile of gold? A case of Genesee Cream Ale and some minutes of your time to talk with him. In fact, you needed to pay for the fabric you discovered, however the costs had been nicely under the going price”.

Front 3/4 of modified vw caddy

On one among Kyle’s many visits to gather elements for his Mk4 coupe, he noticed a 1980 Rabbit Pickup Truck parked within the nook. The inevitable query was requested however George vowed to rebuild it someday. Kyle requested each time he visited because the years handed. His perseverance paid off although as finally, George gave in. “At some point he stated “$3500 and it’s yours.” I needed to ask him once more, again and again simply to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t! I started making funds and earlier than you realize it, I had paid the complete quantity after which requested concerning the lacking elements. George stated, “They’re all right here within the barn, so dig by way of what you want.” He then stated it might be cool if I transformed this fuel engine to a diesel. Then he dropped the bomb that the engine from my dad’s 1977 MK1 Rabbit was getting used to warmth the greenhouse. He stated, “It’s been working for six to 9 months straight at a time for 2 years however because it’s your dad’s rebuild, it’s simply getting warmed up.” George knew that David’s engines had been put collectively meticulously and, therefore, would typically re-purpose them if he was breaking one among his outdated automobiles.

The 1500 diesel engine was collected and joined the Caddy. Kyle and his father rebuilt the powerplant once more to make sure longevity and reliability. “Now it has over half one million pushed miles on it plus the 2 years of idle whereas it was repurposed as a greenhouse generator!”. It was an actual a part of household historical past when David’s outdated engine was fitted into his son’s truck. The ’77 Rabbit Donor car was Miami Blue therefore the selection of color for the modified VW Caddy. A nod to the previous and a fantastic alternative on any Mk1.

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Modified vw caddy interior

The truck was utterly stripped right down to a shell. It was a curler, however not rather more than that. Kyle was eager to get the one-owner car again on the highway and hit the meets and exhibits. The hunt for elements and supplies was accomplished. Kyle then set concerning the metalwork, shaving the ‘bay, and becoming the sunroof earlier than putting in the inside and air-ride.

The rebuilt engine was fitted and people beautiful powder coated BBS RMs had been supplied up and tuck completely. The mattress was lower to neatly home the battery and air set-up. “I made a decision to shave the marker lights to go together with my theme of the shaved engine bay. I did all this work myself and it took me a few yr to finish all of the metalwork. I added the sunroof as a result of after I bought the truck one thing will need to have fallen on the roof whereas it was within the barn and it was not well worth the time to attempt to repair so the sunroof was an ideal possibility. My favorite modification is the shaved engine bay. That took some time to engineer route traces, cables, and so on in order that they had been unseen. I put in the CKW2 air-ride system to this truck because the roads in Ohio are junk. It rides properly and the stance is ideal”.

Clean engine bay on modified vw caddy

There aren’t any modifications to the 1.5L diesel engine on the modified VW Caddy aside from the Corrado G60 valve cowl which joins the Miami Blue social gathering. The lump runs like a Swiss watch due to the fastidious rebuild however the 45 horsepower will not be finest suited to all situations. Kyle laughed as he instructed us about his buddies having to get out of the truck on a steep ascent up Cabin Mountain Hill in Helen, Georgia for the Alpine VAG Truthful 2018 present.


The inventory inside fits the retro aesthetic of the modified VW Caddy. Sourcing situation Scirocco steering wheel was an extended headache for Kyle nevertheless it’s a refined contact that gives the OEM icing on the cake. Substitute window and door seals had been arduous to seek out and costly however on a construct this clear, the smaller particulars depend.

Kyle purchased the Mk1 VW Caddy in 2013 and it took him 4 and a half years to finish. With the sentimental worth connected to the construct, this one is a keeper and it’ll someday be handed to his daughter, Cora. Like all good modified automobiles, they’re by no means really completed and Kyle teased us with the information that he’s including customized break up rims that may utilise Mk1 Golf ‘snowflake’ centres. We’ll go away the ultimate smart phrases to the person of the second: “I’ve so many individuals to thank for serving to me obtain my dream. Too many to record, however they know who they’re. I’m so happy with this truck, its heritage, and my dad for instructing me that simply because one thing is outdated, doesn’t imply it’s not extraordinarily precious”.

Tech Spec: Modified VW Caddy Mk1


1500 Diesel from 1977 Rabbit donor automobile rebuilt to straightforward spec with Miami Blue Corrado G60 valve cowl, transmission: 5-speed Rabbit GTI with a TDI fifth gear


8×15 and 9×15” BBS RM wheels with 165/45/15 Achilles Econ tyres CKW2 air-ride system


Facet markers deleted, easy engine bay, sunroof, Miami Blue respray


Inventory black inside with Mk1 Scirocco steering wheel


Because of my Dad, David Bush, for his thorough data of VW motors and automobiles, George Sincek for promoting this truck to me, Greg Zorn for the CKW2 air-ride system, Larry Rippin from First Time Automotive for the outside bodywork and paint