Scrapin' Dub :: MK1 Golf
This is the story about George and his first true love… The Volkswagen MK1 Golf.
The story started when George was just 15 years old, clicking away on Ebay he stumbled across a less than desirable example going for a low price.
A few bids later and $1800 out of his savings, George and his father made the trip up to Sydney with a borrowed trailer to collect the car.
The 2000km round trip was done in one day without any sleep!!
Why a Golf, you ask?
George spent a part of his life growing up in South Africa, over there the MK1 Golf is one of the most common cars on the road, with local production continuing till 2010!!
After moving to Melbourne, George never saw any older Golfs on the road. With that in mind when the time came to get a car and get his learners license, he knew what he needed to do if he wanted to be different. So while other kids at school got old Holden’s or Ford’s he held out for that special car he just couldn’t forget.
The first thing to happen to the car was general maintenance and getting the thing running and his bigger hopes and dreams for the car would have to wait until he had more cash.
As you can imagine working part time while finishing high school doesn’t exactly make you rich and can leave you feeling pretty burnt out and exhausted.
When the car first arrived home in Melbourne it didn’t even start and was plagued by wiring issues, being only 15 years old George wasn’t exactly mechanically minded.
What he lacked in skills he made up for with enthusiasm and motivation, taking things apart and figuring it all out as he went along.
Soon the car was running and George drove the car around on his L’s for a short time before he got sick of the car and the ugly body kit it came with.
George started to piece together his vision of the car, after a lot of saving he could finally afford to remove the body kit and also managed to change the headlights from the quad lights back to the cleaner twin lights.
While saving for the ‘freshen up’ he found a set of euro chrome bars. These things are very rare to find and even harder to find as straight as the set George picked up.
In the process of removing the kit, he discovered the paint had seen much better days, so he counted the rest of his cash and decided to paint it.
After talking with his friends he managed to convince a mate to help out and do a backyard respray, this saved so much money that George could also afford a new motor as the original 1.6l engine was getting very tired!
He sourced a much newer 1.8l engine from a MK3 Golf and a 5 speed gearbox. The new engine also came down from Sydney just like the car!
During the engine conversion George got stuck into the engine bay cleaning it up and sanding it all back, he then sprayed it all at home by himself.
The car was really starting to come together. When the new motor was in, he added a 32/36 Weber carby with dual throats. All of this helped transform the sluggish car completely, only weighing around 800kg the car now had plenty of ‘zip’.
George was now 18 and ready to get his probationary license, as a reward for himself and the car he decided it was time to finish the picture…
He picked up some ST coil overs and a set of widened ‘steelies’, then stretched some rubber over the wheels.
The car was then slammed as low as it could go and he has never looked back!
Over the years that George has owned this amazing car, he has been meet with smiles everywhere the car goes.
People just seem to be overwhelmed with the little orange car, whether it’s at car meet with like minded enthusiasts or down at the local shopping center with regular people staring in awe of it’s presence.
Now of course not everyone is a fan the Golf. Local law enforcement haven’t exactly agreed with some of the things he has done to the car.
Just a few weeks before we meet up with George for this photo shoot, he had to clear a defect which meant changing the ride height, wheels and removing his roll cage.
It takes dedication and sheer stubbornness to drive a classic car like this, then modify it to the point in which it has absolutely no creature comforts like the ability to absorb even the smallest of bumps on the road!
Some of George’s favorite destinations on the web, I’m sure it won’t be long after we post this feature until we see a ‘GSS’ sticker on the back…
We had to keep stopping the shoot as more and more people came through the alley way, they kept stopping to look at this intriguing little car.
After I had all the shots I needed and said my goodbyes, I left George and his friends with a bunch of photographers doing wedding shots in the alley, the bride did a couple of poses with the car!
Now the car does have some imperfections around the body, but that only adds to the story and character of this wonderful little car.
How many of us have purchased and maintained our own car since the age of 15? Not many, I’m sure!
It really is low, what you can’t see here is the sump actually sitting on the pavement!
So much has happened to the car while George has owned it. As he has grown up, so has the car.
Nothing a band-aid won’t fix!
George and his mates really got to work with some sharpies on the front fender, this sort of car graffiti is becoming more and more popular with many different styles floating around.
This is some of the most intricate and complete sharpie panel art I have ever seen, months after the shoot I find myself still discovering new characters and elements on the fender!
The bike isn’t just for looks, George is a big fan of BMX and has also just acquired a Huffy Slider!
I really hope you have enjoyed reading about this great little car and the story of how it came to be.
As we post this feature, George is busy restoring another MK1 Golf! This time its a white one rolling on some BBS RS Wheels!! We can’t wait to see how it comes together.
Thanks for reading,
– Gwyn.P.S. Here is a short mod list of George’s build.
– ST Coilovers
– Widened Steelies 14×8 +10
– Tyres; 165/60
– Bride seat with custom bracket
– MK3 egine (1.8) with 5speed
– Whiteline lower stress bar
– Whiteline Front anti roll bar
– 4Point roll cage/half cage (not in due to defect)
– GTI vented front disc’s with bigger brake carriers
– Bigger brake booster with upgraded master cylinder
– Weber 32/36 carby
– Bigger alternator (very helpful in a old car)
– MK2 dashboard and console