HOW TO PICK GREAT GTI OUT OF A MOD­I­FIED 'DUB

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Auction News - David Brown

The best Golf GTI MkIs are the ones that look like they’ve just left the fac­tory or show­room – those in that con­di­tion rep­re­sent the best in­vest­ment value too.

Over the years many GTIs have been per­son­alised and sub­mit­ted to nu­mer­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions – as tends to be the fash­ion among the Vee-Dub fra­ter­nity. For­tu­nately, most of th­ese al­ter­ations and ‘im­prove­ments’ are rea­son­ably easy to undo.

There are var­i­ous mod­i­fi­ca­tions to con­sider. For some diehard fans the clean look was the thing to go for, with the aim of mak­ing the car look just a lit­tle bit bet­ter than orig­i­nal. This might in­clude im­prov­ing the paint­work, drop­ping the ride height, us­ing larger but orig­i­nal look­ing wheels and swap­ping the power plant for some­thing beefier, such as a MkIV or turbo en­gine.

The smooth front look was an­other fad that in­cluded chang­ing the lights and re­mov­ing the VW grille badge. Low­ered ride height is achieved in one of two ways – us­ing af­ter­mar­ket shocks and springs or the cheaper op­tion of coilover ex­ten­sions. If the lat­ter method has been used you would have to build up or re­place the shock ab­sorber mounts as th­ese would have been dis­carded dur­ing the low­er­ing process.

In the 1980s big bodywork kits were in, wide whee­larches, af­ter­mar­ket wheels and dif­fer­ent lights – and some strange paint schemes! ‘The great news is that 95% of the changes can be un­done,’ says Andy Gre­gory, mar­ket­ing man­ager of VW Her­itage, one of the largest sup­pli­ers of VW Golk MkI spares in Europe.

The com­pany’s range in­cludes new old-stock parts from VW Clas­sic in Ger­many, cov­er­ing most of the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior bits you will need to un-pimp your GTI. Some parts, such as com­plete rear quar­ters, will re­quire an on­line or scrap­yard search.

VW Her­itage will send you a free cat­a­logue of parts if you con­tact the fi­firm via its web­site. Then all you need is a skip for those un­re­quired per­son­alised parts – in­clud­ing those furry dice!

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