‘ I BOUGHT ONE’

MARTIN WRIGHT

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‘ I bought my car in 2004 – it was the demon­stra­tor at the VW deal­er­ship where I work. I’d had a cou­ple of hatch­backs – I was driv­ing a 6N [ third- gen] Polo at the time – but as soon as I had a test drive in the Lupo GTI, that was it, I just fell in love. It was up for £ 11,500. With the spec it had, which in­cluded leather and the CD player, it would have been about £ 15,000 new, and I man­aged to get it for £ 10k.

‘ It was six months old then, with 7000 miles on the clock. It’s now done 165,500! It was my daily driver for a long time, but I’ve now got an Up as well, so the Lupo’s semi- re­tired, though I do try to drive it for at least a week ev­ery month.

‘ The only ma­jor is­sue I had was the engine started us­ing oil and I was get­ting lots of lit­tle black spots on the tail­gate. When I had the head taken off it turned out the num­ber three pis­ton ring was worn. I was lucky that it hadn’t dam­aged the bore, so they re­honed it and put a new set of rings in. That was at around 115,000 miles and it’s been ab­so­lutely fine ever since. It doesn’t use a drop of oil. Also the gear­box was get­ting a bit whiny, so I re­placed that.

‘ I’ve done a few mods – at about 85,000 miles the sus­pen­sion felt tired so I re­placed it with AP coilovers, so it rides slightly lower, and it’s got a Janspeed ex­haust and a K& N fil­ter, so it makes a good noise. Around town or driv­ing it en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, I get mid- 30s mpg. On long runs I get over 40 to the gal­lon.

‘ It still makes me smile ev­ery time I drive it. It’s nippy, it han­dles well, and one of the other things I love about it is that it’s so rare. You never see them. Peo­ple re­ally no­tice it and want to know what it is.

‘ When the mileage started to creep up, I did think about sell­ing it, but I couldn’t bear to part with it. I’m going to be buried in that car!’

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