There’s a very nervous time in every mk1 owner’s year, and it starts when your local garage sends you an MOT reminder. And if you’re not nervous, you should be – I thought my wife Helen’s mk1 would glide through its last test with maybe a couple of advisories; instead it turned out to be a colander underneath. Cleverley Repaired Cars’ electronic reminder sent a shiver through my wallet. But I was mildly confident the car would be fine. Probably. Fingers crossed. Yet Cleverley’s MOT bay suddenly seemed intimidating when I fronted up there one morning. The car breezed through the emissions test, though, and the headlights both shone in the right direction. The underside, however, was tattier than I thought, and while the car scraped a pass this time, Michael advised me that I will need to invest in some welding before the next MOT. It’s a mk1, it’s what you should expect…
I took P874 APH with me when I drove from Suffolk to Nottingham to meet up with Vlad Yanakov from Jass Performance. Vlad’s a really enthusiastic guy and checked my car over even though it was peeing down with rain. He’s persuaded me to try a pair of his frame rails to protect and stiffen up the chassis, and says that before going down the coilover route with the suspension, I should give a set of his top mount spacers a go. Actually what he said on the subject of the latter is that I should just return the car to standard suspension, but failing that try the spacers to raise the ride height and give a greater range of movement for the springs and dampers.
Frustratingly, at the time of writing the parts are still a day away from arriving and somewhat further away from being fitted – I’m busting to find out what difference they might make.
Another thing I’m curious about is from Liqui Moly, labelled as ‘Antifriction for Gears’, and claimed to bring new life to tired old gearboxes, smoothing their shifts and reducing the noise they make. The gearbox in P874 APH isn’t that noisy, but the shift is getting notchier, so this cure in a tube is definitely worth a try.
MK1 1.8 Run by: Brett Fraser Owned since: 2016 Total mileage: 124,621 Latest costs: £94