A regretful sell, a lifelong ambition….
When i was around I guess seven, The Volkswagen Golf GTi was coming to the end of their production run.
Modified versions where now starting to hit the streets as prices came down and second hand models became available.
I saw a red mk2 booting it up Kensington High Street and left up Church St towards Notting Hill Gate.
I remember standing outside McDonalds, The deep throaty 8v engine pulled off outside what used to be a Virgin Records music shop next door, it was closely followed by the now legendary Ralley! Rectangular headlights those quattro AUDI’esque square arch ententions… i was balls deep in VAG heaven and didn’t know it!
Little did i know it would be a lifelong loveaffair! I not long after saw a VW magazine in the local newsagents with an all painted smoothed and shaved Tornado Red 16v big bumper on the front cover I started buying more including Fast Car, Max Power, Golf+ VW Performance etc… Little side fact: I was brought home as a baby from hospital in a new Scirocco! No doubt the german new car fragrance stuck!
I knew at that point, even at such a young age, I just knew i was going to own a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
In 2007 i picked up this Apine White 8v GTI from a copper of all people! One of my best mates had owned an Alpine white GTI 8v 4 door for many… MANY years as a daily driver and when I mean drive I mean it… That mk2 was beyond abused. I saw it make moves only high performance cars where pulling off on the road and it was driven that way all day… everyday!
The Notorious A406 & Why it made me restore the GTi.
As you can see the A406 runs north skirting inner London towards Barnet from Chiswick in the West and Beckton from the East.
Its an A road sometimes upto 5 lanes, An arterial as they call it, Cameras, HEAPS of traffic and tons of Police, Especially the undercover kind!
I really loved leaving my home in Earls Court, cruising onto the A4 or A40 which both lead out towards the A406 warming up the engine ready for a blast around the half north circuit! Not always knowing what madness i would encounter on the way!
If you know this stretch of “racetrack” you will no doubt know about the Ace Cafe just off the Hanger Lane roundabout, A mecca for anything that goes on wheels
Biker’s, Driver’s, Soundman’s, Drifter’s, Stunt Biker’s, Nutter’s and everything inbetween!!
Its originaly a rockabilly bikers café but over the years has been used to deliver some of the most memorable automotive gatherings in London.
I always knew passing this area of the 406
More or less from the Hanger Lane roundabout to somewhere between the Wembley and Finchley exits….
Was a LOTTERY!
I remember one pouring night on my way to the ACE on the Hanger Lane roundabout A40 approach… Now if you know this roundabout from back then you could come off the A40 (Coming in from central) if you caught the red, you could pull off, Time it to hit the next set of lights that are starting to change to green and sling it round to the left to catch the exit onto the 406.
This particular night its 7ish, its madness on the Hanger Lane as usual. I boot it round all the non movers and wriggle my way round to the front at the set of lights before the 406 exit. I’m on the far right hand lane… but……I’m going left!
As I tear off swinging left i hear a turbo spool, dump… spool up again I look left and a mulberry purple Volkswagen Corrado shoots passed me on the inside! As I catch up his windows down… he leans out and says, same engine pal… mines turbo’d tho!… See you at Ace… Laaaaater!… Laughs and tears Off!!
Check out of my VW Golf V6 4motion at AMD Tuning in Essex after a full custom R32 Milltek Exhaust System
If I find the pictures I’ll do a build post. I still have the 4mo and you never know it could be the next classic of the future. I have some very VERY rare parts for it too so let’s see what the future holds for it!
So what does the Ace cafe have to do with my Volkswagen Golf GTi?… Read on….
So in 2007 i started renting a garage to work on my Volkswagen Golf V6 4motion, obviously so i could get round the A406 faster… and decided that i needed a run around. A long search on eBay for a few months and i found my 1991 Alpine white GTi with some tasty parts!
Big Bumpers, G60 arches, Twin upswept Remus exhaust, OEM 15″ BBS RA wheels and lowering springs, Single light debadged grill and an eye brow. I liked how it looked but as i said it was a run around. The intention was to focus on the mk4 Golf
Unfortunately one night on a straight bit of road leading from the now overtalked about A406 towards the A1/M1 my little Volkswagen Golf decided to eat a raised section of central reservation, Although i spent time servicing, tuning it and driving it around for loads of time id never put myself in any situation i needed to brake very hard, I might drive fast and that… But its precise!
The first time i did brake hard I learnt what a brake compensator does… Exactly…What it does!
An inspection the next day revealed some damage! bear in mind i drove this back to Wandsworth in SW London from close to around the M1 exit on the North Circular with nothing holding the wheel on but the split pin! Testament to BBS wheels they kept air pressure all the way back to the garage.
The stub Axle was bent, Bearings completely chewed to bits, the disk literaly snapped off the hub and the alloys well, most likely repairable, I still have them to this day.