Words by Duncan Ward // Photography by CJ Levendal
We recently got the chance to meet up with Jarred and get up close and personal with his 1980 2-door Mk1. Straight off the bat you can see the time and effort put into this car, from the impeccable paintwork to the well-maintained chrome which breaks up the flat areas of beige. Most people will remember the car from VDub CampFest 2015, where it won the prize for “Best Mk1”, and some may remember it from this year’s CampFest, where it won “Best Wheel” for its chrome Porsche Fuchs.
Fuchs in chrome are unusual in the Aircooled scene, and even more unusual on a Mk1. To sort out problems with mounting the Fuchs Jarred had a set of 5x130 to 5x100 adaptors made, allowing the OEM wheels to sit just where he wanted them to. They are wrapped in some seriously low profile 165/40 Nankang tyres, because scene points.
While working through the build with the help of his dad, Jarred made the decision to go for the popular 2 litre swap, and the gutsy 4-cylinder 8-valve engine was mated to a super-smooth FFZ gearbox out of a Citi, to ensure that the power made gets put down to the wheels adequately. While doing the engine swap, he also opted to get the head gasflowed, ported and polished, gaining ‘free’ horsepower leftover by factory designed intake and exhaust ports and improving the fuel economy at the same time. As far as cams go, he left the stock cam behind and threw in a 288 degree STK cam, giving the Mk1 some grunt and an interesting idle. To put all that work in and not have anyone hear your pride and joy coming would be sacrilege, and so he replaced the stock exhaust with a 57mm TNT system for good measure.
Where stance is involved, Mk1 Golfs were usually the first playground that car enthusiasts experimented on. Find your nearest car-friend, ask them what their first car was, and 9 times out of 10 a Golf will be the answer. However, unlike some of the stance scientists among us who fearlessly fiddle with dropped springs, cut springs or even no springs, Jarred took no chances and put the Golf on a set of FK Highsport coilovers, keeping it steady in the corners, and low when need be.
While the exterior is a sight to behold - and Jarred has applied the mods tastefully - the interior is where this car truly sweeps the floor with its competitors. The OEM oxblood seats are complimented by some wheaten VW Golf floor mats, and rich brown carpeting throughout. Looking at the interior of this car, and Mk1 Golfs from this era, and comparing them to the plasticky, grey interiors of modern cars, it’s easy to get nostalgic. Jarred has kept the interior stock, as it was already hard to improve on, and added only a Wolfsburg steering wheel, off a Mk1 GTi. He has even kept the original Telerad radio face, surrounded with the iconic silver trim of the Golf facia panel.
Throughout this car, you can see that Jarred has taken great effort to keep his mods era-correct, and OEM when and where possible. These touches may not be visible straightaway, but to those who are looking, this car boasts a plethora of classy elements which all combine to set this car a touch above the rest, and in a field as densely populated and competitive as the Mk1 scene, that is no small feat.