’79 VW Golf: Restomod Icon Restored By Legendary Engine

Give Old Golf New Life

An enthusiastic auto aficionado, Kaylen Naidoo from Durban, South Africa, has singularly converted a humble 1979 Volkswagen Golf into an amazing restomod show-stopper. This classic 2-door hot hatch has undergone a remarkable transformation with subtle adjustments and hard-to-obtain components.

The core of this spectacular change lies within the renowned 3.2-liter naturally aspirated VR6 engine produced by Volkswagen, which fuels the famous Golf R32 model and others. Additionally, this unit features a grey cast iron cylinder block with a unique 15 degree angle between cylinder banks that can usually generate a staggering 238 horsepower in its baseline configuration, even though its key property was not mere speed. The R32 engine is highly esteemed for its unique sound and striking visual aesthetics.

R32-swopped VW Golf Mk1 - Beautiful show car, clean engine install, riding on air + rollcage

Peeking beneath the bonnet discloses a preoccupation with precision. The motor area is a pristine representation, featuring the R32 engine without the common disorganization of cables and hoses. To conserve an exquisite appearance, the break master cylinder and battery have been strategically placed elsewhere. Unique chrome shock mount shrouds and a bespoke radiator enrich the aesthetics of the power plant, meanwhile a Racing Line air induction unit sends cooler air to the engine. Even the engine cover had to be sourced from overseas due to its deficiency in South Africa. A Cooler Worx short-throw shifter guarantees swift and fluid gear transitions.

Vastly increasing the power from the original Mk1, the R32’s V6 engine necessitates the inclusion of 4-piston Wilwood brakes in order to reduce speed efficiently. An Airlift suspension setup is equipped with two compressors, allowing alteration of the automobile’s stance to gracefully adapt to any road conditions it faces. The vehicle also has been upgraded with a set of additional features including an R8 fuel cap, chrome flag mirrors, a Eurospec front valance, and a full stainless steel exhaust system, all of which give this hot hatch extraordinary elegance.

The undeniable devotion shown by the proprietor to find unique parts is what sets this restomod Golf apart. It’s estimated that a total of 70% of its components were procured from beyond the confines of home, consisting of the 16-inch BBS RS wheels, Porsche door handles, Porsche glove box, and the BBS steering wheel. Additionally, the pop-out windows and front quarter windows had to be sourced from external territories.

An extensive overhaul was given to the car to guarantee a tranquil and sophisticated driving experience. Substituting in different weather-stripping, seals, Recaro seats, and various soundproofing components were included. An ornately chromed roll cage was also installed with artfully chromed tubes from the holsters for the two air suspension compressors that now display where the rear benches used to be, forming an arresting juxtaposition against the muted black interior. The painting of exterior and selection of interior details were left to experienced craftspeople, yet most of the inside components such as the door cards were procured from overseas.

At its essence, this restomod Mk1 Golf stands as a laudable source of motivation for automobile aficionados. It conveys the notion that sometimes less is indeed more – displaying how a mundane motor car can be revived as an exquisite piece of art via a mix of mastery and judiciously chosen constituents.

As a whole, this Golf restoration is plain, neat, and excellently put together. Apart from the Escobar monicker, each person is entitled to their own opinion.

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