For some odd reason, I’ve always been intrigued by those who modify cars that are older than them. Take this 1982 Mk1 GTI for example. It’s 36 years old which is exactly 12 years older than owner Louis Terblanche, and yet the car is something he always wanted. On the plus side of things, being younger than the car has allowed him to take a different approach to the build.
Starting with the outside, the first order of business was to get a fresh lick of paint onto the freshly refinished body. Once covered in VW Mars Red, Louis fitted brand new exterior bits like a front grille, headlights, anodized side strips, vinyl and Blackout kit, badges, rims and the small metal bumpers which were all imported from Germany.
While all of that was going on at the panel shop, Louis had another team working on a 2.0L 16v ABF motor. Not wanting it to be “just another ABF kitted Mk1”, Louis wanted it to have a lot more grunt, so it was given a proper make over.
The flowed solid lifter cylinder head features custom valve springs and retainers and is filled with a set of 300-degree cams. The bottom end has larger pistons which enables a compression ratio of 10.5:1. 45mm individual throttle bodies are also thrown into the mix, with a set of 550cc injectors controlled by a Dicktator 60-2 management system.
Once the fresh bodywork and motor came together, the car also received an interior makeover.Louis once again imported as much bits as he possibly could from Germany, which included a new dashboard and a bunch of Wolfsburg Edition goodies.
Given that this car is featured in the sound section, Louis also added in some enjoyment to those long days in traffic. For this, he enlisted the help of SND Audio who assembled almost everything on the inside.
They first started off by dampening the entire cabin before laying down high quality wiring. The front doors were treated to a custom set of door pods which house a pair of 6.75” component speakers. Rear fill is taken care of with a pair of 6x9s that was housed in a set of era-specific side panels. A spare wheel well enclosure was constructed to house a single 12-inch woofer which provides all of the low bass notes.
If you’re really into car audio, you’d know that a great sounding amplifier is a vital component for any system. For that reason, a Kicker KXA 800.5 amplifier was employed to power the entire system, which if I must add came together pretty well.
Overall, you can see that a lot of thought and passion went into this build. Contrary to what some people may assume, this isn’t a sound build, a performance build or even an all-out show car. It’s a fun daily that Louis enjoys peddling at every chance he can get.