WATER WORKS |
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WATER WORKS

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Air-cooled VWs are, um, cool, but there’s a lot to be said about chilling your engine with water. This selection of VW fans at Essex Veedubbers may well agree.

And people looking at this Mk3 are likely to be swayed too. The rounded and lardier Mk3 Golf never won a lot of acclaim when it was launched and it feels a little unloved in enthusiast circles, but there’s a lot to be said for a well modified one… like this. It may not be setting the world on fire for VW fans engorged in the tuning world, mainly because the modifications have all been seen before; Audi TT dash, 1.8T engine swap etc.

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Put them all together in a super clean Mk3 though and it gets interesting again. Especially when you consider the owner of this one (D Simpson, presumably) has shunned some of the more fashionable ‘scene’ mods like BBS rims. Instead it has a distinctively early 00’s feel to it, the big diameter wheels sat in too-small arches and the twin headlight conversion. Is it time for a revival of 00’s style?

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Why were Mk5 GTIs popular? Apart from the fact they were good cars to drive, the GTI styling touches like tartan trim and red piping around the grille made them subtly much cooler than the cooking-spec versions. It’s the kind of thing that cars like the Peugeot 205 GTI did…but the new 208 GTI doesn’t. Anyway, it doesn’t stop some owners from blacking those red details out and keeping things more monochrome. Or, going decidedly Panda-spec with more black details to contrast with white body.

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Lupo. Open air roof. Time. Money. The skin of a cream cow. Result:

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Another Mk3, but with a more traditional stance and a bit of an injury.

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It didn’t look quite so bad from a distance. Different story up close. It could have done with a bit more than a plaster though.

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A VW Caddy like this is a tricky car to categorise, so perhaps that means the owner has come up trumps in the battle to be different. We’d drive it (but then we have a well-documented fetish for vans!)…

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…ah, did you miss it? It’s actually a SEAT Inca van with what looks like some Cupra magic waved in its direction. Pleasant indeed.

This next picture highlights one of the beauties of the VW scene. It’s perhaps more obvious with air-cooled dubs, but when you look at these two Mk2 Golfs it’s amazing how different they look considering both owners would claim; “I own a white Mk2″. Big bumpers or little bumpers, round headlights or square ones, standard grille or 3-bar grille, classic dished BBS rims or a standout set of unknown origin (possibly Corvette, or of US origin?), three doors or five. You get the idea.

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When you’ve been to a few shows, sometimes you recognise the same cars turning up. Other times though you recognise a detail about the car more than anything else. We thought this might have been one of those cars as it was employing a flocked-looking, wallpaper-type, black floral vinyl on the door pillars; something we remembered from Players show a few years back. Turns out it was a different car though so a good job we snapped the whole thing in all its VIP-style glory.

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If you don’t have a VAG car but your stance is right, it seems you’re welcome to join in too.

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VW’s Golf Rallye has an interesting history. Only 5,000 were made and they were built to meet homologation rules so that VW could stay competitive in Group A rallying when the Sierra Cosworth, Celica GT-4 and Lancia Stratos were heading that way. Using four-wheel drive and a supercharged engine it was a little unusual for VW and has subsequently been a bit forgotten about when box-arched cars of the 80s/early 90s are talked about. It might not be an Audi Quattro, Integrale or an E30 M3…but it would be in with a fair shout to be granted iconic status even if its motorsport success was limited. This was a super-clean example with some tasteful (and┬áreversible) mods and was right up there with our favourites of the show

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Wide wheels. Still popular…

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How does a Polo L end up being on display? Isn’t it weird that cars you would have sold for peanuts a few years back suddenly turn up on the show scene. Nothing wrong with it, especially when they’re as mint as this one…just makes you realise the unloved car you’re driving as a daily, or that your mum drives, may one day be someone else’s pride and joy. It’s actually likely to be in the best shape of its life in this case, even fresher than when it left the factory.

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We couldn’t not find a tidy Mk1 GTI, the original hot hatchback. While some people opt to stick in some turbo power for extreme power/weight ratios…

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…this ATS Cup-wearing Mk1 took a more traditional approach. We never heard it start, but you can imagine it wouldn’t be unpleasant.

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The water-cooled guys may have been outnumbered significantly at Essex Veedubbers’ show by the older dubs, but they put up a damn good fight in quality terms. Does leave you wondering though; given the choice, which would you prefer – a retro Beetle or something from the Golf catalogue?

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