Surely the definitive hot hatch, the Mk1 VW Golf GTI, defined an era and kick started a whole new genre of ‘hot hatches’ that were easy to live with yet quick and fun to drive. The GTI had a successful competition career in saloon racing but also acquitted itself well as a class winner in rallying.
HHG 800W was produced as a 1600cc GTI with a 5-speed close-ratio gearbox, a rare specification which made it an ideal candidate for the conversion it has since undergone into a Group 2 historic rally car. This transformation, a full nut and bolt restoration, has been carried out to an exacting standard by Ant Anstead and his team at Evanta Motors for series 2 of Channel 4’s ‘For the Love of Cars’. They have produced the ultimate Group 2 rally Golf; a fast competitive car in the yellow and blue livery of the famous ‘Pierburg Golf’ driven in period by Per Eklund.
The team started by strengthening the shell and repairing any corrosion then fitted an FIA approved cage from the Roll Centre, a floor-mounted adjustable bias pedal box, plumbed in extinguisher system, Stack competition instrument cluster mounted in an aluminium dashboard and a hydraulic rally handbrake. Sparco bucket seats, harnesses and steering wheel were fitted along with polycarbonate glazing. The wiring loom is a bespoke item built by Evanta’s electrician.
The engine was rebuilt to Group 2 specification with longevity and driveability in mind by legendary ex-VW works team rally engineer Walter Ainsworth. It uses a G60 high-pressure oil pump, Wossner forged pistons, H-Beam conrods, competition bearings, solid lifters, Samco silicon hoses and a Kent Cams made GS2K cam. An Ashley stainless steel competition exhaust is fitted. The brakes are 4-pot alloy callipers by CompBrake while the suspension has been completely rebuilt and features adjustable struts, Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs. Fibreglass Group 2 wheel-arches cover the bespoke 15″alloys by Image Wheels with DMACK competition tyres. The power is fed through a Black Diamond clutch.
This fantastically specified car is ready to fight for class wins. A build of this scope and quality would cost a fortune to replicate so this must represent a great opportunity to get involved with historic rallying using a car built to the very highest of standards. The car comes with a current V5 document.