VW Golf MK1 Weber

Details about this Golf

Brand: Volkswagen
Model: Golf
Year: 1977
Engine: 1.3 G40 block, 1.1 head , 40-er double Webers

Volkswagen Golf MK1 Weber

A little history

This Volkswagen Golf MK1 has been in possession from the current owner for many years. He tweaked the build to what it has become today. When the car first was bought by another VW Team de Snippeling Club member it came out of a farmers barn, where it had been sitting for many years. Luckily the owner at that time let it run now and then so it wasn't completely shut down.

After inspecting the car and having found that it was in good and unique shape for its age the car changed owner and was about to undergo big changes. Cars from this age have a 5 digit odometer so it is never really clear how much kilometers it has actually done.

However in this case all booklets, service papers and even factory order slips are present with the car and it can be confirmed it has never passed the 99.999 km mark. It is also visible when you look at the interior, that the car can't have done many miles yet. Even the original and optional factory delivered cocos mats are still in it.

Golf MK1 at VW Speed 2022 - The Final Movement

First changes

When the car changed owner mid 2000's it was 100% original. The goal was always to keep it as original as possible with some needed upgrades. The car was lowered and the wheels changed to 5 spoke deep bed rims. It wasn't stopped there cause since it came out of the factory as 1.1 liter 4 gear it could not keep up with modern day traffic on the highway. It was even an issue when going to a show that the car is relatively slow, that you become an obstacle sometimes or when having to overtake a truck,it would be difficult.

This resulted in the decision to upgrade the engine and gearbox to something with some more power and being able tom reach a higher speed in a more comfortable way. So what do you change it to ? There are so many options, one idea was as many did to go and find an MK2 G60 engine or a 1.8 20V Turbo, but does that really fit an old Golf MK1? Another option was a VR6 engine. It's quite unique for a Golf 1 to have that under the hood, but it makes the car rather nose heavy.

In the end the decision was taken to upgrade it with a self built engine that resembles more the engine that originally belongs in the car. A recently slaughtered Polo G40 was the donor of the base of the engine. This was firstly bored to first oversize and the pistons were swapped for diesel pistons due to the shape. To close it off on top it was chosen to add a 1.1 cylinder head cause of it's higher shape.

This looks a bit nicer and has a more old fashioned valve cover. To feed it with petrol and air the head was firstly accommodated with a set of Sax carburetors, but they later gave way to a set of 40-er Weber carburetors.

Of course it wasn't just all bolted together and ran like stock. The cylinder head was fully flowed and a 302 degree camshaft was added. It all breaths through a Supersprint 4 in 1 exhaust. A 5 speed gearbox from the same G40 connects it all to the front wheels and delivers a more comfortable ride than the original 4 speed gearbox that it left Wolfsburg with. To make it all look nice a lot of parts were painted and a lot of chrome parts were added.

Outside the paint was pretty good cause the car was maintained well and had been in the barn under a blanket for 7 years. However as always there were some point that needed attention. After first only cleaning and repainting the engine bay, the whole car was restored. Every little spec of rust has been removed and a full re-paint has been done. The color remained the same as original; Dakota Beige.

Since BBS' wheels became rather a hot item, the 5 spokes were eventually removed and replace with a set of 16 inch Porsche BBS RS. This very unique set of wheels has not a flat center as normal BBS RS, but due to it being a set from Porsche, to make space for bigger brakes the heart of the wheels is convex shaped. A version you hardly see anywhere.

The full respray and build - video by Henk-Jan

The Golf MK1 gets a new owner

At some point the previous owner decided to part ways and the Golf MK1 changed hands again. A team member bought it and a plan was made to continue the great work on the car that was already done. One of the biggest issues that unfortunately was never solved was an engine problem. It would run very badly at certain speeds and also not start ideally. Only with the timing set very late it ran OK-ish but not great. The first thing that was done was to measure compression. This appeared to be way out of range for a normal petrol engine, hence the late timing.

Then the cylinder head was removed again and an exact as possible measurement of the engine size was done. Once this was completed a calculation was made to see what the mathematical compression was and this also turned out to be way to high. Some changes to the engine design have been done, the thing was all put back together and guess what? With the lowered compression the engine runs a million times better.

Since we now had a great running Golf 1 on 40-er Weber carburetors we could continue to focus on making this VW Golf 1 even more unique. The BBS RS looked great and suited the car very well. However the size could be slightly better. So thanks to Felgen Poliererei Gescher in Germany, the Golf 1 Weber is now rolling on 17 inch Porsche BBS RS wheels.

It doesn't end here because for many years we always ask ourselves, how low can we go. Well it turns out we could go even a little lower. The still almost brand new lowering set found its way to a friend and a brand new set of H&R Deep Rebound 160mm takes it to a new low. Static is king as we say. Paired with a set aluminum camber plates it all looks very good under the hood.

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Article written by MK1 Ernst
Founder | Content creator | MK1 Owner