The Past –
The Golf has been through a lot, if you’ve been following my Team-bhp thread of it you’ll understand what I mean. From a car that I’ve driven from east coast to west, to being left abandoned by a mechanic by the side of a lake to back on the road, its been a long journey!I’m pretty much where I started with this project if not further away from completing it but I will, now that I’ve come this far I can’t quit on it. This is the point where sensible people call it quits, sell the project as is and start with something new but it just doesn’t feel right, neither is ‘sensible’ an adjective I hear often. Car enthusiasts aren’t sensible, they’re closer to madness.
A car like the early golf doesn’t cost much to buy compared to other 30 year old German cars, most parts are still available in India and Volkswagen plans on reproducing the parts as mk1 Golfs are quite popular lately. There isn’t much to it either, the door cards are flat so making new ones is practical, there are no power windows, power steering nor power locks, the diesel engines can take plenty of abuse and coupled with the lightweight body of the golf they can give you around 22kmpl, some people claim even more! They look different, the diesels are torquey and pickup speed quickly due to a low top speed and they are surprisingly fun to drive around corners too for a front wheel drive car.
It may sound like I’m trying to sell you a Golf, I am, just not mine! It is a good car at the right price as you could use it as a daily driver if you don’t mind sweating it out in traffic( adding an air conditioning system should help with that though). The other cons would be how noisy the diesel gets and how low the top speed is, at 90kmph its screaming! But who am I kidding? This isn’t a highway warrior, it’s meant to pass fuel stations and not aggressive taxi drivers. Look around! They hide in plain sight! Workshops, scrapyards and houses, I’ve found around 30 in the past 2 years, half of which were for sale! Don’t ask me to find you one, get online or onto the road and find one for yourself! (the golf is thee classic hatchback to have)
Save a golf today, water-cooled VW cars matter.
The Present and Future –
The golf is finally home after everything it’s been through but it’s got as much of work needed as before if not more. The exhaust stopped smoking and stopped popping out of gears, but it now needs both CV joints changed, the door cards need to be replaced, alot of wiring work, the paint and bodywork needs repairs, need to replace the bumpers, suspension bushes need replacement, new tires and rims, interiors need some work, maybe push in an audio system too, the door handles replaced and adjusted and this list goes on!
Do note that when opening the doors to a golf or infact any old car, you must do it carefully as you may break something. Also beware while shutting the doors, be gentle or the owner may get aggressive and break something. Many owners are very attached to their vehicles and may attack you in hostile situations.
The other day I met a friend who was in town for a day and we were talking about new vs old vehicles. I was telling him about the weekend I had with the new Royal Enfield Himalayan, it was a blast! Just a day but I now want an offroader even more! I’m new to riding as I’ve never been allowed to ride a bike till a year back, since then I’ve used light 2 strokes nearly everyday but something like this takes time to get a hold of, anyways, back to the old souls. He mentioned that his friends buy new bikes every few years hence never face problems but we classic enthusiasts live with vehicles that have had a past and they lack electronics. Because of this the parts often show signs of failure. A bad CV joint is diagnosed by the legs of your car sounding like they’ve broken, the car screams at you when it’s belts are loose, you can feel when the bushes go and so on. Your car communicates directly to you, you just have to pay attention and respond(relationship advice for the rusty car enthusiast). My Jetta and its previous owner may have been in a violent relationship, when I got her the fenders were badly dented, the car was bad but I managed to drive it from Bangalore to Goa. 4 km before my house I stopped for a sugarcane juice by the side of the road, how refreshing on a hot summers day! After that I tried to start the car but it wouldn’t even crank! I called up the previous owner and he told me to slap the car right on the fender and it’ll start and it did!(It was a relay behind the fender, don’t judge my methods of discliplining my vehicles!)I’ve begun working on the car again but it’s quite a task, hope to be done in a year or 2, I will concentrate on the other projects as well. I will never have confidence in sending a car to another state for repairs, I feel like this is something one should avoid at all costs unless the workshop is among the most specialized in the country. You can’t lean over his shoulder every other day to watch the progress nor pass by the garage to check on the progress from the outside like a heartbroken teenager.
This blog will mostly revolve around the car and bike scene in India. The majority of the time about classic, vintage vehicles but sometimes about the more modern enthusiast vehicles. I’ll also add some workshop projects I take up and any related topics.Hope to keep things lively and entertaining.
So if you love all things rusty and full of soul, stay tuned for the next post from The Rusty Cashew!