Golf Mk 1 Conversion
Opel Astra Conversion
dates : 29th August 2004
2nd September 2004
rivals. Thatís the Volkswagen Golf and Opel Astra Coupe.
There are other light cars like Toyotas Nissan and Fiats that
have captured the imagination of enthusiasts over the years.
But when it comes to modifying or tuning cars, Volkswagen and
Opel seem to have the most fanatical followings.
Justin Robertson of Big Boss Auto is lucky enough to own
examples of both these cult classics.
As a director of a specialised custom-car and tuning firm, he
has chosen two very different examples representing these
Golf started out as a two-door Mk I 1600 and the outstanding
example of street cool is the result of a back-to-bare-metal
rebuild with virtually every single part of the car re-worked
or replaced with non-standard items.
The car follows the classic street-racer look of being lower,
fitted with wider wheels and tyres, having much of the trim
removed and with various body-kit items added. The items
include a special clean-look grille, the splitter look
extensions on the spoiler, carbon eyebrow, rear roof spoiler,
clear taillight lenses and body colour bumpers.
The door handles are Porsche items as are the wing mirrors,
and the alloy wheels and up-rated brakes complete the exterior
Inside the Golf Big Boss went for a stripped-out street racer
look but still incorporating much of the trim. There are cobra
racing bucket seats with four-point racing harnesses, machined
aluminum door handles and locking knobs, a machined steering
wheel boss, racing suede steering wheel, and reworked
The aluminum plate floorboards and aluminum pedal cluster add
plenty of purpose to the cabin, but the piece-de-resistance is
the aluminum roll cage. This cage is a work of art and
involved a special bending process of the tubing something not
easy to do with aluminum. This gives good access to the cabin
but provides easy access to the seats and creates a stunning
The cage extends into the rear passenger area, where the rear
seats have been removed.
The idea of this car was as much for show as go and beneath
the bonnet there is plenty of power. A two-litre 16-valve Golf
engine replaced the original, and the fuel injection was
discarded and replaced with rip-snorting Weber 45 mm
These give an amazing induction noise and liberate extra power.
This car is geared to do over
240 km/h and run quarter miles in the high-14 early-15-second
bracket. For anyone who knows the legal street-racing scene up
on the Reef, that is BMW M3 territory!
The Opel Astra Turbo Coupe has been built with a totally
different theme in mind.
Here the accent is much more on show, as Justin wanted the car
to showcase the visual side of his companyís business.
The engine has been left largely standard, with just some
induction and computer-re-mapping liberating more power.
In stock form the Astra Turbo Coupe is already a very quick
motorcar, and this one is just a little quicker.
Then maybe a Justin brush around on the cosmetic.
The car has been given a full array of body accessories
including imported front and rear light clusters with
intriguing blue-lens indicators.
Thereís a rather over-the-top boot wing and very modern
alloy wheels to go with the mean, dark look of this overt
legal street racer.
Inside many of the standard parts have been used but given a
special look, using the Big Boss coating process.
Thus items like the doors handles now have an aluminum look
rather than the previous black plastic finish.
This theme has been carried through in various places around
The engine compartment features the standard Opel turbo set up
apart from a freeflow carbon-fiber air-filter system.
But the engine bay has also been dressed up with lots of
carbon and alloy-look pieces, Big Boss using a special coating
process to achieve the desired look.
As a seasoned competitor in both legal drag racing and oval
racing, Justin knows how to handle this sort of power, as does
our man Clint.
The place to let all that power out the doghouse is on the
drag strip and not on the road.
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