When our favourite lighthaired painter decided it was time to write a past wrong, we knew good things were gonna happen.
About 5 years ago I had listed some Porsche to Volkswagen adapters for sale on a local classifieds forum and someone called Pete agreed to buy them. When he arrived at my house to collect them I recognised him as the guy from the Belfast Car Scene meets who drove the baby blue MX5 that ran unbelievably low on a set of BBS RS’s. By this stage the MX5 had been sold and he’d bought a 225bhp 1.8T first generation Audi TT. He had big plans for the car and didn’t waste time in fitting coilovers, smoothing the front bumper and bolting on a set of 18” Eta Beta Twists. Then it all went sour… a run in with the authorities meant that either he sold the car or he would end up in court – so the TT went and an S4 was bought to replace it.
Fast forward to 2014 – Pete had completed his S4 project and, after a brief spell in a Not-A-Real-Skyline (Infiniti GT37), was looking for a new project. It soon became clear that there was an itch he had to scratch… the one that got away… a TT.
After a search on Done Deal, Pete found a low mileage, dolomite grey, 3.2 V6 for sale in Dublin. With road tax in Ireland for large engined cars regularly ending up at thousands of euros the owner practically gave the car away – this meant there was plenty of money left in the kitty to buy an Airlift suspension setup to get some proper lows.
Around this time I was building my wide arch MK5 GTI and I’d been using the stepped up BBS RS’s from Petes S4 and some large spacers to build my arches around. I’d decided that I was going to build my own set of stepped RS’s and settled on 2.5” dishes to fill the newly widened arches. Not to be outdone, Pete decided he was going to 1-UP me and ordered 3” dishes… they were never going to fit the TT, but he didn’t care – it was only when the new dishes arrived did he realise how big a job it was going to be!
No amount of pulling and flaring was going to get those 3” dishes under the arches but owning his own bodyshop, Paintworkz, he was going to make it work. He broke out the grinder and cut the arches and then, armed with a fire extinguisher, enlisted the help of Brian Wilton to weld a inch of metal between the 2 portions of wheel arch. Numerous welds, a skim of fibreglass filler, a sand and a shape later the arches were done and they looked factory – well apart from being an inch wider.
With each corner of the car now covered in primer Pete decided that while he was in this deep he may as well change the colour. Numerous shades of red where tested then one day a customer arrived with a Fiat 500 that need some repairs done. The smooth mint paint job immediately struck a chord with Pete who had previously owned a mint green Jetta a few years prior – and like that, it was decided.
At this point the rush was on to get the car ready in time for Edition38 – of all the shows that year that was the one he didn’t want to miss. With a fresh coat of paint on the car, the grey centres of the RS’s where treated to a coat of pearl white paint and new half height centre nuts, white and gold badges and gold bolts were purchased to complete the look.
That was how the car looked for the rest of 2015 but Pete decided that he needed to step his game up for 2016. Unhappy with the finish of his paint job the TT once again got another respray, this time with louvres being grafted into the front wings. He also decided it was time to show the interior some love. Out went the standard wheel which was replaced with a wooden Nardi and in the back, 2 seamless air tanks floating over a hardwood floor with what has affectionately become known as “the big black cock and balls”.
Since shooting this feature Pete has then went “full retard” on the interior. We took a boat to visit Del at Optimus Automovie Trimmers in Glasgow where we dropped the car off and met up with our friend Chris Halliday to eat some doughnut burgers. We can’t wait to see the finished article but we know it’s going to be awesome…