Rat to Restored

MK1 Golf


Posted 7 years ago



After 11 years of neglect Michal Maślanka has turned this MK1 Golf from a rusty rat into a fine example of classic motoring.

Just 3 years ago we first laid eyes on Michal Maślanka’s MK1 Golf at a brand new show called Titanic Dubs and much like the famous ship, it had seen better days. It may not have been covered in barnacles, but 30 years of Irish weather had created some serious surface rust and key elements like the bumpers had been lost over time. It was then that Michal decided that the little Golf from 1983 needed to be saved and returned to how the men of Wolfsburg had intended it.

The car was originally owned by a gentleman from Wexford who was an avid aircooled collector and while the MK1 was cool, his aircooled projects kept him so busy that for 11 years the car sat in a yard as a property spec 1.6 diesel with no optional extras or modifications, waiting for someone to come and give it the attention it deserved.

Michal, a VW addict in his own right having owned 10 Volkswagens himself, snapped up the car and brought it back to Dublin and set about collecting parts to turn the rusty German into the car he had always dreamed of owning. The entire interior was removed and G40 seats, a euro speedometer and a wooden Momo steering wheel where bought to replace them. Then the engine and gearbox were removed so that it could be fully rebuilt and mated with a new updated 5 speed box.

While the engine was out some major bodywork changes took place. First off the roof skin was removed and was replaced with an open air cloth fallback roof, then the crusty navy paint was taken back to bare metal and given a full respray in period correct Volkswagen Glacier Blue.

The engine was then refitted and an upgraded brake servo and braided brake hoses were also fitted – after all, it would be a shame if all Michal’s hard work was to be ruined by a brake failure.

With new interior fitted the finishing touches started to come together with a rear window louver and a match pair of chrome bumpers but there was one thing that still wasn’t right – the wheels! As good as the Audi Pepperpots looked, they really didn’t fit in with the look that Michal was looking for. After months of searching for the right wheel, Michal took the drastic step of buying an 1984 Jetta just to get the 5 period correct Fondmetal alloys that were optional extra from the factory between 1982 and 1984.


Looking at the finished result it’s hard to believe that this car was more likely to end up in the crusher than in a show hall but Michal has really transformed it into something any classic VW owner would be proud to have in their collection.

Michal would like to give a shout out to his brother Simon for unacounted hours of help during the build, his girlfriend Wioleta for constant support, the lads from Car Vouge former Tkccc for puting up with him during the body work and last but not least Torsten and Lasse from Autohause Wolfsburg Klassik for helping source OEM parts for this build.