AUTObiography: Donovan Naidoo’s 1982 VW GTI

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Next up is VWvortex reader: Donovan Naidoo

How long have you owned this car?

Since 1996 (was my Dad’s).

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

It was purchased in original condition as an OEM MKI would come and has since gone through a multitude of changes but has never lost its past originality! Rejuvenated, shall I say?

Why did you choose this car to purchase?

I have and will always be a thorough VW enthusiast. My Dad and I have been collecting Volkswagens since the early ‘80s.

What other cars did you consider?

A 2-door MKI GT.

What was your objective with this car?

To keep and maintain the OEM GTI Euro look.

What tuning style best describes this car (ex. Euro, Bling, OEMplus, street racer, auto crosser)?

Euro OEM.

Who helped you build this car?

Daddy dearest.

What makes your car special?

That it is LOVED deeply by me.

What is your favorite part/feature/function?

The way she sounds whilst idling.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?

Many Euro tuner magazines, shows and features from around the world in relation to Dubs.

What don’t you like about this car?

The fact that it’s a 4-door!

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?

Time, money and parts that were sometimes only available in OEM version via import!

How did you overcome the issue?

Established a connection to import from overseas.

What would you change if you could?

Nothing as yet! Would love to just maintain and much later on, do slight upgrades where and when necessary.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?


What would you do to the car if money were no object?

Buy a decent set of BBS splits, coilovers, respray a lighter United Grey, drop a turbocharged R32 motor in her and strap myself into her future front leathers permanently!

Who has been your biggest critic of this project?


What do your family and friends say about this car?

They love the Euro originality, color and maintenance.

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car?

The day I took her for a dyno tune.

Has this car competed in any events? Results?

Just a dyno run and she scored a 93.3 KW rating as the strongest 1800cc in its class!

What is your favorite place to drive this car?

The open road, cruising in fifth gear.

What is your ideal day with this car?

To have her put through a full valet, buff and glaze.

Who gets to drive this car?


If your car had a motto, what would it be?

“Ride free like me.”

If you had to name your car, what would you name it?


What was your previous project?

A MKI 2L Golf (sold)!

What is your next project?

A 2-door GT turbocharged 132KW 6-speed 4-Motion monster!

What one word best describes your car?


Anything else you’d like to share?

I am an avid VW collector with a total of four VW Golfs, excluding my Dad’s five VW Golfs, which equals to nine Volkswagens amongst two owners:

2x VW Golf MKI Gti (’82 and ’85)

1x VW Golf MKI Gti (’92)

1x VW Golf MKI Velociti 1.6i (’06)

1x VW Polo 1.9 TDI (’05)

1x VW Golf IV GTI 132kw (’05)

1x VW Golf MKI CTI (’92)

2x VW Golf MKIII VR6 (’96 and ’98)

Owner Information:

Name: Logan Donovan Naidoo

City: Johannesburg, South Africa

Occupation: IT Security Specialist

Club Affiliations: VW Club of S.A. and GTI Club of S.A.

Vehicle Information:

Year: 1982

Make: VW Golf

Model: MKI GTI

Mileage: 242,000 kms

Original Color: Dark Grey

Current Color: United Grey

Engine: 1800cc N/A

Engine Modifications: Port and polished head, Schrick 292 camshaft, lightened flywheel and a Vernier pulley

Exhaust Modifications: Wildcat custom stainless steel exhaust

Transmission Modifications: VW Golf 16v short ratio gearbox

Suspension Modifications: Bilstein 35mm coilover suspension kit

Brake Modifications: VW Golf 16v discs all-round

Wheels and Tires: 195/50/15 Continental sport contact with Racing

Dynamix customized 15” wheels.

Exterior/Body Modifications: None.

Interior Modifications: Original grey cloth GTI interior.

Audio/Video/I.C.E.: Alpine full I.C.E.

Thanks/Props: To my Dad and Volkswagen for giving me something more to love and keeping the heart pumping Dub!

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