AUTObiography: ekkoj’s 1978 VW Golf

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Next up is VWvortex reader: ekkoj

How long have you owned this car?

Since September 2005.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

I’m only the third owner, second one being first owner’s grandson. Had done over 400,000 km when I got it.

Why did you choose this car to purchase?

First one I found within my budget… (that being said, budget got blown several times after I got it).

What other cars did you consider?

I’m afraid I even considered a Volvo.

What was your objective with this car?

First of all, I needed a cheap car to run when work needed to be done to my other car at the time, a 1998 Opel. I figured I could lower it, slap some rims on it and maybe buff the paint up a bit.

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

I’d have to say Euro.

Who helped you build this car?

A lot of people were involved. A big shout out to my mate Stian who lent me his garage, and all the guys in the MKI community that helped out during the winter!

What makes your car special?

When I first bought it, I had no previous experience working on cars. So, restoring it to the state it is in now was a huge challenge to me. And even though I got a lot of help during the project, I managed it “by my self.”

What is your favorite part/feature/function?

I’d say the stance is my favorite part. Other than that, the rims, 8x15” Smoor Roadster.

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

All my fellow Norwegian MKI peeps and the guys in the MKI forum at Vortex.

What don’t you like about this car?

I’m not satisfied with the paint job.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?

As said, before I took on this car, I’d never even set foot in a garage, so learning all the stuff needed was challenging.

How did you overcome the issue?

I sought help at various forums, asked around and tried until I got it right.

What would you change if you could?

I’d redo the paint, have a bigger engine in it and put more work into the interior.

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

I’d give it a decent 6.

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

I’d have someone professional build me a new engine and have a custom interior made.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project?


What do your family and friends say about this car?

For the most part, they think it’s nice. Most of them know what kind of work and dedication I put into it and give me a lot of credit for that.

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

I think what I remember the best was my first real trip with the car.

We were headed to a show some 200 km away from home. About 40 km into the trip, a CV joint snapped. Of course, I was completely bummed out, prepared myself mentally on catching a ride with one of the other guys and pulled over to the side.

The other guys wouldn’t let me abandon the car roadside, so they decided to tow me the 160 km to the show site. Next morning, we called around, found out my CV joint snapped because of the tranny being not quite right, got hold of a new tranny, were lent a garage and some tools and swapped the tranny in two hours.

Drove the car to our cottage and spent the night eating and drinking. Next morning, show day, we woke up to 15 cm of fresh snow! Imagine that, with three VWs lowered maybe more than they should be and all of them on summer tires… But, helped by a local farmer and his plow, we all got to the show!

Has this car competed in any events? Results?

I won Best Classic VW at Volkswagen Audi Club Norwegen’s annual summer meet in 2006 and got another prize at one other show that summer. The rest of the summer, I spent most weekends taking it to the tracks, but no awards are given at the track days we are allowed to attend without a racing license.

What is your favorite place to drive this car?

The tracks!

What is your ideal day with this car?

A sunny day at the tracks with friends, hanging out afterwards eating and having a couple of beers!

Who gets to drive this car?

You just have to ask…

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

You can do it!

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

As I went along, somehow the car ended up being named Grün (simply because it’s green).

What was your previous project?

I’ve had no previous projects.

What is your next project?

Redoing this car, and I might have some plans for a pre-‘79 4-door MKI.

What one word best describes your car?

Hmm… Green?

Anything else you’d like to share?

Just a big thank you to everyone who helped, everyone who replied in my threads. Basically everybody that kept my spirits up when things went bad!

Owner Information:

Name: Joachim Næss

VWvortex username: ekkoj

Occupation: Salesman

Club Affiliations: Volkswagen Audi Club Norwegen, Rraw!

Vehicle Information:

Year: 1978

Make: VW

Model: Golf

Mileage: Who knows by now?

Original color: Manillagrün

Current color: Lofotengrün

Engine: 1.8 8V GTI

Engine modifications: Bigger throttle body

Exhaust modifications: Stock

Transmission modifications: Stock

Suspension modifications: FK Silverline coilovers

Brake modifications: 239 mm vented GTI

Wheels and tires: 8x15” Smoor Roadster, 195/45-15 Yokohama A539

Exterior/body modifications: Rolled and pulled arches, new trim

Interior modifications: Gauges for oil temp, oil pressure and water temp

Audio/video/I.C.E.: None, the abovementioned gauges occupy the spot for the radio

Thanks/props: Everyone who helped out!

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