Forum Friday: Quarantine Coolness

It’s finally Friday. If you’ve been sheltering-in-place all this week like we have, then you’re probably looking for something, anything, to take your mind off of…well, you know. So here’s a great diversion: something from a much more innocent time. This week we’ve got a time-capsule Mk1 Callaway GTI.

Back in the 80s and 90s, there were a number of big-name Euro tuners, and one of the most well-known was Callaway. While today they enhance a number of GM models, when they first got started they created turbocharging systems for Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes Benz cars.

A northern California GTI owner went full-hog on his MK1 ’84 GTI and not only installed a Callaway kit; he also stuffed the little car with just about everything. This car is a Who’s Who of 1980s tuner bits: Recaro, Koni, Zender, MOMO, Hella, and of course, Neuspeed.

Having worked on water-cooled Volkswagens in high school and college, VWvortex member Hoffa had been looking for a clean MK1 GTI to restore and possibly modify for quite some time. He found the Callaway GTI through Craigslist and struck a deal to bring it home. He doesn’t divulge what he paid for it, but we’re guessing it was a healthy amount by his comment “my wife thinks I’m absolutely insane.”

After toying with removing the body kit and restoring it (he even picked up a set of mint OEM seats), fellow forum members convinced Hoffa to keep the time-capsule status of the car and bring back its luster. Hoffa’s done a number of updates; the most substantial may be the refinished “Turbo” wheels that replaced the chrome 5-spokes that came with the car. We’re kind of floored thinking he’d want to get rid of that full-Recaro interior; the matching door panels are amazing alone!

Along with the Callaway GTI, Hoffa also is restoring a rare turbocharged Fox-body Mustang, and most recently he picked up a totaled (but very repairable) MK7 GTI that he and his son are working on. It’s great to see him pass the torch and make some memories.

So if you’re quarantined away, Hoffa’s excellent Callaway GTI thread is a great read to help pass the time. Stay safe and sane everyone.