Landing yourself the perfect job is like a dream come true. Whilst not everyone can work on the prestigious Fast Car magazine, Craig Barnard did himself proud when he landed a job at the Essex based Rolls Royce and Bentley specialists, P&A Wood. Craig was one of over 200 candidates that applied for the position and his dream came true when a job offer finally came through.
Walking into the workshop is like stepping back in time. The place is wall to wall with high-end Rollers and Bentleys. I’m not talking about your average type either. These are multimillion pound motors that date back to the war years. The place reeks of history and it’s up to Craig to restore them and keep them in a tiptop condition for their wealthy owners.
We aren’t here for a history lesson though, we’re here to check out his immaculate Polo GTI. Originally Craig was on the hunt for a Lupo but when the Polo popped up at auction for a fraction of the price, he put in a bid and bagged himself a deal.
Working with multimillion pound cars on a daily basis has given Craig an eagle eye for perfection. With access to the spray booth after hours Craig masked up the Polo and gave it a fresh coat of VW Reflex silver.
To break it up he painted the roof, spoiler, B pillars and stubby mirrors in gloss black. Along with the front rub strip the boot has been smoothed and a popper fitted where the rear wiper once lived.
Craig knows that without a good dose of lows the Polo would be laughed out of the VAG scene. A set of AP coilovers were fitted to the car and wound down to a respectable level.
When it came to wheels he didn’t want to follow the crowd with the usual Euro favourites. Hunting through Wheel Whores he came across these unknown, 7x15inch Paramount branded rims. At only £250 they were a bargain! After painting them Candy Red Craig wrapped them up tight in 165/45×15 Bridgestone tyres. Spacing the wheels out 20mm up front and 25mm on the rear has meant that the arches needed to be pulled and rolled to accommodate them.
The interior oozes class and rivals that of any Bentley, it’s the only part Craig didn’t do himself. Instead it was put in the safe hands of Concept Vehicle Trimmers. From front to back the interior has been trimmed in custom Italian leather with a quilted finish.
Mk.5 Golf headrests have had the same treatment and now sit in place of the standard Polo items. A smattering of carbon wrap finishes off the interior along with red carpet throughout.
The small cabin has been packed out with plenty of ICE. The two 12inch subs in the boot are powered off a Touring amplifier. The standard door speakers have been replaced with a mix of Focal and Infinity speakers that all feed off of a Vibe 1200watt amp.
In Craig’s line of work second best isn’t an option and it’s clear to see this follows through onto his own car. It’s easily one of the cleanest and best executed examples of a VW Polo we have seen. Good work Mr Barnard!
TECH SPEC VW POLO GTi
Full OEM colour Reflex Silver respray; colour coded front splitter; fully smoothed boot with rear wiper popper fitted; smoothed front rub strip; red GTI grille tape; gloss black stubby mirrors, roof, spoiler, B pillars; rolled and pulled arches; blue tinted 125mm mirror glass; Rolls Royce Ghost aerial cover on roof; bonnet bra in quilted red leather.
OMP upper front strut brace in wrinkle finish; cam belt cover also in wrinkle finish red; bottle caps in red wrinkle finish; custom header tank bracket in black wrinkle finish; 4-2-1 Raceland manifold to fit with a 2.5-inch hidden decat pipe to single back box made by Pipecraft in stainless steel; K&N Typhoon cold air intake; Mikalor boost clamps; camo wrap tape; Performance chip and remap by AmD Essex; 148bhp with 121lb/ft torque.
AP adjustable coilovers with custom made adjuster knobs; Black Diamond drilled and grooved brakes with fast road pads; braided brake lines; unknown Paramount 7×15-inch alloys painted candy red with custom VW inserts; Bridgestone Potenzas 165/45×15 tyres; 20mm front, 25mm rear spacers.
Full re-trim by Concept Vehicle Trimmer in custom red Italian leather including, seats with quilted centres, sun visors, speedo dome, custom quilted door cards, parcel shelf & Mk.5 Golf headrests; full red carpet; gloss black centre console; carbon wrapped handbrake surround, centre trim, air vents, door handles, window switches, tweeters; black headlining including A, B, and C pillars all black; Audi TT centre console struts shortened and sprayed body colour.
2x 12-inch JBL subs, JBL Touring amplifier; Focal KRX3 6.5-inch front speakers, tweeters; Infinity Kappas 65.7i rear speakers; Vibe Black Ice 1200watt amp powering all 6 speakers; Pioneer BT3000 double DIN headunit with custom iPod tray; installed by AudioFile- Incar Essex; Dynamatted throughout.