Flawless bodywork, slammed to the floor and rolling on Lamborghini Gallardo wheels, we check out Mark Fisher’s modified Mk5 VW Golf GTi Edition 30.
Sitting here checking out this immaculate, aired-out Edition 30 I can’t help but cast my mind back a month to the absolutely mad Liberty Walk kitted M4 on the cover of the last issue – this really is nothing like that.
You see, that particular Beemer was rolling lunacy. It was right up in your face, designed to shock everyone at SEMA and consisted of four or
five simple (but totally out there) mods. Mark Fisher’s Golf is the flip side of the coin. It’s subtle, and I mean BLOODY subtle, but it’s probably one of the most painstakingly detailed motors we’ve had on the cover for years. And I don’t just mean he’s been out there with the wash ‘n’ wax either.
You’d never know it was so profoundly modified – and that’s the whole point. The genius of this build is the fact it’s so understated you could walk right past thinking it’s simply a lowered GTI on some seriously spanky rims. But look closer, much closer, and you’ll find a meticulous kind of modding that’ll simply blow your mind.
Mark’s Golf comes with an unusual kind of mass appeal, it’s a ride for any occasion, a car that you couldn’t feel a dickhead driving no matter where you’re going, or who you’re going with. Regardless of how much you like the crazy stuff, and believe me I do, it’s still hard to deny you just don’t get this kind of class by slapping on a mental kit and having an exhaust that can shake shop windows 7 miles away. To the silent majority, the people who aren’t particularly into cars, it’s likeable and inoffensive in equal measures, a rare and beautiful reaction for any heavily tweaked motor. To the true car-nut, though, it’s something of far more substance, a work of modifying art that comes with any number of coldly calculated details – even if no one actually notices half of them the first time around.
Now, all this subtlety is not to say Mark hasn’t seen his fair share of madness over the years. I’ve known the guy for a long time and I have to say his last major project, a bonkers Racing Puma-powered Fiesta, was one of the craziest, not to mention most inspirational, rides I’ve ever seen. You certainly wouldn’t have looked at that one and guessed at a car as quietly conservative as this hitting the streets just a couple of years later – even if it does show exactly the same kind of obsessive attention
So where did the madness, the two-fingers to civilised society, disappear to? “I did what you do when you get old, I bought a Golf,” he laughs. And although I’m not exactly sure what he means by ‘old’, he’s the same age as me, the cheeky bastard, I get the point. Even in the modding world eventually there comes the pressure to grow up and drive something a little more sensible than a caged-up hot hatch, and there’s no shame in that. I mean, there’s only so long you can (or should) sustain the hi-tops, skinny jeans and baseball caps right? There’s more than a few of us that could take note there.
Of course it goes without saying that all this newfound ‘grownupness’ (that’s not even a word Midge – Jules) and the classic “I wasn’t gonna do anything to this one, honest” lasted for all of 3-seconds before he started making changes. Like many of us, Mark has never owned a standard car for more than the time it takes to drive home from the place you buy one. Clearly old habits die hard.
As we all know the trouble with modifying is, once it’s in your blood, there’s no cure. Pretty soon a simple set of springs and Phaeton wheels turns into air-ride and a fruity power hike courtesy of a load of Forge Motorsport gear. Then of course, you’ll absolutely ‘need’ bigger brakes and… well, you know the rest, it’s the old, old story. But I guess for Mark at
least that’s understandable, working as head marketing bloke for VIBE Audio doesn’t just explain the sweet, top-end install, it’s also pretty obvious that he’s always exposed to what’s going on in the scene, that is his job after all.
But then this car’s not just about the big stuff, as I said, what really sets Mark’s Golf apart is the details, the little things that make you look twice. Many of those can be attributed to what he describes as ‘having some major issues.’
Now, obviously I’m no doctor but I know a terminal case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when I see it. Then again OCD is not something that Mark will admit to… he prefers CDO, because at least then it’s in alphabetical order. And that tells you all you need to know.
Trust me when I say every mod has been pondered, dissected and thought about a few more times for good measure. The details are immense and not just in the substantial shaving, smoothing and painting of the body. There’s also anal stuff like the new red wine seatbelts or the fact that everything above the window glass on the retrim is Alcantara and everything below is leather, something that drives Mark crazy because the boot install breaks the rule, though I’m guessing not for long. Then there’s the really, really anal stuff details like the plastic welded and trimmed passenger doorcard, a hybrid USDM and UK version blended together because the standard Mk5 cards are asymmetric, they don’t match… and we can’t have that now can we?
As awesome as they are even the wheels haven’t escaped Mark’s intense scrutiny. Originally these genuine Lamborghini Gallardo fronts were finished in racy crackle black paint, tracked down specifically to give the Golf a ‘dirtier’ more hardcore look. Then Mark changed his mind and had them polished and colour-coded anyway.
Nuts or what?
There’s plenty more details too and fair play if you can spot them without looking at the spec, but suffice to say they’re all suitably high-end and add more than a little rarity value. The look he’s gone for is positively OEM+, some might even say one up from that, a well-deserved OEM+1, what matters is it’s clear he’s absolutely nailed it.
The overwhelming feel is of flawless quality, like Volkswagen could have, maybe should have, done this
OWNER: MARK FISHER
TECH SPEC: MK5 VW GOLF GTI EDITION 30
Smoothed front bumper, washer jet delete, splitter blended in, front wings widened 15mm, de-locked, repeaters removed, Mk6 GTI mirrors, smoothed rear bumper with shortened plate recess, R32 LED tail lights, de-wipered/badged tailgate, US grille with plate delete, Lambo filler cap. TUNING
Forge Twintake induction kit, Twintercooler, silicone hoses, stage 3 PCV breather, alloy header tank, billet caps, Milltek exhaust, GIAC Stage 2+ remap, Powerflex engine mount.
Lamborghini Gallardo wheels (4 fronts) with colour-coded centres, 215/35×19 Uniroyal tyres, Air Lift Slam XL suspension kit with chassis notch, Air Lift V2 management, colour-coded tank and hard line install with dual ViAir compressors, 356mm front discs with 6 pot Forge calipers, 330mm rear discs with Forge 4 pot calipers, EBC pads and braided lines.
Recaro CS front seats trimmed in nappa red wine leather with hexagonal stitched centres, rear seats trimmed to match, parcel shelf trimmed with hexagonal stitched insert, lower dash, front armrest, front door and rear quarter cards, gear knob, gaiters, rear boot struts also trimmed to match, Red Wine belts, Alcantara trimmed seat backs, upper dash, dash side panels, a, b and c pillars, headliner visors, door tops and boot build, US drivers door card modified to fit passenger door, Mk6 Golf flat bottom wheel, Mk6 Golf switches.
Kenwood double-DIN headunit, reverse mounted VIBE Space 12-inch subwoofer powered by Space Bass 1, Space components powered by Space Stereo 4 amp, VIBE critical link cabling.
Words Midge – Photos Dan Pullen