A howling supercharged VR6, a trick air-ride system and a bespoke leather interior. Scott’s modified MK3 VW Golf has all the ingredients for one of the most perfect Golfs we’ve ever seen…
When life deals you lemons, what do you do? Instead of creating tasty lemonade, when things didn’t seem to be going his way a few years back, Scott Peplow here decided to instead focus his efforts into creating one of the most outstanding modified VW Mk3 Golfs in the country.
You might recognise Scott from his equally impressive Audi TT featured in issue 370 of FC, so perhaps some housekeeping is in order before we continue. You see, the TT is his current weapon of choice, with this Golf his previous car which he’s now painfully parted ways with. But upon hearing the back-story of this build, we thought it was too good not to share.
It all began three years ago, when Scott was checking out another Audi TT for sale. “I saw this awesome Dragon Green VR6 Golf on the driveway, too…” he says, explaining how he got a little distracted about what he initially came to buy. “I asked if it was also for sale, and he said it could be at the right price.” It was love at first sight and a smitten Scott struck up a deal instantly, arranging to collect the car a week later.
With a Vortech supercharger kit and a seriously impressive custom leather interior already on the motor, Scott was expecting the four-hour drive home to be a momentous occasion, and he wasn’t wrong. “After a faultless two hours, I hit traffic and it began to overheat,” he recalls with a frown. “I suddenly thought, ‘Oh my god. What have I just bought?!’ I just tried to get it back in one piece.”
Had Scott’s rather rash purchase turned out to be a bit of a lemon? Well, slightly, yes. “Turns out it wasn’t quite the dream car I thought it was!” he laughs, recalling how he took the car to a friend’s garage for a thorough inspection. “The ’charger needed a full rebuild. There was rust, it ran like me on a Monday morning…!” With thoughts of breaking the car for parts now tragically filling his mind, Scott reminded himself that no true car fan would let this project defeat them. He decided he’d instead create something bigger and better than he’d ever previously imagined. Go on son!
First things first, though. The car had to run right before Scott could tackle the fun parts of personalising it to his requirements. “It’s hard to get a supercharged VR6 engine to behave itself,” says Scott. Eventually a new water pump, temperature sensors, fans and thermostats were bought, along with completely overhauling the ropey supercharger itself, to ensure the hatch finally behaved reliably once more. “It’s now running spot on, which is good as it’s been my daily driver.”
Next came the more fun bits. After much research, Scott knew the look he was after: air ride for serious lows, smoothed wings and US-spec bumpers, a Vento front end… You get the idea. Thankfully, long-term pals HavAir had Scott’s back, performing all of the bodywork, along with a full respray in the original Dragon Green (because nothing would work better against that interior) in their swanky HQ.
“They came up with an incredible air suspension install, which features some custom Sharpie artwork,” grins Scott. “I picked up the complete car before Ultimate Dubs 2015 with a huge smile on my face!” Let’s face it. He had a lot to be smiling about. The car now looks fresher than Will Smith’s best shell suit.
Still rocking the original Schmidt rims that came with the car during the first couple of shows he went to, Scott eventually traded the hoops up for something he’d had his eye on for a while: a gleaming set of the classic BBS RSs. With seven-inch of girth all-round, complete with a tasty 1.5-inch lip, the wheels looked perfect when mated up with the custom adaptors supplied by mate Aaron, giving the car that classic, restrained OEM+ look that perhaps makes it work so well.
The word ‘complete’ is used to describe a lot of impressive car builds nowadays, but we reckon it genuinely rings true here. Winning an award at every show he ever went to in the car is one thing. But the fact this Golf also sports a screaming, 290bhp motor that Scott enjoyed making full use of on a regular basis is the icing on the cake. “It’s an animal,” he lets on. “The noise is addictive and puts a smile on my face every time.”
Scott may have moved on to another exciting car now, but he’ll be the first to admit this VW represents one of his finest hours. A car that he will always have a soft spot for in his heart, snapping necks and embarrassing Porsches in equal measure.
We’re pretty sure this isn’t the last time you’ll see one of this master craftsman’s creations gracing the pages of this fine website…
OWNER: SCOTT PEPLOW
￼TECH SPEC: MK3 GOLF
2.8-litre VR6 engine; Vortech VF-9 centrifugal supercharger kit; full stainless steel exhaust system; crackle black detailing on engine
Five-speed manual transmission.
7X16in BBS RS three-piece split rims; Air Lift Performance AutoPilot V2 air suspension system with custom HavAir struts; single compressor and five-gallon tank in boot; OEM VR6 brakes.
VW Vento front end conversion; smoothed US-spec bumpers; smoothed boot and wings.
Complete re-trim in leather by MJ Interiors.
Everyone at HavAir for the paintwork, air ride and advice; Aaron for making the wheel adapters; Denis for the Sharpie work; Andy for the engine rebuild; my partner Chloe and my kids.
Words Tom Willcox Photos Remedi