The world hasn’t half changed, don’t you reckon? Until a couple of years ago, if you popped up to a car show with your daily diesel estate, you’d get laughed at by petrolheads the world over, asked if you were some sort of farmer, and told to take your shameful black cloud of smoke somewhere else. Times are changing though, and a combination of fuel prices and better engines mean rocking an oil burner isn’t like it used to be.
Just take this fine PD130-powered wagon and its owner as an example. Mark Allen, otherwise known as ‘Pod’, went from a juicy Mk.3 VR6 Golf to this diesel daily just under three years ago. Since then, he’s spent his time picking up the plaudits while saving the pounds at the pump.
“At one stage I was putting £20-a-day into my VR for petrol, which I just couldn’t do,” explains the hardcore VW nut and online mod at Bournemouth Dub-club TidyVAG. “I was also doing scrap runs so the boot space on an estate just made perfect sense, and it’s epic now for shows like Bug Jam with the amount of room inside,” he adds.
Pod originally got the car in stock, Reflex silver form but wasted no time in making the wagon more scene friendly, pulling it from the sky and smoothing the original Golf front end.
It was while this smoothing took place that the chance idea for an awesome new paint shade came about, thanks to a natter with good friend and local bodyshop hero, Colin, at Kustom Kolors. Pod explains: “It needed repainting after the smoothing, but Reflex silver just doesn’t match up. There was an old Beetle parked up outside in this Fontana grey, and Colin said the estate would look lovely in that. I wasn’t sure, but Colin has a feel for paint so I went for it and it came out mint!”
Further splashes of the stuff on the rarer, wider Audi A8 ‘Phat 5’ wheels and the Bora front face have got the Golf looking super fresh, and as you’d expect from someone who’s been in the VAG scene for years, the car is packed with trick details that you have to be switched on to find. Take in the suede-trimmed headlights, deleted filler cap and dipstick from the engine cover or the US-spec front bump strip and tail lights to see what we mean here.
Inside, Pod has ditched the stock Golf interior for a supreme Recaro setup, before dressing the car all over in more brown suede trimming. “The suede goes well with the new paint, but it can be time consuming to do,” confesses the self-titled Logistics Supervising Monkey. “For example, I got through Rocky 1 and II one evening before the front door cards alone were finished!”
Like many others in the VW scene, Pod soon realised he had to get air-ride on his daily diesel bruiser – but decided to keep things homemade and installed the ‘bags himself. “I’ve never thrown chequebooks at my cars and I reckon I’ve saved a grand doing the air myself” he says, showing us the colour-coded 3-gallon tank hidden in the suede-trimmed spare wheel well. “If I’ve built it, I know what’s gone into it so I know where to look if something goes wrong,” Pod adds as a matter-of-fact.
Plenty more is planned for the Bora-faced estate, but as it’s a daily, Pod’s limited to modifying it a bit at a time: “I’d love to get the seats trimmed but I still need somewhere to sit in the meantime. Same as the engine bay, I’d love to do something there but I still need the car to get to work. It’s all as and when.”
There’s an old saying for dirty diesels of ‘no smoke, no poke’ but on Pod’s evidence of a fresh diesel daily, we reckon it’s more like no smoke, no hope. Dirty diesel? It all depends on your estate of mind!
VW GOLF MK4 ESTATE
Bora front end with custom made headlights; 4Motion lower spoiler; US front bump strip and tail lights; smoothed wings; full respray in Fontana grey.
EGR delete pipe; de-cat.
Audi ‘phat 5’ alloys 8.5×18-inch all round; 215/35 tyres; 5×100- 5×112 adaptors 20mm front 25mm rear; 312mm brake upgrade from 288mm; universal front airbags over JOM coilovers with homemade brackets; Firestone rear bags with homemade brackets; 3 gallon alloy tank colour coded; 4x Airtac 4V230C-08 valves; Viar 480C compressor; 6mm air line with push fi t connectors; 2x water traps; Audi TT front ARB with custom rose-jointed droplinks; Audi TT wishbone bushes; Polo 6N top mounts; 5mm plated sub frame.
Dash, door cards, roof lining, arm rest and phone cradle trimmed in brown suede; A,B,C and D pillars in black suede; Skoda vRS lights, sun visors and grab handles; MOMO Team 280mm steering wheel; Bora air vents; Recaro front seats and rear bench with modifi ed bases; early Passat mirror switch; Viair twin needle gauges x2; DVS 7 switch control box.
Kenwood KVT627 headunit.