When Simon Calleja’s son came along, the old man had to buy a sensible family wagon. But that didn’t mean he had to hang up his modifying boots for good…

“The car’s nickname is Rolo,” says Simon Calleja. “My mate Darren came up with that, as it’s got a caramel centre. The name’s kinda stuck.”

You can see the logic of this when you peer through the window of this supremely sugar-sweet Mk4 Golf – it looks so deliciously caramely in there, it’s all you can do to stop yourself from climbing in and licking the seats. You’d be wrong to do so, of course, as seats are where people’s bums go.

No, the principal aim of making the innards of this car resemble the kind of confectionery that has crack-like addictive qualities is that, well, this is a sensible family car. If it looks delicious in there, it’s easier to get the sprogs in without a fuss. Logic, see?

Modified VW Golf MK4 Diesel rear shot

You may also have experienced a mental stumble just then on learning that the Golf’s owner is named Simon. Doesn’t it say ‘Joey’ on the number plate there? “Ah, that’s my son’s name,” he laughs. “Yeah, that confuses people, I do end up getting called Joey a lot.”

But despite the inevitable switcheroo, it makes perfect sense to have Calleja Junior’s name plastered all over the car – after all, it’s his fault that it exists in the first place. Allow Simon to explain with a little gentle scene-setting:

“I’ve always been into modifying cars, ever since I started doing it at the age of seventeen,” he elaborates. “I had a Saxo that I modified, then a Supra, and a Fiesta, a BMW 3 Series coupé, Nissan 300ZX, Toyota MR2, all of which got the treatment… but then when my son came along, I wanted to have something nice and practical so that we could all fit in comfortably when we went to shows.”

Modified VW Golf MK4 Diesel interior

And the ‘nice and practical’ brief was fulfilled rather neatly by the idea of a Mk4 Golf. Makes sense, really; you get all…

Want to know more? Check out the full feature on Simon Calleja Mk4 Golf in Fast Car magazine issue 386 on sale now in all good shops, the Fast Car online shop or alternatively download Fast Car magazine 386 now.