Ryan’s Hot Chocolate Volkswagen MK1
Photography – Allister Selinda
Words – Allister Selinda & CJ Levendal
Where do we start with this story? How do we get to the bottom of a build and the inspiration behind it? Well let me start with myself. Fresh out of school, looking for a ride and accompanied by a terrible budget. There wasn’t much on the market I could buy with my cash flow. Clearly I needed help so one of my friends found me a Volkswagen MK1 two door, which was dirt cheap but also its condition was not of the best. We went and had a look at the car, at first I wasn’t keen on the idea of owning it, however when I was exposed to a few pictures of what it could look like my perception changed and thought to myself, ah hell let’s get this car home. I started the build with very little vision it was “go with whatever comes to mind” situation, but I did however learn how rare the car was by being offered cash for it almost every day. When it was built it had very little to it but to me it was better than anything I had seen around. The first show I attended with the car was an anti-climax for my so called second to none car, that day I was introduced to a world where it was tough to stand apart and since then I have followed many MK1 builds quite closely. It’s a simple matter of hard work, dedication and above all passion and that is where Ryan comes in. So without any further ado I present to you Ryan’s Hot Chocolate VW MK1 and his story…
For the better half of 2012 there was a car that everybody was talking about, it hadn’t even surfaced on the net besides for a few random snaps of its paintwork and wheels. It was going to change the state of the MK1 game that was up and running at the time, this when we thought it couldn’t get better. VW Camp Fest was a day many looked forward to as we were finally going to see the chocolate coloured dub. And my oh my, it was an impressive sight, sporting a set of 15 inch replica Schmidt wheels, lowered on coils with an engine bay to kill for. After Camp Fest the car was still a rare spotting but when you saw it your day was made which I experienced first-hand a few times. I tracked Ryan down in 2013 after Camp Fest where I got the chance to shoot the car for the first time. I got face to face again with the car that exceeded many expectations for a South African MK1.
Ryan let me in on why he built this specific car “I’ve always built cabriolets and always bought the Golf+ and PVW but when I saw Paul Scotts Brown Golf I fell in love with it”. Ryan built his 2.0 16V ABF motor from the ground up and chose to fit it with a set of individual throttle bodies that he had polished up. He then went out in search of an MK1 body which he had found at the back of a scrapyard as a shell that was stripped down bare. The car then received the full VIP treatment and his attention to detail was key, the candy brown paint job along with the cream coloured engine bay was a perfect marriage of colours and was a perfect fit for the motor, axles and sump also got the brown coating. The interior was kept to the old school feel with black leather sides with brown Alcantara centres, the dash followed through being covered in brown vinyl and the wood grain steering put the whole mixture together. Crème coloured carpets complement the crème engine bay. After all this it was not a surprise that In 2013 Ryan was dubbed with the Best MK1 at VW Camp Fest which was and still is a huge achievement.
Then once again the car suddenly vanished from the scene, but that wasn’t because Ryan had it sold it, it was because it was all back to the drawing board. Ryan finally messaged me, after the long hibernation, and just as I thought it couldn’t get any better…
The car was now kitted out with a full air lift paddle air system and under those wheel wells were the same Schmidt’s but now they had matte black centres. I still wasn’t ready to shoot it again because it was still the same car, well sort of. Camp Fest 2014 Ryan knew he had to pull out all the stops, having the title of best MK1 in hand would prove tough to reclaim with all the upcoming projects. So the question lingered, what do you do to change Mona Lisa? You simply add Gold and a lot of it. When me and Ryan met again at the very same place I first encountered his car, I couldn’t have expected what he had done. The engine bay now had gold ram tubes, gold alternator, gold oil cap and gold cam pulley but it didn’t stop their the sump was gold along with the rear axle as if the other gold wasn’t enough. One very good change was the ditching of the replica Schmidt wheels and replacing them with a set of Ewing III Works wheels. Chocolate centres, crème centre nuts and polished lips was the combo and couldn’t have been a better match to go along with the rest of the car the wheels were pure magic!
All this and Ryan took second place at Camp Fest 2014. He says its all good but next year he will reclaim the title he once held. He has a few serious surprises up his sleeve but his enjoying the car toughly along with his little man Xander who knows his Dad’s MK1 is seriously out of this world. So after spending one and a half years on a build it doesn’t just end there it only gets better So just it’s just a few months before the next Camp Fest and I can only imagine what Ryan will be pulling up with.
Less than three short years after purchasing what was basically a bare body, rusty frame and multiple boxes of parts, Ryan can truly call this gorgeous MK1 his own and without a doubt one of the best in South Africa. He isn’t one to brag or boast so we shall do it for him Ha-Ha. He knew just how to turn the spanner and by that I mean he knew what to touch and what not to touch. This car is a perfect example of “balance” and in my eyes a perfect feature. Let’s just say his golden touch brought this car to life. We are very proud to have featured this legendary car on our blog and we hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.