Words CJ Levendal
Photography CJ Levendal & Orville Robertson
Filming Allister Sellinda
What does it take to be different, yet staying grounded, humbled and still do it all in a subtle yet aggressive display of style and with a certain couture level flow. Well that’s a question I’ll leave for you to answer, but I won’t leave you completely in the dark. With this feature of Gareth’s flush VW Golf MkV GTi we hope to carry over this idea, and help you figure out the answer to the above question.
I’ve come across many different types of people and have experienced each of their ideas and approaches to building a piece of machinery that they would feel proud to call their own. Now when it comes to Gareth I have never met a more down to earth guy (and I’m not talking about his car). The story of him and his car started pretty much the same as any other guy out there, a dream an idea and making it a reality. Well Gareth is quite the dreamer and I noticed this every day I spoke to him – and that is never a bad thing, he is the sort of dreamer that makes his visions reality – the dreams started small though, it all began with him owning a VW Polo Vivo but soon got bored and needed something that will satisfy his needs. A Golf MkV Gti was his choice. It has been a dream of his for quite some time and he needed something that wouldn’t place him in financial difficulties as well as leave some room for the modification bug to run a bit wild.
So after a long and tough search for a clean MkV he was about to give up and become a male stripper, I mean normal boring person until he stumbled across something promising on Gumtree of all places – after having a look at the car it was settled, Gareth’s mind was made up and on the 27th of March 2014 he took ownership of a well-cared for stock BWA 2008 full house spec. Like most guys he started off static on some FK Automotive coilovers and secured a set of OEM Interlago wheels, the bug didn’t leave just there though, the car was soon sent off to Gideon of Nevag Creations to restore and change up the spoiler and wheels. According to the man the static lows was cool and enjoyed it on his Vivo but since before he even purchased the Golf there was only one thing on his mind…….Air (I guess he’s an airhead) Gareth had seen whats to offer across the globe and locally when it came to bagged MkVs where guys like Joey and Rimo (two guys still to feature) were great inspirations to him – he wanted to show what he could do though and with the sea full of them he thought what’s one more going to do (well land a SnS and SS feature). Gareth decided to keep his plans on the down low and only those involved knew the 411. One of them was a good friend of his, Stratten Van Wyk and these two would exchange ideas and setups on a daily basis. Not too long after he contacted Air Spring Supply and they hooked him up with the following; a Viair 380cc duty cycle compressor, Accuair 5 gallon raw aluminium tank which he polished by hand and ¼ inch nylon lines. Upfront he fitted the Airlift slam series front struts with double bellow bags (non-dampening) and in the rear he went with the same bags on his FK struts. This all happened with a good old Braai some beer and awesome friends – basically all you need is beer for a DIY air install ha-ha.
A lot of us know the troubles and difficulties attached to finding a set of proper set of original wheels here in SA – it’s been a headache and an topic on a lot of tongues over the years, Gareth decided finding a set was of high importance and went into this ever challenging mission eyes closed not knowing what exactly he wanted – countless hours of surfing the web internationally as well as here on our home shores, his searched eventually resulted in him finding a set locally, Work Rezax wheels which were 3-piece splits….offset somewhere between 35 or 38, and a decent width of 8,5j fronts and 9,5j rears, fully chromed and in need of a full refurb. The wheels were De-chromed and got pearl white faces, Work valve stems, as well as polished hardware and lips by Hi-tech Mag repairs. He decided to wrap a set of 215/35/18’s and resulted in a nice tuck all round.
Nevag Creations took the car once again for some cleaning up, and some special touches. The headlights came out awesome and so happened that it was ready just in time for Campfest where he decided to enter and placed second in the MK5 category. Since we shot the car he did a wheel change and went for a set of Neochrome Rota Grids which he’s been eyeing for a while – this is a classic example of when worlds collide in this case a Euro car with some JDM classics.
To put things into perspective Gareth is driving his dream car just the way the vision had struck him many years ago – when I look at it he’s a type of guy who always see’s potential and saw it despite all the negativity against Rezax. Gareth says “that’s just me, I don’t give a f*ck, the same guy who gets flack for not having colour coded side skirts. (Which eventually got done) or not entering every show & shine out there, but I go on and mind my business.”
Special thanks is given to team Knobber, FatStrat Garage, RC Performance, Nevag Creations, REVO/VAGCAFE – Shaun Mooloo & Ian Foat, Turtle Wax, Tiaan, FSU Developments, Pyro Design.
From my side it was a good day at the shoot and Gareth’s story on his build was an inspiring one – from one dreamer to another I wish him all the best in future builds and we know he will be killing egos and breaking necks all over town. As I’ve metioned countless times before this was our first official shoot here in our new home of Johannesburg and we trust you enjoyed the read the video and the photos – till next time.
remember to click on the pics for high res versions 🙂