Archive | Our cars: 1994 Polo GT Coupé

09 January 2010 ~ 0 Comments

PoloDriver in Volkswagen Golf+ magazine

The latest issue of Volkswagen Golf+ magazine has a two-page feature on PoloDriver in the club profile section. Showcasing the newest online Polo resource, the article tells the story of how the website came about and details the developments we hope to make, as well as featuring founder Rich Gooding’s 1994 Polo GT Coupé. The February issue of Volkswagen Golf+ magazine is on sale now until 29 January 2010.

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24 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 1994 Polo GT Coupé

Rich Gooding updates the story of his 159,000-mile, 1994 Polo Coupé GT, which he has owned for almost 11 years. It’s December, so it must be MoT time…

I’d never realised that the various pieces of paper that make up the MoT document portfolio were colour-coded like traffic lights. There’s red for a fail, orange for advisory items and green for a pass. Yesterday, my Polo Coupé GT got all three. But, crucially, it did pass the annual Department of Transport test.

It wasn’t due until 5 January 2010, but in customary tradition, I decided to get it done early. A good tradition with an elderly car. My Satin Silver GT is now 15 years old, and the days of sailing through the yearly inspection are long gone. It’s not too bad, though; brake pipes have been an advisory item for the last couple of years at least, but this year, something finally needed doing.

The Refusal of an MoT certificate stated that the tester thought that the offside rear brake hose had deteriorated so much that he thought it was dangerous to drive the car. So that was duly sorted, the car retested and a pass given. Yes, there’s still one brake hose and four brake pipes that are ‘slightly corroded’ and will need replacing and also the small matter of a minor leak of exhaust gases from the front section of the pipe, but all in all it could have been much worse than a £150 total bill.

Note for 2010, though; older cars need more care, and one that’s covered 159,000 miles maybe more than most…

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23 July 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Our cars: 1994 Polo GT Coupé

Classic fantastic
It’s referred to as the ‘classic car’ in some circles, due to the heightened number of breakdowns it’s had recently, putting its parts on at the most inconvenient time. But, classic car it might be, on Monday night, my 1994 Polo GT was the star of the show. Or our drive at least.
Yes, the exhaust has fallen off recently (Eurovision night to be precise, and more than likely down to perished rubber hangers), resulting in a very noisy journey home from Mark’s, and the cambelt has been changed too in the last few weeks, really as a precautionary measure. In all other respects, though, my faithful motoring companion shows little sign of its 157,000 miles and 15-year life.
It still feels as solid as a modern day Volkswagen (and hewn from granite when compared with its French or Italian contemporaries), and while the paint is starting to show rust freckles in certain areas, I was told on Monday night that ‘Evo Car’ (so-called because of the evo magazine sticker on the back window) was one of the best examples of the breed that Justin had seen.
He came to collect the spare front bumper I sold to him on eBay for £1, and had a G40 which was in the garage being repaired after being shunted by a Volvo. We stood chatting on the drive for around 45 minutes. I’d have offered him and his ferrying friend a cup of tea if I’d known we’d be that long. I don’t get engaged in that long a conversation when we attend Volkswagen events.
It was fun, though, and as we discussed the merits of the Mk1 and Mk 2 Polos, the sun making the light and sky more orange, I realised that maybe the silver shed isn’t quite so bad after all. It’s gone past the stage of economical repair yes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be run into the ground. It’s lucky if it does 6,000 miles a year now, and is quite literally a shopping car these days, but 19-year old Justin was impressed.
Which sometimes, is all that matters. Polo GTs are getting fewer in number, and only last weekend did I read a letter by a similarly pleased GT owner to one of the classic car magazines stating that she thought they are ripe to become a future classic. While that would be nice (and I’d like to agree), the handling and ‘fun factor’ probably isn’t up to the best in class, and the car didn’t get overly rave reviews at the time its tyres first rolled onto tarmac.
But, it’s what it means to us owners that matters most. And as most cars get bigger, heavier, and less individually styled, older cars are appealing to me more. Alongside the Polo, I’d like a metal-bumpered Mk 1 Golf GTI, a BMW 2002, and an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior/1750 GTV among others. Are classics fantastic? Oh yes.

2009-VW-Polo-GT-F230709

It’s referred to as the ‘classic car’ in some circles, due to the heightened number of breakdowns it’s had recently, putting its parts on at the most inconvenient time. But, classic car it might be, on Monday night, my 1994 Polo GT was the star of the show. Or our drive at least.

Yes, the exhaust has fallen off recently (Eurovision night to be precise, and more than likely down to perished rubber hangers), resulting in a very noisy journey home from Mark’s, and the cambelt has been changed too in the last few weeks, really as a precautionary measure. In all other respects, though, my faithful motoring companion shows little sign of its 157,000 miles and 15-year life.

It still feels as solid as a modern day Volkswagen (and hewn from granite when compared with its French or Italian contemporaries), and while the paint is starting to show rust freckles in certain areas, I was told on Monday night that ‘Evo Car’ (so-called because of the evo magazine sticker on the back window) was one of the best examples of the breed that Justin had seen.

He came to collect the spare front bumper I sold to him on eBay for £1, and had a G40 which was in the garage being repaired after being shunted by a Volvo. We stood chatting on the drive for around 45 minutes. I’d have offered him and his ferrying friend a cup of tea if I’d known we’d be that long. I don’t get engaged in that long a conversation when we attend Volkswagen events.

It was fun, though, and as we discussed the merits of the Mk1 and Mk 2 Polos, the sun making the light and sky more orange, I realised that maybe the silver shed isn’t quite so bad after all. It’s gone past the stage of economical repair yes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be run into the ground. It’s lucky if it does 6,000 miles a year now, and is quite literally a shopping car these days, but 19-year old Justin was impressed.

Which sometimes, is all that matters. Polo GTs are getting fewer in number, and only last weekend did I read a letter by a similarly pleased GT owner to one of the classic car magazines stating that she thought they are ripe to become a future classic. While that would be nice (and I’d like to agree), the handling and ‘fun factor’ probably isn’t up to the best in class, and the car didn’t get overly rave reviews at the time its tyres first rolled onto tarmac.

But, it’s what it means to us owners that matters most. And as most cars get bigger, heavier, and less individually styled, older cars are appealing to me more. Alongside the Polo, I’d like a metal-bumpered Mk 1 Golf GTI, a BMW 2002, and an Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior/1750 GTV among others. Are classics fantastic? Oh yes.

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08 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 1994 Polo GT Coupé

Fully charged
No, even though this post has a car in it, and a headline that suggests charging by an electric current, the vehicle in question is powered neither by batteries or a battery/fuel mix. My 1994 Volkswagen Polo GT has been having starting problems of late caused by a flat battery, but now normal service has resumed with a new unit bought from German Swedish and French car parts.
Bought and fitted eventually, that is. The first one I brought home was physically too big for the hole, tucked away in the top left-hand corner of the little VW’s engine bay. Not the easiest place to get to thanks to the intrusion of the brake servo (lacking on early cars, resulting in a much easier fit process thanks to the larger opening), it was clear the new battery wasn’t going to go in, so it went back.
After a dispute with one member of staff in the shop who was adamant it would fit (it was two inches too long – I’ve had the car 10 years, so I should know what fits), it transpired that the new unit I had taken back had been labelled with the wrong part number at branch level, so was swapped out for one which not only looked right, but (surprise, surprise) did actually fit.
Once in place, it ended the two-week power drought which two failed charging periods had failed to resolve. It means that I can now obviously drive the car, owing Nik several journeys where he has had to abstain from the alcoholic stuff, as I had no means of driving him. The no-go resolve came at the right time, too; I wanted the car for Stanford Hall, to give it a run out, as it barely gets used these days.
So, Saturday afternoon and early evening were spent cleaning, polishing, vacuuming, and finessing the GT for the day that lay the other side of a good night’s sleep. My acute obssessiveness must have worked; Derek from next-door came out of the house and congratulated me on how good the old car looked. I was pleased, as a few hours’ cleaning had stripped time off the 15 year-old, 157,000-mile body.
I could have spent even longer on it if I’d wanted to, but one of the joys of not using it that much means that the Polo is still in not too bad a condition for its age, even though it’s not garaged. That wasn’t true of me, though, on Saturday night; exhausted but happy, but certainly not as fully charged as I was at the start of the day. There were a few complimentary looks at Lutterworth on Sunday, though, so all the effort was appreciated.

No, even though this post has a car in it, and a headline that suggests charging by an electric current, the vehicle in question is powered neither by batteries or a battery/fuel mix. My 1994 Volkswagen Polo GT has been having starting problems of late caused by a flat battery, but now normal service has resumed with a new unit bought from German Swedish and French car parts.

Bought and fitted eventually, that is. The first one I brought home was physically too big for the hole, tucked away in the top left-hand corner of the little VW’s engine bay. Not the easiest place to get to thanks to the intrusion of the brake servo (lacking on early cars, resulting in a much easier fit process thanks to the larger opening), it was clear the new battery wasn’t going to go in, so it went back.

After a dispute with one member of staff in the shop who was adamant it would fit (it was two inches too long – I’ve had the car 10 years, so I should know what fits), it transpired that the new unit I had taken back had been labelled with the wrong part number at branch level, so was swapped out for one which not only looked right, but (surprise, surprise) did actually fit.

Once in place, it ended the two-week power drought which two failed charging periods had failed to resolve. It means that I can now obviously drive the car, owing Nik several journeys where he has had to abstain from the alcoholic stuff, as I had no means of driving him. The no-go resolve came at the right time, too; I wanted the car for Stanford Hall, to give it a run out, as it barely gets used these days.

So, Saturday afternoon and early evening were spent cleaning, polishing, vacuuming, and finessing the GT for the day that lay the other side of a good night’s sleep. My acute obssessiveness must have worked; Derek from next-door came out of the house and congratulated me on how good the old car looked. I was pleased, as a few hours’ cleaning had stripped time off the 15 year-old, 157,000-mile body.

I could have spent even longer on it if I’d wanted to, but one of the joys of not using it that much means that the Polo is still in not too bad a condition for its age, even though it’s not garaged. That wasn’t true of me, though, on Saturday night; exhausted but happy, but certainly not as fully charged as I was at the start of the day. There were a few complimentary looks at Lutterworth on Sunday, though, so all the effort was appreciated.

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