15 April 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Our cars: 1994 Polo GT Coupé

Last month Rich Gooding’s 1994 Polo GT Coupé came out of its dry home after a month-long stay. And although he’s not had time to find the source of the water leak, he has managed to hose some of the wet stuff underneath it

It’s April, which means only one thing. No, not a guaranteed soaking from the showers frequent at this time of the year, but the build up to the Stanford Hall VW event. Tradtionally the start of my show season calendar, Stanford Hall is arguably the UK’s longest-running Volkswagen event, and certainly one of the most laid back. Always enjoyable – and usually blessed with good weather – the show is held in the grounds of the country house with which it shares its name. An event which favours standard as opposed to modified cars, the concours d’elegance must rate as one of the best in the country, let alone VW circles.

So, with just over two weeks to go, it’s time to get L307 in some sort of shape. No, not that I’m entering any concours classes (the time has been and gone for that, but I did win a trophy), but I have got a club stand booked and I want the car to look its best. Or at least as best as it can be. So, all those jobs that I’ve been putting off for months have got to be done, or at least partly done, so that the GT can sparkle in the spring sunshine. First up, the wheelarches. I used to clean them out much more regularly than I do now, but armed with a bottle of degreaser, a brush and a hose, the job was easier than I had been expecting.

The mud and dirt just fell off once it had been squirted with the degreaser and left for a few minutes. Any stubborn dirt was removed with the brush and rinsed again, taking care not to remove any of the factory wax, which I’m surprised was still there after almost 17 years and 160,000 miles. It didn’t take long, either; after about 90 minutes I was done, touching up any rusty lips and seams with a squirt of Waxoyl to help protect the old stager for a little bit longer. The results really do speak for themselves. The arches are wonderfully clean and bright, but, the downside is that once each corner of the car had been lowered off the trolley jack, the clean arches disappearing from view once again behind the tyres. Doh! Oh well, at least I know they’re done.

Next stop was the self-service jet wash. Again, in times when time itself was more plentiful, I would jet wash the underneath of the car in the spring (and just before winter) with a wash, rinse and wax cycle to get off any salt and winter grit. I couldn’t remember when I last did, so thought it necessary. £4, some water, shampoo and wax later, job done. There was an unexpected bonus, too. There’s been some proper, furry moss growing from the lip on the side strips of the car and one quick blast with the jet wash surprisingly removed it, saving me hours of poking it out with a sharp instrument! I might have dislodged part of the offiside back arch spat, though, as it now sits slightly proud of the body near the fuel filler flap. For now, I’ve squirted waxoyl down there to stem any potential rust. There’s still more cleaning to do, but I’ve made good progress. Next up, the engine bay.

Costs this month: £4 (jet wash)

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