We’ve been trying to shoot Jon’s Mk1 for a while now. All of us are huge fans of the build and despite seeing it at pretty much every show, we’ve still not tired of it. It’s almost a given that win Best of Show everywhere it goes. The finish is nothing less than perfect. Considering the car is rebuilt ever winter, improved and refreshed year on year, that’s no great surprise.
Yup, that’s an R32 lump, plucked from Mk4 Golf range topper. Notoriously hard to shoehorn into one of the smallest VW’s made, but Jon’s managed it. And managed it well. Not content with doubling the displacement of a standard Mk1 GTI, he’s taken it even further and completely smoothed the bay. A plethora of Forge Motorsport additions complete the flawless underbonnet area; carbon fibre gearbox cover, carbon engine cover, carbon slam panel… basically anything that can be carbon is carbon. Hearing the humble Rabbit make a noise like this can cause some perplexed passers by.
Jon is lucky enough to own his own paint shop in Sheffield. He’s well known both locally and nationally for the standard of his workmanship, and strives for perfection. His Mk1 is a perfect example of that. The finish really is second to none. The Rabbit is finished in a rather subtle beige/cream colour, and while not being particularly ground breaking or trend setting, is on another level completely with all the carbon touches.
During 2015, Jon hooked up with a UK based company called B- Star Wheels, based in the Midlands. He went to them looking for a particular style of wheel, which is perfect for B- Star as they specialise in custom work. Between the perfectionist brains of Jon and Christian Biesty (Technical Director of B- Star), they came up with this incredible directional, protruding fan design.
Once you sneak a peak behind the jaw droppingly beautiful wheels, painted by none other than Jon Himself, you’ll notice the colour coded Wilwood 4 pots. With the R32 engine shoehorned into such a tiny package, they’re certainly not just there for show.
The interior is another example of Jon’s search for perfection; Carbon fibre. Everywhere. The Recaro CSs have custom moulded carbon backs, matched with beautiful cream Nappa leather on the faces. Indulgent. The skateboard wheel window winders show Jon isn’t afraid to go against the grain. It’s his car, done his way, and we love that! The gorgeous CAE Racing sequential shifter caused trouser rumblings throughout the whole team; it’s fantastic!
Open the tailgate and your eye is immediately drawn to the back of those seats. The air system is on proud display, with a twin tank set up with polished hard lines, leading down into the quilted floor panels and away to do their thing.
Everywhere you look, you’ll spot something that’s been played with. The finish overall Jon has achieved on this car is staggering. We’re BIG fans…
Photography by Matt Clifford.