The wise say that some things get better with age, like a good wine or refined whiskey, but what about a 1978 Volkswagen Golf? What comes to your mind when you think of a car manufactured in 1978? Many would imagine rusty chrome bumpers, a loud smokey engine, and perhaps a frustrated broken-down driver kicking those dainty chrome centre caps. But what if the 1978 Volkswagen Golf looked so good that you begin believing that you were living in the 70s?


Anyone that has restored a car from scratch will know that it is not an overnight process. It takes time, hard work and immense dedication. Kevin Pillay began his project MK1 a few years ago and turned it into a masterpiece. Streamline Culture had the opportunity to stroll along with Kevin and his crew producing an epic first time to be featured, exclusive on this air-riding VW.


Two years ago, Kevin set eyes on a MK1 shell and while most of his friends just saw a piece of scrap metal he envisioned a gem. Being a welder at Toyota SA, passionate in his line of work, he was totally keen on starting his project. There is something about a 2-door MK1 that gives the car so much more appeal and he knew that would make his car stand out.


I first set eyes on Kevin’s MK1 at the 2015 VDub Festival. Static at the time, he still managed to spark controversy among the crowds. Keeping the old school look, he had the seats reupholstered with the original look and feel, as well as keeping the original two-knob cassette player. Of course he had to fit an mp3 modulator to keep him entertained, imagine Kevin going to a music store asking to buy the latest album of Justin Bieber on cassette.


The body was fully restored and painted in a fresh OEM manila green. Original metal bumpers, hella front, and rear small rabbit tail lights were imported to give the MK1 the euro look. He tried on several wheels before he could find himself the tuck he was looking for. He finally settled for a set of 17-inch gold BBS replicas wrapped with Nankang tyres, 165/35/17 at the front and 185/35/17 at the rear.



Being static was for 2015 and keeping up with the neighborhood, Kevin had to go with an air ride to ensure his MK1’s reputation was upheld. Installing an air suspension with complete analogue 4-way switching allows Kevin to adjust each wheel independently. A pair of VIAIR gauges was fitted just above his switches to monitor the air on each bags. He dressed up his air tank like a fire extinguisher to give it that rustic old school look.


After watching the facial expressions of people when this car hit the ground, we are pretty sure that Kevin knew that all his hard work had paid out.


Kevin Pillay

2-litre ADY 8-valve motor, 288-cam estas
57-mm branch and exhaust
Dicktator management
85-kW / 167-Nm

Air suspension
4-way analogue
VIAIR gauges

17-inch gold BBS replicas
6.5j front / 7.5j rear
Nankang 165/35/17 front / 185/35/17 rear

Full respray – Manila green
Original bumpers
Rabbit tail lights

Original interior restored

Two-knob cassette player with a modulator to play mp3
Pioneer mids
Pioneer tweeters

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