An American car enthusiast is wrapping up his visit to South Africa after buying a two-tone 1991 Volkswagen Citi Golf, fixing it up and dropping in a VR6 engine. His next stop with the SA-built model? A couple of VW factories in Germany and then the annual GTI Treffen in Wörthersee.
Jamie Orr arrived in South Africa at the end of January 2018 after shipping over a 3,6-litre VR6 engine from the United States. He also made sure to send over a Golf 4 VR5 transmission with a limited slip differential, as well as a lightweight billet flywheel and clutch setup.
After finding a suitable two-tone example with only “dents and minor mechanical issues”, Orr had the 225 kW engine installed and commissioned a full respray in the original colour in a build that took less than a week. Orr also added new seat fabric, new steering components and upgraded brakes to the mix.
“While the Golf 1 enjoys a strong enthusiast following around the world, Citi Golfs are a rare sight even at Volkswagen fan events. That’s why I wanted to buy, restore and share one,” said Orr.
Soon, he drove the updated Citi Golf to Volkswagen SA’s Uitenhage factory, which he described as a “symbolic point” of the journey.
The Citi Golf will now be shipped to the Volkswagen Emden factory in Germany, before going on to the headquarters of the Volkswagen Group, the Wolfsburg factory.
“In Wolfsburg, we will apply the finishing touches, before another 1 000 km drive to the GTI Treffen in Wörthersee. The tour of Europe will also include factory and museum visits as well as a trip to the infamous Nürburgring race track,” said Orr.
Eventually, Orr says he will take the Citi Golf back to the US.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.