Project VW R32 V6

BY Joel Tam

It was down to a 350Z or an R32 in my quest to own a V6. Both are great cars, but as I placed my mind over my heart, the choice was clear.

I love the 350Z - the gorgeous shape, the immense torque that the VQ35 produces, all to die for. But like my Miata, it only seats two. I needed something that could swallow our equipment and be used as a chase car for our shoots, while doubling up as a domestic runabout when wifey's driving the family wagon.

So the R32 it was - a 5-door hot hatch with a 3.2-litre V6 pushing 250bhp and 320Nm of torque. Yummy.

Let's just make this official, Volkswagens are great cars, but they're over-priced. Finding a good deal for the R32 was proving to be rather difficult. I was entertaining thoughts of giving up when I came across a unit that was asking for a price in the 'GTi region'. I viewed the car, gave a reasonable offer and the rest is history.

This is the car below...

Fully stock inside and out, just the way I like it. Mk V Golf still handsome to look at and classy in its own right. After all, it's the car that put VW back into the swing of things - pardon the pun.

The rather exclusive "R" insignia. For those who are nuts enough to buy a hatchback with a 3.2-litre engine!

Chequered flag symbols creatively used as rubber grips on the pedals. Nice.

Teutonic workmanship evident in the Golf's cabin. But all is far from perfect, and things start to go awfully wrong when you look a little closer...

Gear plate is scuffed and the damage looks permanent.

Switch gear for mirrors and windows peeling and badly scratched, a common problem in Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) cars. My Skoda has similar issues.

Light switch the most unsightly. But a full set of Mk VI switch gear (with silver accents) is going to be on order soon.

Steering wheel badge dented. Honestly, I can't imagine why... was the previous owner banging on the horn too much???

Boot lid badge is scratched and chipped too. That's not all...

...kerb rash plagues 3 out of 4 rims.

Engine bay looks its age (4 years old), and quite far from being spanking clean.

So why then did I buy it? Maybe because it was 'cheap'? Or maybe because the problems were superficial? Either way, I'd like to think that the 'dad' in me played a part. Because I believe that all things, including cars, can be nurtured to perfection.