I bought the car in Henlow near Letchworth UK in ~1998 for £500 from an Ad in the local newspaper. It was sitting in a garden, we were able to tow it out with an Alfa Romeo (my wife driving Alfa)… It was only a 10 mile tow to my place.
As we were towing the front brakes partially seized and boiled the fluid, so for the latter part of the journey I had to brake with the hand/parking/emergency brake.
Once home I fitted a new fuel pump, and tried to start it… The fuel leaked out of the injection pump a lot and it wouldn’t start…at this point I realised it was a “project too far” and moved it to a friend’s long term storage facility (aka Chicken Shed) in Essex.
A few years later I moved first to USA and a few years later to Malaysia.. the car stayed in the shed…in about 2008 I decided to ship the car to Malaysia, along with a Triumph TR4A and that same Alfa.
I started restoration in about 2012 and got it finished by 2018…my wife chose the Inka colour…it was originally Chamonix and I wanted to paint it Golf…but Inka was the colour of our first 2002, a carb car that we drove around Europe (SNK500M: where are you now?)
The engine is not rebuilt…I learnt some years back how reliable these engines are, so I focussed on rebuild of distributor, injectors and pump…result is a super sweet and completely reliable car.
I added air conditioning, really necessary in Malaysia’s tropical climate. It has US-style extra reflectors and over-riders on the rear for safety in modern traffic.
It’s currently got an aftermarket Nardi steering wheel, as the original steering wheel is literally untouchable in the afternoon sun…it’s so hot it burns your hands..the Nardi seems to have much lower heat retention.
The dash, when fitted, was crack free….but in Malaysia sun it’s developed deep cracks in the normal places within 5 years use.
It’s running turbine wheels off an e21, I have a set of the later style steel wheels and centre caps that will fit. Tyres are 175/70R13, cannot get 185s here.
It’s my daily driver, driving ~2hrs daily in city traffic and highway…it’s also fine for longer trips …it’s been on vacation to Thailand (500km) and business trips to Kuala Lumpur (400km) without compliant.
With big thanks to Kai Hartmann for the fantastic images; Kai Hartmann. Commercial Automotive, Lifestyle and Aerial photography. Shanghai – Singapore (kai-hartmann.net)