What I love about the modifying game isn’t just the ability to improve on a car’s performance or looks, but those rare people who take it that step further and change the whole purpose of a car. I first laid eyes on this MKIV Golf Estate/Wagon turned ute on Racer86.com within some event coverage. After asking some VW friends from StanceWorks Australia about it, they brought the 1552 wheels to my attention. After a bit of digging around using some keywords I finally unearthed exactly what I was looking for, a build thread on UKMKIVs. Gotta love the wonders of the internet and what you can uncover if you try. Now I’m having bad ideas for my own MKIV, where did I leave my angle grinder?…
After featuring a few big-time builds in a row, I thought it was time we get back into a regular car-guy’s project. I’ve been following this thread on and off for a while, and it’s been nothing short of a weld-a-thon and a true exercise in DIY modifying. For someone like me who has recently picked up the MIG welder, it’s been a priceless source of information and inspiration. Each modification is tackled individually, broken down into basic shapes and processes, making it very easy to follow and learn from.
Click here for more Mini builds.
Every now and then I’ll waffle on about what makes a good build thread. My list of requirements usually includes nice photography, good writing, quality modifications, and the ability to tell a story. Well this is one of those threads, and I can always tell when I really like one because reading it isn’t a chore, it’s a pleasure that I never want to end, no matter how many pages I click through. The owner, Brandon, says goodbye to his very clean M52 turbo powered E34 525i and then sets out to build a manual LSX powered E39 wagon, documenting the build with images that look like they’ve been plucked straight out of a catalogue. When you see his collection of previous rides, you realise he’s one of those people who have a kind of midas touch when it comes to cars, knowing how to show restraint and refine a car with carefully chosen improvements, no matter what the make, model or era.
We need people like Bob. People with vision, people who have skills and love putting them to good use, people who have the itch to continue creating cool cars, time and time again. You might remember Bob from one of his previous projects that also graced these pages, the MX520. It seems that stuffing Mazda MX5 running gear under Datsun bodies is obviously something Bob loves doing, because he’s back to his old tricks, this time with a Datsun 411 wagon on the receiving end of the grinder.
Click here for more chassis-swap builds.
If I ever have the opportunity (and I hope I do) to travel down the air cooled VW path, my weapon of choice would definitely be a Type 3 wagon. I just love the shape, ever since I first saw one back in highschool with deep black paintwork and brightly contrasting chrome, I’ll never forget it. But enough reminiscing, there’s an interesting story about the wagon in this feature. From what I can gather, apparently it started it’s life as an Australian Delivered model which was imported at some point during it’s lifespan over to the United Kingdom. The story picks up in the present day with the wagon being restored with the utmost detail to show-standards, before being sold to a lucky buyer back in, you guessed it, Australia.
Thanks to Chris for submitting.
This next build has been a favourite of mine since I first laid eyes on it, I’ve read it countless times and it always makes me want to run out to the garage and start working on my own car. Jun is one of those people who gets it, his modification technique is very detailed yet not too mechanically intense, anyone with a vision and some elbow grease can emulate it, he even inspired me to ‘do work’ on my own engine bay instead of continually delaying it. This 510 wagon gets a serious dose of Japanese style, helped along by it’s owners visits to the motherland, bringing home swag on the return-flights home.
There’s no need to feel disappointed when you get to the end of this build, as you’ll see that Jun has recently picked up a Datsun 620 4WD, and he’s working his token magic on that ride, too.
This is yet another build I’ve had stashed away for a while, one that I keep checking on for updates, hoping to see a bit more progress before I feature it. But with these builds there always comes a time when I realise that enough is enough, you all need to see it, no matter if it’s finished or not. The essentials are: 1978 Mini Clubman Estate (wag0n), rear mounted 20V turbo Passat VW engine, flat floor and raised suspension mounting points.
Check out this cool video I found on Puregroove. I guess it’s one way to turn a sedan into a wagon!
I can’t remember how I stumbled across this build way back in 2007, but I’m sure glad I did. A talented guy named Mike over in Oregon has been cutting, chopping, and welding his 1969 Chevy Tahoe wagon into a work of art. It’s been converted from long-wheelbase to short-wheelbase, had an extra door added, custom suicide hinges, one piece tailgate, rust repairs, airbag suspension, the list is endless!
The most amazing thing about this build is that he’s doing it all himself in his garage.
If you like metal fabrication, this is one build you can’t afford to miss.