Today’s guide comes courtesy of Sharon Tarshish, a name you are probably already familiar with thanks to the first Customizer Spotlight. One of the many amazing builds that Sharon did was of a Volkswagen Golf Mk1 that he fabricated using a Hot Wheels VW Caddy and a little ingenuity.
Today he kindly shares the process so you too can create one of the all time classics – and something Hot Wheels themselves never got around to doing.
Making a Hot Wheels Golf Mk1 from a Volkswagen Caddy Casting
Step 1: Cutting the Caddy
The first thing you need to do is cut the body of the caddy in half. (I personally recommend using a Jewellers hacksaw as its hard to be precise with a Dremel)
Use the below image as a guide as to where this cut should be.
Next you need to cut the base in preparation for the Mk1 Golf. The original base measures 4.5cm from axle to axle and the new requirement is 4.1cm. Cut 0.4cm from the base so that the distance between the wheels is correct. Glue the base together*
SEE EXACT MEASUREMENTS IN DOWNLOADABLE TEMPLATE AT END OF POST
*When cutting using a blade or precision knife and try to be as clean (and straight) as possible. The more surface area and the cleaner it is means an easier join and means superglue alone will often suffice. Keep in mind also that this base does not need to be structural and as such will not need that sufficient a join to begin with.
Step 2: Configuring the Front of the Caddy to Fit the Rear Section.
I have tried to word this as best as possible but in this instance the image below and above forms the majority of the explanation.
This step involves cutting and shaping the back of the front half so that it will accommodate the rear section when we add it in Step 3.
How does one know EXACTLY where the rear should sit in relation to the front?
Because we have already glued the base you have your framework already. Simply leave the front of the caddy on the base (wheels and all) and then use the position of the rear wheels to line up the arches. Quite simple really I must say.
Sharon notes: “You can choose to cut the middle door pillar or leave it. Any how , it will move back since the door will have to grow big . remember it’s 3 door hatchback. And in this car i filed the pillar and made the front window bigger. In other cars i have just cut the pillar and made a new one that was one piece with the roof.”
Step 3: Cutting and Shaping the Rear Section.
Now to cut the rear end: cut the rear gate near the tail lights. Just take the whole thing off in one go.
Now second cut:Before cut happens you will need to bend the chassis rear end as same as the real golf. Use a pair of pointy nose pliers (small ones) and be sure to grip the casting almost exactly where you want the bend to occur. If you hold the casting at the very end and attempt to bend it from a distance the whole thing will turn and twist – and then you’re screwed.
Now cut the tail (the bit you just bent) until the overall length measures 61.5mm (originally it was 69mm for reference).
Once you are happy with the length have another go at curving the ends so they match evenly and are precise. (see image below for reference).
**What ever you do , do not Cut the middle beam of the rear section. It supports the rear end after you remove the rear gate.
Step 4: Making a Roof
The roof is the most important part of the build (and the hardest – sorry). It is important to make it right as this will affect the overall appearance of your completed Volkswagen Golf Mk1. My first roof was made by trial and error. But only after making a template out of paper did it become much easier to produce again and again.
Where Can I find sheets of metal to do this part with?
Sharon recommends using sheet metal similar to what you find in walls of houses. He says this stuff is excellent because it is easy to find (go past a building site and you’ll score a heap) and it is thin enough that you can bend and shape it to your hearts content without it losing structure or rigidity. WINNING.
Back to the Roof (the roof, the roof is on fire!…sorry)
The easy way to make your roof is to cut it one piece : roof + pillars. See images below for reference.
The exact measurements for the roof are as follows:
Total length of actual roof: 28.7mm
Total width of roof AND side panels: 36.5mm (after bending it should measure 23.5mm across the bottom.
Width of side panel at the top: 5.5mm
Width of side panel at the bottom: 11mm.
Shape it as the image above shows, adjust as you see fit. So long as the measurements above are correct you can make the window whatever shape you want. Make a bloody port hole for all I care :p
Once you have cut and shaped the roof and you are happy with how it sits against your Golf-to-be you will need to apply epoxy putty to the panels so as to smooth out the joins and create a seamless look. See this post HERE for tips on how to use Epoxy Putty
Step 5: Adjusting Size of Door and Moving B Pillar
The front doors on a Gold Mk1 are larger in length than on the Caddy and so we need to move the B pillar back from its current position. 2mm further back to be exact.
Best way to do this is to literally cut the door post (B Pillar) off completely and simply move it back 2mm so that the window grows from 12.5mm across the bottom of the window frame to 14.5 mm.
After this fill the old door gap and mark new gap for the bigger door. I use my dremel for that.
As you see in the picture, the sunroof is also blocked out (something you may or may not choose to do) and the doors are bigger.
The chassis is nearing completion and our Volkswagen Golf Mk1 [Gti] is taking shape.
Step 6: Making the Interior Fit.
The only thing to do with that is to make it shorter. I cut it in the middle and used the base as reference on where to cut and how much. Basically the wheel base axel to axel width needs to be parraleral to the intirriors wheel base points. You can add seats if you like or nos if you want. I added some roll bars to few of my golfs. (Because that’s how Sharon rolls yo…#seewhatIdidthere)
Basically there is no hard and fast rule here, in fact who says you need to use the caddy interior at all? (no images provided because it literally comes down to personal preference and how far you want to take it really)
Step 7: Making the Rear Door (Hatchback) and Bumper
The rear door is simple. Just cut piece of mettal sheet – and shape it to the right size. After that you can cut its window.
*Measurements for the rear door are 23.5mm at the base and 18.5mm at the top
Below that there are tail lights you can make from bend metal. Some trial and error can get you to perfect shape of it.
*OK even I am going to have to visit my local hardware store now and buy some sheet metal. In fact, ignore my earlier tip about using roof and side panels from other cars – that’s all too hard and the metal would be thicker in a hot wheels casting meaning more effort for same result. Stuff that! Bunnings here I come…
And finally the rear bumper section from same matirial. You can shape it as simple as i did, or go wild and make it race like bumper with air vents. The chassis is ready to paint.
Volkswagen Golf Mk1 Gti Dimensions and Measurements
Click on the image (it will open in a new window) and right click-save as to download this to your computer and start making your own custom Golf Mk1 today!
Final Product – the Completed Volkswagen Golf Mk1
Thank You Sharon
I would once again like to thank Sharon Tarshish for taking time out of his customizing life to put this guide and the accompanying photos together. I have tried to add as much detail and additional information as possible so as to make the process of building your own custom Golk Mk1 that much easier.
Share your Results!
When you make your own sweet custom VW Golf Mk1 make sure you share it on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #MyCustomHotwheels – I’ll be sure to find it and share it with the world on your behalf.