VW Golf GTi Zender Special

What Are You Workin' On? image | posted by MartyG

I'm restoring a very unique VW Golf convertible.  It is a UK import - not Australian delivered, and is a super rare Zender Special Edition.  This meant that it featured things like:

the twin cam 16v 1800cc engine put into the Sciroccos, limited slip diff, an 'oh so eighties' body kit and (advanced for its day) trip and multi funciton compter, bigger brakes (Scirocco versions I'd say), stiffer swaybars, flashier interior etc.


I worked at the Canberra VW Centre between Year 12 and University  in the late 90's and Peter (the proprietor  & my boss at the time) had this car and I really thought it was cool.  He improved it by installing koni adjustable coilovers at the front and VW Scirocco rear suspention (which bolts straight in by the way).  He had plans to remove the old K-Jetronic FI, and put in a computer controlled EFI.  Before he could however he was given the tap on the shoulder by his wife to buy a VW Tuareg for a family that was about to be...  He already had a bunch of other super rare VWs in his garage but needed to chose one to give up to make room for the Tuareg - the Zender Golf was it. 

Although  my time working for him was only for the summer break between school and University in 1998/1999, I always dropped in and kept in contact socially.  I had always said to him that I really would appreciate first right of refusal whenever he decided to part with the Zender Golf.  So when in 2008 he had been given "the word" by his wife Sky, and he asked me, I said yes before he could finish his sentance.

Almost immediately, began with the EFI mod that Peter had previously planned to undertake.  I bought a Motec M4 and injectors and began with the mod.  Without changing any mechanical parts - i.e. just managing spark and fuel better via the Motec, power increased at the wheels from 88kW to 100.3kW! 

I also ordered from Zender in Germany the rare Zender Z2 front grille which would have been on the car when it left the show room, but never did.  It was a good thing too - because  Zender closed down in 2008 after 30 years in the aftermarket business, so I got my order in and delivered in just-in- time.  Now I don't know who bought Zender's moulds but its probably safe to assume that Zenders are now going to be super super rare cars moving forward.

Then Undergraduate Engineering studies became demanding, and I put the car into storage at my dad's farm in rural Victoria.  There it sat for about 5 years until this summer (2013) when I decided to dig it out and start enjoying it. 

A few things needed doing:

1. fix up my rush job of the EFI wiring

2. fix up some shopping trolley dents, and UV paint damage that a 28yr old car gets.

3. Get the reverse lights, and some of the gagues working (that  didn't when I bought it)

4.  fix up the cracked and holed bumper and attach the Zender front grille


With these tasks completed, I took it to the Canberra Shannons Wheels car show  in April.


Things to do form here on:

Restore the door and roof rubbers, interior, roof hood and back seat.

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