Fab Time

Hello, my name is Rob and I’m a Skodaholic. Well not completely but I’ve owned enough of them for Elliott to constantly take the piss about it. I’ve had three of them now and apparently that qualifies me for the title.

There have been other cars in my past, before the Skoda marque took hold: a couple of Vauxhall Novas (the writing was on the wall, see? ~ Ed); a few Peugeots (never again); a Saxo VTS; and a Mk1 Golf GTI Cabriolet (sorry).

Things got better with a Vento that sat on Ronal Turbos with GAZ coilovers so low there were roads I had to avoid or park and walk to customer’s houses. An A3 1.8T Quattro Sport followed, that I fiddled with and the wife happily drove. I will never forget the sound of that driving off when I sold it…

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I’ve owned this current Skoda Fabia VRS SE since May 2014 and love it. It’s the second one of these I have owned after getting one new in 2007. The pitter patter of tiny feet and the wife not enjoying being squashed into the dashboard to accommodate the car seat meant that one needed to go. It was unfortunately replaced by a Seat Altea (we won’t go there). But then I
managed to get a Mk2 Octavia VRS Estate 2.0TFSI. I loved this car dearly and fitted coilovers, 19” wheels and a Stage 2 Shark
Performance remap before getting a bit bored with it (not like you Rob ~ All).

Back to the current Fabia. As soon as I returned home from collecting the car I remapped it with a Stage 1 Shark Performance
remap (rude not to, really, being the Kent dealer for Shark Performance). This transformed the car. I swiftly followed this up with 312mm front and 256mm rear brakes to help slow it down. Since then I have fiddled and shopped more as I am sure we all do. It’s had the obligatory stereo ‘install’ and as many other sub-£50 purchases as you can possibly make.

I’ve had about five sets of wheels on it and needed to address the nose bleed-inducing ride height once I settled on the current set of 17” Boavistas from a Polo 6R. Having driven and been a passenger in quite a few modified cars I decided to get something a bit nicer and settled on a set of coilovers from ST Suspensions (www.stsuspensions.com). These have absolutely transformed the car in both looks and handling.

Fitting the coilovers was easy: I got my mate Adam Weal, a Skoda Technician at Saunders Abbott in Sidcup, to do it. Simple. I had got a lot of the new bits for him to replace as he went so it was plain sailing. The rears are wound all the way down and I fitted a set of the shorter Cupra bump stops. The fronts still have a way to go but I wanted to see if it settled a bit and it has now, so they may need winding up a touch to even the gaps.

When these were fitted I replaced the wishbone bushes with uprated Cupra items and replaced the top mounts, too. I also had a Jabbasport RARB fitted to finish off the handling mods for now. I’ve also snuck a set of 20mm spacers on the rear to help fill the arches and score myself some ‘scene’ points.

Now sitting in the garage ready to go on is a PD150 turbo, Seat Sport intercooler and a Darkside Developments hard pipe kit. Then I’ll just need to get the Piper exhaust fitted and take a trip to Mansfield to get it mapped on the rolling road. Then I’ll be one happy Skoda owner.

The only thing against me is time as, while I’ve been tinkering, another mini-me has arrived so it’s all a juggling act with work, life and tinkering and my hands are currently very clean and soft!

My wife seems to think I have now ruined the car by making it so low and apparently ‘bumpy’. I feel she just has much to learn about building race cars and may never be able to appreciate the hard work that I have put into to this.

Where it sits right now makes me smile and I even turn back to look at it (even though it is a Skoda Elliott!). So maybe a few more bhp would help but I am pretty much there right now and will get back to enjoying my 55mpg.

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