How do you go about introducing a car belonging to Jay McToldridge (Jaymac to his friends)? It’s not like the man himself needs any introduction to regular readers of PVW. After all, being one half of the Players crew, part of the team behind the awesome Players and Players Classic events and owner of more feature cars over the years than we can remember has made Jay something of a regular face in our pages over the years. Unlike his Players partner in crime Carl Taylor, who is never one to shy away from building something outrageous for maximum impact and maximum publicity, our man Jay has generally tended to lean towards building cars that are, well, a little more refined. Sure, he’s been through some cars in his time, both modified and not, but when it comes to building a, shall we say, proper car, he tends to hold on to them for quite some time.
A case in point is his Mk1 here. Come to mention it, how do you go about introducing a car like this? Eagle-eyed readers might notice that the plate NBL 58P has been in the magazine a couple of times already. No, it’s not a private plate jumping between cars, this is the third time Jay’s Mk1 has been featured! Now, we don’t tend to make a habit of featuring the same car over and over here at PVW unless it’s significantly changed, after all, nobody wants to see the same car again and again, do they? This Mk1, though, well, let’s just say it’s been on quite some journey shall we!
Its first feature was in PVW 06/08 although you would be hard pushed to know it was the same car! Pastel white (almost cream) paint, red leather and cream carpet splashed across everything inside and a chromed, polished and carbon-clad 16v on twin-Webers.
January 2013 saw Jay’s second cover with the Mk1. This time it was Old English white, stripped to the bare bones inside with just a single bucket seat, cage, Stack dash and CAE shifter and a fire-breathing G60 motor lifted from his Mk2 (that also made cover that same year!).
In the time between the two shoots, Jay sold and then subsequently bought back the Mk1, built another couple of cars for good measure and decided once and for all that the Mk1 was a keeper with the intention of handing it over to his young son J.J. Got all that? Good!
“The last time we built it, the motorsport stage, we built it in a real rush to get it on the road,” Jay explains. “But it was great anyway. The quality of the build was top-notch for sure but I always thought we could do more to it, push it even further. After a while I decided I wanted to do it one last time, once and for all.” If you raised your eyebrows at that last line then don’t worry, so did we when we heard the words come out of Jay’s mouth. “No really, this is it for the Mk1. It’s finally how I want it and it’s how it’s going to stay. Period,” he confirmed. We’ll see, shall we Jay?
“I’m good friends with Simon Emery at The Paintbox. He lives down my road in fact and our kids go skateboarding together,” Jay explains. “The guys at The Paintbox are absolute legends in the air-cooled world and you know what the standards for bodywork are like for the proper air-cooled cars. I knew the Mk1 was going to go there, it was just a case of choosing a colour once I’d been convinced that a full colour change was the way to go.”
As it turned out, Jay happened to pop over when The Paintbox guys were working on Jay Kay of Jamiroquai’s ’73 Porsche RSR and were spraying parts of it Gelb Grun, a period Porsche colour. “I was sold instantly. I just fell in love with the colour,” Jay remembered. “It is a bit of a Carl colour, though; it’s a bit ‘look at me’! In fact the only thing I regret is only getting the bay sand blasted,” Jay continued. “Doing the whole car would have saved a lot of time and money in prep work.”
May last year saw the Mk1 wheeled in to The Paintbox’s workshop ready for its tear down which surely must have been fairly simple considering it was already a pretty special car to begin with. Not so says Jay. “Once you’ve decided to go for a colour change you’ve got to go all out really,” he explained. “I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not but there are only four bolts on the car that were on it when it was white; everything else is new.” Four bolts!
The guys at The Paintbox haven’t earned their reputation since opening its doors in 1988 by doing anything by halves and Jaymac’s Mk1, although not their usual air-cooled or custom car fare, was no different. “They’re really old-skool down there,” Jay smiled. “The guys took all the old paint off by hand, using proper old-skool techniques. The interior had previously been stripped to bare metal but they even went over that again,” he continued. “I wanted smoothed inner arches and not a single bit of filler anywhere on the car; those were my two biggest stipulations. My friend Paul Constable (ex-Strictly Dubs and now undertaking full builds at Players HQ in Essex) wanted me to smooth the floor underneath too but I decided not to as that would mean I’d never drive the thing, which kind of defeats the point in my eyes.”
While The Paintbox was working on the shell Jay set about stripping the engine down to its bare bolts and handing a shopping list over to Paul to order up. This wasn’t your average engine overhaul list, though. No service and fresh plugs job here; we’re talking everything including the wishbones, driveshafts and even the rear beam!
“You know, I’m happy to admit that I’m a complete geek when it comes to Mk1s,” Jay smiled, “so cars like those belonging to Heiko Borchardt, Twan Niemeijer and Edger Tepper were always going to be an inspiration.” But rather than go down the chrome and polished route favoured by the German and Dutch Mk1 legends, Jay decided he wanted every component of the engine and drivetrain painted: “The way I see it, it’ll never be as clean as Edger’s, for example, so why try?”
Don’t think for a moment though that the engine for a car like this was going to get a quick coat of rattle can black over the engine and drivetrain. “Even the gearbox took three days of prep work to get it smooth enough to be up to Simon’s standards,” Jay laughed. “It’s pretty ridiculous how much work went in to it.” And the colour? House of Kolor Galaxy, another of Simon’s ideas as the shell was being painted. “There are so many other details, too, that you don’t see at first glance,” Jay explained pointing them out to us. “For example, the steering column has been smoothed so there’s no bracket and the brake lines are run through the chassis leg and then up behind the coilover so you can’t see them.”
Our favourite hidden detail in the bay though is exactly that, hidden. “Richard Payne from Milestone 71 came up with the idea of using a Porsche 964 throttle pedal in the car,” Jay explained. “This meant that there wouldn’t be a throttle cable running up over the engine like normal but it would run underneath it instead.” Friend and fellow old-skool VW fanatic Martin Barker used his technical know-how to 3D print the custom pulleys to sort the throttle pedal ratio out. Make no mistake, getting the 964 pedal in was no simple bolt-in job but it was completely worth it to lose the cable from the bay.
“At this stage we decided the deadline for the build should be the Players show in September,” Jay remembered. “As we got closer to the event, though, we knew all we would be able to do was to get it together so it looked like a running car. I didn’t want to rush it this time so as long as it was at the show, it didn’t matter if it didn’t drive in. Paul and Kiran (Mistry, PVW 04/14) worked around the clock to get it done. I can’t thank them enough. Paul and I go back ten years building cars together; he built my blue and gold plated Mk2 VR back in ’05… and, yes, that was as bad as it sounds!”
With the shell in good hands and being taken care of, Jay’s next job was to sort the engine out. Which, like the shell, was already pretty incredible before he even started. Paul stripped the G60 down to every last bolt and washer and sent the head off to JP at JNL Racing to be tweaked further to a new Big Valve spec while JP also used his expertise to get the most from the inlet and ports.
The rest of the engine is pretty much the dream wish list for any G60 owner and includes: a custom designed Schrick camshaft; an R1+ ’charger; a G-Werks toothed belt and 65mm pulley; a paddle clutch; a bored-out 1900cc block with a lightened and balanced bottom end; a Schrick baffled sump and windage tray; custom Wossner 83mm pistons and rods… the list really does go on and on. The manifold and exhaust is a work of art, too. “It’s a custom Edwards Motorsport equal length manifold and full system,” Jay explained. “The way it’s designed with the tolerances being so fine it has no clamps on at all; it’s not even fully sealed till it gets hot – it’s an incredible piece of engineering.” And speaking of engineering, we can’t go this long without mentioning the custom intercooler, catch can, radiator and coolant pipes. “We took the car to Forge Motorsport down in Gloucester and left it with the boys down there for a week,” Jay explained. “The work they did is absolutely faultless; it’s exactly how I wanted it to be and it looks fantastic.”
Martin Barker was also tasked with putting together a brand-new loom for the car. Like we said, everything on the car is brand-new – even things you would never think of redoing unless it was totally necessary.
Not only is the engine specification itself the ultimate G60 setup, the software controlling it has been done by the best, too: the one and only Jeroen Dik of JD Engineering over in Holland. And if you know anything about G60 tuning then you will know Jeroen’s pedigree: his tuning capabilities with the little ’charged 8v are the stuff of legend. “Last time the motor was at Jeroen’s it made 278bhp and 314lb ft of torque. That was when it was in the Mk2 a little while ago,” Jay explained. “I’ll be taking it back to JD’s soon for another mapping session as it’ll definitely make more power now with all the extra engine work – not that it needs it, it already spins up in fourth gear!”
Of course, it goes without saying, the interior of Jay’s Mk1 is just as special as the outside. The floor has been stripped, smoothed and painted, the Series 1 dashboard has been flocked and the black CAE shifter sits on top of the painted base.
“I decided I didn’t want the digital dash in the car this time around so replaced it with Stack analogue gauges instead,” Jay said. “The best part, though, is the Porsche 964 drop needle tacho that Richard at Milestone 71 sorted out for me and recalibrated to work in the Mk1.”
The Porsche theme continues with the seats, too, although not in the obvious way. “If money was no object at all I would have a Singer Porsche,” claimed Jay. “So I wanted a set of seats similar to the ones in the Singers. We have a really good relationship with the guys at Cobra Seats. I’ve had four different sets of their seats in this car so far! So I sent them the material that I’d gotten from Trim Deluxe and they designed these awesome seats for me. They’re like wing-backs but with the retro-style headrests, I think they suit it perfectly.”
What’s left to talk about? Oh that’s right, the wheels. Anybody who saw the Mk1 make its debut at Players will surely have noticed that it’s now sporting a different set of wheels, a classic set of BBS E50s. “I’d arranged with Brian over at Rotiform to have something special for the car’s debut and we’d decided to go with the SCRs,” Jay explained. “They are fantastic show wheels, don’t get me wrong, but they just weren’t for me. I couldn’t drive it as low as I wanted to and they didn’t quite gel with the car in the way we had hoped. All the German boys run 6.5” wheels up front to get the tuck they want to. After some searching on German eBay, I found these 6.5” and 7×17” E50s which suited it much better.”
There comes a time at the end of every photoshoot, just before you stuff your notepad back in your bag and start to worry about the traffic on the way home, when you ask your final question: so, what are you going to do to it next? While that question might seem ever so slightly redundant to someone who owns a car like this, you have to remember who we’re talking to: a man who is never afraid of switching things up. “Absolutely nothing…” comes the reply. “I want to keep it forever; it’s still my son J.J’s car eventually, so I’ll just do what the Dutch boys do and just keep it and tweak it,” Jay explained. “I will never build another VW. There I said it! I know I said that last time but technically we rebuilt it, not built it from scratch…” Jay tails off. “I might change the wheels, maybe the seats one day, I want to put a fuel system in the back but the actual car itself is staying the same.” Okay Jay, if you say so; we’ll book you another cover slot for a couple of years time, shall we?
ENGINE: 8v G60, bored-out 1900cc block with lightened and balanced bottom end, Schrick baffled sump and windage tray, Wossner custom-spec 83mm pistons and Wossner rods, JNL Racing big-valve head built to G-Werks spec, JNL Racing match port inlet and custom smoothing, custom-spec Schrick camshaft and gold anodised vernier pulley and Hartman F3 rocker cover, heavy-duty paddle clutch, gold anodised BBM billet fuel rail and 3.5bar fuel regulator, black stainless braided hoses throughout, W5DPO G40 spark plugs, red top fuel injectors (#30), full blend R1+ supercharger with G-Werks toothed belt pulley system with 65mm pulley, KN induction kit, custom charger intake pipe K&N filter, full coolant and boost pipes along with custom alloy top-fill radiator and intercooler all built in house at Forge, custom Edwards Motorsport stainless steel equal length manifold and system, all ancillary brackets removed and smoothed then painted House Of Kolor Galaxy grey, gearbox smoothed and painted, mapped by JD Engineering on-site in Holland to produce 278bhp and 314lb ft torque
CHASSIS: 6.5” (ET47) and 7×17” (ET53) BBS E50 wheels, KW V3 Ultra Low suspension, Ground control top mounts, shortened and painted driveshafts, painted wishbones and TCAs,
anti-roll bar and rear beam replaced and painted, six-pot Forge Motorsport front brakes, Scirocco 16v rear brakes, braided lines throughout, polybushed throughout
OUTSIDE: 1976 Swallowtail, non-sunroof model. Full bare metal restoration by The Paintbox in 1973 Porsche RSR Gelb Grun, smoothed bay with wire tuck to inner wing, relocated throttle cable to low level, servo deleted and replaced with custom Wilwood pedalbox, smoothed steering rack, relocated brake line brackets and lines hidden in chassis rails, smoothed inner arches, underside smoothed then treated with six-part Porsche sealant and painted body colour, chrome small bumpers, chrome flag mirrors, chrome Porsche door handles, relocated battery to wing, German Postie tail-lights
INSIDE: Completely stripped and smoothed and painted floor, flocked Series 1 dash, Milestone 71 964 tacho with vertical drop needle, Stack analogue speedo and temperature gauges, Porsche 964 floor-mounted throttle pedal with custom throttle pedal ratio using 3D printed pulleys, Cobra ‘Players Classic’ seats trimmed in Porsche plaid, Cobra four-point harness, Safety Devices six-point cage cut and smoothed to four-point, CAE tower shifter custom painted, Life Line fire extinguisher system
SHOUT: Firstly to my gorgeous wife for once again putting up with/letting me build yet another car! Simon, Steve, Sam and Fungus at The Paintbox (www.thepaintbox.co.uk) for all the help and inspiration throughout the restoration – 18 years since their first PVW feature these boys are still smashing it. Paul and Kiran for all the stupid hours spent at Playhouse putting this together and all the advice and running around. Will at Chelmsford Autos (www.chelmsfordautos.co.uk) for all his help and the constant use of his truck. Martin Barker for building the wiring loom, the advice and making the throttle pedal work. Richie (www.milestone71.com) for sorting the dash and all his help along the way as well as reining me in when I got carried away. Jamie Fagan for the induction pipework. Stellatron for help finding bits I couldn’t! Pete, Alex and Luke at Forge (www.forgemotorsport.co.uk) for the constant supply of parts and then taking the car in to build it the way I wanted it. Mark and Adam at Cobra Seats (www.cobraseats.com) for basically building the seat of my dreams. Joe at Trim Deluxe (www.trimdeluxe.co.uk) for sourcing the plaid. Tom at Meguiars (www.meguiars.co.uk) for all the help, supplies and advice. James and everyone at VW Heritage (www.vwheritage.com) for basically supplying a Mk1 in bits – without them this car simply wouldn’t exist. Darren Bennett for rebuilding the charger. JP at JNL Racing (www.jnlracing.com), Richard at KW (www.kwsuspensions.co.uk), car built in-house at Players by Paul Constable and Kiran Mistry