Au Revoir - James McCafferey's Mk1 Polo

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Whether you are a fan of Volkswagens or a regular UK or European show goer, there’s no doubt you will know of James McCafferey’s Mk1 Polo. He has hit the show scene hard this year, attending a staggering 28 shows in total. I’m yet to meet anyone that has such devotion to their car and the lifestyle that comes with it. The Polo has had a great run, and James has now decided to tuck it away in favour of a new project for next year. Obligatory then, that we go out and capture it before the treacherous British winter hits.




Some of you may think this car is just a show queen. Let me assure you… when it does get driven, it is driven hard. Sure, it’s not a daily, but it is a car that James likes to enjoy. We took a drive out one Sunday afternoon down the road towards Wimborne in Dorset and found the perfect little spot. The sun even graced us with it’s appearance.



It’s crazy to think this is a 1979 car, thanks to a full restoration and respray in Polar White which looks glorious in the sunlight.




James is an avid wheel collector, with the Polo having worn many sets of shoes throughout its lifetime. Here you can see it sitting on 13×7″ & 13×7.5″ three-piece Compomotive CX’s, painted and polished by The Wheel Specialist Bournemouth and M&M Polishing, along with stretched tyres to suit.



The modifications on the Polo are minimalistic, which is what makes it so appealing. It’s so easy to ruin classic cars by going overboard on styling. James has got it just right. Take a look at the NOS chrome bumpers. Simple yet effective.



The ride height is set by some custom FK coilovers and G40 Cup camber adjustable top mounts.



See what I mean by a lot of shows…




Under the hood in the immaculate bay, we find the 1.4 16v lump and twin Dellorto 40 carbs. All you need for such a small shell.



Inside the cabin is rocking a spotless custom re-trim including hessian carpets, tastefully created to coincide with the car’s age. The wooden Mountney wheel is the icing on the cake. Retro goodness.



On the way home we took a wrong turn down a country lane which resulted in a spot of plowering. No f*cks given.



Next year the Polo will be used as a wedding car, so if you’re tying the knot soon and fancy some retro transportation for your big day, get in touch with James. You’ll find him on Facebook and all the other social networks. I look forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve for the next show season. Rest assured, it will be another Mk1 of some sort.

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