Better with Age • Carl Levy's 88' MK1 VW Caddy

10:19:00 PM GRIPSET Co. Founder 0 Comments

Carl Levy - 1988 Mk1 Volkswagen Caddy

No favoritism, this is simply puttin in work! Back to back to back NEIL is owning the spotlight right now. He's shooting it up literally! Events, Meets, Features!  Big S/O for all our GS photogs going H.A.M lately. We thank you, and with their labor of love, we have so much in store for all of you, we can't wait.


When all is lost, sometimes it's best to double back, retrace your steps, and start with the fundamentals. Far to often a lot of us get carried away in what we see in the show circuit and loose our builds in the process. Chasing a dream that was never ours. Chasing the bigger is better. So when we find our way back, and start a new, the vision becomes much more clear. ENJOY it! HAVE fun! Now many of us are wondering what is this thing?? IT's A CADDY! A VW CADDY. The "vw Caddy" is a light  commercial truck, derived from the golf mk1, a strange little concept, I know. We Americanas are used to everything in the masses, something of sizable note to register with our egos. Trucks are supposed to be huge tho right?  But it wasn't so with caddy. Big things is the smallest of packages was this crossovers rise. You see this truck was huge, in a little way. It was more than ideal for delivery routes across small roadways, tight mountainous paths, country-side back-roads and the sort. In this case it was passion with a bit of fun that united Carl Levy and his "Caddy."

 Before I could even drive, I wanted a Caddy. After being taken out in one by a colleague when I started my training to become a mechanic, I knew I had to own one someday. I had other VWs previous to this, including a couple of mk2 golfs, but 5 years ago I decided it was time to follow that ambition and get a Caddy.

I wanted to prove when building a car, it doesn't have to happen overnight, nor does it have to be locked away for years until completely finished (because I don't believe any car is ever completely finished there’s always something else you want to do) and can be done on a reasonable budget (I know of people who have spent more on their interior than I have on this entire build so far). This build has so far taken me 5 years and I do 6 months on the road for the show season and then 6 months off the road. Over the winter is my chance to attack the next phase of the ongoing project.

When trying to find the Caddy I knew I could deal with any mechanical or panel issues no worries, but had to find a solid chassis that didn't require masses of welding. After a lot of searching and not just wanting to jump in and buy the first one I saw, I found this one. It had some fairly unsavory modifications so I had to take two steps back before I could move forward. First things I had to do were to remove the fiber glass Audi RS style front bumper and the Limo window tints. Then it was a case of hunting and sourcing the chrome details (bumper, mirrors, wipers, side trims, grill trim etc.) To start with I ran on 13 inch wheels, but due to clearance issues and after losing a few sumps, last year I decided it was time to take the plunge and move up to 15s. Last winter’s project was a lot of suspension work and tweaking to get it to sit right on the BBS RMs, the winter before that I tackled and completely revamped the interior. The truck also generally has a yearly visit to the body shop just for any touch ups or to sort any little battle scars it may of picked up through the show season. I also built the chopper push bike to go in the back just for a bit of extra fun.

 2.0l 16v ABF | twin 45 dellorto carburetors
custom hand built stainless exhaust manifold

full custom hand built stainless exhaust system
MK2 gti 8v gearbox with 4+E fifth gear

Suspension/ Wheels
 staggered 15" BBS RM's (4 by 100) 7.5" wide fronts and 8" wide rears

 black center - polished dishes - gold bolts and center caps
 MK1 gti brake set ups with yellow calipers |front coil overs
rear axle flipped with 1.5 inch lowering blocks and custom adjustable bump stops |rear camber shims

 retro look |chrome front bumper with one off hand made wooden inlay
chrome mirrors | chrome wiper arms |chrome grille trim |  body side trims
tinted cross hair head lights | crystal indicators | wing repeaters | rear lights
sliding opening rear glass screen | full respray in VW diamond black
front wing bumper mount holes deleted and smoothed
sill trim mounting holes deleted and smoothed 

rear light box / rear quarter seems smoothed
rear lower panel smoothed  | smoothed and color coded MK1 gti arch moldings
custom hand built aluminum bed bike carrier painted black |rear tailgate pro net imported from the states

 retro look |custom black vinyl roof lining | deleted rear view mirror and sun visors
custom black vinyl b pillar trims 

custom black vinyl door cards with yellow stitching
made to order cobra classic bucket seats in black with yellow piping 

momo jaguar wooden steering wheel

Next on the agenda is the engine bay. Over the up and coming winter the plan is to rip the engine back out and clean the bay up. The engine is in (runs and performs great) but needs tidying up and making a little bit more presentable. Probably look at smoothing a few bits, hiding some wiring and generally d-cluttering the bay at the same time.

My girlfriend Becky: wouldn't be able to do it without her.
My bosses Martin and Mike at M&M auto's for their support and use of their workshops.
All the great friends I have made along the way through the shows etc. - you know who you are!

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