Ex-Volkswagen UK, Mark Lovell 1990 Volkswagen Golf G60 Rallye Group A Registration no. G888 NWB Chassis no. WVWZZZ1GZLB010567
Volkswagen UK Brand Promotion Manager Nigel Walker was in overall charge of the project to run an official G60 Rallye in the British Open Rally Championship, the car on offer being the sole entry. Former National Rally Champion Alistair Sutherland was in charge of the build and development. Engine preparation was entrusted to Power Engineering of Uxbridge and the car was run by a small team out of the workshop at Gilders of Sheffield (an authorised VW dealer). The Golf first appeared on the 1990 Plains National Rally driven by team boss Sutherland. The late, great Mark Lovell was enlisted as the No.1 driver thereafter and his first event was the 1990 Welsh International. Over the course of the season further development was carried out to bring the car closer to the full Group A specification with many parts coming direct from Volkswagen Motorsport in Hanover, Germany. Sutherland continued to be involved with the car's running and development under the Gilders banner and also drove it on two more rallies. Midway through the 1991 season Volkswagen UK decided to withdraw support from the rally programme and the car was left on display at Gilders for some years. Its best result was Lovell's 4th place on the Kerridge Severn Valley Stages rally in June 1991.
As shown on the V5, 'G888 NWB' was registered new in April 1990 to Gilders. Ownership changed in 2002 and car remained in the same tenure until it was acquired by the current keeper's family in early 2011. The car as presented today retains its original bodyshell with Matter roll cage. It has the original Power Engineering engine, reputedly overhauled four years ago but there are no bills to substantiate this. The car was serviced in 2013 with new belts and fluids and is now running on an Emerald ECU that has been professionally mapped on a rolling road earlier this year. It retains the extremely valuable factory six-speed dog-engagement gearbox with short-shift, and has suitably up-rated differentials, side-exit exhaust, paddle clutch and an adjustable pedal box. There are AP Racing four-pot brakes front and rear, Bilstein coil-overs all round and a Lifeline electric fire extinguisher to the interior along with Motordrive seats and Willans harnesses. It also has a works dashboard set up and lamp pod. While 'on the button', the car is not event prepared and a thorough inspection should be undertaken before serious use.
Fitted with a new set of road-legal tyres, 'G888 NWB' is freshly repainted and with period decals applied, and presents extremely well. Accompanied by a substantial history spread across four files including homologation papers, original RAC MSA logbook, period correspondence, technical data, newspaper cuttings, magazine articles and invoices, this formerly works-backed VW Golf should be a welcome addition to the many high-profile events for which it is eligible.