Past Meets Present: A 1.8T Rieger GTO Golf

If you’ve been anywhere but under a rock the last few years, then you’ll know wide cars are still very much in fashion. At nearly any genre of event it seems every second car has been widened one way or another. Some are done well, some are not. And to that note, some are memorable and others fairly forgettable.

Parked squarely in the memorable category is Shane Shultz’ MkII Volkswagen Golf. The Rieger-kitted car, which we found at the recent Berlin Klassik event in Ontario, Canada is far from a standard bolt-on flare sort of affair.

Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters Fantaastic- Berlin Klassik 2018-6398

Rieger, at least at the time this kit was designed, wasn’t a company known for subtlety, and their GTO kit is blatant proof of this. The designers threw everything they could at the kit, while giving it extremely generous proportions all around. Sure, the gills, sharp angles, vents and mid hatch spoiler might be a little retro, but retro is in.

The visual impact of a kit like this would absolutely fall apart without the right set of wheels, and the BBS RMs under this car are built accordingly at 10-inches wide up front and 13-inches wide in the rear. For a point of reference, stock body MkII GTIs came with these same wheels at 6.5-inches wide all around.

Closing any gap between the wide wheels and orange bodywork is air ride suspension from Air Lift Performance.

Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters Fantaastic- Berlin Klassik 2018-6339

Viewed from the rear, this Golf straddles the borders of awesome and insane, and the wide hips makes one wish the car was rear-wheel drive.

Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters Fantaastic- Berlin Klassik 2018-6365

No, this Golf has not been rear-wheel drive converted, however it’s not exclusively front-wheel drive either. It’s an authentic Syncro variant, and even with wide wheels and air suspension the rare OEM all-wheel drive system functions as designed.

In contrast to the vintage styling outside, under the hood is a modern Audi 1.8-liter heart.

Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters Fantaastic- Berlin Klassik 2018-6359

Inside, Shane continued to borrow from the Audi parts bin and has impressively shoehorned in an Audi TT dash. With a lot of patience and hard work, every single Audi component in the dash works as it should, from the gauges right down to the HVAC controls.

Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters Fantaastic- Berlin Klassik 2018-6340

Rounding out the interior is a half cage – painted orange of course – and some creative hard-line work for the air ride. The Fanta cans and motif on the air tank weren’t chosen solely because of the car’s orange paint – Shane genuinely enjoys the drink, regarding it as one of his favorites.

This is the only all-wheel drive Rieger GTO Golf in Canada, and given the amount of work that’s gone into it, not to mention the rarity of the kit itself, we don’t imagine another will be coming along anytime soon.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

Photography by Keiron Berndt
Instagram: keiron_berndt
Keiron Berndt Photography



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Absolutely gorgeous and a unicorn. My favorite part other than the dash is the fanta air tank.




I hate to be that dude critiquing minutia, but the inconsistent panel gaps all over this otherwise stellar build are really distracting. Hopefully the owner can get in there with some shims and sort that out


Yeah, needs some work there.
Then again, I've seen "masterpieces" where you could almost put a melon in the driver's seat, without opening doors or windows.
So this one's actually quite decent.


Damn, no kidding with the gaps! The orange kind of distracts you the first time through. A second viewing and yeah- it needs a LOT of attention in the bodywork fitment department.
But an interesting car none-the-less!


someone loves fanta. lol


Great car, really like it. The air tank just made me think of Keenen & Kel though!


Ha! +1.


I do I do I doooooo.


Ha! That's awesome. OEM++ lol
I wonder how hard it is to source a kit like that these days.


Not sure about that specific one, but at least in Germany some of them can still be ordered new from the manufacturer (or a company that bought the rights/parts/machinery).


I honestly had no idea they could still be in production. I guess if you still have the molds why not.


So many Golfs out there..........but every once in a while something uber surfaces..........Retro provenance with a tricked twist.......good spottting




Getting a bit tired of airride-golfs, but this one is actually quite nice because it's not just airride, camber and big wheels.

On a side-note:
Some of those kits are still available new, so you can find Golfs, E30s or other cars of that age who are getting converted to period-correct widebodies in current times.


I actually wonder if the glovebox works, because usually in slimming dashes those get cut down (and permanently closed).


Yes it Does work :)


Is this a recent build?

Crazy how it all comes round - this is a pic from a Max Power magazine project car, probably in 1997 or so


I'm of the age that the first thought was Max Power magazine! Also they're trying to organise a Max Power Reunion (look on Twitter, that's where I learned of it)


Thats a VW Corrado, no Golf :)


Thats a VW Corrado, no Golf :)

Phew! Thanks! Good job I've got you here to keep me right!


hey, no Problem.. if you need something, just let me know ;)

by the way - some of these parts are still available at rieger -


Not recent, but it's changed over the past 4 years since I first saw it with Air being the latest addition


kill it with fire


I wrote this comment about three times and deleted it after trying to find something about the car I liked, but I just can't. It's retro for sure, but in a bad way :(


Village tuning


Also known as falling out of the ugly tree & hitting every branch on the way down!? (Still though I like it but even in the day it was a love or hate kit, there was also a Mk3 Ford Escort that imo looks....)