Packing big brakes with a sweet-glazed coating and filled with a tasty race-inspired cage and bucket seats, Adam Crawley’s bagged Golf R Mk6 has all the right ingredients to be the ultimate car confectionary.
First appeared in Fast Car magazine. Words & Photos: Dan Sherwood
Building a modified car is a lot like baking a cake. First you have to decide what kind of cake you would like to make, then you need to get the ingredients and combine them with skill and timing. Too much of any one ingredient can throw off the whole thing, so if you want a perfect bake, you need to find a recipe that works and stick to it. In car terms, that means having a plan from the start and deciding exactly what you want to achieve. Be it a track car, a show car, or whatever your taste in modified motors, knowing the direction of your build from the start will always pay dividends, as you can then select the finest parts and blend them together for the best result. But unlike baking, when it comes to cars, there isn’t a smorgasbord of books or online tutorials to follow, it’s a skill that you refine over time from experience.
“I was introduced to the modifying world by my Dad,” remembers 25-year old Adam Crawley, the owner and builder of the carbon-clad bagged Golf R Mk6 in front of our camera lens. “Growing up it was very rare to have a standard car parked on the driveway. Needless to say, I was destined to be a car guy from the very start.”
And with this exposure, came a certain innate feel for what makes a tasteful modified car. Much like growing up as the sprog of a Michelin-starred chef and developing a cultured pallet for the finest foods and learning the precise recipes required to cook it, so Adam has acquired his own list of essential ingredients for making the perfect automotive
“I have very particular taste when it comes to modifying cars,” he explains. “I always gravitate to the understated minimalist look. The type of car that non-car people wouldn’t look twice at, but we petrolheads know is special. And that’s exactly what I wanted to achieve with the Golf.”
Adam bought the 2010-model Golf R Mk6 in June 2018, the rarity and tunability of the range-topping Mk6 being what attracted him to the car – along with the idea of creating his own modified masterpiece.
The car was in mint condition when it landed on his driveway. It had obviously been cherished by its previous owners and featured a few choice extras too, such as an upgraded Dynaudio sound system, meaning Adam had been only too happy to pay the £14.5k asking price to seal the deal.
As already mentioned, Adam’s fine eye for fettling meant that, even at this early stage, he had a very clear vision of how he wanted the car to look. His original idea revolved around retaining the practicality of the rear seats, but this all changed when his partner mentioned that she liked the look of rollcages…
“This was all the permission I needed to go all out with the car and take it to a level I hadn’t previously expected,” laughs Adam. “Now it has none of the practicality, but it’s much cooler than ever I thought it’d be. And my partner loves it too, which is a bonus!”
The Golf’s initial mods were nothing out of the ordinary, except Adam’s motto was that the car should receive a ‘no compromise build’, with a mind to do something different at the same time.
“It’s exceptionally hard to stand out when modifying a Mk6 Golf!” he says. “So I started off with the rare O.Z. Hyper GT wheels with Michelin PS4S rubber.”
These unusual hoops where accompanied by H&R springs, carbon mirror caps and a very rare HPA exhaust system.
“The next stage was power,” Adam says, popping the bonnet. “I got all the basics done at once by AKS Tuning in Bedford. They fitted a Revo intake, a BCS 200-cell sports-cat downpipe, uprated VIS high-pressure fuel pump and an Audi RS4 fuel pressure return valve.”
Wisely, Adam also opted for an uprated Helix organic clutch ready for the bump in power, which was provided by R-Tech Performance in Nuneaton, who installed a custom front-mount intercooler and remapped he ECU on their in-house rolling road.
“The increase in power was great, but short-lived,” sighs Adam. “Unfortunately, the engine blew up a few weeks later, due to an unrelated issue with the inlet runner flaps.”
The problem that Adam is describing is one that any R owner could potentially face, in that the runner flaps – which are small tabs mounted after the inlet manifold, to agitate the incoming air to improve combustion at low engine temperatures – had snapped off and sent chunks of metal into the cylinder head, destroying the engine.
“It was such bad timing, as I had recently booked the car in for a runner-flap delete kit to be installed to avoid this very issue,” Adam groans. “It’s only a £40 mod, but if I’d have fitted it a few days earlier, I would’ve saved myself £6k on a new engine!”
This was an unfortunate and costly set-back, but not enough for Adam to throw in the towel, as he soon sourced a replacement engine from another Golf R owner who was breaking their car on Facebook.
“The replacement engine was installed by AKS Tuning along with the old engine’s uprated parts and the all-important runner-flap delete kit. It was then back to R-Tech for mapping again,” he says. “When it was complete, the car was back to where it left off, with the new motor packing 380.1bhp and 430lb ft of torque.”
The engine sorted, Adam’s carbon cravings returned and a pair of wider Seibon carbon-fibre front wings were needed to satisfy his urges.
“The wings changed the look of the car completely,” Adam enthuses. “So I complemented it with the carbon-skinned boot lid and custom extended roof spoiler by GW Composites, as well as a custom carbon diffuser from Fibreworx, but that needed a meatier exhaust to accompany it.”
To fill the enlarged apertures in the new diffuser, Adam had a custom titanium exhaust system with four-inch satin-finish tips made by fabrication specialists Black Smoke performance in Burton on Trent, and it sounds as good as it looks!
But this car was always destined to be much more than just a show pony, it had to cut it on the track too, and to ensure he could keep pushing hard without fear of cooking the stoppers, Adam moved his attention to the braking.
“I sourced a pair of Aston Martin DB9 front calipers,” he says. “But rather than go for the usual red or yellow, I wanted to do something different to make the car stand out.”
So after some late-night design sessions, Adam finally settled upon something he thought would look great and make his Golf tastier than a box of donuts.
“I spoke with Chris Morton at Custom Calipers Ltd to turn my vision into a reality,” Adam remembers. “And after a lot of time and effort, the Krispy Kreme calipers were born.”
The white base coat was followed by each individual dot being painstakingly applied by hand, the same as the iconic logo. The paint itself is a special caliper paint that is more than capable of handling high temperatures without the finish being effected.
“When I posted pictures of my new calipers on social media, they went viral and were seen by more than five-million people in the first week,” Adam says. “To this day people still come up to me and say that they have seen my brake setup before. I feel this modification really embodies the spirit behind the car. It’s built for me, by me, with absolutely no compromising.”
And they don’t pull any punches with their performance either, as the luscious liveried calipers are fitted with Mintex M1155 pads gripping Reyland 370mm two-piece floating race discs, so the stopping power on offer is simply immense.
“The main goal was to create a car capable of driving to a show, getting into the show ‘n’ shine, but also out for a blast around the track, without any of the three wildly different disciplines suffering because of the other,” Adam explains. “Which is a large part of the reason I went with an Air Lift Performance setup for the car’s suspension.”
While not everyone’s immediate choice for a car that’s got track aspirations, the air-ride setup actually gives Adam’s car the all-round ability that he’s striving for. It can have a sensible ride height and comfort for daily driving duties, slam the body to the ground for show-lows and, with the sophisticated 3P management and performance struts, can set scorching laps times on the track too.
“I managed to get the full air ride kit second-hand off a guy who was breaking his car before having it fitted by GRM Northampton,” says Adam. “It’s a brilliant setup and is surprisingly good on track too.”
Other modifications influenced by Adam’s need for speed on the circuit can be found on the inside, with a pair of Corbeau Clubsport bucket seats taking centre stage and surrounded by a custom bolt-in FIA-spec rollcage built by Tylah Motorsport in Winchester.
“The seats really hold you in place when cornering on the limit,” says Adam, “but my favourite interior mod has got to be the awesome Coolerworx shifter.”
This isn’t your usual short-shifter as it replaces the entire linkage as well as the shifter with a much more direct system and involved Adam removing the gearbox to fit it. The end result is a much more precise gear shift that is much shorter and swaps cogs like lightning.
“It’s a great car to drive and I’m hoping to get some more shows and trackdays under my belt later in the year when restrictions allow,” Adam beams. “But for now, I’ll just enjoy it for what it is, which is my daily driver.”
That’s right, as well as being a slickly-styled show car and a weekend track warrior, Adam’s R is still being used as his daily, which just goes to prove that, when it comes to modifying your car, by following a winning recipe and using the right ingredients, you can be sure the end result will be as tasty as a Krispy Kreme donut!
Tech Spec: Bagged Golf R Mk6
2.0-litre, 4-cyl, 16v TFSI CDL engine with front mounted intercooler, Revo intake, BCS 200-cell race cat downpipe, HPA Quadpack exhaust with custom titanium tips, Audi R8 coils, AKS runner flap delete kit, VIS high pressure fuel pump, Audi RS4 fuel pressure return valve, charcoal canister delete, NGK plugs and R-tech stage 2+ tune
380.1 bhp and 429.8lb ft of torque 0-60mph in around 4 seconds and will go all the way up to 180mph happily
Haldex 4-wheel drive, six-speed mannual, uprated Helix organic clutch kit with braided lines
Air Lift Performance 3P management, Air Lift Performance series struts with adjustable damping
Aston Martin DB9 front calipers, Mintex M1155 pads, Reyland 2-piece 370mm floating discs, HEL braided brake lines
Wheels & Tyres:
8.5x19in O.Z Hyper GT HLT alloys with 235/35/19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres with white tyre lettering
Custom smoothed front bumper, tow eye-mounted number plate holder, black badges front and rear, Seibon vented wide carbon-fibre front wings, carbon-fibre wing mirror caps, carbon-fibre bootlid, carbon-fibre extended moulded spoiler, carbon-fibre diffuser and rear indicator tints
Corbeau Clubsport bucket seats, OMP seat rails, retrimmed Alcantara steering wheel, Coolerworx gear shifter assembly, carbon-fibre dash trims, FIA-spec rollcage finished in satin grey, rear seat delete, Alpine i902d G6 headunit, Dynaudio amp, Dynaudio speakers, tweeters and woofers, Vibe Powerbox 1000.1 amp, Vibe Blackair 12in sub in a custom false floor enclosure