Bugatti bought back the first Veyron Grand Sport prototype and restored it

Bugatti on Tuesday presented the first of its cars from the modern era to receive a restoration and certification via the automaker’s La Maison Pur Sang program.

The car is the first prototype example of the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, and the version used for the Veyron Grand Sport’s debut at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It’s finished in white silver metallic paint and features a Cognac brown leather interior.

The La Maison Pur Sang program, which operates out of Bugatti’s headquarters in Molsheim, France, and whose French name roughly translates to “The Thoroughbred House” in English, was launched in early 2020 with the aim of providing both existing owners and future potential owners with an official detailed history of its vehicles.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport prototype #001

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport prototype #001

This is particularly important in the world of collector cars, especially when those cars may have been used in competition or owned by famous individuals, which is the case for virtually all of Bugatti’s early models. According to Luigi Galli, the head of the program, he and his team are able to trace the history and determine the authenticity of any Bugatti model and its parts, regardless of age.

The program also offers a full restoration service and an upgrade service where only official parts are used, ensuring that any modifications made will not impair the car’s certification.

In the case of the Veyron Grand Sport prototype, which Bugatti only reacquired from an unnamed seller in 2020, a complete strip-down was undertaken to identify the parts used and restore any that were worn. Multiple body panels were repainted and leather and aluminum elements in the cabin were all replaced. With the work completed, the car was almost immediately snapped up by a new collector, according to Galli.

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MODIFIED RX-7 FC: TRIAL AND TERROR

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”– Albert Einstein. We check out Ghalib’s modified RX-7 FC.

Feature from Fast Car magazine. Words: Slim Jules. Photos: Original Persona

There are two kinds of modifiers in this world, the ones who pay others to build cars, or the ones that get stuck in, scrape some knuckles and have a go. “I’ve done pretty much everything on this car apart from the engine porting and mapping. Almost all of the work I carried out myself with the occasional help of some close friends which I’m super thankful for. Owning this car has taught me so much” said Ghalib, the owner of this modified RX-7 FC.

Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with the first approach to modifying. There’s many reasons why some people prefer to pay others to do the work on their cars, but there’s definitely a bit more kudos for doing it yourself – even if the end result isn’t always as perfect, and this build is evidence of that. But before we get stuck into that spec list, let’s see where it all started…

Modified RX-7 FC

“The original Fast & Furious and Need For Speed Underground sparked my curiosity when I was younger, “ explains Ghalib. A familiar story but this was merely the beginning, as his love for Japanese car culture runs deep, “the biggest influence for me has predominantly come from Shakotan car culture in Japan, the legendary Tomoya Suzuki from Sexy Knights, Haruguchi Mitsuru from 326Power and Abo Satsukawa from Abo Moon. I also drew lots of inspiration from Hert, Item B, Bananahands, Derek Bianski, Mike Fitz, JTP, Ilia and Ryan Fahey who are all original FC or FD guys. I’m eternally grateful to all of them because they helped pave the way for me.” Ghalib is clearly a Japanese car culture aficionado and the insanely modified RX-7 FC before us is testament to that.

But you don’t just jump into RX-7 FC ownership, it has to be earned and Ghalib’s entry into the world of drifting is a familiar one as he explains, “my first RWD car was a MK2.5 Mazda MX-5 that I taught myself to drift in. It had all the standard DIY drift car modifications which I carried out myself.” Drifting a low-powered car without a hydraulic handbrake is perhaps the purists form of drifting and certainly one his idols would approve – today’s drifting scene can sometimes be criticized for relying too heavily on power and brake assistance. Refreshingly, Ghalib has stuck to this principle with his modified RX-7 FC build. Yes, it’s been tuned and there’s some trick modifications under the arches, but the essence of the car sticks to his philosophy and it’s a loyal progression to his beliefs and inspirations.

Modified RX-7 FC

There’s no mistaking this is a drift car from the exterior though. Everything shouts sideways from the BN Sports Aero to the Origin rear arches and the insane Big Country Labs spoiler; there’s nothing subtle about it and that’s just how it should be. Unbelievably the garish purple hue is the most subtle part of the styling and while it looks flawless from our photos, Ghalib isn’t satisfied, “I wish I used a better clear coat. I painted the car myself many years ago and stupidly went with a cheap brand so the overall finish on the paint isn’t as good as I’d have hoped but I guess you live and learn. I won’t make that mistake again.”

Of course, the wheels are iconically Japanese but instead of going down the more popular WORK route, Ghalib has opted for WEDS Kranze Bazreia 18s in staggered widths, “I’m definitely most proud of the wheels. I custom built them with new outer lips and inner barrels, and not many people believed they would fit, but I got them to work perfectly,” Ghalib says with a cheeky smirk. And that smirk is justified with five inches of lip out front and seven out the back.

Modified RX-7 FC

While the visible chassis upgrade might be impressive, the real work has gone on behind the scenes. There’s a bunch of suspension upgrades employed with the sole intention of getting the FC skidding, including modifications from Parts Shop and Cusco. With the hardware installed, it’s now time to dial it all in, “I need to make it a little bit more drivable and take some camber out all round,” Ghalib muses. But that’s not all he’s got planned. “Over the winter I’m planning on fitting an electrical water pump and considering an electric power steering pump. I’m also planning on changing from an FC upper intake manifold to a newer FD one as well as revising my cooling fan and radiator set-up.” You see, this modified RX-7 FC is still work in progress and Ghalib is evolving with it! It’s trial and terror at its finest.

Modified RX-7 FC

Tech Spec: Modified RX-7 FC

Styling:

DMAX bonnet, Ganador wing mirrors with Aerowolf visors, BN Sports Type 1 aero, BN Sports 50mm front arches, Origin 50mm rear arches, 1700mm Big Country Labs spoiler with uprights and hardware, Aerowolf spoiler endplates and canards, Frolikalley hatch wing

Interior:

KEY’S Racing 330mm suede steering wheel, AEM wideband, GReddy turbo gauge, Apexi Power FC hand commander, VIP table, Bosozoku train handle, Hannya Omamori charm, Garage Moon Power mats

Tuning:

Streetported series 5 13B-T (stock 550cc primary fuel injectors, Bosch 1600cc secondary fuel injectors on modified fuel rail), FSE fuel pressure regulator with braided AN6 fuel lines, Koyo radiator and electric fan, custom front mount intercooler, HKS Super SQV BOV, HKS Twin Power, Warlbro 255 fuel pump and 1.5L swirl pot with DeatschWerks 350iL external fuel pump, HKS cast manifold, Garret GT4082 turbo, HKS external wastegate with screamer, 4-inch downpipe, 3-inch titanium centre section, 4-inch extended slash cut exhaust tips, Apexi AP Engineering Power FC, ACT 6 puck clutch

Chassis:

WEDS Kranze Bazreia 9×18-inch front and 11×18-inch rear wheels, 215/35×18 front and 245/35×18 rear tyres, Cusco Zero-A coilovers with 14K front and 12K rear springs, dimpled and grooved brake discs with uprated pads, solid brake lines, Parts Shop Max Super Angle forged knuckles, Parts Shop Max Rack spacers, extended FC series 4 lower control arms, Uras super tie rods, Cusco front strut brace, Cusco safety 21 dash dodger cage, Rear crash bar with jacking point, welded FC turbo II differential, Parts Shop Max solid differential mounts, Parts Shop Max rear DTSS eliminator bushings, Parts Shop Max trailing arm camber links, polybush kit

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BAGGED GOLF R MK6: KREME OF THE STOP

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.”

Bagged Golf R Mk6

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
amuse bouche…

“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.

Bagged Golf R Mk6

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!”

Bagged Golf R Mk6

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.”

Bagged Golf R Mk6

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.

Bagged Golf R Mk6

“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

Engine:

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

Performance:

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

Transmission:

Haldex 4-wheel drive, six-speed mannual, uprated Helix organic clutch kit with braided lines

Suspension:

Air Lift Performance 3P management, Air Lift Performance series struts with adjustable damping

Brakes:

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

Exterior:

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

Interior:

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

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