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Featured: Matt McGowan's mk2 Golf

by Adam McPeake
23rd October 2010

We mentioned a couple of months back that GTNI gave the "Car of the Show" winner at their Castlewellan show a chance to do a shoot with us, it's taken a few of months to get this organised and set up but we've finally pulled the finger out and just wait till you see it.

This is Matt McGowan's 1991 Golf mk2.

GTINI’s Castlewellan had a lot of clean dubs on show, and in my opinion their mk2 category was one of the strongest. Topping the prizes in “Best Modified mk2” and “Car of the Show” was this, Matt McGowan’s original Calypso Metallic 350 BHP mk 2 Golf!

A few months later in T13, a warehouse location donated to us by RampRage for this shoot we met up with Matt to do an exclusive shoot for I Love Bass.

One of the first things Matt said to us was about how he needed to be home in time to watch the X factor, so I found it fitting to title this shoot “This mk2 has the X Factor” because, well; it does! Anyway, let’s talk about the car...

This 1991 mk2 Golf was built by Matt himself and wired by his close ( a bit too close ) mate Martin Dubicky. So much work has went into making this car what it is today, the car’s list of mods is crazy! To name a few, he’s running a 1.8 16v KR bored out to 1.9 with Mahle pistons motor with total seal rings, forged rods, a keyholed crank, Garrett t25/t28 hybrid water cooled turbo, mk4 golf 20vt modified inlet manifold, Audi tt fuel rail, 4 bar fuel Audi tt fuel pressure regulator, Bosch 440cc injectors, HKS ssqv dump valve and a lightened g60 flywheel.

Matt and Martin even included a standalone engine management system with an in car switchable 3 map facility which runs;

Map 1 @ 270bhp ( 0.7 bar ),
Map 2 @ 300bhp ( 1.0 bar ), 
Map 3 @ 350bhp ( 1.5 bar )

I had a few runs in the car, and I can tell you; it’s impressive on paper, but a lot more impressive in person. We’re only listing a selected amounts of the mods because we’d be here all day if we where to name them all!

The mods didn’t stop with the engine, on the exterior another awesome list of mods includes a full respray in original calypso metallic, full 90 spec trim with g60 arches, 5 BBS RS 146 9x16 Porsche fitment split rims with Toyo Proxes 205/40/16, FK 5x100 to 5x130 hub adaptors, Jamex coilovers, g60 frount top mounts with polybush rear, vr6 widetrack running gear and anti roll bar, polybushed all round, vr6 288mm front and rear brakes, drilled discs all round with green stuff pads, braided lines, passat 10" servo with vr6 master cylinder, powder coated subframes and axle, chrome door and boot catches, optional extra electric mirrors and porsche door handles making this mk2 like no other!

Durning the shoot we had a good chat with Matt and Martin, who kinda got on like Keenan and Kel... expect one was from Slovakia and both wore glasses.. you could tell they’re just two good mates that love the dub scene and wanted to create a cool car that stands out from the crowd of the popular low and slow scene! And that’s exactly what they've done.

Continuing on with the mods is the interior; where yet again no expense has been spared!

Kirkey polished seats with leather inserts, luke 3 point harnesses, black birch leather headcloth, a b c pillars, doorcards, boot panel, sill trims, sunvisors, votex centre console with rare fischer cd holder trimmed in black leather, votex steering wheel, digifiz digital dash, aem digital afr guage, exhaust gas temp, oil pressure and boost guage, les hicks polished cage, trimsport rear strut brace, false floor in the rear and a brand new full carpet set where all included.

James and I fell in love with this mk2, and we think this car, location and shoot is one of our favourite and best to date! The car is a credit to Matt’s love for the dub scene, and is probably one of the nicest mk2’s about.

A big thanks goes to RampRage for allowing us access to their warehouse for the shoot, Gethin from GTINI for hooking us up and of course to Matt for taking out the time to do the shoot.


At the time of this shoot we took a bit extra time out to film our first ever featured car film!

The video is now up, check it out below!