Nowadays, tuning a car is all about extreme widebody kits and expensive wheels. But we still remember how they did it in the 1980s when it was common to install new grilles and bumpers which left some cars unrecognizable. This Mk2 Golf VR6 equipped with the Kamie X1 front grill is the perfect example of that.
We recently showed you a mint-colored E30 BMW M3 Taifun which had four square lights, replacing the iconic look. This Kamie Golf is very similar to that in concept.
In the 1980s, tuning your family hatchback was very popular in Europe, and it was usually done in poor taste. Weird chin spoilers, tacky flares, and racing stripe decals were the name of the game. You bought them from printed brochures, and without the help of the internet, you really didn’t know how your car would turn out, if the parts were bad or difficult to install.
One such company selling body kits and stripes was Kamei Auto Extras or Kamei X1. They sold body styling, alloy wheels, and even tires for a variety of brands including Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Ford. If you think about it, Koenig or Gemballa did basically the same thing, just with much more expensive cars.
Today, Kamei is still famous with VW enthusiasts, but not many know how old the company was. It was established in 1952 by Karl Meier in VW’s home, Wolfsburg. Karl made a nice chin spoiler for the VW Beetle the next year. The 1981-82 Kamei X1 kit became extremely popular with Mk1 Golf GTI owners.
As you can see, it’s quite an ugly set of accessories that looks especially strange in light metallic blue. The round Golf lights are replaced by four rectangular projectors which resemble a certain… pony. That can’t be a coincidence, since the 1979 Ford Mustang’s design was so influential in the automotive world.
Anyway, we found a customized Golf that actually looks good with its custom grille. This Polish-built 1989 Volkswagen Golf Mk2 is a VR6 that’s been fitted with the Kamei X1 kit.
The Kamei Golf 2 kit’s most distinctive feature is the new grille, which now houses four rectangular lights, two of which have the Hella caps, another popular 80s trend. The Golf also gets a new lower bumper and square fender flares and large plastic scoops over the hood vents.
We wouldn’t say it’s beautiful, but it’s better when the grille and bumpers retrain their black plastic original color. Also, in a sea of customized Golfs, this stands out. It’s also worth pointing out that the Mk2 didn’t have a VR6, an engine that wasn’t available until 1991’s Mk3.
VR6 swaps are popular with owners of the 2nd-gen Golf. But the Mk2 still had some interesting setups of its own, like the expensive G60, the Golf Rallye homologation special, and the available Syncro AWD.