When I wrote my last update I was about to drop Rusty off at The Toy Shop Wellington, and a couple of days later I was able to get the car there after 6pm when traffic was less busy. The journey was uneventful, which is good as the brakes were pretty poor.

I did make a new friend at the petrol station.

First on the list was to remove the calipers and master cylinder to get them tested. We ended up getting the calipers rebuilt and the master cylinder re-sleeved and rebuilt.

When they came back and were re-fitted, the brakes were better but the car had developed a scary habit of diving to the left or right under braking.

Eventually the issue was traced to an air lock in the power steering system, which is tied into the brakes in the quattro. Once the bleed process had been completed everything was working much better. And the Toy Shop chose to let me know by sending me this:

Absolute classic, nice one guys!

Next it was time to run through a WoF, and they found that the headlights were pointing at the sky and rear seatbelts weren’t retracting properly. Things that should have been picked up at the last WoF. Once these were sorted out, the WoF book was out, but a leak had developed from a pressure switch on the power steering. Sigh.

After another week’s wait, the parts arrived, were fitted immediately, and the next photo I got was this one:

As you might expect, I was ecstatic, and arranged to collect Rusty that evening.

In the time it had been there, Toy Shop had re-branded as Wellington European, and Rusty had the honour of being the first car photographed with the new sign.

Since then I’ve done about 60 miles in the car, all of them with a massive grin on my face. I love this car! It goes well, makes an awesome noise, seems to handle pretty well. I haven’t pushed it yet, but I like it a lot.

There’s a list of things still to do, including:

rear indicators are dim
Samco hoses to fit
Under-dash trims
Radio aerial not connected
Intercooler mounts broken
Slow coolant leak
Oil leak
Remove and re-fit both bumpers with proper support brackets and missing padding between sections
Rear wheels rub on back bumper on hard cornering
Fit headlight washers

So only 33 months and, er, a lot of dollars into this 12 month, $15k project, I’m far from finished, but I finally have a car I can drive.

Here are some photos from that first drive.

Follow the full Project Rusty build here.

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Rob Clubley
I love everything about cars! Driving, looking at them, modifying. It's great to see what people do with cars, the different car cultures. If I was rich, my garage would be bigger than my house!


  1. Love your car Rob, and I know the feeling of driving and fixing, repairing, scratching your head trying to work her issues, not to forget the part time job searching for parts all over the world! how do I know? I’ve got a MB 1988 quattro that I’m working on too, she’s a thing of beauty I agree. Love your site mate, look forward to seeing more

  2. @Mike H – it’s still ongoing but to this point just under $50k

    @Tim – Thanks for your comments, it’s certainly a labour of love! Would love to see you car if you have links, forum thread etc.


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