DAVE Buxton knows all about the latter kind. The 34-year old Calne resident owns two gleaming Mark 1 Golf GTIs, which have been lovingly restored into show-winning cars.

Dave said: "I bought the red tintop in March 2003 from a family in Eastbourne. It was originally a 1600 GTI but had suffered years of abuse and poor maintenance. After a short road test and a bit of haggling I paid £1,300 for it and the fun started.

"On the way home the clutch started to slip, and we had to make a series of pit stops to cool off.

"In August 2003 the refurbishment started. I purchased a reconditioned 1800 engine from TSR Performance in Bridgwater, Somerset and began tearing the car apart to search for anything good.

"By Christmas 2003, the brakes had been replaced, together with the suspension. The reconditioned engine and gearbox were ready to go back on the car.

"By early 2004, all welding, sealing and painting to the underside had been completed and in April 2004, Malcolm and I began to reassemble the car, starting with the engine and working our way out.

"Because we only had Saturdays available to us, pressure of work and frustration gave way and in October 2004 the car was sent to our local garage.

"We discovered that the newly reconditioned gearbox had seized, the fuel injection system had become clogged up with silty deposits from the fuel tank and the car couldn't fire.

"After five months of work, a new gearbox, fuel tank fuel lines and injection system, the car eventually fired.

"It had a full respray between March and June 2005 and I spent a couple of weekends putting the interior back together to finish by late June 2005.

"Since then I have changed the wheels and the gearbox -again - had the seats re-upholstered and improved some of the interior detailing."

"I was putting the interior back in the tintop when I was approached by a friend of a neighbour offering me an old Golf with a slashed roof that had been sitting on her driveway for eight years.

"I went and saw the car and fortunately all it took was a new battery, a fresh gallon of fuel and some basic checks before it started first time, to everyone's amazement, especially mine!

"The once gleaming white paintwork was now a nasty shade of algae green and superficial rust.

"After three hours washing the car, it looked reasonable, but the front seats had suffered badly as a result of the roof damage and were rotten, the front wings were rotten and rear wheel arches were in poor condition.

"Amazingly the car ran smoothly, the gearbox worked perfectly and the brakes worked enough to move it, but were by no means road legal.

"Obvious replacements were suspension, tyres and brakes. The exhaust had blown so this was replaced, together with the clutch and gearbox. This was carried out over the autumn of 2005 and it had a full respray and refurbishment of the alloy wheels during November/December 2005.

"The roof and interior was replaced by Covercraft, Wootton Bassett, who, fortunately, had converted an interior of an exact model convertible from the factory cloth to leather and had enough material to refurbish the front seats - a complete fluke.

"The car was complete by July 1, 2006 and taken straight to the British Volkswagen Festival at Malvern. "

Dave is a member of the Wiltshire Dub Collective, an enthusiasts club for Volkswagen Audi Group vehicles. Call Steve on 07971 661 221 or email admin@wiltshiredubcollective.org.uk