Dale's Mk1 TT.
I’ve known Dale Buckley for years. This kid’s had more cars than I’ve had shits. His 3 year stint with this one is borderline ridiculous; he never usually keeps a car longer than 5 minutes. This low mileage 2003 225 Quattro seems to just stick around in spite of what I hear from him.
Aside from Dale's car for a minute, the Mk1 Audi TT is a modern classic in the making. The Audi designers were certainly having a good day when they penned this one way back in 1995. All credit to Audi for sticking so closely to the original concept design. All credit to Dale for taking this pert shape and making it look even better than it did leaving the factory.
The TT’s shape should make life easy for anyone modifying a TT but these cars really are all about careful execution. That’s exactly the route Dale has taken with his.
Dale is the only person I know who can keep a perfectly straight face when spouting white lies. If I had a pound for every time Dale said he was breaking his TT I would have bought it off him just to shut him up.
…In 3 years this car has seen more facelifts than Burt Reynolds and reassembled more times than a jigsaw puzzle at an old folk’s home…
…Yet somehow in the midst of all the self-fuelled propaganda, Dale always seems to improve his TT with every iteration, unlike Burt.
This car has worn some amazing and some not so amazing wheels under Dale’s ownership. We’ve had bumper swaps, Recaros interiors ripped out and sold, parts bought but never fitted, tantrums over fully polished Super RS’s (which looked like eBay specials)… and much more… you name it we’ve had it with Dale Buckley and his TT.
Putting the drama aside for a minute, what you’re seeing in these pictures is personally my favourite look to date. Look at that colour for starters…
Some would say ridiculous whilst others like me commend this act of bravery. Dale is pretty secretive about the exact shade, all I can tell you is hearing aid beige suits the TT’s shape very very well. All the body prep and paint was carried out by the guys at Car Charm in Swadlincote, Derbyshire and they are definitely safe hands when it comes to flawless paintwork. The V6 front swap and smoothed rear (with hidden tailpipes) complete the makeover on the exterior.
Just in case you’re wondering how you know this car, it was 1975 Porsche pastel green in 2014, you know the one, it is that car.
Let me tell you about the rolling stock. Originally on a ubiquitous green Mk5 Golf belonging to a certain Mr DC these are the real deal and rather special. These are genuine 18” BBS RS. Not to be confused with stepped up items, these came from BBS exactly as you see them.
For you geeks out there these are BBS RS290 18x9.5 ET18 5x112. Google that and find yourself a set.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough [insert bright colour here] Recaro CS’s to last a lifetime. This car steers well clear of that formula very effectively. To really appreciate this car is to look closely at the details. Blink and you’ll miss them but Dale’s cool with that.
There is no such thing as too subtle in my book. The interior you see here is a killer mix of new and old. A set of classic Recaro A8’s with colour matched backs and custom billet badges have been trimmed up in tactile black tweed with matching door cards and rear bench. All the OEM parts previously silver have been coated crackle black and the icing on the cake is the 2015 Mk3 TT steering wheel literally fresh off the Audi parts shelf.
Suspension is handled by Airlift V1 and for now the engine is stock but everything under the bay has been given the crackle black treatment. This car really is flawless from top to bottom.
The challenge now for Dale is to keep the car in one piece for a whole show season.
For now let’s drink in the details, this is one we’ll be sticking on our show booth at every opportunity.
Owner: Dale Buckley
Words: Aron Norris
Videography: Thom Williams
Photography: Alex Carroll