Photography by Mike Crawat
From the Renault Alpina GTE turbo wheels to the massive Hella foglights, there's something special to be said for this loud and proud pint-sized Volkswagen. Lukas Sentensky's rally-inspired '78 MK1 Polo hatchback pulls together a slew of neat and eclectic '80s parts to make for a tiny car with huge flavor.
Despite its size, Lukas has built a car thats hard to ignore, first and foremost with the vibrant yellow paint: a factory original color. White "Polo" graphics trace the tops of the rocker panels, a sure sign of 1970s style, making for an exterior package thats both classic and sporty. Lukas tracked down a set of Renault Alpine GTE turbo wheels, and finished them in white to match the graphics: a perfect way to repurpose something bland into something perfect for his build. While the fronts only measure out to 15x6.5, the 8.5" rear wheels are tight fit for the miniature coupe, but 165/45 tires on all four corners help them fit, if not just barely.
With the finned wheels and sharp lines of the body, a rally-esque style emerges from Lukas's creation. To aid in that, he sourced an original Kamei front lip, painted to match, and complete with white lettering for added effect. An enormous pair of Hella fog lights hangs from the small european bumper, completing a front-end look that is almost cartoonish in nature, but perfect in execution. A Zender spoiler is perched on the rear hatch, low-slung instead of sky high, finishing out the exterior.
Under the hood is the original 900cc engine, clearly built for economic purposes, not performance. It's an engine that suits the car, and assuredly makes for a great machine to commute in without breaking the bank. Inside the car, things are equally filled with character: a set of reupholstered MK2 Polo GT seats with a classic plaid pattern, an old Personal Fittipaldi wheel, and period accessories like a pop-up roof vent bring Lukas's theme throughout.
While the Polo is unlikely to be winning any races in its current form, its sure to capture attention and hearts wherever it goes. Rumor has it there's a lot on the horizon for this build, too. We'll simply have to wait and see.