When Jay Mcgreneghan’s dad suffered a stroke nine years ago leaving him severely disabled, he went in search of a suitable vehicle to take him out for day trips. He spotted a specially converted Mk1 Caddy on eBay which would fit the bill perfectly, but it would need a lot of work… including new bumpers which VW Heritage recently supplied. Since then the Caddy’s taken on a new role, covering 20,000 miles raising awareness for the Stroke Association – and even making a marathon trip to Wolfsburg!
The Mk1 Caddy was converted by specialists Constables Mobility, and despite being in a sorry state is believed to be Europe’s first two wheelchair access vehicle. Said Jay: “It was an MoT failure when I bought it and needed significant welding at the back end. The engine bay was rock solid, but unfortunately the engine died shortly after I got it, so I got hold of a donor 1.9TD Mk3 and transplanted the engine into the Caddy, enabling it to run on biodiesel. I like the fact that it was recycling, because I feel like we’ve recycled an old vehicle.”
It’s certainly taken a lot of restoration work over the last few years but unfortunately before he could get it on the road his dad suffered another stroke which left him unable to travel, prompting Jay to find another use for the Caddy – namely fundraising and awareness for the Stroke Association.
“Once the Caddy was up and running I drove it 1,000 miles to the VW factory, then completed a marathon around Wolfsburg before driving back again to raise money for the charity. It was epic, and we did the entire journey using cooking oil. It was toughest physical thing I’ve ever done, it was a struggle, but the whole point was to symbolise the struggle it is for stroke victims and their families.”
Since then Jay’s worked tirelessly for the Stroke Association, getting the Caddy up to scratch and even doing charity collections for the first Stroke Association’s shop in the UK in his home town of Sheffield. “It’s incredible what you can actually get in the back,” smiles Jay.
To further Jay’s quest to make the Caddy as smart as possible, VW Heritage this week supplied spanking new bumpers. “There’s still some restoration work to do inside and there’s some tidying up to be done to prepare it for magazine features to get more exposure. However, we want to do it in as fun way as possible, maybe we could rally it, or drift it, or take it on a drag strip. Who knows…”
You can catch up with Jay’s news via his update video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DDwLJVBofg&feature=youtu.be
You can also visit his facebook page at ‘Peoples Car’ or visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/peoplescar