Model behaviour!

There’s been models made of the Mk1 Golf but Corgi was so impressed by the soaring popularity of its successor, it decided to add a Mk2 to its range – basing its model on none other than Ray Partner’s famous show-winning 16v Tornado Red GTi. We got a scoop insight into how it all came about…

After winning shelves of trophies, what better accolade for life long Dub fan Ray Partner than to have a 1:43 scale miniature made of his pristine concours winning Mk2. Not only that, it’s a limited edition and he’s been given number 001 of a run of just 2000!

So how did it all come about, and precisely what’s involved in having a model made of your car? We talked to Ray and the good people at Corgi to get the lowdown…

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The initial impetus came from Corgi and as the firm’s Amber Harris told us, it was the car’s massive scene presence that encouraged it to make a spanking new model for its Vanguards range. “The Mk2 Golf was chosen because of its popularity – it’s always been a car that’s all things to all people with economical small engined versions right up to the quick and nimble 16v GTi. Which explains why there’s a growing world-wide army of fans for the Mk2. The cars are just cool, well built and reliable with many still on the road today being used as every day drivers. It was also a benchmark that other cars of its time were judged against, especially when it came to competitors for the iconic GTi.”

Anyway, the die was soon cast (sorry!) and Corgi made contact with Chris Eyre of Club GTi to find a suitable car on which it could base its new model. Chris put Corgi in touch with small bumper 16v GTi owner Ray Partner – and basically it went from there. “When I got the call from Corgi to ask if I was interested in them using my Golf I jumped at the chance,” smiled Ray. “I thought I had achieved all I could with the car with it having been in various VW magazines as well as appearing on ITV’s Pulling Power, Top Gear and Fifth Gear so this was the icing on the cake.”

Ray (far left) and his show-winning 16v GTi at Stonor in 2010.
Ray (far left) and his show-winning 16v GTi at Stonor in 2010.


Most of the research into the Golf was carried out by Corgi’s Mark Pinnigar who creates artwork for the models – and in the case of the Mk2, everything was designed from scratch with all new tooling. Said Amber: “We got all our measurements from photos and an actual car that was driven to our Hornby HQ for this purpose. Literally dozens of measurements and hundreds of photos later, the shape of the car was able to be designed using computer-aided design (CAD). Siona Tebbutt was the product designer who worked on the project and painstakingly split the car up into its components (body, chassis, grilles, windows etc) as well as adding interior details, bumpers, spoilers and wing mirrors. Everything had to be just right.”


This took several weeks, and after getting everything spot on a prototype was made then checked and corrected before the go ahead was given for tooling to be manufactured in China. Following this, Mark worked closely with Ray, with Ray sending in more photos of his car to ensure the model’s livery was identical to the real car with Ray approving the final version. A pre-production sample was then made and then checked for a final time before it got the eventual thumbs up. Even the paint was matched to Ray’s car, with Corgi creating a custom swatch to get it exactly right.

But the work didn’t end there… “Once everything was checked, they did a short write up about me and my car which comes with the model,” confirmed Ray. “It was there that I told them about the shows and the fact that up until 2007 the car served as my daily driver, clocking up over 140,000 miles. I was first contacted last August, so it’s taken almost 10 months to get it all finished.”

Incredibly, the model’s even got official VW approval which should please the purists. “We had to get permission from VW to make the model and to approve the use of the logo on the box, etc,” said Corgi.

Ray's got the very first of a limited run of 2000 models and it's VW-approved no less.
Ray’s got the very first of a limited run of 2000 models and it’s VW-approved no less.


If you want to grab a model of Ray’s car it’s available very soon at £22.99 (product code VA13600). You can find more details and even request a stock alert email telling you when it goes on sale by visiting the Corgi website.


As a lasting legacy of a famous and much loved Golf Mk2 on the VW scene, it doesn’t get much better than this and as you’d expect Ray’s suitably chuffed with the outcome. Indeed, we wouldn’t be surprised if he has a few examples stashed away under his bed for prosperity. And frankly who could blame him…


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage




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