This immaculate Volkswagen Golf began its journey in 1979. It’s no longer the stock Mk1 that it was when it rolled off the assembly line over 40 years ago. The current owner, Willem Jacobus, bought it in 2006 with a friend, and it has undergone some significant changes since then. It might not look like it from the outside, but this VW has two engines hiding inside it, and a new video from showcases the wild build.

The Volkswagen Golf didn’t go from having one to two engines overnight under Jacobus’ ownership. It first got a larger engine before being sold to a nephew. It got another engine swap, this time upgrading it to a VR6. The nephew then sold it back to Jacobus, and that’s when he decided to put a second engine in it. He built the engine mounts and fabricated the rear end from steel, making it as safe as possible.

The turbos were a later addition, cranking up the car’s output to 536 bhp (400 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-metres) of torque. The front engine powers the front wheels, and the rear engine powers the rear, and they operate independently of each other, just like the two gearboxes. However, the car has just one key, which primes two start buttons so Jacobus can start them separately.

The Volkswagen also has double the dials, with two tachometers, two temperature gauges, and two boost gauges. One of the build’s biggest challenges was figuring out the gearboxes, shift linkages, and clutches. The twin-engine layout doesn’t create much more noise inside the cabin, but it generates a lot more heat. That’s rectified by rolling down the windows. The extra engine, weight, and power came with another upgrade – improved brakes all around. 

The first-generation Volkswagen Golf isn’t large, so fitting two engines inside the car is quite the feat. The hatchback layout designed to make a practical economy car has other benefits for owners looking to turn their Golf into a twin-engined beast.