Text and photos by James Wong
Somehow, the CM1 in the #LenspeedOwned fleet hasn’t gotten much attention nor love.
I guess it’s because it was in my hands for a short while, before I decided that it was too slow for my hot-blooded veins. It then went to my sister, and now it runs as a family banger.
So it never really received much care or concern. Yet, it ran pretty much flawlessly aside from the usual wear and tear items.
I purchased it in 2016, when it had about 133k on the odometer and PQP was a not inconsiderable $50kish. Having only 1 past owner and being in rather honest condition (read: crappy paint, but clean and unmodified exterior/interior), I renewed COE on it. It felt expensive back then (when you could get a MkV GTI on cheaper depre, which I did afterwards), but it seems reasonable now especially when JDM prices have climbed. It now has 213k on its clocks and still runs strong and true.
It performed several roles in the last 6 years, and its early life was a tough one, transporting heavy packs of F&B wares almost as a company van. It managed to graduate from that to do more palatable daily chores like the school run and the odd drive to Malaysia. It now has somewhat of a ‘retiree’ life being driven only when the other cars need to be serviced or break down. It’s been rather good at that.
In that span of time, wear was remarkably slow even though the car was put through harsh conditions. Many times, I felt pity for it, but also was not compelled to do anything as it isn’t mine, technically.
In early 2021 it got some love by having a much-needed paint job, and it looks so much better afterwards. It still deserves a nice set rims and twin exhausts, but I shall indulge on it a little if I have any additional funds. With the stock market looking this way, it’s looking to be a long way still.
More recently, it gave up the ghost after its years of hard labour due to overheating. I thought at first that an animal climbed into the engine bay and got stuck somehow, but I later found out that the noises were caused by a failed radiator. It’s now a chance to refresh the car and get other items done at the same. I’m looking forward to how the car will drive after!
Any rim ideas? Feel free to comment or DM us on social for suggestions!