Liam Richardson's VW Lupo
by Jonny Smith
After a long busy day at work it was a wonderful suprise that I had sorted out a photo shoot of my friend, Liam Richardson's Lupo. Already delayed by 2 weeks due to some driver scratching their car down the side - it was all fixed up and ready for me to get snapping. At first site it is undoubtable how clean this car is kept. It has to be one of the cleanest daily rides I know of. From it's fully aired suspension, the incredibly well kept paintwork or the shiny OZ turbos poking out from the rear; it all comes together to make one true masterpiece.
The man behind this amazing machine is Liam Richardson. Built in memory of his Dad, who sadly passed away a few years ago. His time and dedication for this little Lupo is unbelievable; from hours and hours of cleaning it in his garage the night before a show, the ideas and inspiration behind it to the small subtile touches he has thought of. It is a true expresion of himself and a great legacy to his Dad. Even though the car looks pretty much perfect through the lens of my camera, Liam was telling me "The car's still not finished, I've still got more plans for it. Maybe even a colour change". Following that I don't think this Lupo will ever be finished, but what modified car is? Liam will always come up with new ideas, and we will definitely see this lupo grow more and more.
First off this Lupo started life as a standard open air. This was until Liam snatched it up. Not long after he had got the keys, it was already on coilovers and sporting a new set of wheels. Seeing as Liam works in a body shop it didn't take long until the Lupo was in for small touch ups and eventually a full respray in that wonderful Lazer Blue you see above.
Quite alot of smoothing has been involved with the car too. The front end has had the numberplate recess and indicators smoothed out, with the boot lid having the handle smoothed out also. This gives that clean Euro look that we see today. Then a set of OZ Turbos was purchased and after some work on the arches the wheels sat very well for a static Lupo. After some time of this fresh looking Lupo rolling round the streets of Essex, the only way apparently, Liam still wasn't finished with it. He looked into the interior with a few parts touched up with a lick of paint but then even then - it still wasn't enough. It wasn't until the mk4 Golf Recaros came home with him one night that things started to get under way. Having them retrimed in Biscuit Leather from Bridge of Weir with Maserati inspired stitching, the headrests cut so they sit flush and then the standard Lupo rear bench to match. It was now all starting to take shape inside the small cabin. With this and the extraordinary exterior it brings the car together.
But from seeing the pictures you can now guess this car isn't on coilovers anymore. Liam wanted the Lupo to go lower, but still needed the practicality of day to day use. This is were Niall O'Dowd ( remember him? ) came in handy. With him selling his show winning Lupo, Liam purchased his custom airride kit and after a week wait it turned up from the other side of the UK and Liam set about getting it fitted. After a few set backs it took a couple of weeks until the little Lupo was rolling around the streets of Essex once more.
This classy Lupo has won a few trophies so far. The first one was Best Watercooled at Elemental, and the other was Top 5 at Volksfest. But the main aim Liam has, and has had all along is for the Lupo featured in a magazine for his Dad. Something he would feel proud of. Its amazing to see how far this car has come and now to see how far it will carry on going especially with Liam in charge.
Liam would like to thank his Dad, all the Guys at East Coast Styling for all their hard work and also Niall O'Dowd for all the help he has done with the airride.
Photos by: Jonny Smith
Car Owner: Liam Richardson
Words by: Jonny Smith
Editor: Adam McPeake
Location: Essex, England