South Africa

First look at the GT7: Bigbite Performance build to be revealed at GAS Motorshow

Warren “Mr Bigbite” Daniel and his team will unveil the GT7 project at GAS Motorshow, Durban’s biggest aftermarket car show.

In recent years, South African car builders have been stepping up their game in rides to compete with the international car scene.

Mr Bigbite and Vula Technology Systems will make history when they unveil their GT7 project at the GAS Motorshow, which takes place at Suncoast Casino in Durban.

A metal tag with the details of the build on the GT7 project, which was built by the team at Bigbite performance, 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

You may wonder why it’s called the GT7? Well, that’s because it’s a Golf 1 GT which has been merged and upgraded with the parts from a Golf 7 GTI.

Now this is not just your basic engine swap, when I say merged, I mean that every mechanical component from the Golf 7 has been modified to fit onto the Golf 1.

A Golf 7 GTI engine in a Golf 1, known as the GT7 project, was built by the team at Bigbite performance,14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

This includes the engine, drivetrain, suspension, dashboard, electronics and even the sunroof. This brings all the technology and performance from a modern-day Golf, into a classic Golf.

Where did the inspiration for the GT7 build come from?

Many people may not understand why someone would go through all this effort to build a car instead of just buying a brand-new Golf 8.

The Golf 7 GTI seats in the GT7 project which was built by the team at Bigbite performance, 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

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But for the owner of the car Nival Brijlall, who is the CEO of a company called Vula Technology Systems, this project is very close to his heart.

A golf 8 GTI dashboard and steering wheel in a Golf 1 known as the GT7 project, which was built by the team at Bigbite performance, 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

Last year, when the Midrand area was hit hard by a hail storm that battered people’s homes and vehicles, Nival’s Golf 7 GTI was a casualty of the storm.

This left irreparable damage on the vehicle which was subsequently written off by his insurance, but because the car had such sentimental value, he decided to buy it back from the insurance company because it was the first car he owned.

At the time, he already owned a 2 door Golf 1, and Nival made the decision that he wanted what was left of his Golf 7 GTI to live inside his Golf 1.

Finding the right company to build the GT7 project

The team at Bigbite Performance helped build a Golf 7 GTI in a Golf 1 to bring you the GT7 project. 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

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Although Nival loves cars, his knowledge of cars is not very good, so he approached several companies to see who was willing to take on such a monumental project.

Warren “Mr Bigbite” Daniel, the man behind the team who built the GT7 project.14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

After being turned down by a few big names in the industry, Brijlall decided to contact Bigbite Performance, owned by Warren (Mr Bigbite) Daniel, who is a car detailer and businessman.

Mr Bigbite was keen to take on the build and this is when the GT7 project came to life.

The boot install in the GT7 project features a full Victron energy inverter system and lithium batteries which power the vehicle. 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

When teaming up with Bigbite Performance, Nival made it clear that he did not want to be in the limelight but rather wanted to put his company, Vula Technology Systems at the centre of the build.

Now after five months of hard work by the team at Bigbite performance, the GT7 is finally complete and ready for its grand reveal at what is undoubtedly the biggest car show in Durban.

The boot install in the GT7 project features a full Victron energy inverter system and lithium batteries which power the vehicle, 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

Personally, I must give props to the team at Bigbite Performance who allowed us to be a close part of this project.

Their shop is not a custom shop. Though their core service is car detailing, they do take on a limited number of customer builds every year.

The boot install in the GT7 project features a roll cage, air suspension and full JL audio sound system, 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

It is absolutely amazing what they have managed to build in such a short space of time, and with such a small team because the amount of man-hours it took to fabricate the parts for this once-off project is priceless.

The rear bumper of the GT7 project which combines parts from the Golf 1 and Golf 7, 14 June 2024, Mondeor, Johannesburg. Picture: Shaun Holland

Visit Mr Bigbite on YouTube to watch the build series.

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