Weekend Waffle: 1 February 2014

Major Waffle
It's PetrolBlog's Weekend Waffle, which this week takes a look at a quite remarkable Citroën AX, a truly lovely Volkswagen Jetta and the Renault 8 Gordini.

Pinch and a punch, first day of the month. It's precisely eight months since the last edition of the Weekend Supplement, so we thought it was time to dust it off and bring it back to life. And it's got a new name - introducing the far more PetrolBloggy 'Weekend Waffle'. Enjoy.

Plucky Citroën AX tames the Nürburgring

They say that every dog has its day, and evidence of this has been provided in no better way this week than the video showing a quite amazing Citroën AX taming the Nürburgring. The world has risen in unison to salute the driver - known only as Nic - and indeed the little AX.

A 9:55 lap of the Nürburgring would be considered a proper effort in an AX GT or GTi, but what's even more remarkable is that Nic achieved this in a 1.4-litre diesel. And - aside from some minor modifications and some sticky Yokohama tyres - it's almost 100% stock.

Apparently Nic went through nine engines and five gearboxes in his quest for the perfect lap. But now, seven years after his first attempt, Nic has finally achieved his ambition to record a sub ten minute 'Bridge to Gantry' lap. It's all about momentum and not using the brakes. Power to the little guy (that's the car, not Nic).

PetrolBlog says two things to Nic. One, congratulations on achieving that rare thing of receiving almost unanimous praise on YouTube. And secondly, thanks for making us feel really, really bad that our own AX still isn't on the road. Yeah, thanks a lot.

Weekend Want: Volkswagen Jetta

At PetrolBlog we're big fans of the MK1 Volkswagen Jetta. Back in September 2010 we named it 'the Shatchback to prove GreenCarsRock'. A set of trick wheels, a roof rack, some retro stickers and a slammed suspension are all you need to achieve perfection.

Finding an original and unmodified MK1 Jetta is tough, especially one in good condition. Which is precisely why this 1980 Jetta 1.3L has caught our eye. What an absolute peach.

MK1 Volkswagen Jetta 1.3L

According to the seller, the Jetta has completed a mere 63,660 miles in 34 years and - amazingly - has been in the same ownership from new. It's 100% original, right down to the Wolfsburg steering wheel and mud flaps. Sadly there are no pictures of what sounds like a delightful brown interior. £3,995 might seem like a high price for a basic Jetta, but a Golf of this age and condition would command a far higher price.

You can view the ad on eBay here. Note that if you do buy it, we respectfully ask you not to 'slam it' and avoid fitting a set of aftermarket alloys. Cheers.

Press photo of the week: Renault 8 Gordini

Renault is celebrating three anniversaries at this year's Retromobile Show in Paris, including the 30th birthday of the Renault Espace, a car we saluted on PetrolBlog earlier this week.

But it's also the 50th anniversary of the Renault 8 Gordini, which in 1964 brought performance to the masses. The majority of the 11,607 Renault 8 Gordinis produced between 1964 and 1970 were finished in the iconic France 418 paintwork with a pair of white decal stripes.

Sadly, the black and white press shot fails to show the evocative paint, but it still scoops PetrolBlog's press photo of the week. Merveilleux!

Renault 8 Gordini

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the third Renault celebrating an anniversary this year is the Type AG1 - the first Parisian taxi. Happy 100th birthday, old timer. Though we'd rather have a MK1 Renault Espace taxi, if it's all the same to you.

Pick of the web: Sean Carson on why front-wheel drive isn't wrong-wheel drive

The most popular post on PetrolBlog this week has been our review of the new Peugeot RCZ R, a quite brilliant Pug. In short, Peugeot has finally built a modern performance car we can get excited about.

Side profile Peugeot RCZ R

So, our pick of the web this week has to be Sean Carson's wonderfully observed piece for Motoring Research on why front-wheel drive isn't wrong-wheel drive. It's music to our ears here at PetrolBlog, not least because the majority of PB Heroes happen to be powered through the front wheels. Ask us to pick our favourite new car of the past year, and we reckon the Fiesta ST would just have the edge over the sublime Toyota GT86 and BMW M135i. So that's front beating back.

Sean is MR's tame racing driver, so if he says the RCZ R is a cracking drive, you should listen.

Upcoming waffle on PetrolBlog

So what have you got to look forward to on PetrolBlog over the coming days?

Well, we'll continue the Peugeot love-in with a review of the all-new Peugeot 308. Believe us, it's a car you really need to take notice of. We'll also be running a nostalgic piece on the Fiat Panda, a review of the Volvo XC70, as well as a huge dollop of cars from the 70s and 80s.

Enjoy your weekend.