Honestly I didn’t like the MK7 Jetta very much to start with, after having the MK6 Jetta from 2011- 2018, the 2015 GLI being my favorite out of the generation with only having the rear end facelifted to have better tail lights, a seven year run with a car mostly unchanged kind of gets you used to seeing it. The GLI is really what won me over to enjoying the MK7 Jetta.
The 2019 Jetta update was very unfamiliar and many people said it looked like a Civic, I didn’t quite agree with that. (If anything the brand new civics look a little like Jetta’s now.) The base model was decent looking to say the least, it was like the Jetta had started working out, it was just a bit bigger at 3,228 LB’s rather than the previous generation at 3,158 LB’s, it adopted more angular bodylines, and more of a wedge shape. The grille got bigger, we lost the single exit exhaust (Which I personally like), the tail lights gained a much more characterized look, and they added a little badge to the fender like on the MK7 GTI!
The Interior brought an update to theMK7 GTI steering wheel, the customizable mood lighting in the interior was an interesting but cool feature, and they changed the dash to be a bit more driver orientated.
They upped the horsepower by another 10 to put it at 228hp. The car is definitely a GTI with a trunk as it used to be called. The MQB platform that Volkswagen is utilizing works wonders. Overall the change from MK6 to MK7 was a big improvement.
Here are a few photos from the pre-facelifted car.
Now that I’ve covered a bit about the MK7 pre-facelift, I would to move onto the facelift that was just revealed for 2022, only three years after the MK7 Jetta’s release. And wow, has it left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.
The interior hasn’t changed much, the cars get updated shifters and standard digital displays to match the new golf/GTI and R.
The grille is now surrounded by a large chrome strip with a large chrome piece through the middle of the grille which is honestly very garish. The lower grille sadly follows the new design que from the mk8 golf but worse which is more rounded and has made the front end much less aggressive. The GLI has suffered from this the most and now has weird red oval accents in the lower grilles where fog lights would be and it just looks weird while the upper grille has a HUGE chrome piece going through its center.
The rear end hasn’t changed much except the bumper, the new base Jetta has weirdly designed chrome trim while the GLI gets a black lower valance with honeycomb design to it which honestly doesn’t look bad, I’d say it’s an improvement the more I look at it!
I feel like the biggest disappointment for me is the new GLI badge. It’s so much more curvy and skinny.
So what’s your idea of a fun road trip? Driving 7-10 hours per day for three days, then not showering for nearly 3 days, being woken up to the sound of race cars for two days and then driving for three days again?
If I hit the nail on the head then you my friend will be quite jealous of me! My best friend, his sister, his cousin and I loaded up into his 2004 Subaru Outback and drove from The Capital Region of New York state to Pikes Peak Colorado for the Gridlife Alpine Horizon Festival. (which was in fact sold out!)
We left early on July 19th, around 9am, with the car packed to the brim. A useless rearview mirror, a cooler strapped to the top, an extra tire, and a bunch of tools. I had to SNEAK food into the back which would later become breakfast. I had a bunch of my own items in front with me so I couldn’t really stretch out but hey, It was stuff I needed so it was a needed sacrifice that my legs definitely felt later.
At 5:44pm in Ohio we saw a Fiesta St. with a license plate that read “STINKY” and it got a good rise out of the car.
We camped near Dayton the first night, it was quite nice and there was a gorgeous Audi R8 on drag slicks with bead locks which I didn’t get a picture of sadly.
To start off the day on July 20th we figured out that Noah’s Outback was indeed having Head Gasket problems and that we would need to take it decently easy for the remainder of the trip. On top of that issue, Collin’s Trailblazer was having an issue with its front caliper on the driver side. It was changed in about thirty minutes and we were back on the road at about 10:50am or so!
At about 4pm we got our first sighting of the St. Louis arch! We got turned around with parking as a few roads were closed which sucked but it was very cool to see up close. We did not go up it as we were pressed for time.
Noah and Daegan raced up the steps in front of the arch, Noah lost.
Camping that night wasn’t anything special as none of us slept well at all.
On the 21st I tried my first “Most stuff Oreo” which was an experience to say the least. I tried to convince my friend back home to buy style 95’s for his 7 series BMW over text, it didn’t work sadly.
At 7:33pm our friends sent a video that showed that the right rear strut on Noah’s Outback was TOAST. The wheel was bouncing quite a bit and we could feel it over bumps quite well.
We arrived at our campsite for that night and the next around 8pm, we set up and then looked for food, Colorado Springs was too far away and all but one restaurant in Cripple Creek was closed. Once in cripple creek we found out that the restaurant we meant to go to was also closed. Luckily there were two(?) casinos just down the street. Noah and I went in and ordered food for the four of us.
July 22nd was VERY eventful, we went up Pikes Peak in the Subaru which made it surprisingly well, we met Ship.A90 which his GORGEOUS supra that was not babied in the slightest. Apparently I got my photo taken of me taking a photo by the sales manager of JEGS as I was wearing a JEGS hat?? Wild.
We had some AMAZING Malaysian food from The Asian Cookery in Colorado Springs, I can’t recommend it enough.
After Pikes peak we went into Colorado springs to pick up a new rear strut for Noah’s car, which we changed in a parking lot, and Noah may have broken one of his pinkies. I came up with the idea to use the spare tire and two rocks to make it so we could get the strut to line up with the hole on the knuckle!
At the same time as we were changing the strut, Collin and his group were changing the fuel filter in the Trailblazer which required them dropping the fuel tank.
July 23rd, the first day of gridlife:
We waited in line for about an hour, we set up our tent and the best weekend of the summer commenced.
We went over to the RallyCross portion which was quite cool, we got rained on there and hid with the drivers for a short time.
Those of you who have never been to Colorado, its WINDY, our tent broke once on the 23rd and again on the next day. Other people’s tents nearly flew away. It was wild.
The best way to see the cars racing seemed to be from the infield, I would later find that was slightly incorrect. From the camping areas and around the track the majority of the immediate spots were well very “Meh”. Especially for seeing the drifters. You had to walk a decent ways to a spot between turns three and four where there was a “photo hole” that was broken. The fencing around it had been pulled up into a loose roll and tied up with tie wire. A person definitely could have fit through it if they had wanted to. (This is relevant later!) Being at this spot was FANTASTIC, videos and photos were easy to grab without much obstruction, and due to a crowd gathering it seemed as though the pro’s thought it was a good idea to get close to the wall, which was amazing.
After that drift session ended I hung around and made some new friends, while talking some security guards rolled up on the track in a golf cart and asked us what was up as they gestured at the rolled up fence. We quickly made it clear that it had been like that since before we even got there, helped them roll down the fence, and we were told that no one was allowed to be there. Which sucked, rip the good spot, and with that we were banished to really only watching in the infield area.
Night drifting was awesome! The drifters really put on a show, the music line up for the music festival portion on the first night was pretty cool, I was really only interested in the Headliner Flosstradmus and I was not disappointed!
The 24th was another rough day for the tent, as I said earlier, it broke again and we got rained on pretty hard. There was a lot more racing and drifting that went quite the same as the day before. It was awesome, this time the night drifting was even more wild.
Yung Gravy performed and he was higher than Pikes Peak to say the least, so that was interesting. $uicideboys performed after and they rocked it.
We left around noon on the 25th as we didn’t want to be on the road unbelievably late.
The 26th was also pretty uneventful except for when we set up our tent we met a cat at our campsite for the night and it quickly became friends with everyone!
We got back on the 27th pretty late and I got to ride in my friend’s Turbo swapped 2.0 Cabby which was sweet. (there’s gonna be a video about this car along with a post! So you’ll have to wait for that!!!)
The 60’s were a time of change but they were nothing without those who pioneered in the decades prior so it would be a crime to not mention Helene Rother, a single mother, and refugee that made waves in the automotive design world.
Helene Rother, 1908-1999, was the first woman automotive designer. She was born in Germany and then moved to Paris after she had made a name for herself designing jewelry, furniture and many other things in between. She was a single mother, she and her daughter ended up in Casablanca after running from the Nazi’s who marched into Paris. She was stuck in North African refugee camp with her daughter for two to four months while waiting for their papers to finalize. She then made her way to New York and chased the American Dream. Landing in new york in 1941 she instantly started looking for work and she found it as an illustrator at Marvel Comics. She drew the character Jimmy Jupiter for a time before she moved west in 1942.
She landed in Detroit, interviewed for the job that she had seen in The New York Times, General Motors needed a new designer, and she got the job. Rother started working for their interior design staff which she had experience in due to her past. She was in charge of the upholstery, fabric, lighting and hardware that went into vehicles at that time. She worked there until 1947 making $600 a month which was almost unheard of even for a man but General Motors downplayed her role because a woman working for that much and in the automotive field was a radical idea at the time.
She moved onto Nash under an independent contract in 1947 and had her own design studio. She made key interior components and completely reinvigorated the interiors of the Nash brand. She wanted to make interiors for women that they didn’t feel funny getting in and out of them, something stylish, clean and comfortable. She worked from home to be with her daughter. Her daughter recalled that when she first started working at Nash, Helene bought a Nash and promptly totaled it. She was a very busy woman and always drove fast so she accumulated many speeding tickets. She opened the door for women to get into the automotive industry, she showed that they could succeed. In her time after Nash she worked for Miller-Meteor, helping to design ambulances and hearses. Later she designed stained glass windows for churches across the united states and her reputation as one of the best stained-glass artists remains to this day. She still did other automotive work from time to time. At the age of 91 she passed away, her number of speeding tickets were probably comparable to the impact she had on the industry.
Old German cars, we all love them, or hate that we love them, and or we love to hate them. The old and rare ones are hard to come by. If they’re “cheap” expect to be replacing a lot of things or that it needs an engine. Something along those lines. (Also click on the photos to be brought to where they’re from!)
BMW 8 Series
The 1990-1999 BMW 8 series (E31). We’re talking specifically about the V12 version so the 850i/ci/csi. You could get a 4 speed auto/ 5 speed auto (depending on the year) or a 6 speed manual and the 850CSI only came in 6 speed manual. There’s also the Alpina models, the B12 5.0 and the B12 5.7
These cars are rare now, and the oldest one you can get is now 31 years old while the youngest one you can get is 22 years old. Any of the maintenance that comes with a BMW that old is included along with the price tags. The cheapest ones I can find are around $10,000-$15,000 and the rest go up from there while the most expensive seem to top out at nearly $200,000.
Back when they were new that had a 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, the V12 is decently simple in comparison to others from my research and it mostly just seems to be the regular BMW maintenance costs that affect them asides from that the throttle bodies could be an issue and the seemingly “normal” BMW oil leaks. The pop up headlights may cause a headache because it’s just one more thing to break. Electrical gremlins could very well rear their ugly heads and you do NOT want to buy one that’s been sitting. Only about 30,000 of them were sold!
Audi S4: B6
My words of advice: Don’t even think of getting one. The German V8 sounds nothing short of amazing and that can fool you into wanting one. But this is during the time of VAG auto group not knowing how to make a timing chain system if their life depended on it. Plastic guides just don’t last. These are hard to find in good shape!
The B6 S4 was made for less than two years while the B7 S4 was made for three years. They use basically the same engine (both just as bad). Being that they’re a nearly twenty year old car something you’ll also have to deal with is the electrical gremlins. But as I said earlier the timing chains are the big issue and the worst part is that they’re on the rear of the engine. In making sure your car runs for a long time you’ll need to keep your ears sharp for timing chain noise and if you need to replace it you need to pull the whole engine out. You may want to do the clutch, engine mounts, and whatever else you see fit. Depending on the age of the engine you may want to di valves, seats and guides!
Never let one of these sit. On the forums I’ve seen that people like to let them warm up 15-20 minutes to make sure that the engine is fully lubricated. The timing chain job can run up to about $8,000 dollars. All the ones I seem to be able to find for sale are those that need that service done, need an engine, and or just lots of work for about $3,000 still. You’ll also need to pull the front end apart to do almost any work on the car!
The Volkswagen Phaeton W12, The Volkswagen that was more Bentley than it was a Volkswagen. North America only got it from 2003-2006. Nearly no shops know how to work on it here and I wish you the best of luck finding a specialized shop to work on it that won’t cost you a crazy amount either.
This is a car that many of the design team quit on. Only 2,253 of them were bought new so it’s no wonder we stopped getting them in 2006. The W12’s came with 420 horsepower which was silent and very smooth. According to research all of the launch editions arrived with defective sunroofs. This is where the electrical gremlins really reared their heads for Volkswagen, along with the Toureg. Heated steering wheel, massaging seats, five ECU’s, and everything else in the car seems to be subject to having some sort of issue.
Having a Volkswagen with all the same things as a Bently at a much cheaper price point might excite you and I do not blame you at all.
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Wagon
These were only available in 2004-2006, with 469 horsepower and room for the family. There were only 193 of them brought to the United States. They only came in automatic, the supercharged engine is actually quite reliable.
This car’s wallet hurting ability mainly comes from not being able to find one with so few of them being brought over the pond. I wish you the best of luck finding one of these rare beasts! The supercharger makes easy work of getting more power out of of the engine, throw on a smaller pulley, do some exhaust work and you’re on your way to making even more power!
The pricey repairs center around the brakes (SBC braking system) and the AirMatic struts. Otherwise these cars are relatively bulletproof engine wise because they’re hand built! Fuel pumps can get leaky and go bad. Make sure you get the transmission serviced/ make sure it’s been done because if not you’re in for a hell of a time! Sometimes the electronic controls for the seats can go bad.
If you want something that will sound good, look good, get you and your kids somewhere fast. This is the car!
Alright everybody, I bought yet ANOTHER Volkswagen – My self hatred knows no bounds.
This is an unbelievably quick install. Twenty minutes tops for the most part!
Tools that are needed for the job!
Ten millimeter socket (and a socket wrench)
Five millimeter Allen key/Allen socket
Flat head Screwdriver
There are many different ways you can go about this install, I’ve seen some people do it by literally just throwing the 2.0t coilpacks which isn’t the best idea because the 2.0t coilpacks are taller than the stock 1.8t coilpacks and the rubber seal doesn’t connect with the engine. So if you don’t want to risk anything falling down into the hole with your sparkplug you’re going to need something!
I personally went with Integrated Engineering and their adapter set!
Now you could easily go with ECS or any other brand that’s out there. I’ve even seen some plastic ones that just sit in the bolt holes and do the same thing for way cheaper! I don’t know where to find those though!!
Actually starting the job: (I’ve added the photos in after completing the job on my own car)
Take the tools that are needed, keep them at the ready and open whatever packaging that your parts came in!
First you’ll take the engine cover off and you’ll be greeted by your possibly very stock engine bay (You can skip this step if you don’t have an engine cover anymore!)
Second you will want to take a look at the vacuum reservoir that is bolted above the right most Coilpack and take the nut off with your ten millimeter socket.
Once the reservoir is out of your way you’ll be able to progress to the third step! Taking off the five Allen bolts from the vacuum reservoir mount! There are three of them on the mount, two on the left and one on the right. The back left bolt is slightly hidden.
The fourth step is to pop the connectors off of each of your coilpacks. You may need a screwdriver to make it work depending on the condition of your connectors!
For the fifth step (This was needed for my install) was to unbolt the ground(?) wire for the coilpack connector harness from the valve cover. It’s the ten millimeter bolt between and behind the left two coilpacks.
After that you will take your adapter plates, put them in place and screw them into the bolt holes that are diagonal from one another while making sure that the lines that the coilpack gasket seats in are matching the ones on the valve cover for the sixth step!
So I’m going to start this off with that I am 100% biased in opposition of an airbag suspension system for cars but I’m going to explain why so, please don’t get too uptight!
It was the year 2019, April 16th to be exact when I bought my used bag setup on Facebook marketplace for only $1500. I thought it was a steal, Airlift performance bags, no rear shocks, the guy had run them in his car for two years, it had been a show car and I thought I was going to be SO cool.
I was going to be one of those bagged on rotiform VW kids. (Literally 90% of them)
They finally arrived, I gave them a look over and decided to buy some replacement bits, I could tell that they were quite worn in some spots but they should defintely be good right?
wrong -Insert horrible flash forward of me shearing the top hat on the one that I hadn’t replaced the bag on- (And that happened In Canada, super fun.)
But before that even happened my Accuair management was broken. Had to buy a new one of those and it was Elevel so that was a PAIN (also this didn’t come until much later). If you don’t know what Elevel is, (well was, actually) I hope you never find out. It’s the height management system and I did not have it professionally installed which I should have.
Installation was actually pretty easy if I’m honest asides from never actually getting the rear sensors to work for me so my alignment was always toast. my new ecu fixed a portion of the problem, I went up to Canada, sheared the bag and changed in one of my old ECS tuning coilovers to limp back home and that leads us to Bags pt. 2: Slams boogaloo
Bags pt. 2 Slams boogaloo.
I found a set of minorly used airlift slam series bags to replace my front bags. Slams do not have a place for the sway bar end links to attach to so you can throw cornering ability in a trash bag and leave it next to a dumpster like your stock intake to be forgotten about. And let me tell you, I drive a GTI for the budget performance so I didn’t like that and I tried to overlook it.
Soon enough I was on a time crunch to go to an event more than a few states away and not having working height settings really irked me so I set out to fix it now with my new to me front bags, New ECU and I got nowhere after a full day of trying. So I did the most reasonable thing that any person would do.
I ripped the entire air system out and put my old ECS coilovers back in the car which were sized to the original height I lowered the car to and put some new sway bar end links in.
They’re bargain coilovers for sure, maybe better than Raceland’s? No they’re definitely a little better than Raceland’s in my opinion. But coming from those airlift slams in the front… World of difference. My GTI could take turns like I wanted it to. I was in love with the car again and I felt bad for ever thinking that bags would be cool. I knew that these coilovers days left in my car were numbered though. I needed something better.
While still under the impression that I won’t be hardcore tracking my GTI I went the non adjustable route because it is a pain to adjust the coils if you don’t cut away the metal above the coilovers top hats and you have to take the rear shocks out, I also did a ton of other suspension work to the car at that time. (BFI anti lift kit which consists of lower control arms and bushings. Roll control ball joints, ECS rear chassis brace, ECS rear subframe brace, and I went with a new wheels set up. I also have new Sway bars to install but that will wait until next summer most likely) But I absolutely love the way these coilovers feel, they are leagues ahead of the ECS coilovers in how they react to the road.
So here are my final words on this subject.
Bags are great if you’re building a car for show or you have money and time to fix parts that break within the system when they do. Bags blow, air lines break, compressors go bad, maybe you’ll rub through a wire somehow, and maybe your management will fail. I know that people track bagged cars but for me there are just too many possible points of failure.
Coilovers are the way to go for me. There isn’t a semi complicated system where if one thing breaks out of many it could possibly put your car out of commission. Now if a coilover fails that’s obviously a big issue but it should be possible to catch it before it is catastrophic. Coilovers and Bags are around the same price point if you’re going for higher end coilovers so the choice is yours but I’m going coilovers.
Honestly I really think that my video portion needs to be worked on. Here’s the kicker though, from the amount of people I had read my submission script, everyone of them said that it sounded exactly like a donut script.
I will be editing it and changing it for my own use. I just wanted to post this somewhere as proof that it is my intellectual property.
I applied on 9/17/19 and was finally rejected 1/14/2020 and this is what I wrote:
Only the most hardcore Volkswagen fans know this little Ferrari/Porsche looking nugget that came out of Brazil. The Brazilian government during the 1970’s told everyone who wanted to import things “nuh uh. Can’t let you in.” So this made it so some interesting cars only popped up in Brazil and few have made it out. The SP2 was designed by a cool guy you’ve never heard about. Let’s talk about him.
He was born in 1936 and his father owned a furniture factory. Little Marcino honed his design skills until the day he entered a design competition that he won with a sports car idea named the Itapuan. (Whisper) It looked kinda like the SP2 but mostly like the first generation Corvette mixed with a type III. for winning that contest his prize was
-Dumb guy- “Pop up headlights?” (start the song and then cut it.)
No. No I wish. Not pop up headlights. A trip to italy to intern with, guess who? GHIA! Our little boy. No our man Marcino went off to work with coachbuilders after working with furniture. Soon his year with Ghia too quickly came to an end but not before he designed a concept car called the Pian GT.
He Moved back to Brazil and was hired by Willys-Overland, there he worked on ‘Project M’. Willys-Overland got bought out by none other than FERD in 1967. That ‘Project M’ would become the Ford Corcel. He left before it was finished and went to Volkswagen which is where he really made a name for himself. In 1969 his Project was redesigning the VW type III. He made it more Brazilian? That’s the best way to put it. He cleaned up some body lines and used his signature headlight bucket style. The head of VW Brazil, Rudolf Leiding liked it so much he gave the team a bonus out of his own pocket.
His next Project was to create a car that was going to be competing with VW based Puma. Another Brazilian sports car. Named the Puma. Sick right?
Well the SP2 is cooler. Way cooler all because VW Brazil liked to be different. That’s right, they stuck it to the man. The man being Wolfsburg.
The Sp2 was coined as ‘Project X’. And you know what, It should’ve been called weapon X. Love you Wolverine. Anything with an X in it is cool as hell. (Xylophone solo ensues.) INCLUDING XYLOPHONES.
The SP2 was presented as a prototype in 1971 but It wouldn’t be in production until 1972. Originally the car had a whopping 1600cc engine but would later have a dual carb 1700cc engine that put out a crazy 75 hrsepwrs in all of its models. It garnered a lot of media attention for its better than usual local Brazilian air cooled cars.
Its name was Offiacally noted as the Sao Paulo but the Brazilians nicknamed it the “Sem Potência” which is Portuguese for ‘Without power’. This things was slow AF. The slowest sports car with its 75 hrsepwrs sending it from 0-60 at a blistering 16 seconds.
The car may have been slow but it was gorgeous. Low slung, ultra long hood, beautiful interior with such a gorgeous sloping fastback shape that even Porsches are envious of. If it had a pointy nose and pop u p headlights it would’ve been a Ferrari.
The problem that brought about the Sp2’s downfall was its performance. The puma was lighter and faster even though it was basically the same platform. All because it was fiberglass.
Sales dwindled and production ended in 1976 with a final number of 11,123 produced. (wipe away a fake tear.)
That wasn’t the end for our man Marcino. He went on to build the VW Brasilia. It was originally supposed to replace the Volkswagen beetle. A journalist was even shot trying to get spy shots of that car.
The sort of spiritual successor could be the porsche 924. The Rear end is decently reminiscent with the overly large bubbly look.
Just recently a Group of Mechanical Automotive design students from FEI college based their final major project on it. They tasked themselves on recreating a “retro car”.
The group members Rafael Tardelli, Fernando Piaya, Rafael Juncioni, Flavio Koiti, Sebastián Honbono and Marco Diniz looked at a few different cars. Just to name a few: Camaro, Mustang, and the Morris Mini. They ended up deciding on the Brazilian born VW SP2.
They wanted to create a design that could potentially be built. They aimed to keep the car about the same height and size. Due to today’s safety standards the car got a lot more bulky and the bumpers much larger.
One could say it got buff.
The plans were to put an engine into it that would kill the cars old nickname and make SP stand for “Super Performance.” instead. It would be mid-engined with similarities to the Muria.
With space for luggage in the frunk and a small space in the rear all I can think is a freaking C8 competitor or a supra competitor if it were to be produced? It most likely be badged under Porsche or Audi if it were to be built.
The SP2 paved the way for the 924 and we can only help that it may be resurrected under this new guise that this design team conceptualized.
That’s the short history of the Volkswagen Sp2 that we hope gets the chance to grow. Grow like the love in my heart for all of you viewers.
Hit that yellow subscribe button if you haven’t already, it means a lot. follow me at
James Pumphrey, follow Donut Media on the things. I love ya’ll.
Obviously you can see where I need to change things.
On the everlasting hunt for a winter beater as to not let my high mile mk6 gti rust out more in the rear fenders so I can get them fixed at a later date. I searched and searched Facebook marketplace.
I found this for almost $600 dollars. I bought it for $500 flat.
It has really no rust on it to speak of. It needed a new hood, headlights, radiator, radiator support, and a new front bumper. It also needed brakes very badly. I did the math on what purchasing all of these things alone would come out to be and it was basically the same price as the car, so I was on the hunt again but for a parts car this time.
I landed a 2006 VW jetta for $300. Unknown issues but the body was decent! I swapped everything over in the course of day. I was bored so I looked up what the cost would have been if a shop were to do it and that was about $1200. I swapped the rear cloth seats for the jetta’s leather. The front heated seats want to light you on fire but that is okay. It leaks some oil but for a $500 car I would say that is okay.
The brakes were horrid, the rear rotors had to be cut off completely on each side.
After all of my expenses to get the car back on the road I spent about $1000. I believe once summer hits I can off the Jetta parts car again for about $300 considering it still has the engine and auto trans.
So being that I work at a hotel, during the first Christmas party I got a two night stay in Montreal. Being the Euro fanatic that I kind of am I lined up using my stay with Eurokracy. I put together the trip with my best friend Noah.
Backstory before this: I bagged my car to be like every GTI owner ever. Let me tell you. The clout wasn’t worth it. Like yeah it’s pretty sick but I couldn’t get things working correctly, I ate through my tires and on top of that I had bought a used set. The fact it was used for two years will be an issue that we’ll come back to later. But enjoy some photos my friend took
My tuned GTI got great gas mileage on the way up. I filled up one or two times less than noah did in the STI I believe? I actually almost touched 35 mpg.
The trip went fantastic on the way up, to the show and back to the hotel. I wish I had photos of the Montreal roads because holy hell. Let me backtrack a moment. Driving up was pretty. Exactly what you’d think upstate new York would be. Once you hit Canada it almost felt like the midwest, the ground flattened out, and the roads were good. The instant you hit Montreal though… It was the wort parts of new jersey mixed with NYC. There was never-ending construction. All of the signs were in French so Noah and I couldn’t read them. Our fault for going to a different country lol.
We had a great time, enjoyed the show, the festivities, and bought some merch. I took some photos.
I always gravitated towards the VR6’s because I am such a whore for them. The people were friendly.
I tried some moving shots.
THE DISASTER: Day two, going to the show.
it wasn’t a pothole. It wasn’t some crater the size of my car. It was just a damn bump in the road that ruined my day. It sheered the tophat off my driver side strut. I actually thought to bring the extra bag that I had. But after taking things apart to see that it was the entire strut that was basically done for.
All this drama and I didn’t even end up in an aftermovie. Kinda upset about that if I’m honest. I was parked off to the side of the entry way. The tow company didn’t take my credit card and thankfully I had cash on my to get my car off the trailer. I called my parents and thankfully my dad agreed to come up with my old strut. He saved the day after he got lost in Canada for a little bit. The car would rub too much in first gear so I had to reverse it with almost no turning radius on the front driver side. I revered it into a spot out of the way of everyone and waited.
My dad Finally got there. We knocked out the swap from air to a coilover in maybe 20-40 minutes and then we were on our way home. From then on it was smooth sailing. I didn’t follow directions at the border because I was fried from events of the day so that took a little whole longer and that was that. -$300 some dollars but a crazy story in the books.
Here’s the Burnout Slut, one of the final car’s we saw leave as we waited for my dad.
The 2004 Volkswagen R32 is something that every Volkswagen enthusiast seems to lust over for so many reasons. It’s an AWD VR6 hot hatch, and it’s 1 of 5000 in the United States. Is it everything that you dreamed it to be, or will there be something left to be desired?
Ever since I delved into the hot hatch world with my first car, a MK4 GTI with a 24v VR6 that I swapped into it with the help of my friend. It wasn’t the car that just made me want it. I wanted the VR6, the engine is a beautiful symphony of combustion, and I needed it in my life. I fell in love with the headache that was my car but sold it because I needed to move on. I upgraded to a MK6, which is a platform that is so much better than the two so they are incomparable. The VR6 filled my heart with joy from the beautiful growl that the tractory sound of the 2.0T couldn’t replace.
So there I was still lusting for a VR6 back in my life (as I still do). My friend posted his for sale at a fair market value which is about $12,000. Which is almost absurd when you think about it. On paper all a 2004 R32 comes across as is a heavy, AWD, 250hp 6 cylinder hot hatch. Weighing in at about 3,400 pounds with a the Volkswagen Haldex system which is a hydraulically driven clutchpack, not a classic differential as most people would assume. What you can take from that is if the power output is 50/50, like most people are after, the Haldex will wear out prematurely. So rather than all the time you are able to get a Haldex controller allowing you too determine how much power goes to the rear wheels with its max being 50/50. It’s FWD bias can be helpful but it’s depressing when on paper it is listed as AWD and is almost misleading if you don’t know what the Haldex system is. Haldex is a proven system but some argue it’s not true AWD (why?).
After a disappointing realization of what the MK4 R32 is on paper you get to the car in person and that’s when things start to change immensely for the better. It’s got the common problems of a MK4 but you can almost over look those. The sound of the 3.2 liter VR6 (with most parts derived from the 24v and that in itself is mostly just a head upgrade from the 12v). The only problem is that it is 250hp in a heavy chassis which isn’t flimsy but isn’t as agile as you’d like it to be. All Vr6’s have been under powered since the GTI itself has moved up to 200hp in it’s 4 cylinder engines. Driving it is an experience that I would not have passed up.
Getting to drive an almost completely stock R32 was quite interesting to say the least. The only things that were done was a newer Haldex that was tuned to make the car 50/50 AWD and OZ superleggras wrapped in some winter tires. The amount of road noise was surprising. The left directional had a slight illumination to it no matter what and the multi function indicator in the center of the cluster was starting to fade as many MK4’s do. The heated seat selector was slightly offset and worn. The car felt like an old friend. The leather seat had the normal tear on the bolster but it was comfortable all the same, and it held you in much more than any other seat that came in a MK4. The clutch was surprisingly light. It felt lighter than my 24v VR6. Being that the Haldex was tuned the car felt like it was on rails when accelerating hard. Because it was a few hundred pounds and all of the power wasn’t going to the front wheels it almost felt slower than my old MK4? It was an odd experience.
In all honesty, I think I would need to spend more time with the R32 to really appreciate it. As it stands I honestly think that I would pass on owning one for myself. It’s almost how the Grand Tour presenters say, avoid driving your dream cars. Overall I’d say that the MK4 R32 is a Holy Grail that has seen much better days.