“A project car is never complete”
I’m sure we all agree with Sam’s insight regarding his MK2 GTI, which he has been modifying since January. Purchased in May of 2015, shortly after joining the Auto Finesse team, Sam’s first step was to strip the body right down to bare metal and replace window rubber, bushings, all running gear, and fresh glass. No biggie. This was immediately followed by a fresh coat of a custom blue metallic paint, which is perfectly suited for that 90s custom feel.
Hand lettering “#Project90’s” onto the bonnet only scratches the surface of this sublimely detailed MK2. Airlift Performance struts managed by V2, with a notched chassis let it sit itself on the floor. Performance has been suitably altered with the addition of an AGU code 20vt motor from a MK4 GTI, fitted with a KO3 turbo, and a retune yielding a not insignificant 210hp. This well sorted 1.8 sits in a neatly shaved engine bay with a beautifully applied wiring tuck.
And then you get to the interior. Oof.
Nosing through the window, you’re greeted by that gorgeous MK4 GTI Anniversary Recaro interior, retrimmed in Bentley nappa leather with perforated centers, stitched with a blue, perfectly matching the exterior. This theme is continued on to Bentley nappa finished door cards with matching stitching, as well as a black nappa finished BBS steering wheel. This sort of luxury and detail is the stuff that dreams are made of. We could find ourselves spending an entire day simply admiring the details inside of this MK2.
Once you’re able to pry yourself away from the experience inside of this beautiful hatch, you are reintroduced to that custom blue metallic paint, accentuated by an inspired titanium leaf swage line, and smoothed out back with a rear wiper delete. Rolling stock consists of a custom set of BBS RA splits with polished hardware and radinox stainless lips. Clever rebuilds like this are such a welcome sight in a world of custom high offset forged wheels featuring dime-a-dozen face designs. The BBS mesh is timeless, and this only preserves that style while updating for a more aggressive fitment, which is always welcome.
Returning to the the opener, “A project car is never done”, I think it’s safe to assume Sam has more tricks up his sleeve, and we’re looking forward to watching this great GTI evolve in the future.
Photography: Rob Schaverien
Words: Brian Buckley