My Mk7 VW GTI – Part 1

May 20th, 2015 • Miami, Florida, USA

Now this is a story all about how, my car got smashed, turned inside out, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, while I tell you how my car got fixed and I just don’t care.

SDOBBINS VW Mk7 GTI - Stock - © Sam Dobbins 2015 - 1007

Back in March of this year, 2015, I did the unthinkable—unthinkable in my mind, at least. I bought a new car. Now, before we get carried away, the Battlewagen is still in the picture, it’s just in need of some love and at the time wasn’t quite ready for a Miami summer of daily duty. Since I first bought the old Passat wagon, though, I’ve been in love with the new GTI. One of my best bud’s, Kellen Harris (@kellen_) sold me the Passat back in the spring of 2010, and when he did, he bought the Mk6 GTI. And although I absolutely adored the Passat, after going for a couple rides in the GTI I knew that it was one day going to be in my future. And for the longest time, I thought I might even buy Kellen’s, and make it a tradition to buy his old cars!

Kellen's Mk6 GTI at Great Canadian in 2012.

Kellen’s Mk6 GTI at Great Canadian in 2012.

Time passed, Kellen traded the GTI in for his ABT Tiguan, and I kept dallying the Passat, eventually driving it through 42 of the 50 states (and I am coming for you, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Arkansas, maybe Alaska and Hawaii too!). But after moving to Miami, and the Passat getting a bit tired, I felt like it might be time to let it take the back seat and see some overhauling, while I bought something newer to relegate to daily duty. When the Mk7 was announced in the US my main focus was on the Golf Sportwagen, which was slated to be offered as a TDI, 4-Motion, 6-speed. When VWoA decided to not offer those options, the GTI was a no-brainer.

SDOBBINS VW Mk7 GTI - Stock - © Sam Dobbins 2015 - 1024

After picking up the new Mk7 GTI, the race was on. I had only two months to get it presentable for Southern Wörthersee, and was going to be in Europe for the two weeks leading up it. The first step was coilovers, and H&R (@hrspringslp) was the only option. And before I even bought the GTI, I had already decided on the wheels, Vossen’s VLE-1. When I first started working for Vossen the VLE-1 project was in full-swing, and although I could fit a 20″ wheel on the Passat, the GTI just seemed perfect with its new, sharp, aggressive lines.

SDOBBINS VW Mk7 GTI - H&R Coilovers and Vossen VLE-1 Wheels - © Sam Dobbins 2015 - 2006

With my Wörthersee travel right around the corner, and SOWO only a couple days after my return, I dropped the car off at RodWraps (@rodwraps) to complete the look I was dreaming of: Toffee Brown. Never offered on the Golf/GTI platform, I’ve always loved Toffee Brown and was originally going to wrap the Passat that color instead of matte black, but the samples never arrived in time—so this was my chance!


After picking up my car from Rodwraps I went over to USP Motorsports (@uspmotorsports) to get APR’s Stage 1 tune and put the car on the dyno to check the numbers, and everything was right on-track for a SOWO Debut!

SDOBBINS VW Mk7 GTI - Wreck - © Sam Dobbins 2015 - 1102

Then a Toyota Tacoma came out nowhere and fucked everything up while I was on my way to get my AWE Tuning (@awetuningofficialintake, downpipe, and exhaust installed… Stay tuned for Part 2!


  • Karena says:

    Just met your Grandma Barb at the grocery store. She stopped me because I had my Vintage Volkswagen sweatshirt on. Great lady! Owned 6 Volkswagens over the years…especially into air cooled. My Baby Blue is a 68 Convertible Karmann Ghia. The next time you are back in Spokane you should check her out!

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