Once upon a time, the day before leaving for Southern Worthersee, there was a Toyota Tacoma. Lifted and driven by a short goateed fellow, the Tacoma really wanted a taste of that toffee brown ass, so it decided to ignore a red light at an intersection and give it a little kiss. And if you read Part 1 of my Mk7 GTI tale, you might’ve seen that my Mk7 VW GTI’s tail got smashed.
My pal, Neil, and I patched it up on a short pitstop at My Imola‘s in Jacksonville on the way and it was almost as good as new for the weekend in Helen, Georgia—just a little piece of plexi, some caulk and rivets, and a shitload of Vossen packing tape later.
And after battling with insurance companies for a couple months, it was finally off to Clay at DeCaudella’s (@decaudellas) to be repaired. Clay fixed it up and made a couple minor adjustments in the process, such as the Golf R LED tails and a shaved badge. Only a couple days after getting the car back, it was at RODWRAPS (@rodwraps) to be patched up with the almost-Toffee Brown vinyl, and in no time the GTI was back in front of the lens.
It was at this point that I re-learned the biggest lesson of my car and photography career. Back in 2009 I had been building a Mk2 Jetta Coupe for many moons. Shaved bay, pulled arches, built 2.0l 16v, Trophy Recaros, you name it, I had it. I kept tweaking this and that and never came around to doing a legit photoshoot of the car once it was in its quasi-complete phase. Then it had a catastrophic breakdown, I was hard-up for funds, and it eventually got parted out and sold off. The lesson to be learned? Don’t wait to shoot your own car.
Fast-forward five or so years, and here I was again. Car had been finished for a few days but I didn’t shoot it, then bam. Wrecked. So almost immediately after getting refinished and back from Rodwraps, my partner at Vossen, Anthony De La Paz (@dela_vossen), and I got busy with our cameras, making sure the car was captured in case something else were to happen.
AWE Tuning (@awetuningofficial) was my first choice when it came to bolt-ons for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The S-FLO Carbon Intake looks right at home in the Mk7’s bay, while the Performance downpipe and Touring Edition Exhaust expand on VW’s 2-liter-turbo sound. Not too loud, zero drone, and a great addition to the aesthetics of the car, AWE’s downpipe and exhaust were a great fit too, filling out the factory rear valence perfectly. With AWE’s bolt-ons mated to APR‘s (@aprllc) Stage 1 Tune (Stage 2 coming soon!), the car is wicked fast and a total handful on the streets of Miami.
With a fresh sheet of vinyl on the rear bumper and hatch, thanks to RODWRAPS (@rodwraps), and a set of Golf R LED tails from USP Motorsports (@uspmotorsports), the car was finally complete. And perhaps you may have seen it roaming the rainy streets of Ocean City last weekend for H2O International!
VINYL WRAP ///// RODWRAPS (@rodwraps)
SUSPENSION ///// H&R Coilovers (@hrspringslp)
SUSPENSION INSTALL ///// Slammered (@slammered)
SOFTWARE ///// APR (@aprllc)
INTAKE/DOWNPIPE/EXHAUST ///// AWE Tuning (@awetuningofficial)
DYNO ///// USP Motorsports (@uspmotorsports)
BODY & PAINT ///// DeCaudella’s (@decaudellas)