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Feature Listing: 2003 Volkswagen GTi 1.8T Show Car

I’m a huge fan of many forms of motorsport, but I consider Formula 1 to be the pinnacle of the sport. But, of course, Formula 1 is an unrealistically expensive form of racing for nearly all, and even within the sport there are only 5 or 6 that could win on any given Sunday. On what many would consider the other end of the sport, NASCAR offers millions of adoring fans a spectacle beyond anything Formula 1 can offer. The engineering is kept more affordable and the racing is much closer; even towards the end of the season, the title is often up in the air as nearly any one of the top teams could field one or two drivers that might win. It’s specifically the variation and show that bring fans to NASCAR and will keep them coming. Are the two mutually exclusive? No, I don’t think they are – I might not be the biggest fan of NASCAR, but I can appreciate that it takes a serious talent to be able to drive those cars in the manner in which they are driven.

In many ways, the European tuning scene is very similar. Track enthusiasts typically baulk at the show cars, but there is something that unites them; a passion for cars. That passion can be different and manifest itself in many ways. For some, the ultimate car is a perfectly original example in pristine condition; others modify their cars for track use, compromising their daily driveability. But there is another group of enthusiasts that create show pieces – individualized cars with exhaustive detail work to set themselves apart from the crowd and draw smiles from enthusiasts. These show cars have become and increasingly popular and widespread and show both the range and breadth of expression in automotive passion. One of the most avid groups of enthusiasts are Volkswagen owners, and few cars capture the Zeitgeist of the Volkswagen scene quite as well as this car does:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen GTi 1.8T Show Car on VW Vortex

Year: 2003
Model: GTi
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 118,000 mi (5,000 miles on engine rebuild)
Price: $10,000

For sale, in Bellingham, WA is my heavily modified 2003 Volkswagen GTI. It is show quality and has won numerous trophies including two gold trophies from WaterWerks On The Green and WaterWerks Spring Edition, Waterwerks Spring Edition best interior, and 3rd for the West Coast Points Series.
I have been building this car up from stock for 6 years. But it is time for a new project.

118k miles on the body and 5k on the engine. Oil changes with Lubro moly 5w-40 every 3 – 3.5k since I have owned the car. Engine runs like a well-oiled rocket clock. Receipts available for engine internals upon request.
Paint sprayed on hood, fenders, doors, roof, rear quarters March 2014. Paint on front and rear bumpers and mirror caps sprayed summer 2013.
Head and block were tanked / decked / cylinder walls honed by Machine Works of Lynden, WA. Internals installed by friends and myself.
Paint / body shaving / frame notch / Accuair level sensor install all done by RCR Autobody of Bellingham, WA.
Bagyard bags / manifold / dampners / air compressors / management wiring / battery relocation all done by friends and myself.
Hardlines by Swoops of NY.
Hardwood inlay by Greg Aines of Greg Aines Furniture.

180 DIN-PS / 132 kW 1.8L Turbo – AWP bottom end, AEB head
Integrated Engineering 20mm H-beam rods
CP 9.5:1 pistons
Calico bearings
Double dowel pinned crank
ARP head studs, rod bolts, crank bolt
Supertech Inconel exhaust valves
Transitional phenolic intake manifold spacer
Integrated Engineering manual timing system
Gates Kevlar belt
Metal impeller water pump
(timing refresh and water pump installed at time of engine rebuild)
Deleted N249/N112/EVAP/SAI – EVAP parts are available if you wish to reinstall
42 Draft Designs stealth recirc catch system w/10-AN stainless lines
Valve cover fins milled flat and VC powder coated wrinkle black
Integrated Engineering press fit 10-AN breather adaptor in VC, and Integrated Engineering 10-AN crank case breather adaptor installed
BMI Flow stack intake w/K&N Filter
APR R1 diverter valve
ECS stage 1 clutch
Odyssey battery relocated to spare tire well in an anchored bracket and battery kill switch
BFI Dogbone bushings
Integrated Engineering billet shifter bracket bushings

42 Draft Designs 3” turbo back, twin double wall stainless tips, high flow cat
Unitronic Stage 2 w/ full emissions deletes
Bag Yard classic single bellows front and rear bags. Stainless leader lines in fronts
Bilstein dampners
Accuair E-Level management with touch pad controller
Custom Hardlines
Real bamboo false floor (not laminate) with real mahogany inlay
New strut tower bushings
Have new ball joints but they will need to be installed
Keskin KT4, 17×8, 5×100 ET30 – lips polished by Meister Werks
Toyo 4plus 205-40, lots of life

Jetta front end swap
Fully shaved hatch, hood notch, side rub strips, and front plate holes (hatch pops by remote and driver’s door button)
4Motion front lip
Two tone Tornado Red / Black paint
Go Mini Go tow hook license plate bracket
Badgeless 4 bar grill
Euro Image tuning rear wiper delete plug, black gloss powder coat

Burberry rep plaid head liner, A, B and C pillars
R32 Black upper plastics, sun visors, upper hatch trim
SEAT Arosa climate and light controls
Leather Corbeau A4 seats
Schroth quick fit 4 point harnesses
New Lupo shift knob and shift boot
Audi TT pedals
MKVI flat bottom GTI steering wheel – air bag wired correctly, MFSW buttons light up but do not control stereo
New ashtray sliding cover, cup holder lid, driver’s door pull, passengers door pull and cover
New South Performance indigo boost gauge in single pod steering column mount
LED dome and map lights

Air bag light is on since driver’s side seat belt buckle resistance too high; passenger’s side module resistance too low.
Small paint chip on passenger side bumper corner where it meets the fender (may be fixed soon); some scuffs on clear coat on mirror caps; a couple very light scuffs on rear bumper.
Scuffs on glove box plastic, passenger’s side foot vent cover, and parcel shelf side plastics.
Several small (but filled) chips in the windshield; no cracks. Small chip in passenger’s rear window.
A/C needs to be recharged

Included items
Newish Thule roof racks with locks and extra keys
EVAP parts (if you care and your Prius is the boss of you)
Spare tire
OEM tool kit, Audi first aid kit
Wheel center cap tools
New ball joints
Spare valve cover gasket
Parts for coolant ball delete: Moroso radiator filler neck, pressure cap, polished stainless surge tank, fittings and hose for reroute.
More photos can be taken on request and it can be viewed most weekdays after 6. I can be reached at Micro(dot)1394{at}gmail(dot)com

Clean title in hand. Tonberry on my rear view mirror is not included.

As with many enthusiasts, few are ever completely satisfied at the end of the build. I often watch Chasing Classic Cars and find myself remarking “Keep this one, Wayne!” But as Mr. Carini explains in his intro, it’s the chase that excites him – and often once built, these project cars reach a level where there just isn’t much more to do. This car has been extensively built as a show car; neat OEM details abound, such as the Lupo gear shift, R32 trim bits, 4Motion chin spoiler and Mk.5 steering wheel. A nod to the interior in those cars as well, the Burberry headliner really stands apart over the upgraded seats. Also very popular are the Keskin wheels with lovely polished lips and Jetta nose conversion. Of course, the stance of the car is what really draws looks, and the air ride in this car provides near infinite adjustment. I really like the wood inlay Volkswagen symbol and the hardlines look well executed. Under the hood, the 1.8T flows better thanks to the combination of the later block with the early AEB head, amongst other upgrades to turn the power up. And of course, the perfect color for a GTi is Tornado Red – and this car’s shade shines thanks to recent resprays. The result of all of this is a car which almost perfectly takes the pulse of the Volkswagen scene and incorporates some of the most popular and best features into one package. It’s a loving creation that cost the builder much more than the asking price of the car, but just because they’re moving on doesn’t mean this car won’t continue to be a show standout for many years to come.

You can contact the seller if you’re interested directly at .



  1. Ry
    Ry November 8, 2014

    The inner hides of 4 Burberry raincoats were hand stitched to cover the headliner I heard. It’s a very labor intensive process where only the finest raincoats are chosen.

  2. Lol
    Lol February 2, 2015

    What a ridiculous car, should be scrapped.

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