GTI in disguise

Written by : Posted on July 21, 2011 : 9 Comments

At first glance, you’d notice this car was a MK5 Rabbit, but you’re wrong;  it’s a MK5 GTI with Rabbit front end, sitting on some pretty nice wheels I must say. If you’ve been to European car shows around the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably seen Chris Harper’s 2008 VW GTi on several wheel setups. He’s been into VW’s since he was a little kid, “My dad owned a 67 Mustang Fastback and used to watch the speed channel religiously. I was just always into the Euros on there. When I was a senior in high school I moved to Germany and went to some shows there and it made my love jump! I personally didn’t jump into them until I was an adult and was looking at small mods on my first dub (04 Jetta 2.0). The more I tinkered with it the more the bug got to me.” He’s kind of a wheel whore but that’s quite alright with us; this is his latest, CCW LM5’s 18×8.5 and 18×9.5.

To achieve the lowness, Chris opted on Mason-Tech Airstruts with bearing relocation, and Airhouse 2 rear bags. When asked what got him into the Stance scene, he replied “I started going to GTGs and just looking at other people’s cars I noticed I just naturally favored the low, stretched, poked, tucked, etc cars. The look is just so much more aggressive to me and that’s what I love.”

Ride height is controlled by Easystreet air management with a 5 gallon tank.  “It’s been a slow but solid transformation I think. From the RSs, to the Schmidts, and now finally to the LM-5s with the Recaro Sportster interior. The k04 was the biggest step though, I think. Simply because I was always fairly set on the APR stgII power it had and went with that turbo on an impulsive whim. Couldn’t be happier with it though. She pulls hard and fast, just like I like ’em. ”

Inside, you’ll find some Recaro Sportster CS seats reupholstered in Blood Red leather by JJ Custom Interior and Black suede as well as Kenwood DNX DVD headunit and Momo Trek Steering Wheel. There are many other interior goodies listed below.

Back to the exterior, there have been some subtle but clean modifications done to it. The rear is completely shaved and colormatched, along with a rear wiper delete. When asked who helped build the car, Chris replied “BEER, first and foremost; Charlie Eastman who’s a Godsend and pretty much partial owner of the damn thing; Arron McGinnis who wouldn’t go home until the bags were in and working, regardless of how little we knew at the time; Andy Krett and Chris Keeling who are body work geniuses; Gil Villagracia and Jeff Evans who let me use their garage space and lift like it was my own; Ron at JJ CustomInterior for the ridiculously amazing interior/seat job he did, as well as Sam Walker for the rear seat delete and headliner; and a whole hell of a lot of cats from the PNW that provided tons of advice, help, and insight. They know who they are.”

And here’s the Rabbit front end as mentioned earlier; A Votex front lip, BMP front grille, and completely shaved Rabbit front bumper really add to the clean look this MK5 has.

“I have some new BagYard Supreme Signature series struts on the way along with new rear lower control arms from Dorbritz Designs. Both should help me tinker with the stance a bit as well as give the car a tad bit better drive comfort, although it feels damn good now. And the day after this shoot I grabbed up my matching red leather shift boot and center arm rest from my interior guy.”

If you ever see this car around WA, be sure to throw Chris the dub sign!

– ZT


APR tuned K04 turbo upgrade
S3 injectors
S3 intercooler and piping
Eurojet polished valve cover
Polished washer fluid cap
Polished coolant cap
Polished Eurojet VTA catch can
VF intake
Eurojet 3″ turbo back v-banded exhaust

Completely shaved rabbit front bumper
Colormatched stock rear bumper
Votex side skirts and front lip
BMP painted roof with matching rear lower valence and front grill
Shaved hatch
OEM R32 tinted taillights
Rear wiper delete

Wheels/Tires & Brakes
CCW LM5s 18×8.5 and 18×9.5
Toyo Proxes 4 205/40 18 and 215/40 18
Zimmerman front and rear drilled rotors

Kenwood DNX DVD headunit
OEM euro dash cubby
Recaro Sportster CS seats wrapped in blood red leather and black suede with matching rear seat delete
Leather door cards, shift boot/arm restblack suede pillars and headliner
Easystreet Autopilot air ride controller in ashtray
Schroth Autocobtroll III seat harnesses
Momo Trek steering wheel
Forge heavy shift knob
Osir vent guage pod w/Defi Blue Racer boost gauge

Mason-Tech Airstruts with bearing relocation
Airhouse 2 rear bags
Koni Yellow shocks
Easystreet air management w/5 gal tank

Photography by Zach Taiji
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  1. Anthony Fernando on said:

    I’m planning on doing a rabbit front end converstion on my car aswell, I’m just wondering how you shaved it bumper

  2. SO DOPE! What size lips are fronts? Rears? What are the offsets? BTW… I’m 100% obsessed with your interior. Just thought I’d let you know. 😉

    • Anonymous on said:

      it says “Performance Negro”… it’s a joke on the “Performance VW” sticker which that particular mag gives you when you get their feature, which is my goal. 

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