It’s already dark outside as we approach the address I had been given by Selo Bilgic, the owner of this clean Mark 3. It turned out to be a back alley garage in the outskirts of Bochum, an industrial town smack in the middle of Germany’s most densely populated area, the so-called Ruhrgebiet. Littered with old industrial sites, mostly stemming from coal mining, it’s a paradise for urban and industrial explorers and due to the dense population in this area the car culture has always been pretty diverse. Starting a few decades ago, this area used to be the heart of Germany’s car modification scene. Nowadays, this region is not as important in the car scene anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s stopped churning out some incredible looking cars.
Selo, or ‘Highline’ as he is known on various German message boards, clearly demonstrates that point with his clean Mark 3. Now, this specific Mark 3 has never been your run of the mill Mark 3, even back when Selo first bought it in stock form. This Mark 3, ladies and gentlemen, is a genuine Oettinger 3 liter VR6 and Selo is only the second owner with the car coming into his possession at the end of 2008. He originally kept the mods pretty tame, mostly just blacked out logos and a set of 7.5×17 Audi TT wheels in OEM silver. But in 2010, he began tearing the car down and building it to exactly what he envisioned.
To start things off, he did a complete rebuild on the engine. During the rebuild, he discovered that Oettinger actually used an ABT camshaft and an ABT header back when they built it because they had no own versions of these parts. The original cylinder head had some damage as it turned out, and so he searched a new one that would fit the 3.0 VR6. Selo finally ended up ordering head made by Abt. Additionally, the car received a Golf Mk4 Vr6 oil pan to provide a bit more clearance. During the course of the rebuild, the engine was also aesthetically optimized with a few painted and carbon-covered parts. Official Oettinger specs for this engine are 226hp.
The necessary stopping power is provided by a R32 2-pot caliper sitting on a 334×32 disc in the front, stock VR6 brakes in the rear. Sitting over these brakes is the same set of Audi TT wheels he originally put on the car, measuring 7.5×17, but this time with a gloss black finish. The wheels are wrapped in stretched 185/35 Nankang tires.
Now for the most interesting part in my eyes: the suspension. The most obvious thing about this car you will notice is how low it is. Alois Hankofer of AH Exclusive Parts provided a custom set of heavily shortened H&R coilovers, so this car is sitting completely static with a ground clearance of barely 0.9 inches left with the 17 inch wheels tucking into the wheel wells. A custom set of adjustable strut bearings in the front add some more camber along with some other front suspension mods to bypass the clearance issues. Some different drive shafts were needed so modifications to the frame wouldn’t be necessary.
Selo already visited one of the first shows this year, the VW-Speed.NL Midwintermeeting, and following that event the car has taken the european scene by storm with pictures popping up everywhere and there is no end in sight – especially considering what Selo has planned for after Wörthersee. Let me just say that the engine will be force-fed some more power and the wheels will also be changed for something more exclusive.
This is just the beginning folks. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of Selo and the Balkan Connection (a loose society of VW enthusiasts in Germany originally stemming from the Balkan region and they all like their cars ridiculously low) soon!
Photography by Bastian Bochmann