Let's hear a little bit about the driver - What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Seth Stickell and I am from a town in south central Pennsylvania called Chambersburg. My family and I own a used car dealership in town and that is where I work for a living. I clean, sell, and fix cars during the week.
What got you into modifying cars and what kept you in it?
I have been around cars my entire life. My dad has been a car dealer for over 30 years and he himself always had a passion for buying cars he loved. As a grew up my brother and I were always around cars, and a lot of them were cars that you wouldn’t see on a day to day basis. We grew up around everything but the cooler stuff for examples were cars like late 60’s Camaro’s and Mustangs. My dad has owned many Volkswagen Beetles and buses,here and there also. Really anything that was different and unique he liked, and so did I. My dad though was never very big into modyifying. He liked to tinker here and there with cars but never built something from the ground up or did a full revamp on something like I have at times. I don’t really know where I got the idea to start modifying cars, guess I just started seeing things likes cars lift up and down on bags or heard the sound of a turbo spooling and felt the need to have something that did the same. My love of cars and modifying them has grown to the point where now my entire life really revolves around cars. I love all cars, muscle, JDM, EDM, lifted trucks and Jeeps, really anything, I also have a motorcycle so guess I really just love anything with a beating heart that runs on fuel and oil. But somewhere along the line I found a special place inside myself for Volkswagens. I think there are many different factors that make me have a love for them the way I do. The way they look, the things you can do with them, and the biggest thing of all is the people they have connected me with. These cars have taken me so many places, and I’ve already owned many different ones in my life. Once I got my first MK4 Jetta I was in love with them all. Once I got that and then later bought the car that I will be talking about in this post my brother got the same love for them as he now owns a 1987 Volkswagen Cabriolet. These cars have taken us both so many different places, and our love for them just keeps on growing. I honestly can say I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t for these cars, they are pretty much my life. Every time I see one it puts a smile on my face, and driving the ones I own now is my therapy. Whether it’s taking my MK4 GTI out on back roads, or just cruising down a straight away in my MK2 Jetta with my dog in the back, nothing makes me feel more relaxed or happy as driving these cars do.
Ok ok ok... Tell us about your ride, what is it?
The car I’m talking about in this feature is my 2003 Volkswagen Golf GTI 20th Anniversary Edition. It is black magic pearl and is my baby. It is probably the only car I can say I will never part ways with, as long as I am around and so is that car, it will always belong to me.
For the exterior of the car it has a few different things. The car is currently sitting on the third set of wheels that I have ran on it since I’ve owned it. The car is sitting on 3 piece WCI SY10’s. The wheels bring to the car what I’ve always wanted, that clean stanced out look. My car is on Airlift Performance bags in the front, and slam series bags in the rear. It has V2 management and is one of the best things about the car. Air ride has really changed me, anything that I ever fully build from now in will probably be on bags. The convenience of being able to lift and drop is the best. The headlights on the car are VX tuning headlights with glass lenses and LED lights. Having glass lens covers for headlights is the best, they always look amazing and never get hazy. I wish they would have never switched to plastic lenses back in the day, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The car has the stubby mirrors also, which at first I wasn’t sure if I liked them but they have grown on me big time.
The interior has a couple of mods. To start off I took out the old steering wheel and installed a Grip Royal wheel wrapped in suede. I ordered a brushed silver horn to go on with it to keep that matching look with all the trim pieces in the car. After that I then bought a brushed silver weighted shift knob from Black Forrest Industries. With the wheel and the shift knob the way they are it gives it that nice aftermarket feel but keeps also the nice stock look. In my opinion with the wheel and knob I have I think look even better than factory for sure, they just match a lot better with the rest of the interior. Before I bought the car the headliner had recently been redone and is also very nice, the seats were also refreshed with all new foam padding. The last big thing for my interior would be the trunk which was already done when I bought the car. Whoever did it was very talented because it is another one of my favorite parts. They custom made a new floor base for the trunk and then laid the tank down in with steel lines. They wrapped everything in suede and in the center put a nice back splash in with lighting on the outside. The only thing I changed was putting a Volkswagen logo on the on line to give it a nice little detailed touch.
Anything special under the hood?
For the motor it has the APR Stage 2+ kit. When I bought the car I was told that it was babied its entire life, after doing some digging into the motor I could tell that it definitely was. I went through it and replaced all the coolant, replaced the oil pan gasket, and had the valve cover and intake manifold powder coated which means I replaced those gaskets as well. The car had no oil build up anywhere in sight on the top and bottom end both. I have kept it the same ways as the original owners did. I change the oil about every three thousand miles, but I also don’t drive it in the winter so I only put about 3 thousand miles on it a year. With the APR kit this car is so much fun to drive. If the motor ever does go out on the car I plan on doing a full build to it for some gnarly power, but until that happens it will stay the way that it is.
What are some things you've done to your car that others might not notice?
When I bought the car it needed a lot of things that I did not notice when I bought it. After I bought it and got it home it sat at our shop for probably three months. I had to go through the whole thing and replace all of the wheel bearings and hubs, after that it needed axles. I never once went cheap with anything on this car. I replaced ball joints, tie rod ends, everything. Within the first couple months with the car I was probably already $1500 into it on top of buying it. The car also has IDF drop plates in the rear which are something most people would probably not notice.