The Tale of a Pink Mk3 Jetta


badgeless pink mk3 jetta stance

Let's hear a little bit about the driver - What's your name and where are you from?
Hello, my name is Westley Bench, I live in Salem, Oregon.

 red mk3 jetta stock front


What got you into modifying cars and what kept you in it?
6 years ago, I bought my first car (another mk3 Jetta TDI). Almost instantly, I was captivated by the possibilities! It quickly started to take over my entire life.

I've been fortunate to have a couple people in my life to point me in the right direction. My girlfriend's dad (Jim) has a vast amount of automotive knowledge. He unintentionally became a VW mechanic alongside me, and really helped refine my personal style and standards.

My former boss (Sean) is a big VW fan also. Most of our daily conversations were about our cars. He gifted me a nice polisher, complete with pads and compounds. Seeing my car's paint transformed with my own hands was a critical moment for me.

Lastly, my current "boss" (Dan) has provided me with a situation that allows me to take my cars to an entirely new level. A little bit of space, and a couple of the right tools make all the difference.

There's always something to do with cars, I don't think I'll ever actually "finish" any of my cars. Not because of my attention defect, or general preoccupation, but because there is a continuous stream of ideas. They can always be refined in some way. A lot of what I'm doing with my cars is my first attempt at doing so. I expect continued improvement, and revisit projects and ideas with a more adept hand. 

mk3 jetta top view sunroof

pink m3 jetta custom spoiler ducktail wing

mk3 jetta badgeless grill grille stance

Ok ok ok... Tell us about your ride, what is it?
This is a 1998 Jetta TDI that I built "just because".

(1/21) After many months of work, I was just getting my other mk3 put back together. With the countless hours invested, there was no way I was going to drive it in winter Oregon weather. I needed a new vehicle quickly, and because the first mk3 is incredibly spoiled, it needed to be cheap. *Enter 2nd mk3* At the time, this car was several different colors, fading, peeling, and very unsightly. I didn't really feel like I needed to start another big mk3 project, I just intended to clean it up enough to enjoy as a winter vehicle. Obviously that didn't exactly happen and I got carried away as usual. My "boss" left on vacation for just under two weeks in July, so I moved into the shop and started... That whole thing is kind of a blur, and probably not the most exciting story. Lots of sanding, grinding, welding, etc. 11 days later I had a pink mk3!

mk3 jetta repaint primer

mk3 jetta molded ducktail wing spoiler

mk3 jetta primer custom rear stance

Exterior Mods?
Most of the substance in this build is on the outside. I wanted smooth; so I smoothed. Doors, bumpers, trunk, etc. Any seam I could find, welded and filled. The wing is made from some 18ga steel that I bent to shape. Sprayed in a (slightly modified) Rubystone Red (Porsche 82N). Wheels sprayed with a "color-shift" pearl.

custom mk3 jetta headlights rebuild

mk3 jetta ecodes

mkiii jetta door handle

mk3 jetta ducktail spoiler custom


Interior Mods?
Painted pillars (gauge pod molded into driver's), wrapped Headliner and custom lighting (all foot-wells, above each seat and glove-box) . Dyed seats, misc sound deadening and plastic repair. Certain parts of the oem interior I really enjoy. Doesn't need a complete remodel.

mk3 interior mk4 steering wheel

leopard print mk3 headliner vw

Anything special under the hood?
Besides being free from oil or contaminants, right now the engine is stock. I fabricated a custom exhaust from the turbo back, but so far almost everything has stayed oem (or equivalent). I have plenty of extra "performance" TDI stuff from all the iterations over the years, but haven't yet decided about the performance direction for this car.

mk3 tdi swap

mk3 tdi engine

mk3 tdi engine bay

What are some things you've done to your car that others might not notice?
Seems to me that unless someone is familiar with mk3s, a lot goes unnoticed. I think that's a good thing because it could mean my work is good enough to blend in and appear factory. To be fair though, for anyone seeing the car, the color might be so overwhelming that they get disoriented and lose verbal communication. It's anyone's guess.

Even though they will never be naturally seen, the front and rear crash bars have some wild pinstriping and colors.

 mk3 jetta undercarriage rebuild

mk3 vw custom exhaust

imola b5 blue corrado pink jetta

Anything else you'd like to add?
For now, any updates about this car will be on it's insta (@pinkmk3jetta)

If you want to see some more tasteful work, check out our shop (@automotiv.us)

Thank you (@anphonie) for the pics.
-Westley

 mk3 jetta rolling shot pink


3 comments


  • Gram

    Westley I am impressed what a good writer you are. I know this is your passion and you excell. Love. Gramell.


  • Elizabeth C

    Wow!!! Incredible details and workmanship Wes!!! Absolutely love it!


  • Sharon Marsoun

    those are amazing! Great work! hey, I’ve done a headliner, and they’re no fun!


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