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Mike's VR6T MK3 Jetta


Today we take a look into Mike's Mk3 Jetta/Vento from Pennsylvania with a VR6 Turbo Powerplant. Don't let the bagged out stance fool you, this thing is fast! Fun fact, he is also one of the first people to proudly rock the RUBVDUB sun shade banner.

front mount mk3 vr6 jetta

Why did you choose this platform?

I think I have an odd attraction with boxy cars. I remember falling in love with Jesse's MK3 in Fast and Furious, then again when I saw a co-worker of my Mom's with a MK4. Everyone in my area has MK4s and up and I wanted to be able to stick out a little bit more

Why did you choose that color?

Having a black car sucks.. especially if you work in a dusty area like I do, but when it's shining and all cleaned up it looks so good. Any color accent that you'd want to do always contrasts great with black. 

mk3 jetta stance interior

Why did you go with this interior?

It's what the car came with so I tried to put a little bit of a twist on it. I would like to go black interior maybe next year then I can upgrade to some Recaros and really spice up the inside!

vrt vr6 turbo engine swap mk3 jetta

Why did you choose that engine?

Wookie noises. The design of the VR6 was so interesting to me and the sound that it produces makes me drool everytime. I fell in love with everything about it (except working on it). I even have the headgasket tattooed on my ribs. 

vrt jetta mk3 roof rack

Why did you choose that suspension?

The roads in my area are awful. For a 1997 with 225k miles, the underneath of the car is for the most part solid and I didnt want to put so much work and money into a vehicle just to destroy it trying to cruise around. At the time I got it, there weren't too many bagged cars local to me so it helped stand out.. and it's great confusing the older people at gas pumps. 

vrt mk3 schmidt wheels

Why did you choose those wheels?

I was originally going to buy Salad Shooters for it but was struggling to find a staggered set, and then my buddy sent me an ad for the Modernlines that were actually off a Corrado that I've been oogling over for years and I knew I couldn't pass them up. Worked a little bit of overtime and bought them while I was off getting my wisdom teeth out and haven't regretted the choice since. 

before after mk3 jetta build

Top 3 things that make this car special to you.

1. I remember being in highschool always wanting a "cool" car of my own and nothing makes me happier than when people my age and especially the older crowd compliment me on the car.

2. The people I've met in the community are now lifelong friends that I know have my back no matter what.

3. All the memories this car made and continues to make are unforgettable, whether it be cruises or racing, or tearing the dash out to change the heater core with my Dad the 1st weekend I owned it. Priceless memories are made everytime I take it out. 

mk3 jetta glx turbo

Imperfections and things to be addressed.

The car is far from perfect.. it's a 225k mile motor getting 18psi shoved into it. I want to start building a spare built motor to throw in when it's time comes. It's a Pennsylvania car so the car needs new rockers and some small other rust spots taken care of, possibly a new paintjob. I would also love to swap to a black interior to give the options of what else I could change (seats, shifter, ect..) and really make it my own. I need to pretty up the engine bay and more interior next!

Anything else you would like to add?

The car will always test my patience and keep draining the wallet, but every moment i'm in the car all my issues go away. Even though the car may just be a car, it's a gateway to amazing times, unforgettable memories, and new and amazing friendships. No matter how big or small your build is, stay humble. Take your time and build what YOU want to build.

Mike's instagram: @5ivespeed
Photographers: @spiroz.visuals / @z_lacko


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