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The White Silver Metallic Castle GTI

Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
I guess now that things are starting to take off, it's about time to start a thread. I can't guarantee photos of everything right away, but I'll be adding them in as I go. Nothing super interesting here at the moment to separate my GTI from a fair number of other ones here, but this is me having it my way (hence the title). My first car was a 2001 VW Golf with the 8v AVH, it was a great little car for what it was, but I always wanted to have a GTI. Over the years I owned a couple more VWs, all with various 8v 2.0s and continued to want a GTI in the worst way, but financially it wasn't going to happen.

Then in mid-2018 I started forming a plan to get a down payment together. Patience was the name of the game, and by the math by late 2021 I'd have the money to buy a GTI. It'd have to be a base model, but it'd be mine. Casual searching through 2019 and 2020 had me looking at a couple GTIs, but in later 2020 I found a couple that were in my price range: two Pure White 2018 SEs on an internet dealer (Vroom, I think?) and a White Silver Metallic 2019 S from a brick & mortar dealer in Ohio. My own fault for setting a range of 500mi from my location, but what the heck. Very early on I knew I wanted some flavor of white, and the White Silver Metallic was high on my list of desirable colors. The 2018s both had the lighting package BUT didn't have the plaid seats, and ultimately I decided swapping seats would be more of a headache than lights, so after some negotiation via text my wonderful wife and I kicked off our nonstop ~7 hour drive to Ohio, to see the 2019 in person. We left around 3AM, she's a real trooper and was able to hang for the whole day with just some iced coffee. She also knows how much having a GTI meant to me, so I think that helped as well. I bought the car with a bit under 14,000 miles in November of 2020. Everything checked out, and so I signed the paperwork

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Boost noises are addictive, as I quickly learned. Driving was a little weird as I struggle with quiet cars (seriously, I rely on engine/exhaust sound quite a bit for clutch operation) but we made it, with a pitstop in western PA for some tasty lunch. Like many of us here, I was over the moon with the car, and intended to keep the mods to the bare minimum -- MAYBE lights, we'll see how bad the reflectors really are, blah blah blah.

December 2020 - I can't leave anything alone, so I ordered some badge inlays from NTB Vinyls, and started blacking out the red, as I felt it didn't really fit with the aesthetic I was after. I like the black and silver/chrome look, and feel like it goes well with the rest of the car.
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December 2020 pt. II - Those headlights sucked. So because I'm also somewhat impulsive/have FOMO, I had to get some better ones. Ed/BEC to the rescue, with some snazzy Golf R reps with sequential turn signals. It was a little scary pulling the bumper on a car worth more than my life is worth (particularly in ~20F weather), but with some assistance from my wife (there's a theme here, she's a real trooper) we got everything installed. Man they look good.
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January 2021 - Well now, remember how I said I can't drive quiet cars? Time to do something about that. In the past I've always had a shop not too far from us do cheapie custom exhausts, but I wanted to do something a little nicer for this car, so I ordered a stainless exhaust. I was hunting a refined sound though, and after lots of back and forth I settled on the CTS catback exhaust. I really like how the tailpipes fill out the bumper, and the sound isn't over-the-top.
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Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
March 2021 - Things are going well. I've chilled out on spending a bit. Filling up for the weekend and the unimaginable happens: a box truck cuts the turn out from the fuel pumps a little too sharp, and rolls over my beloved GTI. Part out? Got it towed to my dealer of choice, everything covered by the company who owned the truck. Little disheartening, but not the end of the world. Something like two weeks go by, and it's back on the road, and I'm satisfied. Before & after below. Ignore the bird crap, that's the result of parking at ONE client where I had to be under a power line. I promise, it gets cleaned up.

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March 2021 pt. II - Got the itch for a little more lively behavior, so I ordered a rear sway bar. Also about time to change the oil, and so I picked up the pieces for that. And that P3 gauge? No idea how that got there. Stock swaybar was a bit rude coming out, but nothing too awful. The photo is largely just a harkening to a similar photo from my Mazda3, which was FAR less cooperative about having the rear sway bar replaced. I also put the P3 gauge in, which was part of my mk4 bucket list back in the day.
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April 2021- In the dealership I saw that newer GTIs were shipping with a neat-looking lip on the factory hatch. I couldn't find a part number for it, so I went hunting for an alternative. Cue the SRS-TEC hatch lip, because it's got that subtlety I was after. After painting and installation, I like it.

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April 2021 pt. II - Remember that FOMO and poor impulse control? BEC was almost out of stock of these, and I'm a sucker for sequential lights. I'm also a sucker for our cat Holly, who's an absolute sweetheart. Wiring is scary, but we made it. More wife company during the install, and it's finally getting warm enough outside to exist.
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Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
May 2021 - Welp, it's starting to warm up, and I hear that these are the way to go. A little banged up in shipping, but I'm not too worried about it. Still holds air with no leaks and cools fine.
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June 2021 - Got some new toys, and the Powerflex hybrid insert. The car has a bit more NVH now, but at least it feels like a car. Oh, and I don't think I took any pictures, but I also did the 034Motorsport Insuction kit, and a CTS turbo muffler delete. The spool noises are delightful.
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August 2021 - My first set of brand new wheels! We saw them on another GTI at an autocross. Supportive wife became pushy wife, and demanded that I buy them for the GTI. So here we are:
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non-GTI content, but I'm way too proud to not post it. My wife absolutely sending it at an autocross.
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August 2021 pt. II - Supportive wife helping build a mini bartop, I love how it came out. It makes me happy to go down and grab a beer from the fridge, poster is courtesy of my best friend.
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November 2021 - Got this weird gameboy. Wonder what it does?
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I'll tell you what it does. It heckin' SCOOTS. EQT Stage 1 tune really woke the car up. Little bit of clutch slip, but we'll take care of that soon enough.

Logs because I'm inevitably going to be looking for them later.

https://datazap.me/u/nineeightyone/eqt-stage-1-91-octane-93-fuel-used-log-1?log=0&data=7-11
https://datazap.me/u/nineeightyone/eqt-stage-1-91-octane-93-fuel-used-log-2?log=0&data=7-11
https://datazap.me/u/nineeightyone/eqt-stage-1-91-octane-93-fuel-used-log-3?log=0&data=7-11

December 2021 - It's cold out. Super annoying, but I found a way to scratch the itch. Got these fog light overlays, brought the fog lights inside for application. I think it pulls things together nicely. Oh, and I decided it was clutch time after all. So South Bend Stage 3 Daily went in, a little under 27k on the clock.
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Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
January 2022 - Man, these things are a work of art. Can't wait for it to be warm enough to install them. BFI Stage 1 engine and transmission mounts.
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April 2022 - Not a whole lot happening so far this year, lots of focus on the autocross car and house projects. But we're out for a birthday trip for tasty italian, and KoP Mall. Wife is hungry and doesn't give a damn about my photo, but I like the background. We also went to the zoo, which was super rad.
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also proud of her, doing the install on her new Koni Sports to get ready for the 2022 AX season. Speaking of which, 2022 was our first time together at Pocono. NEPA SCCA hosts some great events, and this was no exception.
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I'm also a bit of a sneakerhead, so these were only fitting. SB Dunk Gulf.
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September 2022 - Beach trip to Stone Harbor. I used to come here when I was a kid with my grandma, and she was a massive part of my life. She passed in 2020 before I got the GTI, which is a shame because she was one of the only members of my family who ever even feigned interest in my passion for cars. So it seemed fitting to take a trip to the same beach in the car I was hopeful to share with her. It was really fun to get to the same beach, eat the same icecream, the same pizza, the same breakfast place, all those things I enjoyed when I was young, but now with my dream car. (Note we did not stay in the beach house in the background, I just thought it was a nice backdrop).
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On the way back we also went to the Simeone Foundation, basically a racecar museum. I'm not going to clutter things up too much with a ton of photos, but if you're ever in the area it's well worth stopping by.
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Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
January 2023 - So, remember how I decided early on that a base model was worth it, because seats would be more difficult to get than the lights? Turns out not only was I wrong (PA inspection is real particular and the BEC lights don't have the requisite corner marker meaning I have to be extra nice to the inspection people), but also I keep hearing stories of people literally throwing out the plaid seats because nobody [else] wants them. So with lots of help from kind folks on the forum, I've got a plan for making these sweet seats work. I also got some fancy sequential mirror turn signals, and carbon fiber mirror caps.
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The GTI was trapped in the garage while our retaining wall was being rebuilt, but that's pretty well wrapped up at this point and I'm expecting to make progress on the seats soon. Now that we're up to date, we'll see if I can keep this thread up to date from here on out.
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19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
Great story and great build!

I can definitely relate to the GTI dream, my dad's dream car was always a GTI growing up (he had every version of MK1 Rabbit except the GTI) and I grew up in the back of his MKIV Golf until it became my first car when I got my license (I still own it and will never sell it). The GTI thus became one of my dream cars so it felt pretty special when it arrived.

Anyways congrats on getting your dream car, can't wait to see those seats installed! Also I'm shocked you've had trouble with those headlights and inspection, I painted the reflectors grey in my A4's headlights for the "E-Code" look and have never had a problem.
 

Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
Great story and great build!

I can definitely relate to the GTI dream, my dad's dream car was always a GTI growing up (he had every version of MK1 Rabbit except the GTI) and I grew up in the back of his MKIV Golf until it became my first car when I got my license (I still own it and will never sell it). The GTI thus became one of my dream cars so it felt pretty special when it arrived.

Anyways congrats on getting your dream car, can't wait to see those seats installed! Also I'm shocked you've had trouble with those headlights and inspection, I painted the reflectors grey in my A4's headlights for the "E-Code" look and have never had a problem.
That's awesome -- I recently sold my Mk4 wagon, which had all the love I could possibly give poured into it. I at least made sure it was headed to a good home, definitely better that it was going to get driven. Got any pictures of your Mk4? They're by far one of my favorites.

As for inspection, my understanding is that it's partially also due to my area -- an acquaintance I know via autocross told me he couldn't pass my wagon with "white" bumper marker bulbs, they had to be amber -- the lense was clear and that was no problem, but the incandescent white bulbs (which had a yellow/amber tint to them) weren't passable, and the local PD would pull me over immediately for them. I get it though, you gotta follow the rules.

Do you have pictures of the A4? My Golf was joey modded back in the day, and that was a fun time because it was the first time I'd ever really taken something apart that wasn't just bolted together. What a new world that was!
 

19birel

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Pittsburgh
Car(s)
MK7.5 - MK4 - B8.5
That's awesome -- I recently sold my Mk4 wagon, which had all the love I could possibly give poured into it. I at least made sure it was headed to a good home, definitely better that it was going to get driven. Got any pictures of your Mk4? They're by far one of my favorites.

As for inspection, my understanding is that it's partially also due to my area -- an acquaintance I know via autocross told me he couldn't pass my wagon with "white" bumper marker bulbs, they had to be amber -- the lense was clear and that was no problem, but the incandescent white bulbs (which had a yellow/amber tint to them) weren't passable, and the local PD would pull me over immediately for them. I get it though, you gotta follow the rules.

Do you have pictures of the A4? My Golf was joey modded back in the day, and that was a fun time because it was the first time I'd ever really taken something apart that wasn't just bolted together. What a new world that was!
Here's my beloved 2000 Golf, she hasn't seen much action over the past few years, but I've been stock piling some parts and hope to have her 100% this summer. It's a 2.slow 5-speed GLS, with a Bilstein/H&R cup kit, Techtonics Tuning hfc downpipe, Ansa Catback, and a few other bits here and there, nothing crazy, but it's been in the family since new.



Heres the A4, I bought this as an insurance write-off from the salvage auction (much like my GTI though it was rougher) in college and rebuilt it in my parents' garage. It's a 2013 Premium Plus 6MT Quattro, its Stage2+ (IE tune with JB4 stack), meth injected, Audi A7 big brakes, Stage 3+ clutch, lightweight fly wheel S-Line converted etc. The headlights were my interpretation of a Joey mod, I painted most of the silver bits inside black as well as the reflector grey.



Any pics of your MKIV wagon?
 

AzteCypher

Go Kart Champion
Location
Austin, TX
Car(s)
Mk7 Golf R
April 2021- In the dealership I saw that newer GTIs were shipping with a neat-looking lip on the factory hatch. I couldn't find a part number for it, so I went hunting for an alternative. Cue the SRS-TEC hatch lip, because it's got that subtlety I was after. After painting and installation, I like it.

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Got any more pics of this lip and where you picked it up from? I've been looking for something subtle like this.
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Very cool story - following.

Was the Mazda3 the first thing you autocrossed? I started autocrossing in a 2009 Mazda3i Touring. Was actually lots of fun though I chose to dump it for a Mazda2 to run STF for a few years before doing track days which has turned into a whole other level of addiction. My GTI replaced the 2 last year.
 

Rare Ara S3

Go Kart Champion
Location
Michigan
Car(s)
2017 Audi S3, GTI
Love those seats!
 

Nineeightyone

Autocross Champion
Location
Pennsylvania
Car(s)
20 CX5 19 GTI 10 MZ3
Any pics of your MKIV wagon?
Man, I love the look of that A4! And the Golf takes me back, my Golf was dark blue so the grill didn't stand out quite so nicely but it looks so good on the silver. I have a ton of photos of my wagon, I'll see if I can get down to just a couple.
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That last one is the last photo I took of it before I sold it, there's a really cool older guy in the area with a mk1 Rabbit, and I always wanted to get a photo of the two cars together.

Very cool story - following.

Was the Mazda3 the first thing you autocrossed? I started autocrossing in a 2009 Mazda3i Touring. Was actually lots of fun though I chose to dump it for a Mazda2 to run STF for a few years before doing track days which has turned into a whole other level of addiction. My GTI replaced the 2 last year.

Yep, my first time out was on the stock all seasons, though I had done some suspension work -- I was AWFUL. Slow, jerky, all the things you'd expect from a novice 😂 but it was fun, so I kept up with it, and then got my wife involved too. I autocrossed my Jetta for a couple seasons once I had it back in service (long story) and did a fair amount of work to it, but let's be honest -- an NA 2.0l in a mk4 was never going to be competitive, not when the best hope it had for classing was SMF or XA. I had been building my way to a turbo 8v, but right before things got really involved I took a step back and said to myself, am I actually going to finish this, or is the car going to sit in the garage unfinished for another year? That was the point at which I decided to sell it while it was still a running and driving, reasonably reliable car. I miss that car, it was like driving a fat gokart.

For the time being I'm back to autocrossing the Mazda3, and it's a very good car -- I'm not quiiiiite at the fullest extent of what I can do in the STS rulebook, but pretty close, and the car is just fantastic. The biggest thing holding me back at the moment is my own skill, which is a great place to be. The season up and coming I've got a fresh set of 225/45/17 RT660s wrapped around 17x7 RPF1s to go on, fresh Hawk HPS pads and RBF600 fluid, Koni Yellows, and we're stepping up to 80A durometer mounts. And a new tune to go with it, because my OVTune doesn't have the rev limiter raised, which is becoming more and more of a hinderance as I improve. Photos because nobody asked:
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mrmatto

Autocross Champion
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Car(s)
2024 GTI DSG
Nice build! And great to see another Mazda 3 owner. I’ve had a gen1 and a gen3 (both hatchback, both manual) over the years. Loved them!!
 
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