Volk Wheels

Presenting Zeke Young’s Mk3 GTI turbo. Wait scratch that: This isn’t even a GTI technically. It’s a 1995 Volkswagen Golf Sport. But that’s kind of irrelevant at this point, because it’s been swapped with a 1.8T & mated to a Corrado G60 transmission with limited slip. It definitely punches above its weight. But you know what? 

lowered MK3 GTI

1.8T swap MK3 Volkswagen

It’s not even about the power

It’s about the whole package. I’m honestly burned-out on car culture being so brainwashed with specs & numbers. We’ve conquered FAST guys. Hell, a Tesla can go 0-60 in like 2 seconds… yet every last molecule of COOL has been sanitized out of those things. It’s one of the quickest cars on the road, and ALSO one of the most generic. An automotive eunuch. Listen: It’s not how fast you go… it’s how you go fast. So might I suggest, if you don’t do-so already…

swapped MK3 GTI

MK3 gti steering wheel

Volk Wheels

Focus less on the statistical side of speed, and more on emotional side of it… 

Siri is limited to numbers & data. That’s her ceiling… but not yours. Humans are miraculous & complex beings with souls. From deep within, we crave passion, connection, nostalgia, intensity, camaraderie, life, etc. Chasing numbers without any greater sense of perspective, is essentially like feeding your soul paste.

Zeke’s 1.8T swapped Mk3 VW…

Zeke Young is a VAG fanatic (that’s Volkswagen-Audi-Group you pervs). And he runs a Euro/diesel/Sprinter tuning & repair shop called Zeke’s Autowerks in Asheville, NC. For those of you on the West Coast who’ve never been, Asheville is an awful place & you’d never wanna move there. Anyway…

MK3 GTI turbo

The whole purpose behind this Mk3… 

Is to rip local mountain roads, turn mundane into memorable, and put a smile on Zeke’s face. But – that smile wouldn’t stay smiling for long if the car was a perpetual headache. In other words, it couldn’t be his therapy if it made him insane. So to that point, the “wise car-builder” in Zeke built this 1.8T MK3 to a mild 200-something horsepower. Do not overbuild! But also – do not be fooled…

That might not sound like blistering horsepower in today’s world. Ahhh – but it’s more than just power. This goes back to the fundamentals of performance. Because with a lightweight, grippy, strong-braking, limited-slip car focused on agility & momentum (and a decent driver mod)… you’ll leave a lot of folks with with a lot more power trying to figure out why all their math isn’t mathing. And that’s half the fun! See…

Gold Sport GTI

That’s what the GTI was all about since the Mk1… 

It’s about filling the mirrors of more powerful, more expensive sports cars. That’s the hot-hatch recipe, and GTI wrote it! I know I know, this technically isn’t a GTI… semantics. But somewhere along the way, we’ve lost sight of what a hot-hatch is all about. Here’s a hint: It’s not really about 400+ horsepower, 2-pedals, and a $40,000+ price tag. We straight-up don’t need all this technology, cost, & complication to have a good time. And one can argue that modern hot-hatches have kind of become the ‘establishment cars’ they used to terrorize. And – I’m just speaking in my own voice here, but that’s part of why the energy has left the chat at today’s Volkswagen. Maybe some of those euro suits need to get back into an old smelly GTI & rip some curvy roads. Couldn’t hurt. 

Photos by Eli at Parallax Collective

1.8T MK3 GTI

tire stickers

1995 Volkswagen Golf Sport

AWP 1.8T swap

Reflect Tuning – Stage-2 off the shelf map 

225TT turbo outlet pipe & intake manifold 

TDC Shop swap harness 

Corrado G60 02A transmission 

Quaife differential 

02J shift cables with euro Polo shift box  

Sachs SRE clutch 

Techtonics Tuning 1.8T swap downpipe 

Fabless Manufacturing hydro clutch conversion 

The Werks custom exhaust 

Wilwood calipers with Corrado G60 rotors 

ISC street coilovers 

Neuspeed rear swaybar 

Sparco steering wheel & Circuit VTR seat

15-inch Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 wheels

Yokohama advan neova AD08R tires

Thanks to…

My wife Jen for all the help & support. Chris for the driveline hookup. And Dave at TDC Shop for the harness work. Carter at The Werks for the exhaust. Steve for the unobtainium polo shift box.

90s hot hatch