In recent years we've seen more instances of neon colors used to bring a splash of fun to otherwise sober European cars. And Andy Crutcher is just one of the latest Dub devotees who broke up his silver sled with a tinge of lime green, making sure the appearance didn't sour the performance.
When Andy took ownership of the GTI he began to modify it almost immediately. And while he appreciated the power of its stock 1.8T motor, he yearned for more and swapped in an R32 VR6 that was bored to 3.3L. And what's more: "All the work done to the car was done by me!" Crutcher stated. "It wasn't built by a shop of any kind!"
The European R32 engine cover is the frosting on the combustion cake made with forged JE pistons, Integrated Engineering rods, plus a ported and polished head. Timing on this powerful motor is handled by stage 2 GIAC programming, ensuring the engine delivers without interruption to the swapped six-speed transmission with its Peloquin LSD.
At the time of writing, Andy didn't have any dyno figures but showed impressive acceleration during our photo shoot. And as a bonus, the tunnel we were shooting in let the GTI slice its way through traffic while the 2.5" pipe rang gloriously in our ears.
Once he'd gone ahead with the engine work its was reined in by an OEM big-brake conversion. Eibach Pro-Street coilovers and sway bars kept the car flat through the kink at the end of the tunnel. The Falken rubber wrapped around 18" Schmidt Revolution Space Line rims brought style and poise as the GTI.
Even with its bright green wheels, the VW was more memorable thanks to its color-matched Weicher's four-point rollcage. It contrasts the bamboo trunk, floors and dash that give an interesting counterpoint. On the exterior, Andy deleted the hood and bumper notch, rear wiper and emblem. He then added Euro bumpers, Hofele R32 side skirts and OEM Euro front lip.
Despite its look-at-me highlights, this GTI has some authentic engine mods and exterior enhancements that raise it above most cars that opt for simple wheel and suspension upgrades. And with so much done in his home garage, you have to respect Andy's ability to create something he can be proud of.
2003 VW GTI
3.2L VR6 24v, bored to 3.3L with 84.5mm, 8.4:1 forged JE pistons, Integrated Engineering rods, ARP head, main, rod bolts and studs, ported and polished head, Schrick 272° cams, HD valve spring, titanium retainers, 2.5" test pipe with 42 Draft Designs O2 adapter, 2.5" custom exhaust with Magnaflow muffler and tip, stage 2 GIAC software, S3 washer/coolant tank cover, battery cover, Euro R32 engine cover
six-speed transmission swap, Spec stage 5 clutch, lightened flywheel, Peloquin limited-slip differential, BFI transmission mount, WRD dog-bone inserts
Eibach Pro Street coilers and sway bars, Powerflex front control arm bushings, Audi TT rear control arm bushings,
Wheels & Tires
18x9.5" f, 18x10.5" r Schmidt Revolution Space Line wheels, 215/40 R18, 255/35 R18 r Falken tires
312mm front rotors, stock rear brakes
Euro front and rear bumpers, Euro 25th Anniversary front lip and rear valance, JOM badgeless grille, shaved notch and bumper notch, Hofele R32 side skirts, shaved VW emblem, deleted rear wiper, Euro headlights, Hella R32 tail lights, smoked Hella side markers
custom carbon fiber seats, Sparco four-point harnesses with Schroth pads, 25th Anniversary shift boot, knob and e-brake, GLI gauge cluster, bamboo florin, trunk paneling and dashboard, suede covering pillars and headliner, painted trim pieces and Weichers four-point roll-bar
Alpine DH900 head unit with 500GB hard-drive, 12" Boston Acoustics sub, clarion amp