Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  Mk3 Volkswagen Golf Sport - 1.8T Engine Swap
Subscribe to the Free

Mk3 Volkswagen Golf Sport - 1.8T Engine Swap

Kipp Farrin’s '95 is an updated 300hp timeless classic

Thatcher Shultz
Aug 12, 2014
Photographer: Randy Williams

Kipp Farrin certainly isn't your average Volkswagen enthusiast, and that's just one of the reasons we like him... Kipp's somebody you have to meet in person to fully appreciate his personality and style. On the one hand, he's a typical Mainer, with one of the thickest New England accents you'll ever hear. Now take a gander at this 1995 VW Golf Sport powered by a 1998 1.8T AEB motor.

1995 volkswagen golf sport AEB swap 06 Photo 2/11   |   After trying to turbocharge the 2.0L 8v, Kipp did a 1.8T engine swap with hybrid turbo, ported head, Unitronic software, bigger injectors and full stainless steel exhaust

He was born and raised in Boothbay Harbor, the best-known town in the great state of Maine. It's a picturesque tourist town that exemplifies the state - green, cold, rocky, damp, welcoming.

Modified Volkswagens, however, might be the least popular vehicle in Boothbay where you aren't cool unless you drive a truck. Of course, that never bothered the Kippster, who built the Mk3 exactly how he wanted it.

1995 volkswagen golf sport euro front bumper 09 Photo 3/11   |   This is what a 1.8T engine swap will do for you!

At the age of 16, Kipp's first car was this bone-stock Volkswagen Golf Sport. He definitely didn't rush into the creation, preferring to take his time, never imagining it would one day have an engine swap and OEM+ styling. Actually, he took a really long time, but that's fine because the outcome was gorgeous and worth the wait.

Kipp's vision changed drastically over the years. Yet he remained consistent about his passion for aggressively wide wheels. For many years, the car was equipped with a set of 16x9" Borbet Type T wheels, which looked great but weren't quite right...

1995 volkswagen golf sport VR6 leather seats 05 Photo 4/11   |   VR6 leather seats and instruments bring a touch of class

He wanted something that couldn't be topped and his patience eventually paid off when a set of 17" Fikse FM5 wheels were found on a Porsche Forum. They had been used on a 996 track car and were pretty rough, but the price was right!

1995 volkswagen golf sport rieger side skirts 08 Photo 5/11   |   Mk3 Volkswagen Golf Sport - 1.8T Engine Swap

Kipp's friends at Independent Wheel sourced new polished outer lips and a pair of inner barrels to get the desired sizing; 17x8.5" front with 2.5" outers, and 17x9" rear with 3" outers. This gave the old school look he was after, but they also decided Audi Avus Silver paint for the FM5 centers would provide more contrast to the polished lips. Kipp understood wheels can make or break a car and, in our opinion, the FM5s definitely work their magic.

In order to accommodate the wide wheels, the fenders had to be pulled and rolled before the Mk3 VW was re-sprayed. It was at this point he also took the opportunity to fit a front-mount intercooler behind a smoothed fiberglass Euro bumper with molded Folger lip.

1995 volkswagen golf sport fikse FM5 wheel 07 Photo 6/11   |   Custom-built 16" Fikse FM5 wheels are the perfect complement to the bodywork and stance

Other exterior additions included Rieger "M3-style" side skirts and a Dietrich rear bumper. It was finished with a shaved tailgate, although yours truly would later provide "Projektzwo-style" custom mirrors for the build.

Kipp prides himself on doing the Mk3 work himself, but is first to admit the car wouldn't be what it is today without the help of friends like Jake Winslow at Rennen Performance. He had a big hand in the engine conversion that started out as an ATP turbo kit on the factory 2.0L 8v motor.

1995 volkswagen golf sport auto meter gauges 10 Photo 7/11   |   Boost gauge is always a good idea when using a manual boost controller

After testing the limits of this combination at the local New Hampshire drag strip, he walked away craving more. So a 1.8T 20v turbo engine swap was conducted with Jake's help. But, naturally, it wasn't any old 5v - the pair decided to fit a ported head to improve flow for the hybrid T3/T4 60-trim turbo that runs on Unitronic software and sits on VF mounts. There's also a New Beetle intake manifold, custom Rennen charge pipes as well as a downpipe with high-flow cat and a 2.5" Techtonics stainless steel exhaust with a Borla rear muffler.

1995 volkswagen golf sport VR6 leather seats 03 Photo 8/11   |   Mk3 Volkswagen Golf Sport - 1.8T Engine Swap

The finished VW motor dynoed about 300hp, so Jake also installed a Peloquin LSD, Techtonics flywheel and stage 3 Southbend clutch to harness the power.

Having built the Mk3 for his personal enjoyment, Kipp likes nothing more than a Sunday cruise with girlfriend, Elizabeth - who's supported his tuning passion for years. That's just as well because after getting paid to play with bulldozers and large trucks all day, he likes to go home and work on a project or two; whether it's one of his '64 Beetles, '83 GTI or maybe the '82 Volkswagen Caddy he's been restoring.

1995 volkswagen golf sport molded folger lip 02 Photo 9/11   |   Front-mount intercooler almost gives the game away

In fact, Kipp's living proof you should love what you do, and do what you love. And nobody can replace the joy he gets driving the car he built and the rest of us admire.

The only bittersweet caveat is that while his friends and family are able share in his enthusiasm, sadly Kipp's mother passed away before we could get these photos into print. She was always very supportive of her son and is missed by all her family.

1995 volkswagen golf sport shaved dietrich rear bumper 11 Photo 10/11   |   Mk3 Volkswagen Golf Sport - 1.8T Engine Swap

Tech Spec

1995 Volkswagen Golf Sport

Kipp Farrin
Boothbay Harbor, ME

1998 1.8-liter four-cylinder AEB 1.8T with ported head, T3/T4 60-trim turbo, Tial wastegate and dump tube, Unitronic software, manual boost controller, 310 injectors, VF mounts, New Beetle intake manifold, custom Rennen charge pipes painted Audi Avus Silver, downpipe, high-flow cat, 2.5" Techtonics cat-back stainless steel exhaust, Borla muffler, Yellow Top optima battery

1995 volkswagen golf sport rieger side skirts 04 Photo 11/11   |   Mk3 Volkswagen Golf Sport - 1.8T Engine Swap

VW 020 transmission, Techtonics lightweight flywheel, Southbend stage 3 clutch and pressure plate, Peloquin LSD

drilled and slotted rotors, stainless lines

Weitec coilovers, Euro Sport Accessories brace

Wheels & Tires
17x8.5" f, 17x9" r Fikse FM5 wheels with Audi Avus Silver centers, 15mm Motorsport Tech 5x130 adapters, 205/40 R17 f, 215/40 R17 r Falken FK452 tires

Euro front bumper with molded Folger lip, shaved Dietrich rear bumper, pulled and rolled fenders, Rieger side skirts, Projektzwo-style mirrors, shaved hatch, two-bar badgeless grille, smoked Hella Mk4-look headlights, smoked tail lights

VR6 leather seats, dyed black headliner, Momo shift knob, VR6 leather shift boot, Auto Meter gauges and pod, white VR6 gauge cluster

Alpine head unit, Total Mobil Audio amp, 12" JL Audio 12W3 subwoofer

Dad, Kelly, Elizabeth, Jake Winslow at Rennen Performance (, Thatcher Shultz at, Randy Williams, Dan Williams at Dan's Auto Repair, Todd Hyson, Mike Doyen, Randy Vail, Mike Wallace, Hooker Holbrook.

In loving memory of my mom, Robin Farrin. "May the wind always be at your back."

By Thatcher Shultz
3 Articles



It wasn’t the all-too-familiar Initial D series, nor was it the almost natural association with drifting that pulled Lester Donis’s attention to his two-toned 1986 Toyota Corolla GTS. It also wasn’t a feature story or any sort of social media influence that nudged him toward the iconic hatchback. Interestingly enough, his childhood encounter with a
RodrezNov 27, 2020
On Friday, November 27, 2020, a half dozen of our favorite MotorTrend hosts will be subjected to a series of holiday-themed automotive challenges that you, almost certainly, have never seen the like of before. But before all the Holiday Hooptie Challenge starts, let’s get to know one of the lucky contestants from All Girls Garage on the MotorTrend App
Jordon ScottNov 25, 2020
LOOKING BACK AT THE SUPER STREET COROLLA The new 2021 Toyota Corolla is an entry-level car that we’ve had a ton of experience with as we built a 2019 hatchback two years ago. With the help of our friends at Auto Tuned and a rendering by Jon Sibal, we transformed our little XSE into a
Sam DuNov 24, 2020
Putting down the first few sentences of a feature like this 1987 Honda CRX Si is a little tougher than usual. It’s not the familiar story of picking up an old, used Honda, adding wheels and a drop before giving in and going all out on a full-blown build. Furthermore, to be clear, it’s also
RodrezNov 24, 2020
Rodrez: It’s the measuring stick that offers as much speculation and attempts to discredit driver achievement as it does real-world data and raw, obsessively focused attempts to chip away at the clock. The Nurburgring serves as a standard by which most automakers set their sights. It arms internet debate specialists with numbers and comparisons by
Nick YekikianNov 21, 2020
Sponsored Links