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Make Mine Custom

Michael Shartsis
Apr 1, 2000

Scott’s starting platform was a ’95 Jetta A3. Onlookers first notice the monochromatic white paint scheme combined with massive 19-inch König alloy wheels and Brembo brakes. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface. A closer look reveals many more details inside and out on this Volkswagen.

Centra enlisted the talents of Competition Soundwerks and Stitchcraft Custom Interiors for inside upgrades. The Jetta sports an elaborate audio/ video/navigation system from Alpine Electronics. While sitting in race-inspired Sparco seats with RCI five-point harnesses, Scott views his system prompts via an Alpine CVA-1000 motorized monitor surrounded by a Trim Master carbon-fiber package in the dash. The bench-style rear seating area has also been modified to match the stylish front buckets and plays host to a Clarion VCP for on-screen video enjoyment. Alpine CHA-5604 6-disc and CHA-1214 12-disc CD changers located in the trunk provide an 18-disc CD selection while dual Alpine SWR-304E 12-inch subwoofers crank out the bump needed for thump music reproduction. A Sony Playstation is also included in the mix for showtime GT competition. During those ignition-off affairs, the Jetta is powered by a Cascade Audio power supply. Mid-range sounds within the A3 come from Alpine speaker separates while two MRV-1502 and a single MRV-F505 power amplifiers provide 2,500 watts of broadcasting juice via Scosche wiring.

A Sony camcorder has been attached to an Autopower four-point rollcage for high-speed movie making. Engine vitals inside the Jetta are monitored via Auto Meter instrumentation while driving input is handled via a Motostyle leather-wrapped OEM air-bag steering wheel and Räzo shift knob, pedals, and e-brake handle.

Suspensionwise, this German compact sports a heavily massaged chassis. For damping, threaded Koni coilovers matched with progressive-rate Eibach coil springs can be found at each corner. There are antiroll bars measuring 25/28mm fore and aft. Eibach front and rear strut supports were also installed for added stiffening. Next, massive 13.5/12.0-inch Brembo two-piece rotors complete with free-floating four/two-piston calipers and carbon/Kevlar pads with stainless lines were installed. This combination of race-bred performance components creates a sport-tuned package suited for average driving conditions as well as high-g cornering.

A look under this Volkswagen’s hood reveals the factory 2.0L dressed to impress in performance accessories from industry leaders ABD, AMS, Bosal, Eurospeed, Hose Techniques, K&N, Top Gun, and Nology. For better breathing, the four-cylinder powerplant draws air through a K&N filter attached to a Eurospeed air-intake tube. Spent fumes exit through a Bosal tubular header and 2½-inch stainless steel after-cat Sebring exhaust featuring DTM-style carbon-fiber tips. Valve timing has also been altered for increased performance with the installation of ABD’s 260 camshaft and Eurosport adjustable sprocket. Spark has also been upped via Nology ignition and wires. AMS performed ECU tuning to bring everything together, and, for an extra boost of horsepower, a Top Gun nitrous oxide system has also been installed

Exterior enhancements on Scott’s Jetta make for a clean European appeal. Just the right mods to make for a sano statement without the gaudy look that plagues the Japanese import scene. The Gen-III four-door features a Racing Series Wings West aero styling package complete with trunk-mounted Commando wing. Joe Delio of the Paint Shop provided paint and installation expertise, while Robert Wilson from Modern Image Signworks topped the sheetmetal hue with carbon-fiber–look vinyl “roll call” graphics.

Scott enjoys acceptance from both the Japanese compact car and German crowd with this high-class, high-performance Jetta III. Sincere thanks are extended to Joe at The Paint Shop, John at South County Autosport, Jason and John at Competition Soundwerks, Revo and Allen at Stitchcraft, Joe at König, Steve at Alpine, BJ at Meguiar’s, and wife Kymberly, daughter Amanda, and son Brandon for support and assistance in the construction of this award-winning water-cooled Volkswagen. Did we mention Scott’s Jetta won the coveted Meguiar’s Hottest Car Competition this past summer? Yep. And several other prized SoCal titles.

By Michael Shartsis
38 Articles

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