Matt Lippincott has been around Volkswagens all his life. Growing up in Allentown, PA near Philly, all his buddies had Dubs of every model and year. Yet he could never afford one, let alone modify one on his tight student budget.
"I swore to myself the second I got a real job, I'd buy a VW," he recalled. After graduating college he moved to Las Vegas where he landed a career as a high school art teacher. The 27 year-old could finally afford his dream car...
"I originally looked for a used 20th Anniversary GTI or something because it took six months for me to actually like the Mk5," Matt admitted. But he came to his senses eventually and put a down payment on this Candy white '07 GTI five-door.
Since this was Matt's first VW, he was overwhelmed in the beginning, not knowing what parts to buy or tuners to visit. "I did a lot of stupid things at first, like put a German flag on the car," he laughed. "But I spent more time researching online and fell in love with the European OEM+ look."
Five months later, Matt ripped off all the "garbage" parts and started the journey towards a clean GTI with a good stance. He sourced secondhand parts such as wheels and lowering springs.
"I first saw the Stahl S3 wheels on a Mk5 GTI at Waterfest '07," he explained. "I swore to myself I'd own the wheels, so I saved and got a massive tax return. That's when the same car went for sale and the owner still had the wheels..."
The 18x8.5'' front and 18x9.5'' rear multi-piece rollers were unfortunately trashed after enduring several PA winters. So he stripped and refinished the lips and damaged centers.
Once the wheels were sparkling, Matt resumed his OEM+ masterplan with European-spec Golf bumpers and a Votex front lip. "The front bumper was beat to hell and the lip was broken," he told us. But with the help of Proficient Auto Body, the parts were patched up and shaved.
Continuing, a badgeless grille and filled hood tidied the front-end, while Votex skirts gave the flanks more definition. On the rear, the hatch and exhaust cut-out were filled for an ultra-clean look. With simple modifications to this point, Matt decided to get crazier with the stance. He ditched the springs for Koni coilovers, slamming the GTI without resorting to air-ride. Then he rebuilt the wheels again. New lips and bolts were sourced to increase the widths 0.5'' all round. Camber was also added to the rear, allowing the stretched tires to fit under the stock fenders.
As for performance, Matt treated the 2.0T to APR software and exhaust, plus a Neuspeed intake. After four years as his daily driver, we have to commend Matt on a job well done. He owns one of the cleanest VWs in Nevada and has become an integral part of the Vegas community, joining the Dunkin' Dubs car club. "This is the first car I've owned and modified, and it will stay with me forever. I love it, and the whole VW scene," he concluded.
2007 VW GTI
Owner: Matt Lippincott
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder 16v turbo with APR software and 3'' turbo-back exhaust, Neuspeed intake, Eurojet Racing PCV check valve system
Suspension: Koni coilovers
Wheels & Tires: 18x9'' front, 18x10'' rear Stahl S3 wheels with 215/40 R18 front, 225/40 R18 rear Falken FK-512 tires
Exterior: OE Euro Golf front bumper with shaved rub strips and filled hood notch, Euro Golf rear bumper with deleted exhaust cut-out, five-bar grilles with Euro HID foglights, OE Votex front valance and side skirts, badgeless grille, B6 mirror caps, blue aspherical mirror glass, rear wiper delete, stubby antenna, shaved hatch, LED city lights
Interior: OE Euro vent tray, dash cubby and cupholder, LED lighting, hardwood trunk
Audio/Visual: Waywell touchscreen nav head unit, 12'' JL Audio W3 sub, Alpine amp
Thanks: Alyssa, Mike Mandel at Proficient Auto Body, Dunkin' Dubs, Brandon Chasin