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Readers' Project Cars - Garage Projects

Baker Returns, Wuste Wagon And More.

Baker Returns

After three months, Derek Baker’s ’91 VW Jetta is nearly ready for the street. Readers will remember him from et 1/08 with its VR6 turbo swap and Borbet wheels. Today, the Mk2 is revamped with a polished, chromed and copper-plated 2.9-liter VR6, fitted with an 02A tranny inside a shaved bay.

Over the winter, the Jetta went under construction to evolve from its show car status to become a semi-daily driver. The staggered-six received Mega Squirt injection and OE OBD2 components, while still maintaining the wire tuck. The motor was also taken apart and rebuilt for daily abuse. Aesthetically, some engine parts were powdercoated grey, while the valve cover and oil pan were treated to a black textured finish for durability. All this work inevitably removed most of the polish and chrome, except for a few accents and the copper tranny parts. The bay was re-painted red to finish it off.

The exhaust was switched for a stainless system to withstand the weather, while a turn-down tip keeps it stealthy.

As for the wheels, the BBS RS were formerly cream, but Derek painted them grey with semi-gloss black barrels and lips. Black Forest Industries supplied its 0.25" polished caps.

There wasn’t much done to the exterior and interior, except repainted flares and moldings, quad round headlights, color-matched mirrors and a new cluster.

We’ll have another feature on Derek’s Jetta when the PA weather improves.

Wuste Wagon

Last month we introduced Brandon Chasin’s ’03 VW Jetta GLS Wagon. For those who don’t know, Brandon masterminds the Wuste car show inLas Vegas each year. This year’s event will be the fifth where he unveils this personal project.

After 200 hours of grinding, smoothing and filling, Ozsport from Campbell, CA finished shaving the bay. Now the wagon is being transported to AM Customz for paint. Brandon also sourced Aristo Noble wheels from DPE for the project.

More updates will follow, including the VR6 engine and tranny build as well as air-ride. At the time of writing, Brandon has 90 days to finish the project, so we should have more to show you next month.

Get Richie

We ran into Richie Weekes at H20 International ’10 (et 12/10). Not your usual Mk2, he popped the hood to reveal a custom 16-gallon fuel cell. He had accomplished the unthinkable converting his ’92 GTI into a mid-engine VR6 12v in his garage at home.

The engine’s been upgraded to offer neck-breaking power. Parts included a T70 turbo, custom 3" exhaust, short-runner intake manifold, cams and uprated fuel components. The car also featured Bride seats, G60 flares and 16x9" Etoile wheels.

This past winter, the GTI went under the knife again. On the agenda was a rejuvenated exterior, wheels, interior and more power.

The body will receive Euro fenders and big bumpers, new rear quarter panels and a shaved hood. As for color, Richie’s father will be in charge of painting the Porsche Schiefer metallic.

The Mk2 will wear classic 16x7/8" BBS RS, while inside it gets a Corrado dash and console, along with an eight-point rollcage.

Finally, the VR6 will receive a larger Holset HX52 turbo with 4" exhaust, more aggressive cams and larger injectors. Friend Kevin Black will be in charge of configuring the DTA P8 Pro standalone and Snow Performance water/meth.

Hockman E30

This ’91 BMW 318is started with red paint and no powertrain. But that changed after 12/09 when Michael Hockman bought the car from Westtown Auto Source. Dreaming of a showstopper, his mission is nearly complete after 18 months of tedious work.

To start, the bay was shaved for an S50 M3 motor with hidden wires. For more power, the 3.2L was upgraded with headers, intake, exhaust and chip to put down 260whp and 244 lb-ft.

The body was also shaved of its locks, antenna and gas door. Michael added an OE is lip with splitter, European grilles, trim and headlights, plus custom BMW Motorsport door handles. The entire shell was repainted in BMW Sepang Bronze metallic.

For the chassis, 17x8/9" iForged Senekas were mounted with an Open Road Tuning custom air-ride setup.

While it already looks amazing, the E30 has some work remaining, including the interior and Bagyard front air components. Stay tuned...

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