Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Project Respray

           I should start by saying what a terrible flip-flopper of ideas I am. I could never decide on wheels, I want things to look a utmost certain and specific way, and I know I've frustrated a lot of people in the process. (Oops).

           It's really one of the shortcomings I find with the MKIV and VW in general. When the 20AE came out, I was half way through highschool, and by the time I graduated, the MKIV had already become iconic in the import culture. Most people attribute that fact to the body lines, the OEM styling, and the fact that it's customizable in 100+ different ways. But for me, I think I was drawn to it because I was/ am so hypercritical. I had to look at the car from every angle and ask: "why is this working", "what's not working here", etc. I found myself surrounded by enthusiasts -- some of those who appreciated the early MKIII.5 and it's early stages, others who modeled their cars after Porsche's, and everyone that only bought OEM grade product. There was really no bad idea when it came to making it one's own.

           When it came to respraying the car, I admit I originally had no intention. A good friend of mine was going to correct the mix-matched Bora R bumper I previously had painted, and they brought up the point that T-Red was such an expensive color, "you might as well choose your own color and repaint the front end for a little more." That's something I wanted to avoid. Later on that night however, I went to the local car and coffee hang out, and found myself parked next to a red Porsche Boxter. It became obvious -- this color fails by comparison.

-I had the boser hood I always wanted, I had the R32 four door skirts, and I had the Bora R bumper and a spare set of marker-deleted fenders. Why couldn't I just find a rear bumper and paint the whole car once over? Yes, that would be nice, but instead I opted to paint each section at a time because, well, I'm on a budget.

           The color of choice became Calypso Coral, a 1965-71 Ford paint, which happens to be one of my all time favorite colors. It also coincides with the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" ideology, I feel. Classic styling is often taken for granted. But especially now with the redux of modern muscle cars, we can look back at a 1970 Chevelle or Porsche 911 and appreciate their simplicity. Designers were obviously looking for the right shades of paint to reflect body lines, the right wheels and chrome accents to give the car curb appeal (which happens to stand out even a 1/2 century later). I believe if you can find the right template, the same process can be performed. Here's calypso coral on a 1969 Boss Mustang:

          This was an easy choice being that the exclusive VW paint series' for this generation were especially similar. Jazz Blue and Imola Yellow -although different in make-up, have similar qualities to that of the Ford orange. However, I'm beginning to realize I need to set limits on how much the GTI will transcend the Mustang qualities, for sure.

         Here are the fenders (side repeater light removed) and bumper (Bora R Line) with their fresh coat, along with the hood, which as you already know, has been extended and shaped: 

          The last component I needed was a rear bumper. I was hoping to find a votex series rear bumper, but unfortunately, the second I started shopping was the same time they were removed from the market. Something I also realized was that the closer I got to completion, the harder the decisions were to make. The last two pieces were wheels and the rear bumper, and with the shape of the R32, it's difficult to pull off the correct look without a large, monoblock style wheel or a three piece. Conventionality would simply not do in this instance.

          Ironically, however, this appeared in Canibeat a week later:

          Minus the extreme fender work, it made me realize I had never seen a fully shaved R32 bumper. It still maintained the right lines on the lower end, and combined with the solid red tail lights and shaved hatch, this would be a perfect example. But it still didn't solve my wheel problem. Here it is:

          So, when I think about wheels, I think of the countless hours I've spent scouring the internet for ideas. I looked at Rotiform BLQ's, Avante Garde Fuch's, solid faced steelies, and I'd find myself looking at Ford Mustangs as often as GTI's.

        Porsche styling also became a factor. Because I was hoping to limit the amount of chrome to the wheels and headlights, I began considering all possible color options between door handles, mirrors, wheel faces and roll cages.

        It finally took a suggestion from Derek to get the ball rolling. In 2004, one of Exklusiv Motorsport's customers picked up half a set of Kerscher KCS's. Derek sourced out the other two and had them ordered from Germany. A year later, they were on this 337 GTI on the cover of Eurotuner:

        When the car was parted out a few year after, the Kerscher's were picked up by a friend named Henry, who occasionally had them on his wagon. The KCS's seemed like a great idea, being that they could work in both yellow gold and black. They also have many of the similar qualities I'm looking for in order to marry the two (or rather now 3) ideas.

      And here they are:


          These KCS's are 18x8.5, ET31 and 18x10, ET28 and weigh well within the low 20's.

          The tires are no good to me, being that the original setup was a 205/40 for the 8.5 and a monster 255/40 for the rear -- that and the fact that they're more than five years old. If you look closely at the original picture, you'll see how low the front end of the GTI is sitting as a result. I think it'd be best to shoot for something to compliment the two.

          I'll be purchasing Yokohama S Drives, in 215/40 and 235/40. This shows a difference in size that's 200th's of an inch apart -- so the front and rear tire will look almost exactly alike. 

The last component to this process were a set of head lights. I really wanted to go with an OEM HID replica set, but I couldn't justify the price - especially when, in my opinion, they really don't sync up with the OEM styling. Solution:
Depo/ InPro/ Helix make a "joey-modded" matte black head light unit. I was afraid it was going to be a little on the nose, jumping back and forth between mustang and golf, but I can honestly say I have high hopes for these. 

This is also what I'm considering -- for this car, and most commonly for hatchbacks (I've surmised), much of the styling and many of the color combinations carry from head light to wheel and mirror caps, to roll bars and cages and vice versa. On the Golf, it's a little trickier.  

Bright sequential colors of these objects can easily contrast. But if you think in terms of textures, they're much more applicable. Glosses, mattes, satins, brushed and anodized textures/ patterns can be far more subtle and won't take away from the overall dynamic of the car. And as I've said with chrome, you want it in the background - hence, you'll always see it matched with black on this combo.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post - I've been looking for something to reassure me that my husband isn't crazy for wanting to do some extensive work on HIS vehicle. It's probably bad that I'm not even sure what he are not my speciality! But he seems determined to go for it (whatever it is he's doing), and reading your success story has made me feel a little easier about the time commitment he wants to put in. Appreciate your help!
    Grace Watson |