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Customer Cars – Harkz’s Dragon Green MK3 Golf!

VW Parts International Blog:
Customer Cars – Harkz’s Dragon Green MK3 Golf!

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After the fantastic response received on Rob’s VR6, it seemed only fair to cover another Customer Car! Unfortunately as many of you are aware I disappeared off for some rather important surgery to repair the mess that is my right arm – so for those of you looking forward to a new feature, I am deeply sorry, I don’t plan on having another operation for the foreseeable future! However, from my heart thankyou for all of the well wishers sending messages while I was in hospital! Anyway, enough about me, let’s get on with the task in hand!

4 years ago, Harkz Gill picked up this Dragon Green VR6 Golf MK3, and in his words, “It was a mess”. Interior pieces were missing, rust everywhere, and corroded rubber bushings all round. It was clear that this VR previously had a tough paper-round! However, unfazed by the task ahead of him, Harkz got straight to work, starting by replacing any rusty or rounded nuts and bolts on the chassis with OEM replacements from us at VW Parts International. Following that, the standard suspension was swapped out for some BC Racing coilovers. This was a perfect time to start replacing the old and corroded rubber bushings. and Harkz bought a Full Powerflex Polyurethane Bush Set from us at VWPI. The stance was then completed with a set of 17x8j BBS LM replicas.

So now the VR was starting to feel a little more healthy and tight from behind the wheel. Now was a perfect time to start on the appearance aesthetically, as the engine was strong, and the chassis tight. However the paint was bubbling with surface rust, and blistering from the sun. There were also small scratches and dings all over the car. To fix this properly, it would either take a huge number of man hours every day after work, or some time in a body shop. Harkz chose the latter, however he wasn’t just going to throw in a standard car for paint. Oh no, there were many pieces to be upgraded and changed, starting with a full Vento front end. US front and rear bumpers were added to the parts pile, along with a US tailgate. Wingmirrors taken from a MK3.5 cabrio were chosen as they give a MK3 a nice modern touch. Finally, Harkz got back on our site and bought a pair of Upper Air Intake Vents for the front bumper, a must have if your car isn’t factory fitted with front fog lights or your looking to feed in more cold air to the VR6 engine bay!

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Once all US and Vento parts had been resprayed in Dragon Green, the body of the car was also de-rusted, de-dinged and given a fresh lease of life with perfect original Dragon Green Paint. This surely was turning into one clean green restored machine! Harkz now turned his attention to lighting, because now that there was a USDM style, a few things needed wiring differently. US side markers were added, and wired up from the original indicators. The amber side lights were also then spliced into the factory side lights to complete the USDM look. Finally, the Vento headlights were taken off, split, and “Joeyd”, meaning the chrome backing painted black, which when reassembled gives a really great look, while still maintaining the factory lighting brilliance. This completed the exterior, and finished off what has become one of the most beautiful examples of a Dragon Green MK3s the UK has seen!

Harkz’s final points of interest were the sound of the car, and the interior styling. He purchased and installed a full VR6 Exhaust System and De-Cat Replacement Pipe, and let the V6 breathe a little easier with a K&N 57i Induction Kit. Now it was looking fresh with a better than factory re-spray, lovely wheels, great stance and finally there was an engine note to match! Harkz’s attention was finally focussed on the interior. The grey pillar trims were replaced for black, and the roof lining was re-trimmed in black faux suede. A wooden rimmed steering wheel from a B5 VW Passat was a welcomed touch of class, along with Audi TT knee bars onto the centre console. Partner this with a far more modern looking MK3.5 cabrio dimple dash and the driver’s seat was fast becoming a lovely place to be! As a last addition, Harkz made up a custom MK4 style appearance for his original clocks, finishing the modernised style.

Well harkz, what can I say? This is one of the class leading MK3s in the UK, and quite possibly one of the cleanest examples of a Dragon Green Golf remaining on the roads! The Vento front end is always a popular addition, along with BBS wheels. So from an onlooker’s standpoint, this lean green cruising machine is breaking necks daily.  From all of the team at VW Parts International, thank you for your custom, we love the car, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

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Customer Cars – Rob’s Golf Mk3 VR6 with a difference!

VW Parts International Blog
VW Parts International Customer Cars – Rob’s Golf Mk3 VR6 with a difference!

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So what a brilliant feedback we’ve had from the first of our featured cars! Safe to say you guys & girls love to see how other people build their cars and hear their stories, so I’ll go ahead and treat you to another one here and now! This time round is another Mk3 VR6, owned by a keen member of UKMK3s and frequent customer to VWPI, Mr Rob Palmer himself. So take a seat, buckle up and listen hard, this one is well worth your time!

When Rob bought his ’97 VR6 in August of 2012, it was a clean, totally stock example. It was the perfect canvas for making something special. It was found on eBay, being sold by the neighbour of a 75 year old gent who’d bought it new back in 1997, and because he no longer drove it, he had kept it in a garage covered in boxes for the previous 7 years! From the outset, Rob had a specific point in his mind that he wanted the Golf to reach. Show car was always the goal. However a few bits and pieces naturally on a car of this age had to be taken care of from the outset, starting with the common rusty front wings. Rob got online and purchased a pair of OEM Replacement Wings/Fenders for both the Near Side and the Off Side from us here at VWPI. Given he was changing the wings, he decided to change to some smoked side repeaters which are far more stylish and in-keeping with the look.

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Given the car had been sat for so long, naturally a few of the rubber bushings around the car had begun to perish which is totally normal over time. While Rob was treating the car to new parts, he saw it fit to upgrade everything. If you are going to do some of it, you may as well do all of it. So Rob got back onto us here at VW Parts International and picked up a Powerflex Complete Upgrade Bush Kit. Air ride was always on the list of upgrades from the get-go, so Rob had a chassis notch cut into the front chassis legs to cater for some serious lows! This was initially tied in with a set of lovely 16 inch Schmidt Modernline alloy wheels, and a Ravern 2 way air ride kit. Given the Chassis was having work done, Rob being Rob, the decision was made to have all the sills repaired and replaced where needed. This sure was turning into one heck of a future proofed car!

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By this point, a substantial amount of effort had been poured into both the chassis and exterior styling, but the interior was still stock. This was about to change massively. Firstly, Rob bought himself a pair of Recaro CS front seats, which he had re-trimmed in blood red by Transcal Scotland. The OEM bench seat was then matched in the same red leather. The same was said for the door cards and the parcel shelf. The dashboard was also matched to the red interior by Trim Deluxe. Grey plastics and roof lining were now looking tired in the car in comparison with the new OEM+ leather, so a black headliner was swapped in. Black sunroof switches, sun visors, roof handles and A/B/C pillars were also fitted in black to complete the red/black combo. Phew, what a lot of work! Of course it doesn’t stop there though. Air ride switches and controls were built into the centre console with LED lights to portray a more OEM+ appearance. In the back, a full boot build was fashioned with the air tank centred and LED illumination from under a false floor. To complete the interior, a full Alpine audio system including a V12 amp and sub was installed. So styling, comfort, ergonomics and audio by this point were covered, along with the chassis and bodywork outside. It was at this point that Rob realised he was legitimately entering the “Show And Shine” sector of the show car scene, and rightly so!

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So, what remained for this beautiful MK3? Well naturally after this much work, you can’t just leave a bone stock VR6 under the bonnet can you?! Rob definitely had ambition, and in this case, naturally aspirated power was the focus. But first of all, as with the rest of the car, a few parts around the engine bay needed replacing to freshen up the appearance. This started with a new Coolant Bottle Reservoir from us at VWPI. While he was on our site, he found more to his liking, so the engine was then lifted by a 10mm raise kit, and all fittings and fixtures were replaced for brand new ones. The oil sump was then fitted with a sump guard for protection, which was a sensible idea given how low this MK3 was capable of going! Clean air flow was taken car of by a RAM air filter, heading into a hugely sought after Shrick intake manifold. I can safely say I’m very jealous on this mod alone, as no doubt almost all VR6 owners would be! Chasing after every spare horse he could get, Rob then deleted his air conditioning, which rumour has it can release a further 1-2hp. The head was rebuilt with Newman Race cams, and the exhaust was swapped out for a sports cat fabricated with a pair of 3in outlets mated to a custom made exhaust system by Infinity. The front wiring looms were then tucked to finish the bay with a functional but clean appearance. To finish off the brain received a remap, estimating the total peak power now at 200hp!

The final touch after many hours of paint work and polishing, and the most noticeable and recent modification was the switch from Schmidt over to BBS wheels. This beautiful VR6 now rolls on a set of 16inch 8j BBS RS alloys which were refurbished by Felgenwerkes with a 1 inch lip up front, and a 1.25 inch lip on the rear.

Well Rob, what can we say? This was a huge undertaking, and more than anything I’d like to congratulate you from the team here at VW Parts International on a fantastically re-finished and restored MK3. For us at VWPI, the MK3 is the special one and to see someone not only change the styling so beautifully, but also to so thoroughly future proof the car for many more years to come, we can give nothing but huge respect! And massive praise!  Because of the choices made by Rob from the outset, we are sure that this Golf can be enjoyed by both himself, and by the masses for years to come! In short, 10/10. Fabulous!

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Customer Cars – Steve’s Golf Mk3 VR6!

VW Parts International Blog
Customer Cars – Steve’s Golf Mk3 VR6

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It is with great pleasure as the publisher of the VWPI blog that I can begin a new section to our blogs. Every week there will now be a new “Customer Car”! Every week a full feature will be written here specifically about one customer’s ride. Where it began, where it’s at, where it’s headed. A full description with a list of all modifications. Maybe you’ve looked at this person’s car and always wondered what lights they have, wheels etc. Here, you’ll find out!

Anyway, that’s enough intro, we welcome to the first VWPI Customer Car Blog – Steve Whitby’s  Dragon Green Golf Mk3 VR6!

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Owned for just over a year and a half, I think we can all agree this is one tastefully built car. Many subtle mods was the key for Steve, so he’s added countless tiny details to give it a hugely appealing OEM+ effect. For the exterior, he’s fitted genuine Hella Twin headlights, with the surrounds painted in matching Dragon Green. The fogs and blanks have been tinted in yellow which both nods toward the euro scene and compliments the beautifully kept, waxed and lovingly polished green. The mirror glass has been swapped out for those found on US spec golfs. Steve is now forever reminded “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!” Round the back he’s simply smoked his GTI rear lights. The wheels are 16x8j Rota D154s with 10mm 5×100 spacers all around, wrapped in Nankang NS20 rubber. A healthy drop all around on FK AK Street Coilovers completes the look beautifully!

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Under the bonnet Steve’s continued his theme and not to play too heavily with an already brilliant engine, he’s kept it simple here as well. He’s added a ram-air filter with hidden cold air feed to keep it breathing, and treated the V6 to some NGK Iridium spark plugs so she purrs like a happy kitty. Couple the upgrade plugs with a set of  uprated 10mm red HT leads courtesy of us at VW Parts International, and Steve’s got himself a brilliant flow of current to all 6 cylinders! Not only this, but he frequently services everything like a true enthusiast, and only runs the engine on Castrol Magnatech oil. The exhaust is comprised of a currently standard manifold running into a custom made de-cat straight through. You’ll hear him a mile off!

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The interior is finished with more subtle mods, such as a mk3.5/4 steering wheel, a mk5 gear knob, carbon fibre hydro dipped trim and US Spec Cup Holders to give it some practicality also. All Mk3 Golf owners know the lack of cup holders on UK/Euro spec models is frustrating, so we support Steve’s decision to retro fit these!

Steve’s got many future plans for this VR, such as hyrdo-dipping other parts within the engine bay, but all we can say is that where he’s at so far, we approve! The love shown and the good nature in which modifications have been done for not only styling but also future-proofing is always going to get a thumbs up from us! Mr Steve, we love it!

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Featured Rides!

VW Parts International Blog
Featured Rides

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I think it’s safe to say that everyone loves it when other people appreciate their ride. It’s one of those feelings that to a car lover not much else comes close to. We’ve all put in the hours of work on our cars, modifying, tweaking, maintaining, and it’s awesome when our ride then gets the credit from others it deserves!

This is where you guys fit in! On the VW Parts International Blog, I would like to personally type up features as a little nod of approval for all your hard work from all of us at VWPI! If we have enough feedback with this I will type up a feature weekly to fit in amongst the normal blog posts.

So, you may ask what you need to do. It’s really simple! Comment below or better drop me an email to chris@vwpartsinternational.com. In your email I will need some high resolution photos of the car, maybe as you bought it, during the build and the end result. I also will need specs of what you have done to the car. For example if you fitted 60mm FK Lowering springs, include that information in your email!

I look forward to hearing from all of you, I will pick at random and all cars will be featured if I have been provided with enough information to make a worthwhile feature! I of course will reply via email with any questions I may have.

That email again – chris@vwpartsinternational.com, or comment below and we can get the ball rolling!

Your car may be featured next!