AUTObiography: grizzlyone’s 2004.5 VW Jetta GLI

Want your car featured in a VWvortex AUTObiography? Tell us what it means to be a Volkswagen enthusiast, and show us how you and your car demonstrate those ideals! Send the completed form with pictures to

Next up is VWvortex reader: grizzlyone

How long have you owned this car?

Since new, three and a half years.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

There should have been, but VW decided not to limit the numbers of the GLI after they sold so well in the second half of ’04.

Why did you choose this car to purchase?

It was the only MKIV I could actually like, and I was looking to get a daily driver.

What other cars did you consider?

For a daily driver, none.

What was your objective with this car?

Originally not to mod it and use it as a daily driver… that didn’t last too long, though.

What tuning style best describes this car (ex. Euro, Bling, OEMplus, street racer, auto crosser)?

Very OEM+.

Who helped you build this car?

The Miller High Life girl.

What makes your car special?

I would hope it’s the overall look, but the wheels stand out the most. They are BBS Motorsport double staggered 3-piece wheels with magnesium centers. The rears only weigh 18 pounds.

What is your favorite part/feature/function?

Currently, it would have to be the recently-installed OEM Euro navi MFD.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?

My first VW that I bought new and still own, a Tornado Red MKII GLI, was a big influence on the exterior look. After that, it was a desire to make the car seem cohesive in its overall look.

What don’t you like about this car?

It may seem weird, but two things bother me about the car, the useless ESP that was a $300 option and the child seat anchors on the rear deck.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?

Money, and to a lesser degree, finding some of the parts.

How did you overcome the issue?

Time, and judical use of my credit cards.

What would you change if you could?

At this point not much, but I would have liked to have gotten it to this point faster.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?

9, still have some small tweaks to do.

What would you do to the car if money were no object?

I would add leather trim to the interior, door cards and seats.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project?

Everyone that I told I wasn’t going to mod the car when I got it, not that any of them actually believed me.

What do your family and friends say about this car?

Friends like it; family really doesn’t understand why I put the time and money into a “Jetta.”

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car?

The beginning of all the mods, when a tree fell across the hood less than six months after buying the car.

Has this car competed in any events? Results?

I have gone to many shows in it, but I don’t actually show the car.

What is your favorite place to drive this car?

Anyplace without traffic.

What is your ideal day with this car?

Pretty much same as the above, any day I can actually drive it without traffic in the way.

Who gets to drive this car?

Not many.

If your car had a motto, what would it be?


If you had to name your car, what would you name it?

I hate when people name their cars.

What was your previous project?

‘83 Caddy with turbo G60 motor.

What is your next project?

‘97 Jetta GT 16v ABA turbo.

What one word best describes your car?


Owner Information:

Name: Adam Ligon

VWvortex Username: grizzlyone

Occupation: Manufacturing/development

Club Affiliations:

Vehicle Information:

Year: ‘04.5

Make: VW

Model: Jetta GLI

Mileage: 34,000

Original Color: Tornado Red

Current Color: Same

Engine: 1.8T

Engine Modifications: APR TIP, APR FMIC, APR K04 software with Vtune, APR R1 DV, Autotech billet fuel rail, BFI CAI, Eurospecsport E05b turbo, Samco boost and coolant kits, shaved valve cover

Exhaust Modifications: KineticMotorsport high-flow manifold, APR 3″ DP, Jetex 2.75″ cat-back with custom tip

Transmission Modifications: BFI Stage1 dogbone and upper transmission mount, R32 shift lever

Suspension Modifications: SPAX RSX coilovers, BFI RSB, SPC camber plates, BFI front upper and lower tie bars

Brake Modifications: R32 front calipers, BFI 13.1″ and 10.1″ slotted rotors, BFI stainless steel lines, PBR Ultimate pads

Wheels and Tires: BBS Motorsport 3-piece 17×8.5” front with 215/45/17 and 18×9.5” rear with 225/40/18

Exterior/Body Modifications: Metal Boser hood, Euro textured moldings, shaved trunk, blacked-out B-pillars and side mirrors, Rieger roof spoiler, 30% tint, Wolfsburg side markers

Interior Modifications: Blitz turbo timer, NewSouth column pod with boost gauge, BFI rear tie bar

Audio/Video/I.C.E.: OEM Euro navigation MFD, Boston Acoustics 6.2Pro, PG MS275, AVI 10″ sub

Thanks/Props: Black Forest Industries, Performance Auto Body, NCVW//org, Dan ‘Goop’, Joe, Paul, Chris, Mike B and Matt

For more discussion on this story, click on the link to our discussion forums at the left.