AUTObiography: Leana Jex’s 1999 VW Golf

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: Leana Jex

How long have you owned this car?

Since April 2002.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

Not really. I bought it with 44,000 kilometers on it, and it’s a Wolfsburg, which you don’t see around all the time.

Why did you choose this car to purchase?

I had loved this body style for years, but for my first car my parents made me buy something I didn’t like very much, and a few years later a friend of mine in the VW scene found a couple of options for me, and suggested I go with a 4-door as not as many people have them, so I bought one.

What other cars did you consider?

MKIII GTI, in silver or black. Must-have was the silver dials on the dash… I know it’s silly.

What was your objective with this car?

I wanted it to look good but still be a daily driver.

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

Definitely Euro!

Who helped you build this car?

A good friend of mine, Mike Anderson.

What makes your car special?

Looks good, not too girly, and one of the lowest daily driven girl’s cars around.

What is your favorite part/feature/function?

I love the look from the front because it’s so low, and from the back because it’s so fat.

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

I had always wanted MKIV-look headlights and a badgeless grille, with a mesh wheel. I told Mike and he made it all happen, adding some great extra touches along the way.

What don’t you like about this car?

It’s a little slow with the 2.0 in there and I’ve never got around to tinting the rest of the windows.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?

There weren’t a lot of obstacles in building the car, but getting the stance and height just right so the fenders didn’t rub too much was a bit of a pain.

How did you overcome the issue?

The fenders have all been professionally rolled, which made all the difference in the world.

What would you change if you could?

I’d like to see a VR6 in the car with some other interior accents.

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

10 for sure. It was everything I wanted and more.

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

If money was no object, I would have changed the interior to have alcantara seats and headliner, added heated seats, done a VR6 conversion, and gotten it repainted Black Magic Pearl.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project?

My dad (not a car person).

What do your family and friends say about this car?

My friends in the VW world all love it. My non-car friends like it and supported me. My mom is cute, she likes my car, and now she notices dubs on the road like mine.

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

A group of us decided to go down to Waterwagens ‘04 and after stopping at Krispy Kreme in Burlington, I changed cars and let my friend drive my car without me. He ended up getting us all pulled over and they gave him a court date and confiscated our video camera. Ended up just costing him the money to hire a lawyer and a few trips down to appear in court because the cops lost the paperwork. Lesson learned.

Has this car competed in any events? Results?

No, I never put it in anything to be judged. I had it in a few shows as a shop car for RPI Equipped, but that was about it. I did the car because I loved it, not because I wanted someone else to tell me it looked good, although I always appreciate the compliments.

What is your favorite place to drive this car?

The drive to Leavenworth in the summer is always the best place to take it for a drive!

What is your ideal day with this car?

A road trip somewhere is always fun, maybe throw a few other dubs in there for fun just to make the day.

Who gets to drive this car?

Mostly me and Mike.

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

I’d say “low and slow” would probably be the motto. The car looks good, but doesn’t get up and move real fast with the 2.0 and being so low.

What was your previous project?

This was the first one.

What is your next project?

No plans. I did it with my favorite car and now my Jetta is just a daily driver with suspension and wheels.

What one word best describes your car?


Owner Information:

Name: Leana Jex

Occupation: Travel agent

Club Affiliations: Dubberz

Vehicle Information:

Year: 1999

Make: VW

Model: Golf Wolfsburg

Mileage: 140,000 km

Original Color: Black

Current Color: Black

Engine: 2.0 L

Engine Modifications: Cold air intake, Neuspeed chip, Aurora wires

Exhaust Modifications: Techtonics and Borla cat back, race cat

Transmission Modifications: Techtonics short shifter

Suspension Modifications: H&R coilovers with VR6 upper strut mounts

Brake Modifications: Slotted and cross drilled rotors

Wheels and Tires: Keskin KT4 16×9” all around with 215/40/16 BFG KDW tires

Exterior/Body Modifications: JOM badgeless grille, Euro bumpers, Euro rad support, Euro rebar, Hella smoked MKIV-look headlights, Euro VR6 chin spoiler, Hella smoked fog light/dummy/signal light set, rolled fenders all around, color matched door handles, OEM Sharan antenna

Interior Modifications: MOMO shift knob

Audio/Video/I.C.E.: Alpine headunit

Thanks/Props: To Mike for all his hard work on this project and keeping me safe on the road, and not letting me cheap out on stuff. To Tom and Warren at RPI, who helped make this happen.

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