AUTObiography: Mrb00st’s 2005.5 VW Jetta

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Next up is VWvortex reader: Mrb00st

How long have you owned this car? Since June of 2005, right when the MKVs came out.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car? Yeah. I wanted a base model 5-cylinder Jetta with a 5-speed and ESP (the only option on base models) and the cloth seats with no chrome trim. I live in Raleigh, NC and had to drive to Hickory, NC to find the right one, about two hours away.

Why did you choose this car to purchase? I was looking for a new car that had a warranty, was fun to drive, manual transmission, sorta classy, could haul a lot of stuff, and that had a good enthusiast support community. This fit the bill perfectly. I wanted a car that was a good car but without a whole lot of options I didn’t want, like leather or power seats or a sunroof.

What other cars did you consider? The typical stuff – Mazda 3s 5-door, Subaru Impreza, Acura RSX.

What was your objective with this car? I wanted to make a reliable daily driver that was fun to drive, classy and understated, that handled well but wasn’t a pain on the highway. It’ll be my daily driver when I get a project car with some serious turbo going on.

What tuning style best describes this car (ex. Euro, Bling, OEMplus, street racer, auto crosser)? I’d say it’s OEM+, although the outside appearance is mild. Only people who really like VWs notice the nice details and the stance. It’s not over the top. It gets attention from the right people.

Who helped you build this car? My dad, my friend Patrick, 3Werks, and Absolute Automotive.

What makes your car special? It seems there are only a handful of people who give any attention to or appreciate the 5-cylinder engine in the new Jetta. Most people don’t bother unless it’s a 2.0T. I’ve enjoyed tinkering with it.

What is your favorite part/feature/function? The 5-cylinder growl! This thing sounds gorgeous and the only exhaust modification is a “mufflerectomy”! Plus, I don’t know anyone else running these wheels on a MKV. I think they suit it well as far as appearance, size and offset.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car? The Vortex community, and my favorite VW website, I’ve gotten a lot of input from the community about where to go with it.

What don’t you like about this car? A freaking deer hit the side of the car a while ago and it left a dent. Which most people don’t notice, but you can bet I do. It’ll get fixed over winter.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car? Finding parts. Actually, no, finding money.

How did you overcome the issue? A bit of ingenuity and working a boring job to find money.

What would you change if you could? In order: C2’s turbo kit, an intercooler, a 6-speed from the GLI and a Peloquin limited slip differential, forged internals, cloth high-bolstered seats from the Euro GTI (Interlagos plaid) for the front with US-market GLI rear seats to match, and heated seats.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project? It’s not quite done yet; there are a few more things I’d like to do. So I’d say 7. I have a few more parts to buy before I say it’s done.

What would you do to the car if money were no object? If money were no object, the C2 turbo kit mentioned above with a trans swap, a heavy duty clutch, and adapt the Haldex AWD from the R32. It’d be like a modern UrS4. Realistically: Get some Bilstein struts, an H&R sway bar, Neuspeed’s exhaust, and GIAC tuning (soon to come). Maybe the EvoMS 5-2-1 stainless mandrel-bent tubular header and call it a day.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project? Most people in the community say it’s a waste of time to work on a 2.5. I don’t know.

What do your family and friends say about this car? My parents don’t understand all the money I’ve spent on adding parts to a new car. My friends generally like it.

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car? Getting hit in the side by a deer! I mean who gets hit by a deer, rather than hitting it? The drive to Waterfest 12 was pretty memorable, though. The whole event was a blast.

Has this car competed in any events? Results? Yeah, I autocrossed it once (but not the last time) in May in STS. I got whooped because everything else in the class except some Cobalts were lighter and had more power. But I didn’t finish last, which is amazing for a first-time autocrosser! That was so fun.

What is your favorite place to drive this car? The local back roads around my family’s house in Raleigh. I know them like the back of my hand and thoroughly enjoy scaring passengers to death.

What is your ideal day with this car? Man… wake up early, wash and wax it, drive around on those back roads, then go out at night to meet up with all the crew from NCDubs for dinner. So fun.

Who gets to drive this car? Myself, my dad, my roommate Eric (Helke on the forums), and my friend Ryan. That’s about. I had a bad experience about a year ago teaching my (now-ex) girlfriend to drive stick; she drove over a freakin’ parking block. After that, I was a little more cautious about sharing.

If your car had a motto, what would it be? “Drive me!”

If you had to name your car, what would you name it? Judy! No, I’m not sure why.

What was your previous project? I don’t really have one, but my previous car was a 1997 Volvo 850 sedan that was nice but pretty dull.

What is your next project? I’d love to have a 1991 Audi 200 20v Quattro turbo, in Alpine White, or an ‘86 to ‘88 Audi 5000 CS Quattro turbo.

What one word best describes your car? Funfzylinderkraft!

Anything else you’d like to share? Yeah, props to the following shops and organizations: Absolute Automotive in Durham,,, and Apex Tuning in Raleigh, NC. To the following people: My parents, my roommate Eric, my friend Patrick Hodges, and fellow MKV owner and true VW nut Chris Browder (kcfoxie). That’s about it.

Owner Information:

VWvortex Username: Mrb00st

Occupation: Student

Club Affiliations: VWVortex,,, Turbobricks.

Vehicle Information:

Year: 2005.5

Make: VW

Model: Jetta

Mileage: 42,000

Original Color: Reflex Silver

Current Color: Reflex Silver

Engine: 2.5L 20v I5 (BGP)

Engine Modifications: K&N drop in filter

Exhaust Modifications: Primary “suitcase” muffler (pre-axle) removed, replaced with stainless pipe.

Transmission Modifications: Neuspeed short shift kit, ECS Tuning poly torque arm insert.

Suspension Modifications: Neuspeed sport springs (1.2”/1.5” drop), GTI rear sway bar (21mm, 17mm stock).

Brake Modifications: stock

Wheels and Tires: 17×7.5” silver ASA JH8s, General Exlaim UHP 225/45/ZR17 rubber.

Exterior/Body Modifications: OEM Euro tails w/ amber mode and functioning rear fog light, ECS tinted corner markers, debadged

Interior Modifications: OEM Euro switch, Touareg light, Votex Monster Mats

Audio/Video/I.C.E.: I have an unmuffled 20v 5-cylinder to listen to. Stock radio.

Thanks/Props: Thanks to Evan at Absolute Automotive, Jer at 3Werks, and all the people mentioned previously.

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