Feature Car: 1998 Jetta GLX Coupe

“Well, if you’re going to be biased against this car, why not write your article on Mike’s coupe?” my editor said, as he pointed towards a group of people encircling a car. As the SFL-GTG crowd parted I was greeted by a vision of Jazz Blue bliss. “Open Arms” by Journey played in my head and I felt like running to the car in slow motion, Baywatch style.

“I’ll do it.”

A quick glance at this sled will lead you to conclude Mike Ngo has picked up a few Performance VW mags in his day. There is not one part of the car that was overlooked when it comes to the “Euro-fying” process. The first things one may notice are the Abt A9 3-piece wheels (supposedly one of seven sets in the US) in all their staggered glory. Then you’ll see there is something awry about the back windows; this Jetta seems different than any other. Chalk that one up to Eastside Motorsports for converting the sedan to a coupe using GTI body panels and doors. Perhaps the most amazing aspect about this project, though, is that other than the structural conversion and paint job, Mike did everything you see himself.

As an automotive technician, it is apparent he has put his knowledge to good use. The conversion and wheels are merely just the beginning of the modifications list. Take one look under the hood and you’ll be greeted by a drive-by-wire 12v VR6 taken from a Golf 4 (running 75-shot of juice, no less.) The absence of the battery, coolant reservoir, and power steering reservoir (all relocated) expose an engine bay worthy enough to dream about. Without ever taking the engine out and working a little bit day-by-day, Mike managed to masterfully shave the bay. Much sweat and blood was poured into this project, and an engine harness lost its life to the madness. Mike admits that this was the most difficult part of his one and a half year project, but claims that he found the motivation and dedication needed to overcome his obstacles from his friends on the VWvortex forums. He is pretty adamant in making sure people know that, no, the missing rear doors are not simply welded shut and, yes, it is his daily driver.

A wonderful job was accomplished when the Audi A6 door handles were added, and opening them will reveal another reason to be giddy about this car. The stock dash has been replaced with a unit from a Golf 4. The headliner and some trim pieces have been reupholstered in suede, there are leather GTI seats, and a Sparco Flash steering wheel. Certainly, this interior would impress any passenger and at the same time warrant a grin or two. Did I mention the Mk4 dash? Nice work, there.

I would certainly be remiss if I were to fail to mention the custom boser hood. Coupled with a European bumper, a Bonrath Golf grille, VR6 chin spoiler, and Hella Golf 4-style headlights, the front end has an aggressive yet clean appearance. Walking around the car, you’ll notice the Vento rear bumper, shaved rear emblem, smoothed rocker panels, and the Oettinger rear wing. The perfect stance is accomplished with adjustable Koni coilovers. And just when you think that the insanity is over, there it is – a custom Touareg exhaust tip to finish off the Techtonics 2.5” cat-back system.

Cool car, cool owner. Mike is tickled to death to have such a unique car. He jests and says he would’ve saved his money had he done things differently, but thanks to his creativity we get to look at pretty pictures of a pretty car. He already feels like a champ when he drives the car around town, but has plans to take his project further. Mike would like to invite you to check the VWvortex forums for teasers – but if you must know, keep the words widebody, turbo, custom interior work, and custom stereo install in mind.

Considering this project is only two years in the making, there’s no reason to doubt that the future holds some pretty big things for Mike and his Jazz Blue beauty.

Vehicle Information:

Year- 1998

Make- Volkswagen

Model- Jetta Coupe

Mileage- 156000 chassis mileage

Original Color- Silver Arrow

Current Color- Jazz Blue

Engine- 2002 dbw 2.8 VR6 12v

Engine Modifications- Short ram intake, NOS 75-shot direct port fogger nitrous system, Taylor 8mm ignition wires

Exhaust Modifications- Techtonics 2.5 catback exhaust, custom Touareg exhaust tip

Transmission- 02A VR6 transmission, Neuspeed short shifter

Suspension Modifications- Koni adjustable coilovers, Eibach 28mm rear swaybar

Brakes- 11.3 DE brakes, Mintex pads, Vented and slotted rotors

Wheels and Tires- ABT A9 17×8 front with 205/40-17 Toyo T1 and 17×9 rear with 205/40-17

Exterior/Body Modifications- Jazz Blue respray, 2 door conversion, Golf side structures and GTI doors, Golf headlight conversion using Hella Golf 4-look headlights, European Vento front bumper with FK crystal clear turns and dummy fogs, European rear bumper, fully-shaved engine bay with relocated battery, coolant resevior, power steering resevior; European radiator support, European reinforcement bar; European VR6 front spoiler; custom boser hood; shaved rear emblems; Bonrath badgeless grille; Oettinger rear wing; Audi A6 door handle conversion; smoothed rocker panels

Interior Modifications- MkIV dash; Sparco Flash wheel; MkIV console; full GTI leather interior with Jetta back seats; re-upholstered  suede headliner and trim pieces; 42 Draft Designs 3-gauge panel with VDO water temp, oil pressure, oil temp

Audio/Video/I.C.E.Stereo- Clarion 7″ touch screen DVD/CD player; Clarion 6.5 components

Thanks/Props- Million thanks to fellow Vortexers that help me along the way; Low Country Volkswagen for putting up with me; Matt at FBI Turbo; Cliff and Dan at HUDSON IMPORTS; Ted, Mike, Wes, Daniel Elsey, my girlfriend Lindsey Smith; and the rest of you know who you are

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