Build or Buy: Go For Gold or Go Your Own Way?

The eternal car-enthusiasts dilemma: create your own unique ride, or capitalize on someone else’s hard work with a turn-key machine? Are you looking for a long-term project or want some instant gratification? Over the past few months, you probably noticed our Find Of The Day and Ratty Rescue articles featuring a similar model each week. Starting today, we’ve merged these two into one new article: Build or Buy. And to fire this series up, we’ve found two very nice MKIV GTIs to choose from.

Argument: Buy

Article: MKIV GTI 1.8T

First things first: for as thorough of an ad, the one item left out is the actual year of the car. But who cares when you lay eyes on this gray beauty? The highlight here is the engine bay: VWVortex member MrKrinkle removed the hood just to show it off. Everything up front has been powder-coated, polished, plated (yep, that’s actual 24K gold plating), shaved, and smoothed. The attention to detail is fantastic. And it’s not all show, there’s heaping amounts of go.

Other highlights include an upgraded transmission and clutch,  full air-ride suspension, upgraded brakes, CCW 18″ wheels, full gray tweed interior, a Kenwood head unit, amps, and a JL 10″ sub.

Have we mentioned this car was featured in Performance VW magazine? Oh yeah, it’s won tons of awards at major shows around the country too.

And all this greatness comes with a price – specifically $15,000 firm. Check out the ad in our classifieds or the build thread for more information. This killer GTI is in Tacoma Washington, and MrKrinkle can arrange to ship.

Argument: Build

Article: 2005 MKIV GTI 1.8T

The key to any great project is finding a solid car to start with. This 2005 MKIV GTI, owned by VWVortex member gumdanks, looks to have all the boxes checked for a “good bones” car. To start, it looks like it’s in good to very good condition. The paint is shiny, there doesn’t appear to be any rust, the leather seats are in great shape, and there’s only a handful of small issues mentioned in the ad.

This ’05 also has some performance bits pre-installed like a Unitronic Stage 2 chip, upgraded dogbone mounts, cold air intake, and a few other bits. Additionally, it sits on an air-ride system, and there’s even a Neuspeed rear sway bar installed.

And the best part is the price: $3,500. That’s four times less than the built GTI above. That leaves you a lot of coin for porting, polishing, plating, and whatever else you want to do.

Take a look at the ad for this 2005 GTI in our classifieds. The car is in new New Jersey.

So if you’re looking for your own MKIV GTI, here are two very nice options. Now it’s up to you to decide: do you buy a custom car, or do you build your own?

you can find other great VWs and parts on eBay