They Don't Build Themselves
When someone goes to the extent that Robin has on his 1979 GTI build you have to wonder what inspired his direction and pursuit of perfection. For Robin, having spent a good portion of his life working in the innovative setting of Vancouver's modified VW scene, it was the groundbreaking project cars, like the first Syncro VR6 Mk2 GTI put together by his peers, that gave him the desire to build something of his own. Learning from the most talented VW tuners in the area shaped much of how his GTI came together. Technology, attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, and minimalist "euro" expression are what make this car a true work of art, one that is groundbreaking in any car circle today, and is also a true nod to the builds that really got watercooled VW tuners on their feet.
"Having a solid rear beam always presents tuning challenges, but also makes for a lot of handling character." Says Robin. "The car is light, loud, nimble, fun and quick," the built 2L 8V engine helps to deliver the power while retaining that original featherweight balance. "I love the fact that it still feels like a Mk1 GTI, but all of the areas that were weak points in them aren't there any more." The mk1 character Robin mentions is undeniably there but without all the rattles and squeaks I can remember from my own 83' Rabbit GTI back in 2004.
"My favourite drives are sneaking out on warm sunny days and finding a quiet stretch of road to beat it up and find the next improvement, " he hints at the addition of a supercharger to mate up the power with the overly capable chassis and brakes. "220-230hp would be a lot of fun"
The process of building a car is certainly a creative one, and a learning experience in itself. "You learn something new every time you build something, even if it’s the same part or component," says Robin of his experience building the Rabbit and working on top end Porsches, like the 918 and Carrera GT at his current day job.
A lot of years were put into this car and it's impressive to see such a vision materialize into a cohesive package over such a great amount of time. A lot of people lose passion in a project or other circumstances get in the way and it collects dust or gets sold. Staying on top of a car project is no easy task, there's finding rare parts and the wait for them, creating pieces that no longer exist, and making everything in your vision actually work, to name a few challenges. Robin does believe that everybody experiences burn out with big projects, "It’s inevitable. There is no secret magic to fix that." His solution, "You just choose to go in the garage and start working. They don’t build themselves."
Owner and Build: Robin of Momentum Motorparts