July 3, 2022

The Mk7 Golf GTI, in three-door, guide kind was an important automobile when it launched and much more so because the Mk8 variant arrived. We’ll let Geoff Landstrom clarify precisely why along with his modified instance on air.

Function from Efficiency VW journal. Phrases: Bryan McCarthy. Photographs: Derek Kenison.

Whereas it’s not as monumental as say, remembering the place you have been when (What’s The Story) Morning Glory was launched, the introduction of the seventh era Golf was nonetheless one thing to write down dwelling about. There have been much more deliberate strains and design cues than the Mk6’s extra rounded form, and the purple stripe sending itself by way of the premium headlights was one thing that wowed and wooed greater than it ought to have. General, it was a smashing success, profitable World Automobile of the Yr in 2013. Subsequently, the Golf GTI took dwelling extra accolades than may slot in its boot over its time in manufacturing.

It was December of 2017 and the mid-model refresh, dubbed the Mk7.5, was simply beginning to hit sellers’ tons within the US. The ‘level 5’ (nobody calls it that, sincere) introduced a bunch of latest choices to the GTI, making it extra fascinating to most gross sales of us trying to transfer items. I believe it was the first-for-a-GTI-in-the-US LED taillights, however I’m certain there was extra to it. Anyway, at the moment, Geoff Landstrom was trying to change his slammin’ B5.5 Passat V6 with one thing newer. “I had check pushed a couple of Mk7 GTI’ and fell in love with the general driving expertise,” says the 41-year-old Spencer, Massachusetts resident. “To not be a complete nerd, however driving the guide trans Mk7 introduced me again to an identical driving expertise that I had grow to be hooked on within the Mk1 and Mk2 GTIs in my earlier years.”

Geoff, because it seems, was born right into a VW household. His mom had owned a minimum of 10 aircooled Beetles throughout her youthful years and his father discovered himself in an array of GTIs throughout his driving tenure. However it was most definitely his brother Terry’s MK1 that actually set the hook. “I’d say the Dub factor actually bit me in 1996 when my older brother obtained his first MK1 GTI. It was one thing stunning.” With a supportive automotive household, it was nearly kismet that Geoff would discover himself with VW keys when the time got here to earn a driver’s license. “My first automobile was really a 1987 Pontiac LeMans hatchback with a 4-speed guide.” Err, scratch that earlier assertion. “In my eyes on the time it was as near a VW Golf as I may get and all I may afford.” The Mr. Magoo stand-in rang in at a value of free-99 for Geoff, due to his father, and enabled him to financial institution some bucks for an precise Volkswagen.

Afterward, an ’88 Scirocco 8V purchased from Terry at a closely discounted value paved the best way in the direction of the Wolfsburg Kingdom, ultimately being outfitted with Eibachs, customized inexperienced paint, and BBS RAs. Being a supply driver for a neighborhood Dupont vendor landed the automobile of their annual calendar. “Which was loopy and never worthy,” Geoff admits. “I used to be formally hooked and have achieved nothing however embrace it since.”

Modified Mk7 Golf GTI on Air

So how can we get from an 8V Scirocco to a MK7 GTI? By means of a sequence of MK2s after all. After promoting off the Scirocco in 1998 or so, Geoff discovered himself within the driver’s seat of his father’s former MK2 16V GTI. That automobile was aware of the identical royal therapy because the Rocco, simply with with extra dignified bits. Different MK2s entered and exited his life previous to a 1991 large bumper 8v leaving its indelible mark earlier than its departure. “It was sprayed in Audi’s Nogaro blue. It was stunning,” Geoff beams. “Twin spherical headlights, a mid wing, mint manufacturing facility Recaro inside, lowered on Neuspeeds…what this automobile lacked in pace, was made up for in “wow” issue. [It was] as shut as I’d ever get to these unbelievable MK2’s on all these PVW centrefolds hanging all through my room,” Geoff laughs. Sadly, a good friend’s jackassery wrote off the new hatch little question earlier than its prime. Gone, however definitely not forgotten, his love for the Mk2 and the GTI itself was put in a holding sample as he touched down on numerous different Wolfsburg choices.

See also  Bagged F80 M3 with 530hp | California Dreamin’

The enjoyment of the Mk2s of yesteryear continued to fester, nevertheless, as numerous #TBTs handed and calendar pages turned. “I suppose you might say round 2016 I began to overlook the nice outdated days. A midlife disaster if you’ll,” jokes Geoff.

“I had my eyes on a Carbon Metal Mk7 Golf GTI at a neighborhood VW vendor that had not bought in months because of the MK7.5 rolling out,” says Geoff, about to disclose some high shelf negotiating techniques. “I went into the vendor on Dec 15, 2017, figuring out they wanted to make room for the quickly arriving facelift model and haggled them method down from sticker value. This course of concerned me sticking to my quantity, which they acknowledged they may not do, and me strolling out. I obtained about 10 miles down the street and so they referred to as me again saying they will let it go for my quantity. So I turned proper round and had no alternative however to take it. I drove it dwelling the very subsequent day.” Outcome!

Modified Mk7 Golf GTI on Air

You can anticipate that with a shiny new trip on the drive, maybe maintaining it inventory till the primary few cost stubs have been submitted could be the prudent alternative. However no, almost one month to the day of possession, a whole Airlift setup was bought. “I had no instant intention of doing something to the automobile,” Geoff relays to us. “I informed myself I used to be shopping for it for a dependable day by day driver.” The place have we heard that one earlier than? Oh, most likely from each single new wave whip wrangler we’ve featured over the previous two plus a long time. A minimum of he had a plan. There are such a lot of which have come earlier than him which have simply thrown greenback payments on the wall to see what will get picked up.

“Clear and easy was the purpose and I by no means actually steered off that path,” Geoff tells us. Let’s take a stroll down that path collectively now. Just a few deep thought classes to rationalize the meant path cemented the Mk7’s future. And 4 days after the airride arrived, the sills have been sitting on the bottom and Geoff was buckled in for the trip. “My instant focus from there was to be affected person and never rush something,” opines Geoff, “and put the automobile collectively in a really tasteful/OEM plus sort of method with out getting too flashy.” Though, a glance within the trunk will reveal a hardline show worthy of MoMA.


Spring 2018 noticed the highlight shift to the engine bay. Geoff went by way of the air and gas programs, added the compulsory front-mount intercooler and dressed up the relatively uninspiring under-hood look. Being the hands-on kind, he put in a panoply of efficiency components, together with a Luft-Technik carbon fiber consumption, Grams Efficiency injectors, and HPA excessive and low stress gas pumps. The most effective of the Professional Tuned IS20 turbo was introduced out by BrenTuning to the, err, tune of 338 WHP and 395 lb/ft. “I don’t at all times run that tune as a result of it’s tremendous aggressive, however it’s wild,” says Geoff. “If I can get it to hook up on some heat asphalt it pulls like a freight prepare. I often run a stage 2 E Tune that’s a bit extra modest and reduces the possibility of blowing one thing up,” he laughs. “I labored on it with Equilibrium Tuning, sharing drive information with them backwards and forwards by way of my Cobb ACCESSPORT and emails.” That stated, operating a group of 310 thoroughbreds by way of the entrance wheels continues to be considerably greater than the inventory providing. All that energy definitely wasn’t being harnessed by a inventory clutch so an ECS stage 3 unit was employed to deal with the additional energy. Geoff’s buddy Kevin Gilmartin assisted with the set up as he had entry to a carry. It’s good to have buddies in excessive locations.

Modified Mk7 Golf GTI on Air

And Geoff didn’t simply go straight to stage 3 on the automobile with out passing go. “I wished to see how far I may push the IS20/2.0T combo.” The automobile is, nevertheless, set as much as settle for a bigger turbo within the occasion the IS 20 recordsdata for early retirement. There was additionally speak about probably doing a shaved-bay Atlas VR6 swap sooner or later, however with youngster quantity two on the best way and a latest buy of a 1960 German-built Beetle, the GTI might stay in its present copacetic state for the foreseeable future.

Now, as any OG value their scene factors will know, wheels can both be the golden ticket for a challenge or ship it straight down Willy Wonka’s unhealthy egg chute. The primary set of wheels have been 3SDM 0.66, a pleasant wanting, motorsport-themed design. But with Geoff drawing robust ties to his MK2 previous, there actually was just one correct set of hoops. “In September of 2019 a good friend of a good friend was parting methods with a fantastic set of RS’s he had constructed for his MK5 and wished greater than something for them to go to a great dwelling,” Geoff fondly recollects. “I knew this is able to not enable me to do a brake improve if all went nicely however was value it in my eyes.” With the choice to behave on this lucky timing, Geoff and his younger daughter Penny hit the street for New Hampshire to see in the event that they have been nearly as good in particular person as they have been in his thoughts. “They wanted a repolish and slightly love however have been precisely what I had wished on the automobile.” Initially 16”, the BBS RS have been stepped up 2” and have satin black {hardware} and hex caps. Sam of 5-star Google overview Sam’s Euro fame was enlisted to convey them again to the present shine you see right here.

See also  VW Caddy with EA888 Engine Produces Over 400bhp | Quality Street

As soon as the wheels have been fitted, the ultimate push was the inside. “I gutted the automobile’s inside and introduced it to a store native to me together with the brand new Recaro fronts,” says Geoff. That store, Seamless Customs in close by Leicester, Mass., did a bang up job on the upholstery, one other nod to the MK2 GTI. In a couple of weeks’ time, the inside was again collectively and Geoff had put in the Autopower half cage. At this level, it was about time to hold it up and benefit from the completed product.

A peep on the rear seating space and it’s clear youngster automobile seats are not welcome. “My oldest daughter Penny will be capable of trip shotgun quickly in a booster so I look ahead to that. The women will usually observe me to occasions, which works out in the event that they don’t need to grasp all day, or we get a sitter and my spouse will roll with me.” Being in New England permits Geoff the privilege of attending such reveals like NE Dustoff in Connecticut, Vacationland VAG Truthful up in Maine, and Eurobuilt in Vermont, with the GTI inserting in any respect of them. “These days, I don’t usually register the automobile,” Geoff admits. “I simply like to see all my folks and catch up. I’ve been volunteering the previous couple years for my buddy Scott who places on Eurobuilt VT. It’s simply nice to be with all my homies and do what we love.”

Modified Mk7 Golf GTI on Air

And with that we come to the tip of our story of a modified MK7 Golf GTI that’s materialized its proprietor’s MK2 reminiscences by bringing the previous into the current. “I wished this to really feel like a more moderen model of what these vehicles have been to me,” Geoff reminisces. “From the wheels to the Recaro embroidery. I take into consideration the outdated days each time I drive this automobile. I am going proper again to being 20 once more. For many people, there is no such thing as a better pleasure than the heat of youthful remembrance.

Tech Spec: Modified Mk7 Golf GTI


2.0T 6-speed with ECS motor, trans and dogbone mounts, ECS stage 3 clutch SMF, Luft-Technik CF consumption, ECS big-bore turbo inlet, turbo muffler delete, 3” cost pipes, ECS catch can, RS3 coils with R8 plugs, Grams Efficiency injectors, HPA excessive and low stress gas pumps, CTS front-mount intercooler, 3″ plumbing, GFB-DVX diverter, BFI brief shift linkage, Professional Tuned IS20, 338whp 395lb/ft, Carbon fibre and polished bits all through to maintain issues tidy, CTS 3” downpipe, 3” stainless catback


16” BBS RS faces stepped as much as 18” (staggered setup, 9.5 entrance 10.5 rear), bubble lips, satin black {hardware}, satin black hex centres, polished faces and lips, Federal Evolution ST-1 tyres in 215/35 and 225/35 fitment. Air Elevate v2 administration, twin 444 Viar compressors, Air Elevate dampers all spherical, 034motorsport camber arms, Whiteline finish hyperlinks, 034motorsport swaybars, Racingline carbon rear strut brace


OG Aerofabb V-1 entrance splitter, shaved entrance bumper, Dutchparts aspect splitters, Aerofabb rear spoiler extension, Golf 7.5 R headlights, chrome stripe grille, Spyder clear/black tails


Momo Trek R steering wheel, NRG brief hub and fast launch, BFI weighted knob, Recaro Sportster GT’ on Recaro sliders, rears upholstered to match with headrest delete, upholstered door playing cards, boots, centre console, Autopower half cage completed in Momo’s silver gloss, polished tank/hardlines