I don’t think I’ve ever touched on this subject which seems to be kind of a big thing to some in the automotive community. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be dedicated to a certain type of car manufacturer – and it’s not just a car guy thing too, I know a lot of people that will only listen to a certain genre of music specifically – but I digress. What is this deep rooted allegiance we build up towards a certain type of car, whether it be WAY more specific to even the car model – did it stem from a early car related memory? Possibly could have been the first car that turned us into “car guys”. Whatever it may be, this is something I’ve always wanted to dive into and talk to people about – and I’m starting to think this could be a nice little thing to explore on upcoming features.
I didn’t get a chance to really talk to Victor about his car, I was present at the shoot though. Ricky had me meet him at a local hangout that was happening on a Saturday morning, more importantly a Saturday morning where I was actually awake before noon. It was a great day out, perfect weather, overcast skies which is probably the best lighting conditions to shoot natty light at any time during the day without having to wait for that “golden hour” to begin shooting. Now before I just leave the non-photographers in the dark, “natty light” means natural lighting conditions and well “golden hour” is that moment in the day when the sun is setting and everything looks pretty much well…you guessed it, gold. I walked passed Victors MK4 on the way to give Ricky the most epic of valley handshakes- you know the one, the hand slap, pulling back to get that snap, then the fist bump; I’ve actually done this outside of the valley to people and I end up doing the entire thing on my own while they go for a handshake…that’ll really make things awkward. I kept looking at this Imola Yellow VW sitting pretty on those white 3SDM wheels, which I know for a fact can be a pain to constantly keep clean. Now I’m not sure if it was the combination of the yellow, white, and red that this car pulled off perfectly, or the way it sat there lowered out on the air suspension this car was equipped with- but at that instant I thought to myself “Hm…maybe I should look into a VW for my next car”.
Now those of you that know me may THINK that I bleed VTEC fluid or something, so what if I’ve owned a few different Hondas? 15 is a few right? This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t mind venturing off and trying my hand at modifying something completely different. Honestly though, every time I entertain the thought of buying something other then a Honda I just end up talking myself out of actually committing to the idea. And I’m back to the whole “I’ll just keep an eye out for the Honda I want”, I’m sure I’ll eventually get to a point in my life where I might go off and do something crazy like purchase a freaking RX7…something I know NOTHING about. But is it really a bad thing to have a preference and stick with what you know? Victor has actually had several different VW’s before this 03′ GTi, this includes one of the best cars he told us he owned, a MK2 VW – which actually was sold to fund the purchase of this car we have for you here.
Like I mentioned earlier, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having an almost pledged allegiance to a certain make of vehicle. The one thing I don’t understand is when that also gets tossed in with hating other makes of vehicles, and sometimes the owners that drive them. You have your Mustang vs Camaro debates on which is better, both sides having some really intense reasons on why their car is far more superior then other; Civics vs …well….everything pretty much haha. And that’s all fine, I’m not gonna sit here and try to persuade you guys that feel that strongly to start accepting other types of vehicles into your life, that sounds way more intimate then it should be. I also think it’s a age thing, the longer you’re around cars – the less you really care about how other people think, and eventually things become more relaxed – and just like puberty, some people hit that stage sooner then others.
Now please excuse these next few sentences but I’m listening to some pretty chill music here so this might be a very hippy “peace-love” induced type of statement. I’ve always wondered what a local scene would be like where everyone would be open minded and respectful of what each of us has chosen to modify. At the end of the day we’re all doing it because we love it, well…for some of us that’s true. We live in an area where the local trucks park on their own almost on the opposite side of town from the domestics, and you have the euro guys out there on their own away from everyone. Then you have your import crowd which I was recently told hangs out on a completely different night so they could get away from the “Thursday” crowd…for good reason but hell- my own Dad and several uncles have stories about cruise nights back when they were in high school here in McAllen, and what day was that on? Thursday. We’ve all managed to get away from each other, and I understand that – some groups of people tend to ruin the entire evening because well they just don’t know how to keep things at a chill respectful level.
The older I got, the more I saw how others were so guarded and how divided this small SMALL community can actually get. There is nothing wrong with sticking to a certain make or model for the majority of your life, we tend to get used to certain things and once you find something good there is really no point to changing that – that’s probably still why I prefer turkey on wheat cut into triangles as my go to sandwich. After looking over Victors VW, and I’m sure it had something to do with it being yellow, I’ve actually started looking into making the switch from a devoted Honda enthusiast to joining the almost cult like VW group. One thing is for certain though, sometimes it takes looking at things from the outside to realize that we’re all the same type of people – we just grew up liking different kinds of sandwiches.
Victor Espinoza’s 2003 20th Anniversary MK4 GTI
APR K04 Software
Black Forest Stage 1 Motor Mounts
42 Draft DP
Shaved Door Handles
3SDM 0.05 18×8.5 front || 18×9.5 rear
Stiff Stuff :
EBC Red Stuff Pads
Special Thanks :
To all of my friends who helped me put on the air suspension. It was a pain in the ass and the car almost fell off the jack stands with no tires…I almost died.
Photos by : Ricardo Reyes
Story by : Bobby Villarreal