First off let me tell you I had a great Father’s Day weekend. The Saturday before Father’s Day was a pretty busy day for me as I ended up at 2 different car shows, so I have lots of photos. I almost missed the Dos Lagos annual Father’s Day Car Show again, because me being me, I thought it was on Sunday. My wife reminded me that I made that same mistake last year. I’m seem to be getting more forgetful the older everyone else gets 🙂
My initial plan this year was to attend the 12th annual car show hosted by my company on Saturday and swing by Dos Lagos on Sunday. I had not attended my company’s car show in a few years as driving 40 miles back to Orange County on a Saturday after having been there for work M-F would not appeal to most people…namely me. My company has a reputation for not regularly showcasing modern vehicles. You see, it’s more of a classic car show full of that almighty old school American Muscle mounted in that Detroit Steel. Even more rarer than a modern era car on display is any proper representation of the tuner scene, which I have a strong connection to. When you put it all together, my excitement meter to attend is usually pretty low, but hey, there was free food and I was meeting up with some folks. #fatboyfoodie
This year was different as I was in full Perks Garage mode and had a major reason to get off my lazy butt and go snaps some pics at the show. It also didn’t hurt that I was finally able stretch the legs on my own stage 1 tuned Focus ST for more than a 10 mile drive to the train station. And let me tell you, man did it feel goooood!!! I really need to do a review of the parts I have installed so far.
OK, so here’s the story. A few weeks back I did a quick write-up on a red 2018 CTR (Civic Type R) owned by one of my co-workers Jon. He is a hardcore JDM head as evident of his Honda G-Shock watch. Mad props!
Over the years of getting to know him, I have had the pleasure of seeing him dump some money into a few cars, JDM styled Civic Si and a MK7 GTI. So you know I was really excited when he told me that he bought the 2018 CTR. Thank you Jon for giving me the opportunity to write a few words about CTR. After it was published, he shared the post with his crew and it started a buzz among his friends. He hit me up right away telling me that Blake, one of the guys in his crew wanted me to write-up a little something about his car…a 300-plus hp VW GTI. Of course I wasn’t going to pass this up and I figured that I should get serious about blogging and photography if people are going to want me to do future write ups on their cars. After quickly saying hell yes, Jon and I exchanged a few messages back and forth and set a date. Our initial meet up date had to be rescheduled to allow for more parts to be installed, which pushed us to meet up at the company car show. It just so happens that both Jon and Blake were going to be showing their cars that day giving me that chance to capture both cars.
Now if you know me or have followed my blog for any length of time you know that I am a fan of German automobiles, so this was going to be a treat for me.
I arrived at the show with my sidekick (my son) and immediately walked over to the 2 cars. I didn’t see Jon at first, but that didn’t stop me from taking a few pictures of the cars. At this time Blake popped up and after a quick meet and greet, my son and I went to grab a free bite to eat from the catered lunch. With a belly full of BBQ we immediately jumped back into car mode before the show wrapped up. I ambushed Blake with a few questions. What are you driving? What mods have you done? How much power? What’s up with the stashe?
Now this isn’t Blake’s first rodeo, he is coming from a built Honda Civic with a custom turbo set up that was fell prey to jealousy and was vandalized. That tragedy landed him into his first VW. A MK7 that he picked up this last November.
Looking at the lil DUB, you see that the car is clean…very clean. Not just from the washing and waxing, but the overall presentation of style combined with the mods he has installed. Very subtle and understated. Simple and clean and most people should take some notes. I think it shows a level of maturity that gets lost in modding. No wide body kit, Rocket Bunny this, no air ride…simple function with a hint of form.
The GTI is a 2015 4-door Autobahn edition in Deep Black Pearl with an all black leather interior (my heart beats hard for a nice GTI). The wheels are 17 inch Enkei RPF’s in a staggered offset with the rear wheels showing a very slight indication of depth in comparison to the front wheels. Most times people get flack for putting staggered wheels on a front drive car, but this was done with racing in mind. Blake likes to drag race, so he wanted something in the rear that could compliment the wideness of the front mounted slicks that he will be running at races. And also dammit, it looks good! I mean, you wouldn’t really notice if it wasn’t pointed out to you as the wheel and tire set up is pretty flush with the fenders and I dig it. When you combine the fact that they are black against a black car it creates a very smooth flow.
Aside from blacked out wheels, the slight drop, the Golf R styled quad exhaust by Remus and the Red GTI calipers up front, the car looks pretty much stock and unassuming. But once you hear the bass from the exhaust, complimented by the APR catted downpipe, you know there is more to this Lil Black DUB than meets the eye.
The car is lowered slightly with Eibach Prokit springs with higher density mounts which stiffen the ride a bit but on the factory struts maintains a level of OEM comfort. Blake mentioned that he will swap out the struts down the road, but VW use of proper suspension components out the gate guarantee it may be a while until he wears these struts out.
The engine bay is clean but the trained eye will notice the ECS intake hose and be drawn to the cast APR downpipe nestled in the rear of the engine bay. Blake pointed out to me the connection point for the methanol set up he recently removed. He has plans to reinstall and dyno again with a new set up. A custom tune from 5150 located in Santa Ana is monitored thru a Cobb Accessport has the DUB dyno’d at 330hp/390lb-ft on an E30 ethanol blend. Charged air is cooled by way of a Forge twinintercooler. He says pushing the power thru the DSG transmission is seamless and it’s unbelievable how smooth the trans shifts even with the additional power. He does admit that traction on the street tires is an issue for the first 2 gears due to the aggressive tune, but it does keep a grin plastered to his face. The Euro exhaust magic is handled by a quad tip Remus. Quality craftsmanship providing a quality sound and performance that match. The exhaust is quiet but when you get on it the sound become very aggressive but by no meands obnoxious. It melted me away when Blake blipped the throttle for me. VW fans know that those engines sound amazing when you let them breathe with a few aftermarket goodies.
Blake say his future plans are slicks and maybe an IS38 turbo upgrade. Get some new dyno numbers once he reconnects the Meth. I’m curious to see how much more power he can manage on the stock turbo.
I think with his current set up I couldn’t take him, but he could give the CTR and Focus RS a run for the money without breaking a sweat. And to that I say…who needs a Golf R? Buy a used MK7 and follow Blake’s simple yet effective recipe and activate sleeper mode.
My son asked Blake what’s his favorite thing about the GTI and he said how unassuming it is. No big wing or scream at you body lines, not that I’m opposed to those thing (long live the STi), but you can fly under the radar with this family grocery-getter.
I know this was meant to be about Blake’s VW but my son decided his interest in the CTR was more important do here are a few shots of Jon’s car.
Here’s a couple with my car thrown in the mix.
Hats off to “Blake the Snake” and his build. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for him and the lil DUB that could.