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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Couped Crusader

     Recently at a get together, I overheard a fellow enthusiast complaining that VW’s biggest mistake was the end of Jetta Coupes with the advance to the MK3 generation.
For New Zealander John Kanters, the lack of a MK4 coupe was nothing but motivation. With several builds under his belt, including several MK2s, MK3s, and BT 1.8 MK3 Vento Coupe track car, John needed something to test his body work and fabrication skills. Several years ago, his shop had purchased and tucked away a rolled .:R32 (New Zealand only got 32 of these total). Originally intended for a MK2 coupe, John quickly realized that a MK4 would be a much better choice and a more comfortable daily driver once it was completed. 

     After a MK4 Bora Highline rolled into his shop, already equipped with all wheel drive, John set up a plan. He wanted to build a MK4 Coupe, sporting the R32 motor, and then boosted with Garret GT3582. John dedicated himself, and after nearly two years, is nearing the project’s end.

    Some might picture a shop full of people, working on this beast of a project, but John did it all solo. From body work to engine building to painting, he hand crafted this vehicle all on his own, sometimes having to learn or just find out how to do the jobs. As John said “that was one of my criteria to at least have a go at everything!”

     One of the most difficult parts of his entire project was the rear window glass, which was nearly impossible to make due to two curves across the surface. Taking it one step further by adding electric pop-out capability only made the job more difficult. In the end, a company from China was able to make a batch of glass, perfectly matched, even down to the OEM dot-matrix border.

     What John has created is truly one of a kind, and with a fully custom front bumper soon to be completed, the car is truly a hand-crafter beauty. Still though, the OEM inspiration is very strong, being manipulated into the custom work that makes the car fantastic. Be sure to stay tuned on HellaIV for the continued coverage on this amazing build.
- Words by Zach!

Spec List:

Body / Exterior
- 2003 Euro spec Bora 2.8 V6 4-Motion (RHD)
- Custom coupe conversion
- Custom rear side glass w/ electric pop outs
- OEM HID headlights
- Smoked side repeaters/tails
- Euro-rub strips w/chrome
- Custom 3 door moldings with chrome strips & R logos
- Custom Skoda Octavia mirrors W/memory internals
- Custom MK5 trunk release
- Custom trunk lid with European plate recess
- Custom front bumper
- OEM R32 side skirts
- Caractere rear lip molded in
- Caractere roof spoiler
- BMW M3 rear trunk lip
- OEM Aero Wipers
- 35% tints

Brakes / Wheels
- Front ECS 14.1” rotor with Porsche Cayenne 6 piston calipers
- Hawk brake pads
- Rear stock R32 ventilated brakes
- Custom 20mm adaptors front & 25mm rears
- 18x8” OZ Superleggera ET51
- Continental Extreme contact DW tires

Engine / Transmission:
- Full R32 swap
- 2.8L 4motion transmission
- Integrated engineering rods
- JE 8.5:1 pistons
- Raceware head studs
- Siemens 630cc injectors
- Custom remap by Viper Tuning
- Custom intake w/ 4” MAF housing
- Audi V8 MAF insert
- Southbend single mass clutch kit
- Garret GT3582 turbo 1.07AR
- ATP turbo manifold
- Tial 44mm wastegate
- Tial 50mm BOV
- Custom SRI
- Precision FMIC
- E-Boost street EBC
- Custom intercooler piping
- Devils own water meth injection w custom tank
- Bosch 044 fuel pump
- Integrated engineering surge tank
- Uprated shift forks
- Peloquin front LSD
- ARP ring gear bolts
- Custom 3” V banded exhaust with hidden dual outlets

- Recaro leather heated memory seats, both left & right have memory function
- New South oil temp gauge
- New Sough EGT gauge
- New South gauge pod
- MK5 style headlight switch
- MK6 Scirocco steering wheel / airbag
- R32 rocker trims
- R32 brushed alloy trim
- Custom rear body brace
- R32 short shifter

- Weitec Coilovers
- R32 front arms
- R32 Sway bars
- R32 steering rack / Tie rods
- Custom rear adjustable upper / lower arms
- R32 front spindles