Project GTI: One Year In

The last few weeks have been hectic to say the least, so this is going to be a quick one.

It only occurred to me yesterday (when I say occurred, I mean Facebook sent me one of those memory posts) that I’ve owned Project GTI now for exactly a year. Honestly, it really doesn’t feel like an entire 12 months have passed since I picked the car up stock from the dealer’s forecourt. When I started searching for a Mk6 GTI, I had a very clear idea in my head of how it would look and what direction it was going to take. Looking at it now, I feel a certain amount of pride for sticking with this idea, even if it often wasn’t the easiest route to take. It remains every bit as useable and practical as the day I bought it, but sharper and more focused. It’s become the exact car I’ve always wanted, at least this side of an Audi RS6.

I was supposed to get some track time in the car this month, which is currently looking like it won’t happen due to the life of a freelancer. I did however, just spend two days working across some of my favourite roads in the world, which finally allowed me to drive the car in a more spirited manner. After making some slight pressure changes to the Air Lift Performace 3H setup, I was quickly able to dial in a preset which gave me 100 per cent confidence in the car over both the smooth and rough surfaces. The car is an absolute blast to drive, and I don’t have to worry about smashing my new splitter either.

But, even with as much as I’ve changed and upgraded, I keep finding myself wanting to extract just a little bit more from the car. A little bit more power would always be nice, as would a proper mechanical LSD. I’d like to tighten the suspension componentry with fresh bushings and complement the Air Lift setup with stiffer ARBs and maybe an anti-lift kit. I still think I have a little bit more room to play with before I cross the line into compromising the car’s daily driver duties.

I just need to get on track with it first, to really see its full potential.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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She's a beaut. Inspiration to all us other MK6 owners out there. Cheers!


It's been already a year?? Damn, after opening speedhunters every single day, it seems like it was yesterday.


Its a lovely car dude, really pleased to see it at Players, hope to see it again soon. Perhaps sharing the tarmac with my RST at some point. Keep up the good work Paddy!


It's great when a plan comes together. Looking forward to more updates


960 Dude, seriously. I was thinking this same thing.


PatrickPeebles 960 you're not alone...time flies when you're having fun


That front lip splitter is damned nice, what is it?


Very tastefully modified. One thing that I like about this project is that small things incrementally make the car very special. You guys have the added benefit of being authors/bloggers, so I feel like these companies you're working with put in that little extra effort to get cool little mods into these project cars. That's just me though, and I believe it makes for good reads here. 

One question; are all the SH project cars personal endeavors? How are they being funded? Just curious. Keep the posts comin!


She's a stunner Paddy, you should be proud!!!


that front splitter is nice. i'd like to pick 1 up for my MK6. where would i do that besides dropping by and grabbing yours? LOL!!! that GTI has the right look. keep it up!


The art of modification is to find that balance between performance and endurance. Get a suspension setup that's too stiff, a turbo upgrade that's too reactive, an exhaust that's too loud or a clutch that grips like a tractor, and you're fun little hatch can turn into a real pain. Great job!


More pictures paddy! The GTI looks awesome


otar Hopefully get some time to drive / shoot it again on track soon. And thank you!


Matt_Redondo Absolutely, it's all too easy to go that one step too far and end up on a slippery slope.


Turboman48 ECS Tuning :)


davey_bevan I am, although I still want more from it!


AlexMcCabe An ECS Tuning carbon splitter, not sure on the model name but it's pretty easy to find.


STEFawnFLORES Thanks mate, you're too kind.


960 Right? I couldn't believe it either!


TurboHippie That sounds like a good plan.


johnbezt Thanks, John. I agree that lots of small upgrades are better than one or two huge changes. The details make a car.

I've never had any products forced on me, but I have been fortunate enough to have received help, support and guidance from a lot of people putting this project together. It's very much my car, which I own, pay for and maintain myself. If it wasn't, it probably would have been finished six months ago!


DaveT Thanks, Dave!


How many KMs have you clocked in that beautiful car Paddy?


Bima Leksono 22,591KM since the day I bought it, not including the current tank of fuel I'm still driving on. Yes, I'm a strange one.


nice stance....oh sorry...


Paddy, where was this picture taken? Drove down Corkscrew Hill on the N67 the other day, what a road!


RahRooReeRah About 10 minutes from the M50 in Dublin :)


DonnaRWalters mine too!! but in yellow.