Throwback: Katie Horn’s Time-tested Volkswagen Jetta

Posted by On July - 16 - 2014 | Share on Facebook!

Photography By: Josh Gilmore

Words By: David Monzingo

Nowadays it seems as though cars are becoming more and more disposable. We see cars get built for an extended period of time, revealed at a big car show or feature, and then quickly disassembled or sold. On the flipside, there are cars that owners become attached to, and for lack of a better term, have a longer relationship that lasts; sometimes the better half of a decade, or in some cases even longer. Katie has maintained ownership of her ’99 Volkswagen Jetta for over seven years now, and she has no intention to part ways any time soon.

A little back-story on this car before we get into details — when I first got into cars, some seven years ago, I remember scrolling through countless picture threads saving photos of anything and everything that caught my eye. As a newcomer I began to shape what my idea of the perfectly modded car would be. I remember saving numerous photos of Katie’s Jetta, it’s always been one that has stood out to me. I firmly believe that a car does not need to be overdone to get attention — a simple approach can definitely go a long way.

Katie acquired the car with some minor modifications to it, but while being surrounded by Volkswagens her entire life with her dad being a VW technician, modifying the car quickly got underway. Now with a car as old as this it’s almost certain that the modifications have in some way, shape or form been done before… but that’s not to say a car can’t still stand out. Katie’s first extensive modification was shaving the front bumper: extending the flat section of the bumper out, deleting the sections where the turn signals and fogs would normally go, as well as smoothing over the side marker locations.

With the relocation of turn signals into the lower ducts Katie successfully kept all of the lights fully functional. Along with adding a badgeless grill to clean up the look of the front end Katie’s Jetta also sports a chrome strip that follows the bumper line around the rear, enhancing the implied body line that encompasses this third generation Volkswagen sedan.

Wheels are always a decision that can go many different directions. Katie’s decision to stick with an OEM+ wheel suits this car marvelously. A staggered set of polished 16” Porsche Gottis fit under all four corners, measuring 7.5” wide in the front and 8” out back. With the help of Airlift Suspension, V2 management, and a tidy trunk setup Katie’s Jetta sits quite neatly.

Now if you’re not too familiar with Volkswagen, or MK3s in general, you may overlook some subtle details that have been plucked from various other peoples’ cars to further push the envelope.

On the exterior Cabrio 3.5 mirrors were fitted to give the car a less squared-off look. One detail even I failed to notice until she mentioned it to me was the shortened rear spoiler. Again, subtle yet aesthetically pleasing. Polished bits seem to litter Katie’s car, from the Gottis and the trim, to the strut bars, intake and valve covers found in the engine bay. The interior continues its OEM+ flavor with the addition of Volkswagen Beetle shift knob and headrests. Without much modification these pieces compliment the MK3′s interior quite well while not looking the least bit out of place.

Katie would like to give a huge thanks to her dad for his continuous support and knowledge, as well as Airlift performance for their customer support when trouble arose. Katie and her Jetta are prime examples of an ownership that lasts longer than just a build and a few shows. After seven years of ownership Katie still very much enjoys this car. We aren’t too sure what she has up her sleeve next, but it’s sure to not disappoint!


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