" I crashed it a couple of times and welded it back together. Now the odo shows 393000km with the 2.0 8V still untouched and running strong. It never let me down, no matter how hard I abused it on the Autobahn or on the Nürburgring"

Stefan Spies' Daily Driven MK3 GTI Words : John Krueger Photos : Gerog Vent & Stefan Spies

The internet has really made the world shrink. Everything and everyone is connected and accessible whenever we feel necessary. Because of the internet, I've made some pretty cool friends from places that I never imagined. One of those friends is a gentleman by the name of Stefan Spies. We met online through mutual interests and friends and started building our friendship some years back. I finally got to meet him two years ago when he made an extended trip to the US to visit, and to say it was pretty cool to meet someone I had only known online in person would be a gross understatement. Stefan hails from just outside of Cologne, Germany.

"This was Stefan's former daily-driver, as he decided to retire the car after a particular incident at the famous Nurburgring. When I say that this car did everything, I really mean it. This car was taken on road trips all over Europe, as well as car shows such as Worthersee, VW Days, and MIVW. It was also used to shuttle Stefan to his job every day, and occasionally, down the road to the Nurburgring where he was a regular fixture on the twisty turns of the “Green Hell.” How many people can say that? "

He and his brother are fairly obsessed with Volkswagens, and like most Germans, know a thing or two about turning out a killer Vdub. While they both have long-term VW projects, our focus today is on Stefan's daily-driver: a 1995 VW GTI 20th Anniversary Edition.

The car's story is what really makes it stand out, and we're all for swapping cool stories about cool cars. It makes you wonder what some cars could tell us if they could talk. I’ll do my best to interpret Stefan's GTI's story. Coupled with a really cool history, the car also sports a rather impressive spec-list, all of which has been performed by the owner and his brother. In its lifetime, the GTI covered a total of 393,000 kilometers with the original 2.0-liter 8-valve motor never missing a beat. In the owner's words, “I crashed the car a couple times, cut it apart, and welded it back together.” From the pictures, it's kind of hard to tell, as the car is so bloody clean and ridiculously low. “The car has been driven through half of Europe and I use it every day for my daily commute.” It's been to Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, England, France, Austria sitting that low and static.

The 16” Azev As are a classic wheel choice and very period-correct for the 90s VW hatch and look right at home tucked nicely against the MK3's fenders. Inside, you're treated with Color Concept model seats and a plaid head-liner, finished off with red harnesses and an OMP steering wheel. All business for Stefan's laps around the 'Ring.

While the car may be a little low for some people's tastes, you can’t deny that the car looks good. The ride height and wheel fitment are damn near perfect, and the simple body mods really highlight everything. The red and gold color combo is a classic, but Stefan really made it his own by carrying the gold into the engine bay as well, applying it to the valve cover and transmission.

All in all, the car leaves a lasting impression, all while looking rather unassuming. I think that's what kept drawing me to, and made me a fan of, the red hatchback. I was pretty bummed when Stefan told me he was getting rid of the car. Thankfully, he pulled everything from the car, and just junked the shell, keeping it all for a future MK3 project. So, while this may be the last time you see pictures of this car, it's spirit will live on.

Hopefully my tribute does the car some justice, as well as leave a small token of appreciation for the owner whom I'm lucky to call a friend. Please enjoy the photos and check the spec-list for a full run-down of the work that went into customizing this awesome GTI.

"The Golf has been in my possession for nearly five years now. When I bought the Golf, it was a stock 20th Anniversary GTI, save for a lowered suspension, and had 224000km on the odo. During these five years, I made quite a few changes to it and did a lot of repairs. I crashed it a couple of times and welded it back together. Now the odo shows 393000km with the 2.0 8V still untouched and running strong. It never let me down, no matter how hard I abused it on the Autobahn or on the Nürburgring. I drove it through half of Europe (It's been to Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, England, France, Austria sitting that low and static) and I use it every day for my daily commute. "