Locals. We love our locals here at Afterburner. Be it people native to our home here in The Summit City, or people local to the places we travel. Nothing makes the experience of a city better than the locals. They know the lay of the land, how things work, and what to expect. They are experts on their immediate area, trustworthy when it comes to decisions based on your current latitude and longitude (I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with this subject I talk about it so much). So that’s where one of our favorite locals to Northeast Indiana comes into play.

DSC07167.jpg    We met Jake Grimm almost four years ago now when we were just newbies to the Fort Wayne car scene, as well as the car scene as a whole. So in order to reach out and see what the local area we had to offer, we reached out to one our the local car clubs. As we both owned Mercedes-Benzes of the 1980’s variety at the time. We decided to look for some fellow Euro car friends and one club in question kept coming up in our searches. This club happened to be the “Fort Euro Gruppe”. You may have seen them come up in past posts of ours. “The Gruppe” is a collection of European car owners and enthusiasts who formed a coalition to further enjoy the ownership of their new age and classic European automobiles.

DSC07143    They took Brad and I in without hesitation. Showing us around. Introducing us to new people and new experiences. You could say, that Afterburner as it exists right now, probably wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the amazing men and women of the Fort Euro Gruppe. It was because of them, our love and appreciation for the automobile grew from a passing interest, to a full blown obsession.


That’s where Jake and his friends come in.  A small group of friends met up a few years ago and decided that they should share their ubiquitous passion for European steel with others in Fort Wayne, as well as the rest of Indiana. Now, the Fort Euro Gruppe is over 200 members strong and growing every day. However, that’s enough about The Gruppe. Lets get to Jake’s car.


Jakes 2008 MK5 Golf Gti is an exercise in simplicity. Like our friend Spencer’s Mk1 Jetta we featured a very long time ago, simplicity just works. Jakes car exterior wise, is kept all in house a the Volkswagen Auto Group. Save for the clear tails and the yellow bulbs he put into the factory projector headlights.


The main and lower grills have been swapped out for the set from a Jetta Wolfsburg from the same generation. With the addition of a front lip. The car looks more sophisticated, less “look at me” than the stock Gti front clip. As for suspension. The car sits on a set of fixed dampening, height adjustable coilovers. Simple, but they get the job done of bringing the car closer to Terra firma.  The footwork comes from Audi’s Nuvolari concept car. While these aren’t the exact wheels off the concept. They really fit the overall look and feel of the car. The machined face with the black inner blends with the rest of the car. All the while, the wheels are flashy enough to stand out. Save for a couple of anime themed stickers (a man after our own heart) there isn’t much to try and over complicate the exterior. That really seems to be a thing that the Euro scene really does right. Making the most of the smallest amount of changes.


Interior wise. Just one thing has been changed from when the car left the factory in Wolfsburg in 2007. That thing is a very large, racing style rear view mirror that stretches from one side of the cabin, all the way across to the other. Honestly, I think keeping it stock is the best way to go with these cars. Volkswagen does such an excellent job with the interiors in these cars (MK5 and on at least) that nothing really needs changed. Unless you are going to the track on the regular and need safety equipment.


As for power. The car has been given a host of parts to improve its performance over its factory specs. A freer flowing intake has been installed. As well as the intercooler from the blindingly quick Golf R model. The exhaust is a 2.5″ stainless steel VW Vortex Catback that feeds from a 3″ downpipe from the turbo. All of that is controlled by an APR Stage 2+ tune. To improve the feel of rowing through the gears, the shifter from an Audi TT, laced with solid shifter bushings has been installed. Again, nothing too complicated or flashy. Just improving the feel and drivabilty of the car. DSC07161DSC07182

What I really like, is that you can see that every modification to the car has been thoroughly thought out and planned before it’s happened. Every thing has been balanced out and intended to work within the flow of the whole package. To make a great car from cruising with your friends to shows, and doing a little spirited back road driving.


Jake would like to thank all of the techs at VW, especially Zack Lake and Alan Jones. For always being willing to help him out when he needed help or had questions and being eager to help out. He would also like to thank Nathan Foltz for constantly lending a hand and doing loads of work, without asking anything in return. Also for being right there by his side from the start with anything and everything Fort Euro Gruppe related.


Before I go, one more thing. This time around. When I went to feature a car. I brought Brad along. He decided to shoot some video of the car and make an accompanying feature for Jake’s VW. Being our first actual “Feature Video”. I’m very proud of what Brad was able to accomplish having to work with/around me the whole night. So here it is down below! Enjoy!




You can view the full gallery of photos of Jake’s Golf ——–>(Here)

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