Well ladies and gentlemen it's that time again, to throw Thursday back a couple years. To look into the past at prior builds and drool over the cars we once loved all over again. This week we had the privilege to throw Thursday back with the one and only Mike Newton. Some say he is the father of the internet, and that he doesn't understand the concept of running wheels that aren't part of the OZ family. All we know is that once upon a time he built a seriously immaculate Volkswagen Jetta, and is currently in the process of killing the old school Mercedes game. And as you've probably guessed, in this article we're going to peer back in time at his stunning MKV Jetta as well as understand what got Mike into cars in the first place. So without further a due, lets hop in the DeLorean themed Scirocco and hit 88mph back a couple years.
If you use social media, browse most car forums, and visit SOWO or H2Oi then you've more than likely heard of or met Mike Newton. Then again you probably know him by many different names such as tbmikeeee, or Mr. Internet, or even Futura Mike. But if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Mike, then you should know he is one of the most helpful and knowledgeable individuals in the game. But Mike didn't come out the womb wrenching hard time on cars like it was his job. In fact, like most of us, it wasn't until his teenage years when he really got into motorized vehicles with his friends. When it was time to get his first car, he was originally eye balling cars that were not entirely in his price range, such as Mustangs and other cars in that range at the time. It wasn't until he laid eyes on a MKV GLI that he realized, that was what he had wanted. Yet still it was out of his price range. But then, falling out the skies from the VW Gods, a MKV Wolfsburg Jetta ended up landing in his lap. So he took it an ran with it, and never looked back.
While owning the Jetta Mike caused some real havoc, as any teenager would with their first car. It wasn't until he burnt through his first set of tires that his parents told him he could do whatever he pleased with the car, so long as he pays everything himself. Which is just what he did, by working hard to make his own money he was able to do as he pleased with the car. It was at this point when the hunting began to form ideas of what he wanted to do to the car, a vision was created. Eventually Mike ended up with the car hammered on coils, so low to the point where the axles could not take the beating. Shortly after the driver axle went out and was replaced, the passenger side then followed suit. However, it blew in a way that Mike was unable to fix it himself simply because he didn't have the tools at the time. After having a bad experience with the dealership that repaired the axle, Mike knew that he would never trust anyone else except himself to work on his car.
Sometime after, Mike had acquired a set of OZ Futuras that were in very bad shape and in desperate need for attention. But Mike, had lost his vigor for the car and was close to selling it after seeing Nick Lano's E30 BMW in it's first stage. However, after a health incident, Mike realized that he would keep the car and make his vision become a reality. Mind you at this point the car already had most of the exterior pieces done; such as the shaved European trunk, GLI side skirts and rear valance, European front lip, Cherry Red European LED taillights, and shaved side markers. It's at this point that you realize there was a lot of hard work and time put into the vehicle. By the way that was just the exterior of the vehicle; on the interior there was full black suede headliner, a Nardi Deep Corn lether Sport Rally wheel, as well as Recaro Speed black cloth seats. So after deciding to keep the car, Mike went ahead a purchased a set of bags and 1552 Tarmacs off of a good friend. I'm sure many of you remember this stage when the car made its way down to EuroTripper 1!
If most of you remember, shortly after EuroTripper 1 was the MysteryMeet hosted by the gents over at V2Lab. This was also the same time that the Tarmacs were sold and Mike began to work on restoring the Futuras. But it wasn't all fun and games, as he only had 3 months to get the car ready with wheels on and finish certain touch ups in preparation for SOWO. I can remember the weeks coming and Mike stressing because the lips would not mount properly on the barrels and faces. After some back and forth with the company that sent the lips to him, they finally got him the right set. Oh yeah, this was only 36 hours before leaving for Helen. The fenders were rolled and pulled 10 hours before leaving to Helen, this is the absolute definition of 'Crunch Time'. But in the end the car a came out looking magnificent, and definitely something to remember for years to come.
Although we are sad to see the Jetta go, we're happy to see the new candidates and excited to see what the future has in store for them. At the end of the day, Mike had a vision for the Jetta and executed it how he wanted. If you're a real MKV enthusiast, then hopefully you're able to point out some not so easily noticed modifications. Mike has always been a good friend to all of us, and like so many enthusiast he is a hard worker. Always making sure his cars are to his standard, even as he works day to day and attends college. I'd like to thank Mike for agreeing to be this weeks Throwing Back Thursdays recipient, and we wish you safe travels as you traverse up and down the East Coast. If you see him, make sure to say hey!
Words by Sean O'Connor
Photos by Anthony Sundell