We know, it's been a damn long time since we put out one of these types of articles. A showcase of a quality car and overall great person. Not to mention that we've had this article finished for some time now. But due to our feature presentation moving to North Carolina, it took us some time to get some quality shots of his car. But thankfully we were able to see him at SoWo 9 this year, and grab some epic shots.
Once every blue moon, you meet someone who has such a strong personality that it's hard to forget them. It's as if they bring a breath of fresh air and always know how to keep a smile on everyone's face. Not to mention they are always willing to lend a helpful hand where need be. Sami Ghbein is simply put, one of those people. I've known Sami for quite some years now, and he has been nothing but a great friend to myself and others. We're gonna get into what he's all about, and the gorgeous blue berry that is his MKV GTI.
If you know Sami, then you known he is out spoken. He's about as tall as Dani DeVito and is also known by his code name, 'Donut'. By the way if any of you see him, and have not had the pleasure of meeting him previously, please ask about his tattoo. You won't be disappointed. But despite his stature and and funny nickname, Sami is one of the most knowledgeable and helpful person that you might have the chance of coming in contact with. Did we mention he's easily one of the funniest people that we know? See I met Sami a couple years back when he came out to Orlando for school. At this point his MKV GTI was no where near what it is now. Hell it was still grey and wasn't close to touching the floor, unlike how it is now. But no matter how many years it's been, Sami has still been the same person he was when I first met him.
So how about a little background on this guy so we can all get a sense of who he is. Sami's venture into European cars started with his first car, a MKIV TDI. But driving the car to and from school and work quickly got boring. And that's when it happened, Sami ended up catching a case of the modification flu. It really took full affect when he purchased an 86' MKII GTI, it was at this time that he also got his current MKV. However, the MKV was only a daily driver as the MKII had become a project. But as if it wasn't enough having one MKII, Sami got rid of it and then purchased ANOTHER MKII. The thing with second one though, is that it had a 12v VR swap with nitrous. I don't know if you understand how light a MKII is, but with nitrous and a VR you might as well call it the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Well that was for at least a year until a rod bearing spun just before making the move down to FL. Ah but alas, the ol' faithful MKV was still strong and went from being the daily, to the all around.
So after the hike to FL, the MKV had coils thrown on it and was brought out to the local meets/hangs. This was how I had originally seen the car and met Sami. It was shortly after this time when the ratchetness had ensued, well with the wide wheels and baconized fenders. But at that point Sami didn't really care much for looks as he cared for going lower than most other static cars had dreamed at that time. It wasn't until after Sami had broke damn near every suspension part known and become absolutely fed up with maintenance and horrible handling that he decided he should clean it up a bit. So the fenders were properly fixed, the car was resprayed in Laguna Seca Blue, and an Airlift Slam Series kit was purchased from Alex at Eurospec MotorSports. Sami had wanted to go in a different direction with the MKV, but honestly how many other MKV's have you seen that look exactly the same when they were static versus being bagged. I mean the guys car was literally laying frame static, and now that its bagged he can still lay frame and only worry one fourth as much.
So I'm sure with all this blabbering that you guys would love to know what all is really done to the car. Well as you know the quarter panels are custom widened and the car is painted Laguna Seca Blue (only the second best blue in my opinion. Porcelain being the first (insert smirk)). There's also the Slam series front bags and double bellow airlift rear bags. The previous wheels were MB Battles in 18x9 and 18x9.5, however the new set up is rocking 18xstupid wide Cosmis Racing XT206R's. A set of bolt on flares were added to properly tuck the super wide wheels underneath the cars arches, as well as a Wolfsburg front grill that is color matched, and a Votex lip. Sami even went ahead and built himself a customer rear diffuser to complete the new set up. The interior is wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl and the headliner/pillars are wrapped in black sued. The motor has an AEM intake, BSH VTA catch can, R8 coilpacks, a diverter valve spacer, and a cat back exhaust to some very loud blast pipes.
You know we all have a very different outlook on the way the European car scene is today versus how it was in the past. But here's Sami's take on it, "There's a lot of people that do not like where the scene is going but I'm not most people. Some say that the "Young Kids" at the shows are ruining it for everyone else cause they are partying and doing burnouts and getting ratchet, where I believe its the exact opposite! I feel like it's the out of the box crazy people and cars that are keeping the scene alive, otherwise all of the cars in the scene would look the same. I love where the scene is headed, lots of camber, crazy colors, wheels that shouldn't even fit a dually truck and people getting wild in the cars and at shows. Now that is what it's all about!"
Now none of this would be possible if it wasn't for Sami himself, as well as some of his friends who have helped along the way. Sami would like to give a personal shout out to Travis and Shane Kucyk for filling his head with crazy ideas, but also helping to make the ideas become a reality. We love Sami and continue to wish him well as he continues to pursue everything else he wants to do with the car. We would also like to say that we miss him dearly and have high hopes of seeing him this fall at Simply Clean!
Photos by Tyler Nelson
Words by Sean O'Connor