Esmeralda - Vince's MK4 Jetta

Esmeralda - Vince's MK4 Jetta

As most of you know by now, we always want to see where the passion for cars began. Whether it be you grew up with bimmers, fantasied over Benz's, or molded into a life with Volkswagen's we want to know your background. With Vince, you can tell he's no different that the rest of who are enthusiast. For him it began with a MKIII Jetta that he purchased at the age of 17. As per the rest of us, basic modding was a must once the car was purchased. It wasn't until Vince stumbled across a forum based web page based in Puerto Rico, dedicated to European cars, called "EuroCrew" when the modding really took off. It was the knowledge he learned from others in the community on the site that fueled his passion. For those of us who grew up within the community here in the states, we can easily relate this to VWVortex. Hell a lot of people outside the states even used Vortex as a platform to build your knowledge. The difference is that, unlike Vortex, EuroCrewPR is more of a brotherhood among enthusiast far and wide across the island. To this day Vince is still prominent within the group/community. He currently represents the CEC Crew, which mainly consist of enthusiasts and members across the eastern coast of the island.

So with all of this in mind, what was the vision behind the MKIV then? Well the car started out with its OEM white paint and went through various phases. The car used to run a set of Porsche twists painted in yellow, along with other miscellaneous parts. After the twists came another set of Porsche wheels, but this time with a little more of an aggressive fitment. It would probably be good to note at this point that Vince is well, somewhat of a "wheel whore". With that in mind, the car was then about to undergo a severe transformation.

What started as a custom turquoise paint then sky rocketed off into another dimension all together. The car was outfitted with Votex bumpers (rear was shaved), Oettinger side skirts/grill/rear valence/roof and trunk spoiler, a euro trunk, Hella Black Magic tailights and Hella black headlights, along with a fully polished set of custom sandwich mounted Porsche Twists in 18 x 8.5 and 10. The car is also lowered on Harmann coilovers. On the interior you'll notice the MOMO Italvolanti steering wheel, OEM rear blinds, a customer headliner, and least we not forget the 2014 Focus ST Recaro's (a set of seats I personally have yet to see in any Volkswagen). All in all you can see this car is not your average Jetta, especially within Puerto Rico.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! You see the MKIV isn't the only thorough bread in Vince's stable, he also has in his possession a MKIII GTI currently on 10' wide wheels all around. And if you remember that quote about being a "wheel whore", well Vince is also known around the island for restoring wheels. You can visit his page on Facebook at "Vtowers Restore". Well as it has become a common occurrence now, we like to ask our guest a couple questions and hear their responses. One question that we constantly ask, and constantly love the responses is:

Q: The community/mentality is supposedly a little different in Puerto Rico from the states; what do you like most about the community and what do you dislike?

A: Puerto Rico’s mentality is different, there’s a lot of good projects but most people opt for fitting low quality wheels and accessories. This does promote motivation, but then you see people who do get it right and go for quality. Doing things the right way. My CEC Crew has become my family, and I like the quality of the events over  in the states, which showcase high quality builds. That drives my enthusiasm for this lifestyle.

Could there be a better response? This answer had further expanded my understanding of the community within PR. It showed me that even though we are so far apart, we are still so much alike. God forbid you run rep wheels and garbage quality parts within the states. You aren't taken seriously, because why not save money and do things right the first time? It seems people have lost sight of taking their time with things. So quickly do some people want to slap on wheels and lower a car at any means possible, yet they don't understand the consequences they may so reap. Luckily, Vince has taken his time and properly built a car that reflects himself and his community. The only thing Vince wishes he could have that we have stateside is the quality of our roads. Trust me if you think you complain about your local roads, then you've never seen those in Puerto Rico.

So with all this in mind, what does the future hold for Vince and the Jetta? Well not much for the Jetta as sad as that may be. But as Vince puts it, "Well I think it’s time for a new project. After being done with all this work, I’m thinking of parting it out and selling it to move on to a new project. I think I’ve done enough and I’m looking onto bigger and better things." Of course we can't wait to see what the future has in store. Especially after seeing what the Jetta has become.

Vince would like to thank his family and friends, the CEC Crew and EuroCrew for the motivation throughout the years, his wife for sticking with him through thick and thin, and one of good friends Rafael Gonzales for being a great friend and mentor. "I also want to welcome everyone willing to represent the island, the community, and show all the potential that there is in Puerto Rico." We would like to thank Vince for giving us the opportunity to write about himself and his Jetta. As always we want to thank the community in PR for continuing to showcase quality builds and being home to some serious enthusiasts. You can check out Vince's car and many others that we have previously featured (and some we haven't) in Eric Rojas' latest video, a documentary series about the community in Puerto Rico here. Thank you to all for your continued support, and keep watch for the continued rise of our Empire.

Photos by Gabriel Rodriguez

Words by Sean O'Connor


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