Some of us have friends that don’t take care of their cars. Let’s be real about it. We all know a homie who lets his oil drop out of his sheared to shit drain plug, and tops that bad boy off every other week or so. We also have that one friend who is so anal about their car that it rarely sees the light of day, if ever. Lucky for us, Kevin Brown is more like the later of the two but he actually drives his insanely clean MKIV GLI. And when I say “drive” I don’t mean down to the local cars and Coffee, the man took it Helen, GA because why not?
You may of seen us talk about King Carrot aka Kevin, in previous articles. Like the time he boothed his car for O-Town Customs at Simply Clean last year, and then again for us at Eurotripper back in February. From both of those shows, right up until this past weekend, the car has gone through a couple of changes. In fact the car has gone through a ton of changes since it was first purchased by Kev.
So where do we start? Well Kevin has a been a boyo (previously discussed in last years SC9 article) for, well, forever I can only assume. I met Kevin around 2 years ago when he had first purchased the GLI. From then on I quickly realized how awesome of a person Kevin is. Always the first to lend a hand no matter the situation.
Prior to the GLI big Kev owned a 97 M-Edition Miata, the car that most people may know Kev for. In fact VW’s are fairly new to King Carrot compared to his previous projects. I mean if you know Kev then you’d know that apparently Chevy LS engines reign supreme over all others and that DSM’s are fun even when they’re broken. I know what you’re thinking, “they call him Carrot cause he’s brain dead.” But no! You see Kev grew up being involved with cars just like the rest of us. He reached the age where dad finally allows you into the garage, even if it was solely for the purpose to hold a wrench or flashlight. For Kev, this was enough to instantly ignite a spark to have a passion towards cars. You can’t be mad at Kev for thinking LS’ are genuinely good, his dad had a C5 Vette when Kev was around 13 that he would take them riding in. As far as DSM’s go, the carrot had one as a project once upon a time. Even built the trans himself. Not an easy feat by any means. Unfortunately the car was vandalized by a bunch of idiots.
Which brings us to our next point. Why on this sweet green earth did Kev purchase a MKIV GLI. Possibly the worst looking Jetta among Jettas, in my opinion (sorry MK4 fam). HOWEVER, this is not true amongst all MKIV’s. No you see there are a select few people who manage to make these things look absolutely stunning. And in his own way, Kev cracked the code. I asked Kev why? Why a MKIV let alone a VW? Well after the Miata, Kev wanted something that was bigger and comfortable, more refined, and somewhat easy enough to modify. The main person responsible for the decision to stumble into a MKIV came from Ryan Heeley who at one point in time owned a MKIV GTI which was really very good. After asking advice, Kev went and jumped on the car that we see today. A two owner GLI from Jacksonville. And as Kev says, “the rest is history.” And let me tell you folks, history feels like it was just yesterday. As it should considering the car sits how it does today in just over a year and half’s worth of ownership.
If you don’t know anything about Jettas then you might think it’s just a really clean GLI that’s been bagged and put on a set of wheels. When in fact it’s far from that.
The first stage of the car consisted of a pretty simple set up with the purchase of Rotiform BLQ’s (bless those wheels) and reduced ground level via Air Lift air-bags and V2. By somewhat simple I mean of course the addition of a custom trunk setup with copper hard lines and of course spare lines because boyos like to traverse distances. This stage began what seemed to be an endless quest for Kev to find wheels that constantly improved when compared to the last. After the BLQ’s which were beat to hell and back, came a set of Rotiform KPS. And if I’m honest they’ve probably been one of my favorite sets of wheels on Kevin’s car. They were rocked at SC9 and again at ET6 this past year. But after the KPS’ is when some of the more major changes came to the car. This started with a shave of the front emblem and filling of the notch, shaved side markers from the fenders, and shaved trunk along with fresh paint. Both the air ride install and body work were completed by our good friends over at O-Town Customs, Stephan Prezzi and Tony Sundell. With the body complete, this meant new wheels had to be purchased because stuntin is a habit amirite? So came into play the Rotiform DIA’s which looked damn good. Especially on our trip North to Helen, GA.
We have to pause from the mods for a second to explain why exactly we went to Helen. As everyone knows, SoWo is no longer a thing. Yet we decided to forgo attending EuroEx in Savannah for a week long trip in the city that started it all. As did quite a few other people who may have thought an offshoot meet known as SoWhat would of been taking place. It wasn’t. But that didn’t stop us from having an absolute blast. Especially for Kevin who had never previously been to Helen or attended a SoWo event. This is where I have to give many props to Kev. You see he doesn’t often drive the GLI save for the occasionally weekend, show, or just going out to a VW night at Ace. But for Helen, the boyo knew the Crayon (GLI) had to be driven up. And that’s exactly what he did. I was thoroughly impressed with how well the car did on the way up with zero issues. Kev even drove up and down the hills and went on an hour long cleanse one day after recovering from what we all consider to be the worst hangovers we’ve ever had. So you see, Kev isn’t the typical car guy who baby’s his car and leaves it in a cave telling it to apply coatings of wax or it gets the hose again. Kev is willing to put the Crayon through its paces when need be, and for that I respect Kev more
So where are we today? Well as of last week Kev’s new wheels have been fitted to the car. Although they may look like Carline’s, they aren’t... annnd they are. You see once upon a time, Schmidt purchased the rights of these wheels from Carline. So technically they aren’t reps. They’re a set of Schmidt Tracer Tech 2 faces, rebuilt using double stepped lips and barrels from VR that Kev mated together himself. The setup is assisted via IDF drop plates, and will be modified further as the Carrot is currently hunting for MKIV R32 spindles and lower control arms if anyone happens to be getting rid of a set. Overall, Kevin’s car embodies his idea of a quality built VW. And who can blame him, the car in person is absolutely gorgeous to gaze upon. Kevin and the Williams brothers out of Merritt Island have easily won over my top 3 MKIV’s. In fact a close source (Tommy) has stated Kevin was inspired to build his car after seeing Christian Williams car but we can neither confirm or deny those claims. Boyos are probably dying laughing after reading that last sentence.
If you have questions feel free to ask us at Simply Clean this coming year. As for the future? Who knows what path Kev will go down. Whether the Crayon sticks around a few more years or gets sold, we have no idea. What we do know is that Kevin’s attention to detail and quality are right up our alley. Kev’s theory was to achieve a balance between a ‘classic’ clean MKIV with hints of scene at the same time. And just the right amount I’d say. After all, MKIV’s were the bridge between the older stylings of the 80’s and 90’s box, to the newer and rounder style of future VW’s. Again, I’m not a huge fan of MKIV’s by any means, but Kevin’s Crayon really is a sight to see amongst a sea of clout. Make sure to come check out the Crayon and possibly meet Kev and the rest of us boyos at Simply Clean this November at Destination Daytona in Daytona Beach, FL! Below you’ll find a full list of mods performed to the GLI.
- Shaved front emblem/notch filled
- Shaved fender side marker
- Shaved trunk
- VX Tuning E-Codes
- Hella Clear tails
- Custom Trunk setup / copper hardlines
- MK6 Steering Wheel with multi-function delete
- 3” downpipe, resonator delete, custom tip via OTC
- Neuspeed intake
- 034 Motorsports DV
- Currently on stock map but previously ran Stage 2
- Air Lift air-ride suspension with V2 management
- IDF drop plates
- Tracer Tech 2 faces / double stepped lips & barrels via VR Wheels
Kevin would also like to give a huge shout out to the following:
- BIG TEXAS shoutout to O-Town Customs, Prezzi and Tony for all of their hard work
- Thank you to Peter at VR Wheels for going above and beyond sourcing lips and barrels
- “ALL of the boyos for never ending positive support and being dem bois”
- Tommy Williams for tough love
Full photo album: Click Here
Words by Sean O'Connor
Photos by George Malioras and Skyelar Pifer