Meet Rafael Gonzalez and his 1996 MKIII Volkswagen Harelquin replica. If you aren’t familiar with the Harlequin you will notice that this car is definitely not your ordinary Volkswagen. The Harlequin was a limited edition car that VW produced in 1996. The different color patterns were achieved by constructing the car by swapping body panels from other variously colored Golfs, thus making the car a limited edition. In fact, there were less than 300 produced for the North American market, which is why many people took it to themselves in converting their ordinary VW s into Harlequins. The vibrant colors are an instant attention-grabber. The original factory colors in 96 2 were Pistachio Green, Ginster Yellow, Chagall Blue, and Tornado Red. Quite a combination, I would say:
Looking at this car, you can t help but smile. Being in the tropical island of Puerto Rico, nothing is more suiting than driving around in a slammed, colorful Volkswagen brightening up people s days getting smiles from every direction. Rafael s first modification to the car was a set of Raceland coilovers along with 17 x 8 Porsche Twists. But as we all know, with slammage comes the painful issues of road obstacles and driving conditions. This is why Rafael equipped his car with Air Life Autopilot v2 air suspension, sitting on 16 x 9 Schmidt Modern Lines. The Harlequin colors were applied to the upholstery on the Momo Bennetton steering wheel as well. Nice touch!
Rafael has a background in the Volkswagen scene in Puerto Rico. His father built a 1960 VW Beetle with a turbo RX-7 rotary engine swap (sounds crazy nice). Rafael was involved in the car scene growing up, watching his dad build the car and attend shows. This was the inspiration behind his car today. He believes that each car has a story, the scene isn t all hype. There s always going to be people who look at his car and don t understand why , but he gets that. They can t understand unless they are an enthusiast themselves or at least a bit open minded. He believes that the car is an extension of its owner and his Harlequin is a positive one. Cars are a way of life, which is why Rafael wants to continue what his dad started with the preservation of the Volkswagen history in their family, and for the future.
Rafael would like to thank his wife and Marving Morales for believing in him throughout his build. Shoutout to Eduardo Colon, Carlos Medina, Carlos Gonzales and the Center East Crew (CEC).
WHEELS & SUSPENSION
- Air Lift Autopilot v2 air suspension
- Schmidt Modern Line 16 x 9 all around et15 front et 12 rear
- Falken 912 195/40/16 all around
EXTERIOR & INTERIOR
- Badgeless front grill
- Eurolip hella8
- Kamei front air ducts
- Sidemarkers and turn lights smoke
- Blue tail lights
- GTI ecodes headlights
- VR6 seats
- Momo Bennetton steering wheel
ENGINE & PERFORMANCE