Chris Bailey’s Mk6 GTI

We’ve got a lot of things going for us in the United States – football, drive-thrus, and Kate Upton all make us proud to be Americans, and for good reason. But when it comes to cars, we sometimes get the short end of the stick. Case and point: the MKVI GTI. In Europe, the sixth-generation OG of hot hatches got all sorts of options and kit we were denied Stateside, and that just didn’t sit right with Chris Bailey. But what started as a Euro-spec cosmetic overhaul ended up as much, much more…


Chris says he began lusting after the MKV GTI, and soon began lurking around VWVortex for a used MKVI. Enthusiasts are an uncompromising bunch, fueled by the desire for perfection. Chris knew exactly how his ideal GTI would be outfitted, so when a 2010 Tornado Red GTI popped up for sale in Milwaukee, he didn’t hesitate. He put down a deposit that night, jumped on a plane, and drove 400 miles back home to St. Louis.


It wasn’t long before Chris was chasing down every Euro-spec bit he could find. At first it was straightforward – an OEM European cup holder, dash cubby, headlight switch, front lip and a set of LED Golf R taillights. Definitely a cleaner look, but retrofits were just the tip of the iceberg, and Chris soon found his car slammed on KW coils.


The GTI’s claim to fame is versatility – the ‘classless performance car’ for everybody and anybody. From the outset, Chris knew he wanted a daily driver that was low, quick, and comfortable. Unfortunately, coilovers just weren’t fitting the bill. So last July, he took the leap and switched to bags.

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Static guys might scoff at the means, but nobody can dispute the results. Just the slightest hint of rake really sets the car off, and is echoed in the staggered 18-inch BBS LMs. The color-matched center caps, polished lips and gold hardware give it just the right amount of bling against those onyx wheel faces.


Sure, the idea of bags may touch a nerve with some ‘purists’, but the reality is that they actually help in staying faithful to the real roots of the GTI: fun and usability. Speed hump? Air up. Cruise time? Drop it down. Plus, without haggard fenders and a scabbed bumper, Chris’ MKVI keeps the clean pop of an OEM+ look he set out for.


Chris wanted to make sure that his fiancée and the Rival House crew all got a big shout out for their help and patience. And of course Carrtel, Whips&Chocolate, Jacob Brcic Photography and Max Prince for the article. He says the GTI will shut down shortly for a clutch install and front-end respray, but he has no intention of selling it any time soon. With all the hard work and meticulous detail that went into perfecting this MKVI, we won’t blame him for holding onto it as long as possible.




  • BBS LM
  • Front: 18x9 et 32 Yokohama S-Drive 215/40/R18
  • Rear 18x10 et 35 Yokohama S-Drive 225/40/R18
  • Reverse Mounted
  • Redrilled to 5x112
  • GT3 RS Gray painted centers
  • Full Chrome Barrels and Lips
  • Gold BBS Hardware
  • Red BBS Centercaps
  • Accuair E-Level Management
  • Airlift Slam XL Front Struts
  • Slam Specialties SS-5 Rear Bags
  • Dorbritz D-Cups
  • Koni Yellows
  • Front Sway Bar Removed
  • H&R 24mm RSB
  • 440c Viair Compressor
  • 5 Gallon Skinny Tank Painted Candy White
  • Copper Hard Lines by Mikey Adkins
  • Passenger Side Frame Notch


  • OEM Euro Golf R LED Taillights
  • OEM Euro Front Lip
  • Gloss Black Front and Rear VW Emblems
  • Tornado Red Painted Side Markers
  • DRL Disabled
  • OEM Euro Cup Holder
  • OEM Aluminum Glove Box Handle
  • OEM Euro Dash Cubby
  • OEM Golf Ball Shift Knob
  • OEM Euro Switch
  • AWE Vent Mount Boost Gauge


  • APR Stage II Tune
  • APR Stage I and II Intake
  • Noisepipe Delete
  • S3 Intercooler
  • AWE Turbo Outlet Pipe
  • Ultimate Racing 3” Downpipe with high flow cat and resonator
  • Magnaflow Catback
  • S3 Shifter
  • 42DD Shift bushings and mounts