Words/Photos : Ethan Watson
Some cars are built to hide away in a garage, some to be driven reliably, and others to be tested on a track. All with different purposes and all with different characteristics. Travis Dyke’s Volkswagen MK3 Golf has a more unique character to it than most.
For three years this car sat under a tree in Michigan, rusting away. Just before the owner planned to scrap the car at a junk yard, Travis found it on a local car forum called MIVE (Michigan Volkswagen Enthusiasts) and asked his buddy Zack Walker for a loan to make an offer on the car. Within the next week Travis started up a job granted by his friend Tyler Box, pay’d back the loan and had an MK3 in his possession.
The mk3 however was nothing pretty. With a bum starter, no reverse, rust here and there and other issues, Travis had a lot of work to do. Dave Ariss, a good friend of Travis and noted gear head helped him replace the starter to get the mk3 rolling down the road. From that moment on, Travis has driven it daily.
Travis wasted no time in hunting down Vento interior parts along with unique junk yard bits and for sale parts around the area to clean up his interior. Interior and Reverse were right at the top of his priority list. He was not the biggest fan of pushing the car backwards frequently. With some help from Derek Box, the transmission was dropped, swapped and fresh to go. Sometime after that in October of last year, Travis while driving home was met with a common incident in Michigan – Colliding with a deer crossing the road. With help from his friends of Aaron Meeuwsen, Dustin Fisher, Tyler Box, Nate Rash, and Dave Ariss however the car was back on the road in a week, new paint to boot.
Recently Travis has updated his door cards with leather GLX door cards and a fresh golf sport plaid seats. Travis has a unique trait of hand painting things. He wrote out Volkswagen on his upper glove box and his favorite team logo on the gas cap along with other bits around the car. Up front his Golf has GTI dual chamber headlights with Yellow high’s accompanied with Euro Turns. Down below hums a custom 2.25 cat back exhaust.
The wheels on this VW have a whole unique story of their own. The Momo Stars were given to Trav in pretty rough shape, one infact had an entire chunk missing out of lip and barrel. Using another wheel Travis had, his Dad and him cut a chunk out of that barrel to fit into the missing piece of the Momo’s. Derek Box once again pulled through, helping Travis weld it all up and powder coated the set for him. Once out of paint, Travis and I personally made a trip over to mount up his tires. The “Frankenstein” wheel pleasantly surprised us by balancing perfectly.
With the crunch of Detroit’s Euro car show Motorstadt approaching, Travis Hustled to custom make a set of center caps for the Momo’s using 13″ VW steelies and a Dremmel. The next three days before the show Travis also replaced his clutch cable and made sure the car was perfect. The night before the show however brought some exciting and sad news. As Travis got out of work and started up his Golf to head home for the night, smoke started to pour out of the dash. He scrambled to shut down all power to the car and left his car in the parking lot for the weekend, missing out on the show.
When back from the show, Travis replaced the fried wiring harness and got right back into the swing of finding parts to keep building this Golf. This mk3 is nowhere close to being complete, but the work put into this Golf is noteworthy. The Euro flavor and love that has gone into it has brought this car back from the dead and crafted it into one distinctive Volkswagen. With the plans to come, it’s certain this will not be the last time you’ll hear about this veedub.
PEOPLE TO THANK -
Parents, Dave Ariss, The Box Brothers, Scott @ OEMSquared, Dustin Fisher, Aaron Meeuwsen, Nate Rash, HtownEuros, MIVE, Zack Walker and all the friends and family who helped.
GLX leather door cards
Momo Stars 15×7
Custom 2.25 cat back exhaust
Hand Painted Accents
Oil Pan W/ Welded on Skid Plate
Wood Floor Trunk
Leather suede Recaro seats
Upper Glove Box
Rusted Rivited Fender
Black ABC Pillars
Cetercaps made from 13″ vw steelies
GTI dual chamber headlights with yellow highs