Green Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf Cabrio

Plenty of cars are built with passion, but some just have more emotion infused into them. This VW Cabrio, owned and built by Chris Little, is one of those examples. This is a story with more history than your average bagged VW.

Coming from Montreal, Chris decided he needed a change of pace from his cover-featured VR6 Golf. Out of the blue, he parted out the VR6 and his VR Corrado project vehicle, and made plans to head west to British Columbia.

Green Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf Cabrio

After selling almost everything, he had to find an inexpensive vehicle to drive all the way to BC. After some searching, he ended up buying his mom’s black, slightly-rusted VW Cabrio. This is where things start to get interesting.

Green Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf Cabrio

Green Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf CabrioGreen Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf CabrioGreen Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf Cabrio

Being the car guy he is, Chris couldn’t leave this Cabby stock. Using some left over parts from his previous builds, Chris swapped in a manual transmission, a set of Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and did a five-bolt conversion with four discs so he could run his black Schimdt TH-Line wheels from his Golf. Other quick mods included e-code headlights, a badgeless grill and fancy wood MOMO steering wheel.

Fast forward, Chris decided to return back to Montreal. His cabby ran great over the thousands of miles during his trip, but now that he was home it was time to get serious. Not even two weeks after getting home Chris removed the stock 2.0L and threw in a VR6. In typical style, Chris's VR6 didn't stay stock for long either. A GIAC chip, C2 Motorsports intake and 2.5-inch Magnaflow exhaust were thrown on to add a bit of engine pep.

Green Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf Cabrio

The next step was air. Chris installed an Air Lift Slam Series bag set up to get the car sitting how he wanted. With the car stanced well, he wanted to make it look good. Chris is a body and paint guy, so he went to work repairing all the rust, dents and poor body work from years past. When he was done working his magic, the car was painted Hummer H2 Sage Green with a custom flake clear coat for added sparkle.

Green Giant: 1998 Volkswagen Golf Cabrio

Chris then focused his attention on the engine bay. Almost everything under the hood is either chromed or polished to a shine and all unnecessary parts removed to give the engine bay a clean, shaved look. During this time he also redid his wheels to match his car, using the same paint for the centre of the wheel, which works well with the polished lips.

The car was looking and running great until a mechanical issue caused the VR6 to overheat and blow blue smoke like a two-stroke dirt bike. Without missing a beat, Chris threw in another VR6 engine, but this time added some spice to it. Installing a T3/T4 turbo and a few other go fast upgrades, Chris brought his Cabby to the 300-350 horsepower mark.

With Chris's passion for perfection, the evolution of this VW Cabrio is never-ending. With bigger plans for this ride, it seems we’ll be seeing more of it in the future. Not bad for his moms car.

Vehicle: 1998 Volkswagen Cabrio
Driver: Chris little
Team: N/A
Built by: Chris little
Engine: Vr6 12V Turbo
Horsepower: 300-350 hp
Torque: 300 lb-ft

Engine Modifications
All new gaskets (crank seal, head gasket, etc.)
C2 Motorsports (short runner, stage-1 software)
Custom (400ph core intercooler, 2.5-in. IC piping, MAF housing)
T3/T4 turbocharger (.63ar cold, .70ar hot)
ATP manifold
Tial 38mm waste gate
360cc injectors
Forge diverter valve
ARP studs
Chrome valve cover
Copper-plated (fuel rail, transmission cable bracket, brake booster shield)
Shaved engine bay
Full wire tuck

Magnaflow 2.5-in. straight turbo-back exhaust
WG open dump tube

Bully Performance stage-4+ clutch 
Five-speed OEM transmission
USP Motorsport clutch line

Chassis / Suspension
Removed front sway bar
Table bearings (removed bushings)
Airlift Slam Series
400cc compressor
3 gallon tank painted beige

Wheels / Tires / Brakes
Schmidt TH-LINE color-matched wheels - 16x9.5 et18 (f/r)
Marangoni tires - 195/40 R16 (f/r)
VR6 DE brakes (f/r)
5mm rear spacers (for center caps to fit flat center caps)

Hummer H2 Sage Green with custom flakes clear coat paint
Pulled fenders 
Shaved (engine bay, door handles, windshield washer on hood, antenna, VW logo on trunk, swag line on bumper) 
Smoothed rockers 
Smoked e-codes 
Badgeless grill
VR6 lip
Chrome (fender and firewall bolts)

OEM beige leather interior
MOMO wood steering wheel
MK4 wood shifter knob
VDO boost gauge

Audio / Mobile Electronics
Alpine head unit
OEM speakers

Michael Lafrane Garage

More Vehicle Features

Gone Viral: JJ Dubec's Nissan GT-R

Written by Jordan Lenssen / Photography by Marcel Lech Photography Everyone wants a piece of this car. It’s spreading like a virus. Just ask the lineup of photographers who caught the bug and were begging to shoot it. It’s a…
Read More


When audio builds come with two-tone paint jobs and two-tone interiors you know they mean business. Especially when they rock it in cream and orange like my personal favorite frozen treat, the Creamsicle. With a tangy orange interior and smooth…
Read More

Hyper Rev: Dallin Felton's 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII

Written by Dave Pankew | Photos by Orlando Echeverria ( As time goes on, many enthusiasts bow out of the sport compact scene due to the need for more practical daily transportation. But cars like the Evo and STi have…
Read More

Rally Inspired: 2012 Hyundai Veloster

Designed to be sporty vehicle with excellent fuel economy, the Hyundai Veloster is an ideal vehicle for drivers that want to get a little more performance from their car without sacrificing gas mileage. When ARK Performance got its hands on…
Read More

Roush Hour: PASMAG and Beltronics Partner to Give Away Roush Stage 2 'Stang at SEMA

Fill out a form and this baby could be yours! The Ford Mustang is a pretty solid car right off the dealer lot. Of course, if you're into cars as much as we are, then you're well aware of the…
Read More