Swiftly Stripped: Al Richards' 2012 Volkswagen Golf R

Swiftly Stripped: Al Richards' 2012 Volkswagen Golf R

Photos by Terence Gamble


Sleeping speedsters might be the best way to describe Volkswagen's Golf and its many variants. They're small, light and extremely quick off the line. Al Richards' experience with these pocket rockets dates back to his teenage years and his 1986 GTI, which was soon followed by a 1987 Jetta, 1985 GTI and the 1988 GTI that acted as the platform for perfecting his craft.

"I've owned everything from Jeep to Honda, Lexus to BMW, but I always seem to have my hands on at least one VW at any given time," Richards says.

So, when he found out about the new Golf R, he had to upgrade. He swiftly stripped his 2002 337 GTI of the wheels and air suspension and sold it complete with modified engine and interior, then tossed in his 2002 BMW X5 for the beauty you see here. His Golf R is a culmination of hard work and constant tinkering, perfected over the years.

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 14
AIR IT UP: With an air suspension setup that includes a list of Air Lift Slam Series, SMC, Accuair, and VIAIR components, Richards' stance and ride height is all set by the man himself. His qualifications? He's a BMW/MINI tech. "I have changed my trunk setup three times since I installed the air setup," he says. "I do all the hard lines and trunk myself, I always get new ideas to try out and I only get the chance to do it on my own car. If I could change it every show I would, but it's time consuming and can be expensive."

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 2
CANDY COAT: Tucked neatly under his fenders are a set of 3-piece 18-inch OZ Racing Pegasus wheels, custom powder-coated in Lollipop Tangerine Orange. Take a look closer and youíll see gold hardware, and a Lego valve cover out of the stem.

#TBGLIVE Event: Waterfest 2014 - Englishtown, New Jersey
Votes: 54% of the Popular Vote

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 8

ESSENTIALS

OWNER: Al Richards
LOCATION: New Hampshire, USA
VEHICLE: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R
ENGINE: VW 2.0L turbo
HORSEPOWER: 320 WHP
TORQUE: 326 LB-FT

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 6

ENGINE

  • Injen CTS Turbo MK6 Golf R air intake system
  • Autotech high-pressure fuel pump
  • United Motorsport stage-2 ECU software
  • 42 Draft Designs boost gauge tap
  • Audi R8 (coil packs, oil cap, coolant cap)

EXHAUST

  • USP Motorsports 3-in. stainless steel downpipe

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 7

WHEELS / TIRES

  • OZ Racing Pegasus wheels w/ powder-coat Lollipop Tangerine Orange face & polished lips - 18x9 43 et (f/r)
  • Pirelli P Zero tires - 225/40 R18 (f/r)
  • Gold hardware l OZ valve stems w/ Lego covers

CHASSIS / SUSPENSION

  • Accuair SwitchSpeed air management (Accuair vu4 manifold, 5-gallon speciality suspension seamless tanks color-matched to wheels (2), tank drain kit for each tank, VIAIR dual needle gauge kit, EXTA single needle tank gauge, Stinger 80A relay, 0-gauge power wire w/ 200A inline fuse, power and ground distribution blocks, dual VIAIR 480C compressors, SMC water traps (2), SMC check valves (2), black anodized flare tank fittings, 3/8 aluminum lines (hard lines above floor/soft lines below floor))
  • Air lift (Slam Series XL front struts, Slam Series SS6 rear bags w/ cup brackets)
  • Ksport adjustable rear shocks

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 10

EXTERIOR

  • Candy White color-matched side markers
  • Black color-matched rear reflectors
  • Rear wiper delete
  • Gloss black rear hatch emblem
  • Depo Dark Cherry LED taillights w/ fog lights

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 15

INTERIOR

  • NewSouth Performance Mk6 Golf R boost gauge w/ VentPod
  • Aluminum Glove Box Handle
  • European cup holder
  • VW bottle opener
  • Stainless steel R seat handle inserts
  • Rear hatch storage tray l Euro switches (rear fog w/ aftermarket control unit and sensor for automatic driving lights)
  • deAutoKey 11-pc. interior LED kit
  • Double Apex USB charger

Al Richards 2012 Volkswagen Golf Waterfest 2014 PASMAG TBGLIVE 11

SPECIAL THANKS

  • Joshua Broady @ Windham Marine and Powersports LLC, Powder Coating Alternatives

Contributors: Jordan Lenssen, Terence Gamble

Related Articles

2022 Street Scene 8: Jamesville, NY 2022 Street Scene 8: Jamesville, NY
Back after a 2 year hiatus, Street Scene returned for their 8th annual judged car show. But it wasn’t at their usual spot, which is Long Branch Park...
From Norway With Love: Fredric Aasbo Talks With Us About His 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Win From Norway With Love: Fredric Aasbo Talks With Us About His 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Win
In this interview, we catch up with Formula DRIFT 2021 Pro Champion, Fredric Aasbo, just before the 2022 season began. We chat about the championship...
Throttle Thrashers: Chelsie Lesnoski and Cole Marten Throttle Thrashers: Chelsie Lesnoski and Cole Marten
Two Canadian west coast builds that shocked the world on the SEMA stage. Tucked away in an alley of Penticton, BC, you’ll find partners Chelsie...
Is This The World's Largest 4Runner: Ethan Mullani's 1996 Toyota 4Runner Is This The World's Largest 4Runner: Ethan Mullani's 1996 Toyota 4Runner
Ethan Mullani’s journey to build a 4Runner fit for Houston, Texas. Ethan Mullani’s 1996 Toyota 4Runner has an enviable distinction: it’s the biggest...
Still Climbing: Sherwin Pacquette's 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Still Climbing: Sherwin Pacquette's 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Sherwin Pacquette’s Hill Climb Evo X Makes Waves You’re standing at the side of a hillclimb event with the wind in your hair. Suddenly a black,...
Ultimate Street Car 2021: Jake Rozelle 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Ultimate Street Car 2021: Jake Rozelle 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Champion of the OPTIMA Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational Every year, OPTIMA Batteries hosts the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational...