Skip to main content

Form + Function: Mike’s Volkswagen GTI

One quick glance at this GTI and you immediately recognize the mark of an automotive enthusiast. The aggressive stance, the polished CCW’s, the deep, reflective black paint — it’s clean. The crazy thing about it is…it’s a daily.

Mike's Bagged GTI on the bridge (front)

In that regard, most people find it strange — what’s the point of doing work to a daily? The thing about it is, as tuners, we can’t help ourselves. Auto enthusiasts, for the most part, seem strange to most “normal” people. It’s not that we are, but we simply don’t approach things the way most people do.

Down low shot.

For starters, any tuner, any real tuner…pretty much knows all vehicle makes and models. With this information, they also know generally how much horsepower each one of these vehicles have and how badly they would win or lose in a straight-line race with said vehicle if they lined up. Admittedly, I can see how someone might think that’s odd, but when was having a good memory ever a bad thing?

low side shot

Memory, like most anything is never perfect. That’s why if a car enthusiast doesn’t recognize a person by name, the question that follows is always: “What car do they drive?”, and from there they’ll instantly be able to determine if they know that person or not.

Mike's Bagged GTI Front

Another quirk is the fact that it doesn’t matter where they are or what they’re doing, if they hear something that sounds like a sports vehicle drive by, they immediately turn in the direction the sound came from, in hopes that they could catch at least a small glimpse of what it was.

Mike's Bagged GTI Long side shot

People like us are just cut from a different cloth. I mean, how boring would life be if everyone looked the same? Cars, like this GTI are an extension of the person who built it. Sure it’s transportation, but much like life, in the end it never really was about the destination. It’s about how you got there.


Enjoy the ride.

Photography courtesy of Danny Hsu. You can check out his stuff as well as the rest of this photo set here. Thanks again, Danny!


I am a web/graphic designer who writes for and founded; follow me on instagram @highsocietydc