Well, you've already met one third of the cars that make up 427 Motorsports. This is the second of the three, owned by one of our co-founders, Shea Cullen. Yes, all three of us agree, his car is the one that gets the looks, the attention, the jealousy. It's hard not to get a visit from the green monster when you see a deep blue Mk6 Jetta on Air Suspension with big flashy wheels being driven past by a 19 year old. Thankfully, this isn't your average car on airbags - it's the epitome of what we're about - this is a car that gets driven every single day, all around the country, in all weathers. This, is using a car the way it's meant to be used.
The only bit that people tend to disagree on this car is the numberplate - which isn't bad going at all.
"I bought the car two years ago this December", says Shea. "I wanted a Jetta because the best car for someone my age at the time was, naturally, a Golf (due to insurance costs and fuel efficiency), but they're far too common and I wanted something different. A Jetta was perfect as I liked how it looked, it had more space than a Golf and they have a boot. I had been looking for over a year prior to buying it as I wanted it before I got my licence but they were too expensive, and just by luck I found mine a month after getting my licence at a reasonable price." We didn't disclose the price, because we all know that when it comes to cars, we normally don't like to talk money unless we want to brag. And Shea's not the type to brag. Honest. He also started to talk about how good the fuel economy was, but let's refrain from talking about the fuel economy of a modern Volkswagen with a Diesel engine. For obvious reasons.
But how do you take what is, let's be honest, a relatively mundane and common car, and make it your own? Well at our age, it's natural that you would just slam the car ("on it's hole" is a phrase that gets thrown around quite a lot in this country...) with cut springs and put a straight pipe on it and be the coolest in the school car park. But me and Shea went to the same school, and how do you one-up somebody who parks a Subaru Impreza or a Mk2 Golf GTI next to you every day? It had to go lower. But it also had to be practical, as we use our cars for pretty much anything and everything. There's only one solution... Air Bags.
"I HAD to lower it. It was previously on cheap coilovers which were very uncomfortable, and living on a country road having it lowered wasn't very convenient so it had to be either bags or go hydro. Also from living on a farm I knew how unreliable hydraulics can be with leaks and pipes bursting so I wasn't interested in getting hydraulic oil everywhere."
The backbone of the system resides in the boot, keeping the obligatory cleaning products bag company.
But that's enough about the car and what he's done do it - the question is, what has he done WITH it?
"I don't really have a specific favourite trip yet, although my favourite trips are the ones when the car is freshly cleaned and waxed. It's on these trips when you know people are looking at your car driving past. There is just something satisfying about turning heads, whether it's because they like it or not is a different story. My best experience in the car (apart from the whole "Oh my God I've just bought a car" initial shock) would definitely have to be the first day of and days after I got my air ride. When people asked me why I got it raised up again, I'd just say 'I didn't' - then air it out and sit there all smug while they watched in amazement."
"I haven't been on many crazy and extremely long trips, and have never left the country in it although I do hope to in the future, on a big mega road trip of sorts, because I know this thing could do it in it's sleep. The longest journey I have been on is to Ennis in Clare for the Fleadh, which is a 3 hour journey - even though it took us more like 5 and a half hours. Not because my cars that slow or anything, but because we made so many stops on the way. The trip itself is over 150 miles and she done it no problem. I guess in the grand scale of car trips that's not huge but in a small country like ours, it is." It's not just about the crazy long trips though, it can be as much about just loving your car every day, which makes every small and mundane trip that much more special.
"There's many plans for the future, like a body kit and respray - although following through with these plans is somewhat impossible now being in University. Maybe when I get working next summer I'll get somewhere with those plans. One thing's for sure though, I would never, ever sell it".
So there you have it, two thirds of 427 Motorsports. When I get around to getting some proper photos of Rian's car, you'll be introduced to the last third. If you take anything from this article, make it this - Being a young car enthusiast doesn't mean you can't have taste. Thanks for reading.