Ben’s ’87 GTI


My name is Ben Hobson and I’m from Wichita, KS, USA.

I own a 1987 Volkswagen Golf GTI known as the Greenbean. I bought this car while in my freshman year of high school and I’ve now had it for 20 years.

Picture by Emilio Rocha

You have to realize that the car you see today isn’t anything close to the car I started with back in 1998 – When I bought this mk2, it had no bumpers, small doors, the grill was missing and dinged up pretty good. Thankfully I kept with the project and met some great friends along the way to help out.

Starting from the exterior

The Greenbean is sprayed with a custom Sikkens green and was actually painted 14 years ago by my good friend Brad Umscheid at Paints Unlimited.

Picture by @loweredvision

Due to it being built so long ago, it has that Max Power late 90’s vibe to it. You can can spot that with a few details like the motorcycle gas cap, the Audi 80 handles, Happich pop-out windows, an extremely rare Astra Hammond louvre, and the half shaved bay.

Pictures by Emilio Rocha

To finish off the car is equipped with a full Air Lift air ride system, custom fiberglass G60+ fender flares and a fully polished set of 16×9″ and 16×10″ BBS RS.

Pictures by Emilio Rocha

Let’s talk about the engine

It originally came with a 1.8L 16v and I drove it daily for 7 years.

I wanted to keep that old school 16v setup, so I had Kevin at Antaki Motorworks throw in an OBD1 ABA 2.0L, with the same P&P 1.8L head, a Garrett T3 60-trim turbo, OBD2 motronic management and a United Motorsports tune.

Nothing wild, but it puts down 318whp and is fun to rip around town.

To complete the bay, I have hand polished about every piece of the motor that is either visible, or I can get a buffing wheel on.

Pictures by Emilio Rocha

Inside the car

Since I built this in the late 90’s, it has, of course, a mk3 dash swap with an arsenal of gauges, as that was the trend back in the days.

Pictures by Emilio Rocha

To hold me in place and to keep me safe, I’ve kept a set of TM Tuning RSD leather racing seats, Schroth harnesses and a fully polished Wiechers roll cage/harness bar.

Pictures by Emilio Rocha

I built a full false floor to keep the interior clean and to hide the air tank, air management, the battery, a 12″ subwoofer and multiple amps. It also has several compartments to store cleaning products or tools.

Although it may have a competition stereo in it, most of the time the drone of the 16v is enough music to my ears.

To wrap things up

Every year I say I’m done with the car and I’m not adding anything else to it.

Pictures by Emilio Rocha

Well as of late, I fabricated an all-aluminum top hatch mount gurney wing. It’s completely adjustable and comes complete with a multi-functional LED strip that does running lights, brake lights, yellow scrolling turn signals and hyper white reverse lights. It’s a little obnoxious for the mk2 crowd, but it fits the DTM look of my car, is extremely well made and hopefully I can sell a few to some track cars or show guys.