Meet Gertie, Derek and Brandi Chaney’s 2003 GTI, their only child until October this year. I have been around this car and witnessed its progress for a few years now so when it came time to finally shoot it for a feature here on Speed Happens I was very excited. This shoot happened totally by accident though, after having all of my scheduled shoots for the day fall through Derek just happened to be in the right place at the right time…

With nowhere really in mind to shoot in Winchester we dropped my car off and started cruising around looking for good spots. The custom fitted 3″ exhaust sounded great through the Magnaflow muffler and the APR stage three+ upgrade definitely put me back in the seat. The rest of the engine bay is comprised of an ABD intake, a polished manifold, and a powder coated valve cover to match the purple wheels.

Those wheels are SSR Vienna Shalks, 18×8 up front and 18 x 9 in the rear. Derek and the crew put the purple on them in the garage at the Chaney’s residence, also where the majority of the other modifications to this car were completed. After destroying the front bumper a Airlift manual control kit was installed to give Derek the option of bringing the molded GLI lip a little closer to the ground and the fenders down on top of the tires when desired. Probably a good decision since Derek once told me “this car is a working car”, meaning he doesn’t baby it that often, it gets used like it was intended to be used. A Jetta front end was also swapped onto Gertie and the hood notch and turn signals were shaved off. Inside select parts of the interior received a wrapping of the purple fabric, beetle headrests were thrown in, and some custom gauges were fitted in various areas.

Future plans for Gertie include an Integrated Engineering stroker kit and shaving the bay and body. I also think there has been word of different wheels being fitted, which in Dereks world means redoing the interior, yet again (sorry Brandi). This car will continue to evolve as time passes, that is for sure, so look for Gertie at shows all over the east coast and enjoy the shots!