By MICHAEL KITCHENS
Name: Kelvin Castaneda
Hobbies: Beach, cars, friends
Year/Make/Model: 1983 VW Rabbit GTI Silver
Build Time: 1 year
Engine: 16v Swap Electromotive direct ignition system, Nology hot wires, Ngk plugs, Aftermaket hose kit, P/S, A/C, distributor, EGR Delete, Euro sport headers, 2.5 custom exhaust, Ultra flo muffler, Guinness #BBC exhaust pipe, Auto Tech cams, 16v Euro CIS, FlapJacket oil pan-Custom plated
Drivetrain: 020 AGB 5 spd trans, Stage 1 racing clutch, Peloquin Limited Slip Differential
Exterior: Full Zender body kit : Flares, side skirt, front lip, and Wing Small, euro bumpers, Hid’s, Flipped VR mk3 lip tailored to OEM fitment, Custom Guinness rabbit feeder
Interior: Corrado G60 seats, Rear seat delete, MOMO steering wheel, custum Guinness horn button, Golf ball shift knob, Empi-chrome window cranks, Jager meister light switch, Volkswagen oem-medical pack, Step up blocks for Steep Hawaiian drive ways
Suspension: Kw variant 2 Coilovers, Neuspeed k Frame support, Neuspeed Front and Rear sway bars, Neuspeed 3 point rear brace, Polyurethane bushings, Mk2 lower ball joint mod ,
Brakes: 16v Brakes, Stainless steel brake lines, 100mm drums
Tires & Wheels: Federal Formoza: 165/50/r15 OZ Old school mesh-15×7, offset:2, Project Kics: 5mm spacers, Custom fitted Guinness center Caps
Kelvin Castaneda is a huge fan of Volkswagen Rabbit, the timeless classic that seems to get better with age. This gorgeous 1983 VW Rabbit GTI is the 12th VW for Castaneda, who at one time or another has owned MK1s, MK3s and MK4s, as well as Corrados and even a B5.5. Sure he’s a big time car enthusiast, but make no mistake that his heart belongs to the older generation of VWs.
The Mk1 first entered production in 1974 and the Rabbit hit our shores in 1978. This particular car has been on the road for more than 30 years. Kelvin’s acquisition of it was actually quite a story. He had been after the car for over a month before the previous owner handed it off to his younger brother. Dejected, Kelvin purchased a MK3 instead. Just over a year later, the car came up for sale again, and Kelvin jumped on it immediately.
With the car safely in his hands, Kelvin got to work. His immediate concern was to bring the car back to factory fresh status. All of the ball joints, lower control arms, sway bar end links — anything that was cracked or leaking was replaced. The suspension features KW Variant 2 Coilovers with Neuspeed k Frame support as well as front and rear sway bars added. An additional 3-point rear brace stiffs up the older chassis and the brakes were re-fitted with 16v and stainless steel brake lines.
The engine is a 16v swap that is powered with an Electromotive direct ignition system. Nology hot wires work with NGK plugs to provide the spark. It also features Auto Tech cams, a Flapjacket oil pan that has been custom plated. The exhaust setup includes Eurosport headers, a 2.5 custom exhaust mated to an Ultraflow muffler. The drivetrain is sturdy with a 020 AGB 5-spd transmission that includes a Stage 1 racing clutch and a Peloquin limited slip differential.
Exterior-wise, this car looks incredible. The body features a full Zender kit with flares, side skirts, front lip, and a custom wing on the back. HIDs light up the night and the entire theme is set off by the custom Guinness rabbit feeder on the front. It’s such an awesome and original idea that looks really great.
“It was just a funny thing … what’s something different we could do? It’s a Rabbit … let’s give it a silly rabbit feeder,” says Kelvin.
The Guinness theme is carried throughout the car, including a trick Guinness #BBC exhaust pipe that adds that special touch as well as filling the centerpieces for the stunning wheels. The wheels are OZ old school meshes with at 15×7 all around with Federal Formoza tires at 165/50r15s. The interior is clean and functional with Corrado G60 seats, a custom upholstered rear-seat delete, and Momo steering wheel customizer. The horn button features that fantastic Guinness addition as well.
Kelvin always prefers keeping cars with a clean and simple look. He believes in functionality first and foremost.
“I want to be able to drive the car and enjoy it,” he says with a wink.