With the exception of a few close friends, he kept the build secret until it came time for thinking about propulsion. Love already had the 12-valve VR6 block and head from an outgoing GTI project, which had a single massive turbo providing power, but opinions swayed toward a different route.
Howie Eby of HE Performance is no stranger to ridiculously detailed and thoroughly impressive fab work. Eby had worked with Love before, providing one of the intake manifolds on his GTI. “He came up with the twin-turbo idea, so at that point, that’s where he got involved,” Love says. “Any fab work on the car — any assembly — was basically Howie.”
Once Love and Eby began talking about the rear-wheel drive aspect of the build, the inevitable talk of engine power came up. “I’m a turbo guy, so I said let’s just twin turbo this thing and go crazy nuts,” Eby recollects. “You pay for the parts and I’ll donate my time. I have, like, 300 hours in that car.”
Because Love already had the donor motor, they elected to go lower boost — planning and building for more power in the future — with dual Garrett GTX2871s, considering he was running stock pistons and rods with ARP bolts for backup. There were a few minor tweaks to the head: heavy-duty valve springs, titanium retainers, upgraded camshafts, some port work and head spacers to keep compression at a manageable 9.5:1. Eby made sure all the hard lines were stainless, built another custom intake manifold, designed a billet valve cover (which wasn’t on the car during the shoot), and installed his HEP “Crackpipe” (which, fittingly, looks like a crack pipe). “The OEM unit is plastic and is known to crack, so I made this stainless-steel unit that has O-ring grooves and the SS hard lines for the oil feeds to the turbos,” Eby explains.