Cars on the Corner


By Mason Duffey

          Introduced in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf instantly became a favorite among many drivers. The Golf has gone through a few alterations over the decades but has remained a cult classic in the automotive world.

          Thane Barta, a Restoration student, got his 1992 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet his senior year of high school as a project to work on during the weekends. Within his first two weeks of ownership, he had pulled the original 1.8-liter engine out in favor of a more powerful 2.0-liter. Barta spent those two weeks building the new engine before finishing the swap and installing new parts throughout the engine to further boost the performance. Once the new engine had been installed, Barta began modifying the suspension with the help of new polyurethane bushings and a set of coil-overs. The car handled better than when it rolled out of the showroom, and it also sat lower to ground, giving the car a much meaner look. Not stopping at the performance modifications, he installed a new convertible top and a set of BBS wheels.

          Volkswagens and traveling have gone hand in hand for a long time. That’s exactly what Barta did this summer. He shipped his car from his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. Once the car had arrived in Seattle, Barta and his dad flew down to pick up the car and start off on their road trip to McPherson. After traveling for a few days and making a couple of stops at automotive shops on the way, they made it to their destination. When driving nearly 2,000 miles in a 30-year-old car, one might expect some hiccups or a breakdown, but the car powered through until the end without a single problem. This was a feat that many project cars wouldn’t be able to accomplish.

          Barta said his plans for the car currently is to just keep up with the maintenance, enjoy driving it and continue to tinker with it on the weekends.