Thursday, October 3, 2019

Functionally Aesthetic

I have a tendency to go towards spending a little extra for visually appealing mods but I also try to make sure they have some functional aspect to them rather than just be purely cosmetic. I picked up these used Euro rear headrests which, upon first reaction, you'd think makes no sense since I don't sit back there.

Euro Rear Headrests - 10/3/19
Well, while the GTi is nice and small, the rear visibility isn't the greatest and the OEM rear headrests sticking up the way they do, block a good chunk of the rear window even when pulled all the way to their lowest position. Naturally, one easy solution is to simply remove the headrest but I don't like how that looks. Plus, if I actually have backseat passengers, I would like them to have a functional headrest.

OEM "tall" headerests
As you can see, the euro headrests (called that because that's how these cars come in Europe), are L shaped so when you drop them to the lowest position, they sit flush with the center headrest and get out of the way. Anyway, it's a fairly inexpensive mod using OEM parts that in my option look pretty nice and are quite functional.

OEM headreset (left), Euro headrest (right)
I was very glad when I first saw the car from the previous buyer that he hadn't drilled the holes for the front license plate. Unfortunately, in NY, front plates are required and especially in Manhattan, that's a really easy way to just keep getting tickets. Rather than add the OEM license plate bracket, I went with a tow hook mounted one from U.S. Mills. It's really nicely constructed and sits in a decently pleasing location. The best part is that it takes almost no time to remove if I want to have a clean front end for photos or other activities.

U.S. Mills front license plate tow hook mount - 10/3/19
Finally, the car came with a flush mount Whispbar roof rack but I had the previous owner remove it when I was looking at the car to make sure the paint underneath it hadn't gotten ruined. Thankfully all is well and so I spent the evening putting it back on just so I could figure out the fitment.

Yakima Whisbar roof rack - 10/3/19

I was at least grateful that the previous owner actually gave me a brand new mounting kit with new rubber feet in addition to the old one (I'm obviously using the fresh mounts). It took a large amount of fiddling to get these seated just right but the clearances are quite good and the sunroof tucks just beneath the rear crossbar. That makes this complicated because if I had anything actually attached to the bars then I can't open the sunroof all the way anymore. That makes me wonder whether or not I'm going to keep these on but for now, the answer is yes since I have some nice ideas for roof boxes to help with the decreased storage space once this car replaced my Touareg completely.

Roof bars on. Looks alright I think - 10/3/19
If I do keep these on, I'm going to mark their spot and add these Laminx clear film strips underneath to prevent marring of the paint.

Laminx clear film to protect from roof rack feet marks - 10/3/19
The car's coming along quite nicely. We've got a few more things to take care of before I deem her worthy to officially roam around the streets as my car but we'll try to sort much of that this weekend.

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