It all began last summer when I read a Tavarish article about his Jetta giveaway. The car would be given to an absurd cause voted upon by you the readers. The VW had 223,000 miles, an automatic transmission, a check engine light and was located in New Jersey and I in California. I would have giggled and moved on if it hadn’t been for one marvelous attribute, a VR6. The 12-valve VR6 in this particular car is lacking in power, efficiency and reliability. So why did I want it? It’s like that bald, overweight, middle-class guy with the supermodel wife (crap, that’s me.) There’s some ingredient the supermodel sees that you don’t. The ingredient with any VR6 is the sound they make with a good exhaust system.

As the Jetta rolled off the hauler, last year, I began to notice more issues than anticipated. I had feelings you wouldn’t expect to have when receiving a “free” car. If you don’t know what I mean then ask our friend Michael Ballaban who recently was given a free Yugo. There was one defect, however, that I didn’t mind, the exhaust leak. I would need to replace the battery, fix the exhaust and sort out the check engine light before I could register it, Thanks Tavarish... I was going to replace the cat-back system anyway so this way I would start the build on a good note.

Illustration for article titled I Won Jalopnik’s FreeR6 Jetta Then Immediately Betrayed Your Trust and I Don’t Feel Bad About it.

I ordered practically the first cat-back system I could find with little to no research. I didn’t look to make sure it fit, I didn’t look to see if the seller had a decent rating and I didn’t look to see if the system was made out of real metal. I just ordered it because it was cheap and the fake brand sounded legit. Several months later a box arrived filled with what resembled exhaust parts. They didn’t use the word “universal” but we’ll just say it wasn’t bolt-on ready. The seller refunded the money and the box went in the dumpster. It wasn’t my first rodeo buying cheap mufflers but at least this time I didn’t spend time trying to make it work. I found other budget options that looked better than what I had. Then I started to look at the high quality stuff and here is where the betrayal occurred.

What is this?
What is this?

As previously stated I became interested enough in the car because of the VR6 and the sound they make. Well, I ended up with a MAGNAFLOW cat-back system and I don’t feel the slightest bit bad about it. Do you know why? Because it FIT and it sounds amazing. Can a man splurge on one thing? ONE THING?JUST ONE THING?!

My Pledge to the People

If you’re still reading this I want to apologize and assure you that this an isolated incident. Every other part added to this car will not be mistaken as quality. (unless of course someone sends me some sweet Ronal Teddy Bear wheels or any wheels for that manner) I can promise this because I’ve already spent over two thousand dollars on eBay parts that will cause you to laugh and pity me.


In My Words

The Quick and Dirty Before and After Video

Mike is a balding fast-food junkie in California with a family, a Jetta and an actual job. He has no business writing articles about anything really. He also noticed other cool articles had italicized bios at the end. He can be reached at

Share This Story

Get our newsletter