It’s not always easy to remember the details of your childhood that made you who you are today. The story of Arty Bolembakh and his bagged MK5 GTI began with a seed implanted in his mind at the age of 8 by a bunch of minitruckers.Folks in the trucking scene have been bagging rides long before the VW guys got their foot in the door so if you’re going to get any inspiration, it’s from them. Arty’s first steps through the looking-glass began by opening up an issue of Mini Truckin’ Magazine and studying their air setups.Fast forward 12 years, he now works as a Certified VW Technician at King Volkswagen in Gaitherburg, Maryland and was finally able to build the bagged ride he was waiting for over a decade to get.
Simplicity done right is the name of Arty’s game. Clean and polished 18 x 8″ Audi A8 Monoblocks are the silver lining tucked inside pristine fenders offering an elegant look to a flawless exterior.Interestingly enough, wheels are how Arty was able to bag his ride in the first place. An interesting trade offer for his old Alphards came up during H2Oi 2011 that made Arty get in his car and head straight to Pennsylvania with buddy Curtis Justis. Riding through the night he was soon smiling ear to ear as he traded his rims for the dream air ride kit. Picking it up was the easy part, installing and testing it proved to be a bit more tricky.What was advertised as a “Like New” setup turned into an intense fixer-upper. The front Air Lift XL Slam Series turned out to be in good condition however new UV Air House 2 rear bags were needed along with a set of Dorbritz Designs D-Cups to replace the original rear bags after they blew up 5 feet from the lift he just installed them on.More repairs were needed to fix what seemed like the original owner’s rookie install job, but before he knew it, Arty was ‘ his 10-switch AVS switch box and pumping air from a ViAir 444c compressor, through 1/4″ lines, into his 5 gallon tank, and AirBagit manifold like a boss.Arty busted his ass, worked hard, and was finally rewarded with a ride to be proud of. Of course his girlfriend Caitlin, Dad who built the bamboo floor of his trunk, Mom who helped pick color schemes, and photographer Kevin Trower highlighted this project in their own very special ways. Thanks for sharing the story with us!Big shout outs go to Jake Dzik from The SHOP Autowerx for being a constant pillar of support, Jeremy Mckenzie for ‘ and welding his notched subframe, Curtis Justis for hitting the road with him to pick up the bags, Alex Saunders for fixing up the monoblocks, and Tony Hernandez for modifying the D-Cups.