Chris Mann happens to be in his early twenties, is serving his country in the US Navy, is married, and is a father of a lovely baby girl. His passion for life is only matched by his passion for cars to which his wife and twin brother always keep pushing each other to better themselves. The passion for driving low started with his boys and their Norfolk crew called Volks&Rings which now boasts more than 200 members.Everyone always wonders why one would go on air? Is it the comfort, the ease of mind, or just simply the look? Chris’ passion for air ride came when he was driving to H2oi 2011 in his wife’s silver MK4 Jetta and ended up busting his oil pan on one of those damned potholes that spontaneously develop overnight. While peruzing the show, Chris met up with an old friend and decided to buy his air ride kit, two weeks later it was installed and he was now waving goodbye to cracked pans for good.Proving that a used kit can often times be just as fresh as a brand new one, the Bagyard Bomber front struts and Bagyard Classic rears have withstood the test of two aggressive drivers. Not to be out done, the AccuAir VU-4 manifold and dual ViAir 400c compressors made the exchange with relative ease as well.As much as this car can sit pretty while parked, it is also able to haul some serious ass! After all it’s a VR6 motor equipped with auto tech 262 cams, a GIAC ECU reflash and GHL short intake. The interior of this MK4 packs a mad amount of swag from its R-Line steering wheel, shift knob and pedals to the black wrapped liner.Chris wanted to add more of his personal touch so he snuck in some stubby mirrors, rear Bora tails, Hoelfe four door R sides skirts, and front GLI lip.Thanks to the help of his wife Liz and daughter Allie, his brothers Nick and Joe, the homies from Volks&Rings, Cory from Euro Auto Source, and Brady for the air ride, Chris is all set up for the road ahead. But there’s still one more person to thank for Chris’ bag setup; his boy James Lorensen worked day and night to bring not only Chris’ ride to life but also his own MK4 Golf. James has been around Volkswagens all his life which is one of the reasons he purchased this MK4, but don’t be fooled because it definitely didn’t look like this when he first got it! It’s only after his return from deployment that he caught the modding fever. He wanted to be original when he got his air ride because at the time not many VW’s had air setups, if only he knew what the future had in store.This air ride set up is quite different from Chris’. First generation Masontech front air struts were chosen coupled with rear Slam Specialties RE5 bags on Dorbritz Designs D-Cups. Air Lift Easystreet Autopilot V1 management hooked up to dual 480c ViAir compressors and a 5 gallon flat tank color matched black like the car finish off the classic air ride setup.
After seeing how the air suspension scene exploded, James wanted to make his ride as unique as possible and slapped on a Bora front end with R-Line bumpers and retrofitted projector headlights. What’s it worth if you’re all dressed up without your proper shoes on right? Staggered 17×8.5″ front and 17×9″ Schmidt Racing Racelites finish off James’ MK4 statement in a classy fashion.It’s easy to showcase shop built cars with unlimited budgets and sponsored parts, but by focusing on Chris and James’ rides we’re able to bring to light a couple of real life working class American rides. Inspiration comes in many shapes and sizes and thanks to these two servicemen, we’re all able to live the passion first hand. Thanks to James and Chris for sending us these pictures and for living the dream! Big thanks go out to LizMann for the pictures, Eric Shivley for the bodywork, Joe Adams for the wheels and most importantly, his family for putting up with him while he wrenched on his ride.