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Papa Smurf: Joshua Joyce’s MK1 Rabbit Turbo Diesel


Photos via Logan Wilson Photography.
Air ride is more than a way of rising a car or truck up and down to make it look good, it is a lifestyle. Joshua Joyce from Village Customs embodies this way of life by using his many bagged cars and trucks as vehicles of expressing his frame dragging state of mind. This 1981 Volkswagen turbo diesel doesn’t look like the many hot rods he’s built in the past but it’s definitely got a character of its own.mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-001Coming from a guy that usually tweaks trucks and hot rods he got a lot of laughs when he explained that his new daily driver was a VW Rabbit, but after he informs them that it gets 70mpg, the laughter usually stops. mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-003Joshua really felt he needed a way to daily drive this MK1 around the many speed bumps and pot holes that call Virginia Beach their home. According to him, while there’s always going to be people against the idea of running an air suspension set up, they still continue to come back to him to weld up their oil pans. Ironic isn’t it?mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-006Getting this baby to kiss the ground wasn’t easy but we’ll tell you just how he did it. The front consists of a Bagyard MK2 strut bag setup that was welded and re-drilled to fit onto the native MK1 suspension. The ass is dropped with Firestone bags that came off of a machine press. Talk about a “Frankenbuild”. mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-018Joshua had oil filled air gauges specially made for him by Hampton Rubber in Norfolk VA to set off the look he was going for. He used dual ViAir 380c compressors connected with “instagrip” air lines to feed air into a respectable 3 gallon air tank. A few more tweaks were needed before Josh would be able to drive this smurf daily using only 60 PSI of pressure in the front and 4 in the rear.mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-019The shell of this car clearly has some work put into it. The fenders were hammered, the wheel wells chopped, and the floor was raised 4 inches to get it to eat as much of the 15×5″ Pirelli P-Slot wheels as possible. Most VW enthusiasts reading this will probably recognize that the headlights were modified to house crosshairs.mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-012The interior of the car was hand crafted by no other than Joshua Joyce himself. The front seats were ripped out of a Dodge Caravan and the rear seats that would normally be found in a Suzuki Samurai are now custom fitted into place.mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-014Patching cars together in his garage is a passion for Joshua but he wouldn’t be half as far advanced in his projects as he is now without the help of a few friends.  mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-016Joshua has big shout outs he’d like to send out to: Abe Lopez, Katie Moutvic, Lorraine Martin, Jason Rollins, Charles Williams, Mike Fall, Lee Clarkson, Jeremy Wilkening, and a special thanks to Logan Wilson for the awesome shots of the car!mk1-rabbit-gti-pslot-bagged-air-ride-suspension-airsociety-stance-009

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