Tracy Arkuszynski | September 2016 VWGIRLS
A lot of us have seemingly fallen into the automotive lifestyle either on purpose or by pure accident. No matter how one gets started, we all tend to share one large umbrella. For those living the enthusiast lifestyle, it could be a chance at recreating a past love of a family member, or a chance at creating a vision of their own. It could also mean being a part of something bigger where they feel comfortable and encouraged to be themselves. For Tracy Arkuszynski, a full time records information management supervisor for a property management company and Scentsy consultant, she feels that “being a VW Girl is more than just being in a club. It’s an amazing group of ladies with a great passion for their rides.”
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Tracy developed a love for being around cars at a young age. “My dad was always into cars so growing up there was always a new ride in the garage and a new project.” At the age of nine and while watching and helping to pass tools to her dad as he was building a white Nissan 300ZX, she was drawn into the enthusiast mindset and there was no turning back. “It’s the first time I remember being around a car project and thinking how cool it was to have an idea, a vision and doing it yourself.” In her teen years, she found herself drawn to the look of the modded MK2’s and MK3’s that were in the local Portuguese community and felt that one day she would eventually have to have one of her own. Little did she know that she would meet her future husband, Patryk, shortly before she purchased her very first Volkswagen- a MKIV 2.0L. It wasn’t long before they were working on cars together, and their passion for the hobby has continued to grow.
With the release of the MKIV R32 originally capturing her attention in 2004 and then her husband purchasing one years later, Tracy was bound and determined to own an R32 herself. She spent time on Vortex doing research, browsing photos and even taking some tips from a few veterans such as PSU, Av., and christofambrosch. “They were always about building a clean car and doing what they want. Even if that meant going against the grain. Being different and standing out. They always had such clean MKV R32’s and I couldn’t wait to follow in that direction.” By June of 2013, she welcomed her 2008 Candy White MKV R32, and we won’t kid you that she had the car practically built in her head BEFORE she even purchased it. “I stayed true to that vision and did it for me.”
Tracy’s R32 has grown up to find its own style due to her truly phenomenal attention to detail. Of course, we know the car has got to be a blast to drive being that it IS an R32, but with a United MotorSports DSG & performance tune, an Evolution Motorsports V-Flow intake, a Borla cat-back exhaust with 4” Magnaflow dual wall angle cut tips, and a Unibrace XB means it not only looks the part, but also means business while sitting perfectly atop KW Variant 2 suspension with Koni Yellow sport rear struts. On the exterior, the carbon fiber pieces made by Kustom Lab mimic the design of the R32 side skirts perfectly, and the front valance and rear diffuser continue to balance out the lower lines of the car. Color matched side markers pull off a clean look and then give way to the awesome custom 3 stage painted Mercedes Alphard’s with white Endura painted calipers that show out from behind. A custom wrapped grill gives the front a subtle accent, and the Neo Chrome transparent mirror and headlight tint help the teal accent color to pop even more. The SRS-Tech rear hatch spoiler extension gives the perfect amount of height to the rear of the car, and the Helix dark cherry LED tails look perfect against the candy white paint as does the teal R32 emblem. There is literally so much to love about this car, and it doesn’t stop there.
The interior has its own clean details to speak of. From the Audi S3 Euro Recaro seats that scream stylish motorsport perfection to the brushed aluminum DSG paddles, full chrome switch control set, dark cherry hazard switch, beauty bezel rings, custom .:R32 brushed aluminum door sills, custom .:R32 embroidered carpet floor mats, and full interior LED by DeAuto Key; one could say every small detail paints a key stroke of this perfect picture. Even the audio has received an upgrade with a Kenwood DNX719VHD with navigation, JL Audio stealth box with a JL 10" TW3, and a JL Audio XD600/1v2 Monoblock Amp to power it. Really…does it get much better? Yes! More features are mentioned below in “Dub Details”, and if she follows through with her future plans, the car might very well end up bagged and with a turbo to add a “T” next to the back badge.
While we are well aware that this is a prime example of a clean MKV R32 in its own right, we also know that because it is a VW the build process can have a profound yet sometimes frustrating effect on the buildee. “There’s always challenges with everything I do on the car. I am always very indecisive with my ideas. My biggest challenge is always just remembering to do what I want and what I like. Trying not to fall into what the “scene” is doing or care what others think. I’m not sure I would do anything different with my car as I believe it really represents me and my vision.”
Challenges are definitely par for the course with this lifestyle, and it doesn’t matter if you are male or female. What matters is what you learn and take away from the experiences, and being a part of a group that stands behind and motivates females in the community is a pretty big deal for Tracy. “Over the couple years of being a member, these ladies
have become my second family. Always willing to help out and always willing to go out of their way to do something nice. Being a female enthusiast is tough in general! A lot of times I hear the “is that your boyfriend’s car?” “You obviously know nothing about cars” comments, and this couldn’t be furthest from the truth. We as females are constantly tested about our knowledge. The VW community has always been awesome welcoming me to the clubs, but it’s the others who have such stereotypes. Being part of a car community should never reflect on your gender, but on your passion for cars.”
So what kind of advice does she present to other girls whether they are veterans or new to this hobby? “My biggest advice or tip to other girls and their builds is always do what you want! People get so caught up in what others are doing or what others think is “cool” and forget about what they want. Be different, take a chance and follow your gut. Always build your car for you, and not for the scene and the Instagram followers.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Tracy!
We want to thank Tracy for being a part of this awesome, growing community and also allowing us to learn more about her exceptional MKV R32. To keep up with her journey on IG, follow @tlarkus, and don’t for get to keep an eye out for member updates and happenings within the community on the Official VW Girls Facebook and IG.
Wheels and Tires:
Custom 3 Stage Painted Mercedes Alphard’s by Ronal Wheels
18x8.5 & 18x9.5
Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K11o Tires (Front: 215/40ZR18, Rear: 225/40ZR18)
KW Variant 2 – Street Performance with Koni Yellow sport rear struts
3.2L VR6 NA AWD
Borla Cat-Back Exhaust w/4’’ Magnaflow dualwall angle cut tips Evolution Motorsports V-Flow Intake JCaps Coolant Cap, Oil Cap, Washer Bottle Cap Custom Manifold .:R Plate
United MotorSports DSG & Performance Tune
Euro Recaro Leather Audi S3 Seats
Beauty Bezels Rings
.:R32 Seat Inserts .:R32 Dead Pedal .:R32 Monster Mats .:R32 Ignition Ring
Custom .:R32 Brushed Aluminum Door Sills
Custom .:R32 Embroidered Carpet floor Mats Votex Rear Hatch Storage Tray
VW Trunk Cargo Blocks
DSG Extended Brushed Aluminum Paddles Full Chrome Switch Control Set Dark Cherry Hazard switch Full interior LED by DeAuto Key
Kenwood DNX719VHD with Navigation
JL Audio stealth box with a JL 10" TW3 JL Audio XD600/1v2 Monoblock Amp
Custom wrapped front grill Color matched side markers Dark Cherry LED Tail lights by Helix
Custom Rear Emblem Insert Custom Carbon front valance by Kustom Lab
Custom Carbon side skirts by Kustom Lab
Custom Carbon rear diffuser by Kustom Lab
SRS-Tech rear hatch spoiler extension Blind Spot Split Mirror Set (Blue Tinted and Heated) Full front Xpel protection wrap
Neo Chrome Transparent headlight & Mirror Tint
Endura Painted White Calipers
“My biggest thanks goes to my amazing husband, Patryk. Without his support, passion and willingness to get dirty with me, this car wouldn’t have come this far so quickly. He puts up with my million questions and ideas, and gives me the confidence to just do it! Go for it and build my dream car.
I also want to shout out a thanks to Danny Donaldson (IG: DannyTakesPhotos, FB: Danny Donaldson Photography) for his help and his amazing work behind the camera, Bob at Kustom Lab for all my custom made carbon fiber bits, and all the amazing people who have lent a hand along the way.”