A company by the name of Smyth Performance is building Volkswagen Jetta Ute – and I want it. Now.
I swear, I haven’t lost my mind. There is a real company out there, and they’re producing a kit to convert your plain, boring MK4 Volkswagen Jetta (or Golf) into a ute.
America needs more utes. Since the demise of the El Camino in 1987, we haven’t made one. That’s an entire generation of people, of which I am a part, that have never seen one of these majestic vehicles new in a showroom. Goodness gracious.
If you’re a regular reader of Auto Waffle, you already know my feelings on the Holden Ute, based on the Commodore, which was the G8, and is now the Chevrolet SS (are you following all of that?). Well, one company, Smyth Performance, doesn’t think your ute should be based on a car that’s already $50,000.
Basically, what Smyth has done is create a kit-ute. You take your MK4 Volkswagen Jetta/Golf, cut it, and turn it into this fantastic little machine:
The company advertises the $3,500 project as a “weekend job.” According to them, you remove the rear seats of your car, unbolt the rear doors and the trunk, and then you bolt in support sections to retain structural integrity (because, you know – safety first). Then. they say, you just have to make “two simple cuts” – one across the roof line and one above the fuel cap.
The kit IS mildly appealing because you don’t have to do any wiring work. Here is, according to the website, a complete breakdown of the contents:
Fiberglass left and right qtr panels
Fiberglass rear window surround
rear slider window
steel roof supports rear
full tubular reinforced steel bed
Full tubular subframe to reinforce jetta/golf cabin and rear
aluminum center bed floor sections 1/8″ thick
steel tailgate with hinges and latches
tail lights asssemblies
center rear roll pan
plexi rear qtr windows
So you’re probably wondering what sort of individual starts a business converting out-of-production Volkswagens into utes. The man is Mark Smith, and though you may not recognize his name instantly, chances are you are well aware of a little company he started back in 1993 called Factory Five Racing. Yes, the same man is responsible for some of the most well-known Shelby Cobra replica cars.
On the Smyth Ute, this is what he says on his website:
Everything that makes the car work remains where it originally is suppposed to be, we simply designed a complete system of panels and 7 tubular subframe assemblies to reinforce an already robust platform and transform it into a small truck. The result is a terrific mini truck that cruises the highway like an autobahn Jetta while allowing you to use a 6 foot bed(7 foot plus with the steel tailgate down) for your toys that you carry with you in life. An extruded aluminum bed floor bolted to a steel support structure allows the street cruisers a beautiful custom finish while providing the stregth and durability that a work truck needs.
Point is… this thing is cool. Everyone needs a ute, and now thanks to Smyth Performance, a $3,500 kit can transport you and your Volkswagen to a land down under.
To learn more, take a look at their website over at www.smythkitcars.com.
Photos: Smyth Performance Facebook Page