Having never been to Puerto Rico I really didn't know what to expect going into this excursion. I knew that Puerto Rico was a US territory where people mainly spoke Spanish, and I knew that it was warm and tropical. That's about it. Honestly, the warm part was all that I was really concerned with as the mercury had been regularly dropping into single digits back in North Carolina. While the perfect weather was as expected, I was pleasantly surprised at just how welcoming and intoxicating the culture was. Playa Jobos
The (not-so) Secret Waterfalls
From the food, to the people, to the architecture, and even the beer of choice- "Medalla" everything had a local and homemade feel to it. And nobody was more welcoming than our Puerto Rican dealer, Eurohouse. Arriving in Ponce, one of the largest cities on the southeastern part of the island, I quickly found my way to one of Eurohouse's two locations. I was greeted by Felix Rodriguez, who was more than happy to give me a tour and show me around their somewhat inconspicuous shop.
The first thing you immediately notice is the lack of walls, which at first seems crude- but requires little thought to rationalize. Why the hell wouldn't you want to have the tropical breeze and sunshine available at all times if possible? There were plenty of awnings to protect from light and the occasional raincloud (which moves on in about as much time as it takes to drink a Medalla ). Scattered about were various European vehicles, and it looked like there was plenty of work to be had despite the relative lack of German cars on the island. If Eurohouse was just in it for a buck then they would have chosen to restore Toyota Corollas as they comprised about 99.99% of all vehicles in PR. But thankfully the guys in Ponce have turned their attention to things a little more familiar to us. On the premises were several cleanly modified hatches, including two of which that were capable of putting out over 500hp.
There were other less performance oriented affairs to be found as well however, like this MK4 GTI with a Jetta front end conversion , and MK5 interior. Given the condition of the roads in PR, you won't find too many overly stanced vehicles, but that doesn't stop them from upgrading suspension components and bolting on pretty wheelsets.
You could still find some of the classics kicking about if you looked hard enough. MK2s definitely were not in abundance but the ones you saw were definitely interesting. This functional example was still dutifully enjoying life, reincarnated with a tow hook and a custom turbo kit- still running on the mechanical fuel injection!
Eurohouse's 511 hp MK6 GTI getting a bath before Felix shows off what it can do.
This customer's MK2 TT was outfitted with a full Stage 3 turbo kit, and if you stuck you nose up to the glass you could see an impressive saddle brown baseball stitched interior that looked oh so inviting.
Not many cars on the island were stanced as mentioned, but you would frequently see various makes and models with extreme rake- definitely an intentional styling trend, which at least somewhat supports (straight-line) performance. The black MK4 in the foreground was in the process of being built up for time attack, to be raced on a nearby track.
This BT MK4 is used for daily driving even with its white on white color scheme
E46 waiting around for a heart transplant
While cosmetics and stance may not be the highest priority in PR, the guys at Eurohouse can still crank out a great looking car that actually performs. This built MK6 boasts an impressive 511hp and is capable of barreling down the 1/4 mile strip in 11.80 second at 124 mph.
While the wheels are not tucked far up into the fenders, the car still has an aggressive and purposeful crouch. The Bilstein PSS10 coilovers really earned their keep by soaking up the unforgiving asphalt and keeping the little hatch as level as possible when we were barreling down a few remote backroads. As Felix fought with the torque steer, despite the limited slip differential, I was holding on for dear life- I'm not gonna lie. Thankfully the Porsche 6 piston calipers were able to quickly being us to a halt as we found our way to an abandoned industrial area, which was a fairly common sight on the island.
On the outside, this MK6 has received quite a few distinct styling upgrades that a subtle and tasteful. The most noticeable of these would have to be the Golf R front end conversion. The black and white theme really worked very well especially with the addition of carbon wrap accents on the mirrors and roof. Dark tint for the tropical temps, and satin black badges and BBS RC wheels pull everything together nicely for a complete styling package.
Under the hood is where this MK6 has received the most attention. With the addition of a GTX30 Turbo, as well as Unitronic fueling, this engine is capable of 26 psi thanks to the upgraded JE forged pistons and Ireland Engineering rods. Keeping things tidy is our own Clean Catch Oil Separator, as well as a complete set of our Stage 2 Performance Engine Mounts. Out of sight but equally important were the Clutchmasters Twin Disc clutch kit, and also a Peloquin LSD. Other cosmetic upgrades were made in the way of an FSI coilpack harness loom, and R8 oil and coolant caps.
Big thanks to the guys at Eurohouse for taking the time to show us around. We've just recently packed up a large pallet of parts to ship down their way. Things seem to be going well and we wish them continued success in the future. Stop by and say hello if you're ever on the island www.ehmotorsport.com