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    Somehow it seems Hideo Hirooka has had his fingers in play on all Volkswagen from the far East. The one or other will now think...Hideo Hirooka? Never heard of him. But when you mention his company, Voomeran' it will most likely click. With Voomeran he made himself a name outside of the Asian continent, where he is one of a few Japanese that don't go over the top wide with their kits but much rather discreetly pulling out the original lines. Just like his Mk5 R32 Golf, where all parts come from his shelves, housing the 9,5" wide Rotiforms under the widened wheel arches.


    / #2006 / #VW-Golf-V / #Volkswagen-Golf-V / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk5 / #VW-Golf-Mk5 / #Volkswagen / #VW / #VAG / #Volkswagen-Golf / #VW-Golf / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk5 / #Voomeran / #Rotiform MUC 18X9.5 ET15 / Pirelli P-Zero 215/35-18 / #AirLift / #Volkswagen-Golf-R32-Mk5 / #Volkswagen-Golf-R32 / #Volkswagen-Golf-R32-V / #Volkswagen-Golf-R32-Voomeran / #Volkswagen-Golf-Voomeran / #Volkswagen-Golf-R32-Voomeran-V / #Volkswagen-Golf-R32-Voomeran-Mk5 / #Volkswagen-Golf-Voomeran-V

    Parts like this can be found for the Mk2 up to the current Mk7 in his shop and recently the Audi B8 series was added. With such a „German" portfolio, it's time to show more presence in the motherland, which gives us a nice project for the autumn months.
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    SCHMOOTH KARMANN GHIA HYGIENICALLY CLEAN VW COUPE

    / #VW-Karmann-Ghia / #Volkswagen-Karmann-Ghia / #Volkswagen / #Karmann-Ghia / #Karmann / #Ghia
    / #Volkswagen-Karmann-Ghia-Typ-14 / #Volkswagen-Typ-14 / #VW-Karmann-Ghia-Typ-14 / #VW

    VW Karmann Ghia You’d be hard pushed to find another Karmann Ghia as spotless as this one. In fact, we had to go all the way down under to check out what has to be the cleanest on the planet.

    RETRO RIDE: KARMANN GHIA / WORDS: Daniel Bevis / PHOTOGRAPHY: Ben Hosking

    SHIFTING GHIA

    Pat Eung’s Karmann is an exercise in emphasising the timeless prettiness of the Ghia form. But look closer and you’ll see a few modern tricks…

    Even the engine bay is absolutely spotless.


    Like photosynthesis or the patterns of the tides, modifying Volkswagens is one of those universal constants. It’s just something that happens. For as long as there have been aircooled VWs in the world, there have been people champing at the bit to customise them, from the inception of the Type 1 (which you may variously know as the Beetle, Käfer, Coccinelle, Fusca... you name it) through the enduring cult of the Type 2 (aka Kombi, Transporter, Microbus, Camper) and every other model on the spectrum. There’s nothing that hasn’t been done to them – dragsters, lowriders, race cars, surf wagons, every conceivable style exists within the VW scene.

    Nowadays of course the watercooled VeeDub scene is equally massive, and it’s leading the charge in the modern repurposing of the word ‘stance’. If you want to see what’s hot in the world of high-end wheels and low-down suspension, you look to the VW crowd.

    Naturally there are always cars that offer a bridge between the two eras of the VW modding carnival, fusing old and new, aircooled and watercooled, smashing styles together like tiny particles at CERN. There’s a VW K70 doing the rounds that’s been bodydropped over a Passat W8 chassis, a Mk1 Golf rocking aircooled Beetle running gear. All sorts. But perhaps one of the most cohesive and aesthetically joyful offerings is the car you see before you here, Pat Eung’s 1967 Karmann Ghia. It simultaneously shimmers with the memories of SoCal circa 1975, and lassos a knapsackful of cues from the modern stop-drop-and-roll Golf kaleidoscope. And while the Beetle and Microbus are such iconic silhouettes that pretty much everybody in the world would probably be able to recognise them, the Karmann Ghia is something rather more offbeat.

    “The reason I chose it is that the first time I saw one, I assumed it was a Porsche,” Pat admits. Although, to be fair, there’s more than a little shared DNA between Porsche and VW, so such a guess isn’t too much of a stretch.

    The Karmann Ghia was one of those good ideas that we can all be thankful was pushed into existence. Fusing the bombproof aircooled underpinnings of the VW Beetle with an achingly gorgeous body styled by Ghia’s Luigi Segre, the hand-built coupé was a runaway success. It quickly became the USA’s biggest automotive import of its time, and the global production figure topped 445,000 in its 19-year run.

    “THE KARMANN GHIA IS SOMETHING RATHER MORE OFFBEAT”

    Okay, they weren’t quick. But they were easily tuneable, although the model was always meant to be more of a boulevard cruiser than a sports car. And that’s a brief that, as standard, it fulfils perfectly. These things operate on a sliding scale though, don’t they?

    “I bought the KG because I saw my watercooled VW, a Passat CC, rapidly devaluing, while the insurance was going up,” says Pat. “It seemed a bit crazy, so I bit the bullet and bought something desirable that I could ultimately hand down to my son one day. It was restored by a retired engineer in the States who worked on it out of passion, and modified it to his liking. When I first had it imported over to Australia, I was only really planning on lowering it… How wrong I was!”

    Indeed, there have been a fair few changes made to the car under Pat’s tenure, many of which are hiding under the skin beneath that flawless Polar Silver paint. But let’s look at the suspension first, shall we, given that it was priority number one in the grand plan?

    Rather than go down the old-school route of drop spindles and what-have-you, Pat’s opted to employ the ever-so modern method of air-ride. Okay airride’s actually been around since World War Two. But you can’t deny it’s the darling of the stance scene these days. So it’s that the car borrows heavily from its younger VW brethren, by running Monroe air shocks at the front and a Limebug air-ride kit with Air Lift bags at the rear – to get the thing sitting snake’s-belly low on the showground, while also letting Pat keep his sump intact should he happen across a speed bump.


    Speaking of sumps, let’s take a peek under that engine decklid. Remember how we were talking about the Ghia being a boulevard cruiser? Not so much here. “It’s running a Porsche 914 2.0-litre motor,” says Pat. “The internals are largely stock, but there’s a mild cam in there and it’s fuelled by twin Weber 40IDAs.” The performance figures may not look massive on paper, but as a percentage gain it’s really quite phenomenal.

    A stock KG would offer somewhere south of 50bhp, while this 914 unit provides a dyno-certified 73bhp. Feisty, huh? In order to ensure that these newfound avenues of performance potential were easily mineable, the stock 1600 transmission was rebuilt with Freeway Flyer gears and a short-shift, while a rebuilt Airkewld steering box found its way up front. In combination with the top-flight air-ride setup and a beefed-up braking system (DBA front discs, and an Empi conversion to discs at the rear too), the refined chassis and Porsche flat-four now work in perfect harmony to keep this shimmering butterfly of a car streamlining along as it should.

    With the go and the show taken care of – along with the stop, the sway, and plenty of wahey – the final piece of the puzzle was the interior. Pat’s had the stock seats retrimmed in a tasteful two-tone fusion of black vinyl and brown tweed, topping things off with a classy old-school Porsche-sourced Mota-Lita steering wheel. Timeless stuff, although again it’s interesting to note that Porsche accessories and tweed trim are heavy-hitters on the watercooled scene… further evidence of Pat’s over-arching artistic vision. And while the exterior is an exercise in textbook Karmann Ghia class, from the Euro bumpers to the custom front airdam, it’s the wheels that really are the cherry on the fusion-cooking cake: Schmidt TH Lines, as you’d expect to see on a slammed Polo or somesuch, but cunningly narrowed to fi t into the aircooled logic sphere.

    What Pat’s achieved with this project is to harness the spirit of his more modern VWs and infuse it into a retro Dub platform; old school, new rules – and by keeping it all relatively restrained, the more outrageous features really shine through. As a family legacy, we imagine his son can’t wait to grow up and grab the keys.

    DRIVER: PAT EUNG

    What was the hardest part of the build? “The air-ride! Despite being a bolt-on kit, there were a lot of modi¬fications and tinkering to make it work. The wheels cost a fortune as they had to be rebuilt to ¬ t in with the suspension!”

    What part of the build was the most enjoyable? “Again, the wheels and air-ride. As much as it was a headache, it was well worth it seeing people’s reactions to the end result. I took a gamble on the wheel choice, but it paid off.” Is there anything you’d do differently if you were to do it all over again?

    “I would have taken it straight to Mike at CBB Tuning from the start. It would have saved me a lot of the hassle I had with other mechanics!”

    Any modern extras are perfectly hidden away. We’re loving the custom tweed too!

    SKINNY RIMS

    Pat’s wheels neatly reflect this Karmann Ghia’s fusion of old and new, taking a design that’s popular and desirable in the watercooled scene and rebuilding it to aircooled specs. He began with a set of 8x17-inch Schmidt TH Lines, and artfully readjusted them to fit the bagged Ghia chassis. The rears have been barrelled down just a smidge to a slightly less arch-troubling 7-inch width, but the fronts are the real showstoppers: they measure an almost dragsterlike 4.5x17-inches, tucking perfectly into the front wings and giving a real nu-wave/retro vibe. The widths are classic, the diameter distinctly modern.

    They certainly don’t come any cleaner than this.

    TECH SPEC: Karmann Ghia

    TUNING #1974 #Porsche-914 2.0-litre flat-four, fully rebuilt, stock internals, mild cam, twin #Weber 40IDFs, Pertronics electronic points, electric fuel pump, #Vintage-Speed Type IV extractor system and Type 1 exhaust, stock gearbox rebuilt with Freeway Flyer gears, Vintage Speed short-shift.

    CHASSIS 4.5x17in (front) and 7x17in (rear) #Schmidt-TH-Line Lines, 165/40 (front) and 195/40 (rear) Nankangs, DBA front discs, #EMPI rear disc conversion, early short axle, #Monroe air shocks, #Limebug rear air suspension kit, #AirLift bags, #Airkewld steering box.

    EXTERIOR Polar Silver paint, perfected by Elite Body Repairs, Euro bumpers, custom aluminium airdam and grille.

    INTERIOR #Moto-Lita Porsche steering wheel, seats retrimmed in custom black vinyl and brown tweed by Sewfine, #VDO gauges, Pioneer headunit with custom speakers in rear.

    THANKS All the guys from Liverpool Harry’s for all their help and support – especially Rick and Ali. My wife Ley for putting up with my expensive habits and turning a blind eye most of the time! ‏ — with Ben Hosking
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    Stancing with the Stars MERCEDES 190 ON AIR

    They’re a great staple of any Retro Cars diet, and when they look as good as this it’s pretty obvious why that is. James Brown fell for the ‘Baby Benz’ at a tender age. And you know what they say about your first love… Words: Dan Bevis. Photos: Chris Frosin.

    Massively over-engineered’. That’s a phrase you can always rely on. When the chips are down, you’re nervously eyeing your temperature gauge, or you can hear a suspicious clonking noise that you just can’t put your finger on, that handy and reassuring motif will always be there to make everything all right. Not that any of those issues should surface in a Mercedes-Benz-190E , of course.

    This is, in fact, a phrase employed by Mercedes-Benz themselves to describe the model when it emerged blinking into the motorscape way back in late 1982. This car represented the dawn of a new era for #Mercedes , the so-called ‘Baby Benz’ being the marque’s first foray into the compact-executive sector. They poured over £600m into the model’s R&D, patenting a natty new five-link rear and throwing in all sorts of über-modern accoutrements: seatbelt pretensioners, airbags, #ABS … with BMW dominating the sector with the ubiquitous 3 Series, M-B had to go in hard. They needed to over-engineer the thing, it was the only way to muscle in.

    This sort of developmental extravagance has, unsurprisingly, given the car quite a strong following. You tend to find pretty fervent brand evangelists in the retro car world – Mini fans who’ll drive nothing but Minis, Mk1 Golf owners who won’t shut up about Wolfsburg – but it’s interesting to note that Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts are more effusive than most. Once that three-pointed star is emblazoned upon the subconscious, it’s there for keeps.

    Take James Brown, for example. Hailing from the Essex town of Tiptree (a place variously famous for jams and jellies, and the ‘Tiptree Sneeze’ – look it up), he combines his hometown’s trademark mix of saccharine fruitiness and loud noises with a lifelong love of Mercs. His first car was a 190E, he’s had a few of ’em since, and now he’s built this. He’s pretty much incurable. Sure, there have been a few deviations from the path, but true love always shines through.

    “My first car was a red 190E, back when I was sixteen,” he grins. “I lowered it, and put a spoiler on it, and a set of seventeens… but then I couldn’t afford to insure it!

    So I had to sell it and get a Honda Civic.” Thereafter followed a protracted series of modifying experimentations, the Civic receiving the same treatment that the 190E had, before James reverted to geographical type and got into Fords. But when his hot XR2i ended up unceremoniously planted up an elderly gent’s backside (not literally, but almost), our protagonist found himself in a #Mercedes-Benz once more. Well, it was always inevitable really, wasn’t it? Written in the stars.

    “My second 190E was special,” he reminisces, a sparkle of whimsy in his twinkling eyes. “I got it from my good friend John, and to this day I still blame this guy for getting my Mercedes love to flow! He sold me one in the same colour as the current one – it was on some cool seventeens, and on the floor, and I loved that car so much. But then the need for more power came back in my life.” And he was off again, like an easily distracted whippet, finding himself in a heavily modded 106 GTI (a car that dove so deep down the rabbit hole it ended up being featured in Max Power), before reverting back to the Fatherland: an Audi A3 followed, belittling passers-by with its nineteen’s, then a BMW E46 Compact on, ahem, 20in chrome spinners. Hey, if you always make good decisions then you’ve got nothing to learn from, right?

    But it was no use. This multi-marque dabbling was just a distraction from James’s true Mercedes calling. He did the right thing. He bought himself another 190E. It ended up on the cover of Retro Cars in July 2011. And lo, his work was good.

    …but then he started working on an Audi TT project, which was a very involved build, and… wait. No. Stop. This is all but a fleeting distraction from the wholesome pursuit of 190Es. Come back into the light, James. It’s warm in here. You’re safe. Come.

    Oh, and he did. And how. “It was my first love,” he explains, matter-of-factly. “I’ve always been a Mercedes guy, I always will be. I can’t shake it.” And so the endless procession of a long, long line of projects has culminated in this, a straight-as-an-arrow 2.6.

    “After looking at several cars with Jag of Jags Bodyshop, we just kept finding bodged-up, expensive cars that claimed to be immaculate,” sighs James. This is an unfortunate quirk of the 190E, as theoretically they should be borderline bulletproof; when the nuclear winter comes, it’ll just be cockroaches, Twinkies and well-maintained 190Es left on the face of the Earth. Unfortunately, these once-expensive premium-compacts have fallen into the realm of sub-minicab cheapness, so they become disposable. There’s a lot of crap out there, cars that haven’t been looked after. “We ended up settling on an honest car at a reasonable price that needed a bit of paint and tidying,” he says pragmatically. “I was always planning on getting Jag to paint it anyway, so that wasn’t an issue, and a bit of servicing and loving was all it really needed.”

    Of course, this was never going to be a concours resto. You’ve read the guy’s car history, you know what he’s like. The car you see here was pretty much the vision he had in mind at the time, although it wasn’t always a clear path from vision to reality. As you can no doubt hear Samuel L. Jackson booming in his best scary Pulp Fiction voice, “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men”. But whatever – challenges are character-building, aren’t they?

    So, without further ado, Jag set about painting James’s new ride. “Jag’s always painted my cars, and I’m always able to trust him to get my ideas perfect – although I do totally blame him for my OCD-esque cleaning habit,” he says. The car’s been repainted in its original shade, but as you can see that’s really all it needs – an overblown or ostentatious colour would have ruined the simplicity of the thing. You see, there are a lot of people that decry the ‘stop, drop and roll’ approach to modifying – the idea that a reduction in altitude and some well-chosen wheels are all that’s required to allow the car’s aesthetic to speak for itself – but James’s 190E is the ultimate proof that the formula works. And this is due, in large part, to his rather wonderful choice of wheels.

    “Brian at Rotiform was great,” he smiles. “I showed him a picture of the original Mercedes 8-hole wheels and said ‘I want the biggest dishes we can get away with’! The finished product has really become the talking point of the car.” You can see why; the genius of the design is that it pays respectful homage to the car’s original factory alloys, but they are in fact all-new wheels custombuilt by Rotiform to offer something that no other 190E has. This makes James the king of the double-take – his ride-height and the cleanliness of the thing draw you in, then as you turn away your brain says ‘Hang on a minute, what’s up with those rims?’… and the answer is that they’re a head-spinning, bespoke set of two-piece wheels with hidden hardware and the valve caps cunningly slipped around the back. It really is a bunch of effort and expense for something that a lot of people wouldn’t even notice. Such is the modern wheels arms race.

    When it came to the suspension, James had Merc’s original Baby Benz ethos firmly in mind. There would be no half-measures here, it had to be ‘massively over-engineered’ or nothing at all. “I wanted the best,” he explains. “When it came to air-ride, I always said I wanted this car to be 100% – no leaks, no issues, no nothing. So it went to Luke at Plush Automotive, as I knew he’d get the job done. Not many people had used these BMW AirLift struts at that time, and it’s fair to say it was a little more involved than just bolting the things on!” The system is governed by AirLift’s world-class V2 management, and to help things along Jag had already tickled the arches out a little, by 10mm at the front and 15mm out back, in order to ensure the perfect clearance and fitment.

    Plush’s work wasn’t done there either – check out the sublime boot build housing the Viair treats and hardlines along with a full-house Vibe Black Air audio setup in the shelf. The crispness of the install looks almost factory, provided that you can set aside the fact that James has stuffed a load of choice modern hardware into the Merc’s nooks and crannies.

    A bona fi de, über-polished showpiece, then? A pampered trailer queen? No, not a bit of it. James barely needed encouraging to pull a cheeky burnout for our shoot, and if there’s one thing he really loves, it’s driving around in his meisterwerk and showing it to the world as what it is: a massively over-engineered cruiser. “I use it mainly for summer evenings and weekends, and I did some of the shows last year,” he says, “but I love just going for random drives in it. Hopefully this year I’ll be taking it all over Europe – possibly not even for shows, but just for the sake of enjoying road trips with other Merc enthusiasts.” And that really is the crux of the build. At its very essence, it’s a driver’s machine; James has simply enhanced every element that he felt required enhancement, to make the best even better. Because even if something’s overengineered, there’s nothing to stop you taking it further.

    SPECIFICATION / #Rotiform-MBZ / #Rotiform / #Mercedes-Benz-190E / #Mercedes-Benz-190E-W201 / #Mercedes-Benz-W201 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes-190E / #Mercedes-Benz-190E-2.6 / #Mercedes-Benz-190E-2.6-W201

    ENGINE: #M103.940 2.6-litre straight-six / #M103 / #Mercedes-Benz-M103
    TRANSMISSION: #Mercedes-Benz-722-400 automatic gearbox
    SUSPENSION: BMW E36 #AirLift front struts, custom rear mounts and universal airbags, #Viair-444C compressors, #AirLift-V2-management / #Air-Lift-V2
    BRAKES: Stock 190E
    WHEELS & TYRES: 8x17in (front) and 9.5x17in (rear) #Rotiform MBZ 2-piece with 195/40 (f) and 215/40 (r) tyres
    INTERIOR: Momo Prototipo steering wheel, flushed #AirLift V2 controller, Vibe Black Air audio system inc. front and rear components running twin amps plus 2x 12in subwoofers

    EXTERIOR: Full respray in original colour, arches extended 10mm (front) and 15mm (rear)

    THANKS: “Jag - Jags Bodyshop 07976 830145, Luke - Plush Automotive, Carl Taylor, Brian - Rotiform Wheels, Tommy Teapot - Meguiars UK, Mark- Vibe Audio, Luke, Viv, Jaylos & John Russell. And Becky for putting up with me constantly cleaning it.”


    Damn that sits well on the custom-made 17in Rotiforms!

    This 190E epitomises the ‘stop, drop and roll’ approach to modifying.

    Bulbous Mercedes airbag steering wheel has been eschewed in favour of this natty little Momo number.

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    C7 A6 Amazing interior and air.

    REPPIN’ MOBILE

    When you run your own company specialising in high-quality air-ride and interior upgrades, your daily driver needs to be something a bit special…

    Without wishing to resort to clichés and stereotypes, I think it’s pretty fair to say that a great deal (but certainly not all) C7 A6s are company cars. You can see lots of these big, executive four-doors bombing up and down motorways; often with a suit jacket hanging in the back. From photocopier salesman, to self-employed financial advisors, the A6 makes a lot of sense. You can get some cracking PCP and business lease deals on the saloons, and with the 2.0 TDI Ultra models, decent performance and cheap tax. The S-line and Black Editions look fantastic and are well equipped, too. However, you don’t expect to see a 20-year old driving one of these Audis. And you certainly don’t expect to see one that’s been as well modified as this one.

    So, is the owner, Henry, a sales rep with a very understanding fleet manager that lets him mess with this car? Of course not. Henry runs his own company – Riiva Design.

    The Leicestershire-based outfit specialise in styling upgrades, in particular interiors and air-ride. With a background in converting T5 campers, it was a natural progression for Henry to get into boot builds for air-ride. You may question why he didn’t go for an RS6 – after all this is the ultimate incarnation of the A6. For starters he’s only 20; he also does a lot of miles each year and even a used C7 RS6 is well over £50k. He also does some racing in the VW Cup, so gets his fix of high octane action on the track. For his daily driver and company demo car, he wanted something big, good looking and refined. That’ll be an A6, then.

    “I had a B8 A4 avant, but wanted something larger,” recalls Henry. “I initially looked for an avant, but then I saw this in grey and had to have it.” The two-year old TDI S-line came with lots of options and would make a perfect base for his project.

    “I drove it for just a day before I got it on the ramps,” he smiles. The plan was to drop it as low as possible on air-ride and create something special in the boot to show what his company can do. With so many cars running similar set ups out there, Henry had to think hard to be different. It helped that he managed to get his hands on one of only a handful of brand new AirLift Performance 3H management kits that allows total control and adjustment of both height and pressure.


    “Fitting air-ride to an A6 is different than, say a Golf,” says Henry, “ they have more complex set ups with double wishbones etc.” He reckons the entire air install took about a week.


    Pop your head inside this A6 and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of RS special edition. There’s swathes of red leather as far as the eye can see, from the retro-fitted RS4 wing back front seats; even the flat-bottom steering wheel and gear gaitor have been re-trimmed to match. The door cards are finished in red Alcantara and much of the plastics are now red too. It looks and smells like a very high-end cabin and is one of the best features of the car.

    When it came to deciding what wheels to run, Henry had an ace up his sleeve. “I spoke to Brian from Rotiform and he agreed to sell me his own personal set of CCVs off his A7,” he comments. The gargantuan 10x21in alloys took some work to get on, including fitting adjustable camber arms on the rear, plus pulling the arches and modifying thee rear brakes, but they certainly look the part.

    This A6 is one of those cars that, on the face it, doesn’t have a huge list of upgrades. But, it manages to have maximum impact, which is exactly what Henry wanted. As the demo car for Riiva Design it fulfils the brief perfectly and will keep him happy until such time as an S or RS badged Audi replaces it.

    As company cars go, it’s up there with some of the best – and not a suit jacket in sight!


    Right: Mean front end and stunning interior.

    Above: Air tank built into the boot lid Bottom left to right: Full red leather re-trim transforms this A6.

    “I drove it for just a day before I got it on the ramps...”

    Top Take off! Above: New 3H Controller.


    SPECIFICATION #Audi A6 C7 #TDI #S-line / #Audi-A6-TDI-S-line / #Audi-A6-TDI-S-line-C7 / #Audi-A6-TDI-C7 / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-A6-2.0TDI-C7 / #AirLift-Performance / #AirLift / #Audi-A6-C7-AirLift /

    Engine 2.0 TDI with a remap

    Brakes Stock

    Suspension #AirLift Performance set up with brand new 3H height and pressure management, adjustable camber arms at rear

    Wheels and tyres 10x21in #Rotiform-CCV / #Rotiform with 265/30x21 Michelin Pilot SuperSport

    Interior RS4 front seats re-trimmed in red leather with Alcantara backs, red leather steering wheel, red Alcantara door cards, interior plastics done in red, full boot install with compressor tank mounted on boot lid

    Exterior RS-style front grille, arches rolled and pulled, custom front splitter, grille surround and window trims done in black, cut down number plates

    Contacts/thanks Riiva Design www.riivadesign.co.uk, Rotiform www.rotiform.com
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    BIG IMPACT #BMW

    With a whole lot of everything going on, this supercharged #BMW-E93 M3 on slick wheels with custom interior is a killer build.

    Words: Patrick Holness / Photos: Anna Taylor With big wheels, bold looks and plenty of supercharged power, this E93 M3 makes a big impression wherever it goes.



    There is a palpable level of excitement that gets you every time you see a well-executed car that has been meticulously sorted and modified. A car so well fashioned the minor details have details. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or you’ve managed to refrain from using social media, Danny Pessoa’s E93 M3 is that car. It begs the question, is it possible to improve the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine?’.

    Affectionately referred to by Danny as ‘Anna-Bella’ (Anna named after his wife, bella the Italian word for beauty, which both of his ladies possess), this car is absolutely splendid. Danny has crafted his E93 M3 to be nothing short of stunning, picturesque, and a work of art.

    Perhaps if you live Stateside you’ve seen her in the metal – Danny has taken every opportunity to show it off at just about all the major shows in the north east. The car has certainly lived up to the hype taking first place in multiple categories at each show. Regardless of the trophies and accolades he does it out of love for the scene. He is one of the cool guys, not afraid to share wheel specs or quote the price of a car part. His laid back and humble attitude makes him approachable and creates the basis for endless car talk. Perhaps this would explain why he has so many followers on IG.

    Let’s shift gears a bit to see how Danny got here. Like many of us the car bug bit him as a child. Growing up, Matchbox, Hot Wheels and the like were some of his favourite toys and his folks jokingly say ‘carro’ was amongst his first words. Once he reached driving age there was one brand and one car in particular that did it for him, the E46 M3. The power, the look, and the straight-six soundtrack lured him in and he vowed that one day he’d be an M owner. Fast forward some years later and Danny was able to purchase an Alpine white E46 M3. Ownership started off simply with wheels and suspension, and before you knew it he was a happy camper. Fueled with passion for modifying cars, Danny soon found himself chasing the next piece of machinery. A little reluctant he decided it was time to part ways with his E46 M3. With cash in hand, Danny was on the hunt for a new project, something more modern.

    He test-drove an E92 335i and was sold. This car started its life like his first project, with wheels, suspension, exhaust, M Sport bumpers, and other custom pieces. “I enjoyed the car, it was great but I missed the M3,” Danny admits and he soon found himself surfing the internet in search of an E93 M3. He had specific requirements this time around; this time it had to be white with a red interior, convertible top and manual transmission. Criteria set, Danny found himself glued to his smart phone searching numerous car sites every free moment he had. This went on for six months and while many examples popped up, they weren’t right. As luck would have it his search eventually led to a 2009 example that met his requirements. A phone call was made to the dealership and Danny found himself making the five-hour drive from New Jersey to West Virginia and wasted no time making it his.


    With his new car and a big grin on his face, he stopped by to see friend and owner of AMS Autowerks, Diogo Azevedo. Danny was looking for a set of Rotiform wheels to fill the M3’s arches, initially planning a fresh set of rims and suspension and leaving things there… On the wheel front he treated the M3 to a set of 19” TMBs, measuring a mighty 10” up front and 12” at the rear, initially in a brushed finish, followed by brushed red and finally black.

    For the suspension, Danny turned to Air Lift for an air-ride kit. Attempting to squeeze the massive rear wheels under the E93’s arches, even ones as ample as the M3’s, is no mean feat. Diogo and his crew had to pull the rear quarters out by 2” to get the perfect stance and allow them to tuck under the arches when aired out. As you can see, the TMBs are gone and in their place are a set of gorgeous 20” INDs finished in rose copper, though they’re the same width as the 19s so no further arch work was required.

    The body received a Mode Carbon front lip, side splitters, rear diffuser, side vents and Motorsport wing on the OEM bootlid, but Danny couldn’t make his mind up about the spoiler so Anna-Bella currently has a carbon fibre CSL bootlid and he alternates between the two different sets of wheels and bootlids. Headlights and tail-lights received attention as well, the former being sent to Lightwerkz for a blacked-out finish while the tail-lights were swapped for all-red items: “The car was looking great,” says Danny, “but I wanted more power…”

    With this in mind, over the winter a complete exhaust system from Active Autowerke was installed before he purchased a Gintani Stage II supercharger kit. This intercooled setup uses a Vortech V3 Si Trim blower fed by a sexy carbon fibre intake and runs at between 7-7.5psi to whip up a 650hp storm, backed up by 420lb ft of torque, giving Danny all the performance he could want. “The first time I drove it, it felt like a race car!” he grins. “I said ‘oh s**t this car is fast!’” he adds with a chuckle.

    With the engine work done, Danny focused his attention on the interior and boot. He commissioned Ryan from Exact Art to sort out the interior details and he has covered nearly every inch of the car in Fox red leather or Alcantara. The result really is a work of art.


    The steering wheel was also upgraded to a carbon fibre item, and the front factory seats were replaced with Recaro CS Sport seats which were also trimmed in matching Fox red leather. Carbon fibre was integrated into the doorcards, dash, and rear passenger headrests while a custom harness bar was fabricated and colour-matched by AMS Autowerks to accommodate the Sabelt harnesses. The doorcards received attention as well and they include the same hex arrow stitching that is inlaid in the seats. The roof has been lined with Alcantara and the floor mats have been trimmed in white to match the exterior.


    In today’s scene a proper boot install is almost a must, and Danny’s M3 delivers on that front. The air tank for the air-ride has been colour-matched to the car and custom Fox red leather straps add the finishing touch, while leather and Alcantara adorn pretty much every surface. New factory stickers were also ordered to replace those that had to be removed and special homage was paid to Johnny Walker with a crafty Blue Label setup. In total the interior and boot work took over 200 man-hours and deprived Danny of his car for nine months, but it was most definitely worth it. So, is it possible to improve the Ultimate Driving Machine? Unequivocally the answer is yes. Danny’s car is nothing short of a modern masterpiece and one that both he and everyone else can get an immense amount of pleasure from.

    Stunning custom interior and boot build took over 200 hours and nine months to complete but was worth it.

    This project is not all about looks – #Gintani Stage II supercharger kit makes 650hp and 420lb ft of torque.

    DATA FILE BMW Supercharged #BMW-E93 M3 / #BMW-M3 / #BMW-M3-E93 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged-E93 / #BMW-M3-Supercharged /

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 4.0-litre #V8 #S65B40 / #S65 / #BMW-S65 / #S65-Supercharged / carbon intake, #Gintani-Stage-II supercharger, #Active-Autowerke exhaust, six-speed manual gearbox.

    CHASSIS 10x20” (front) and 12x20” (rear) #Rotiform IND threepiece splits in #Rose-Copper , #AirLift Performance airride with V2 management, carbon strut brace.

    EXTERIOR Mode Carbon front lip, side splitters, Motorsport wing, side vents, and rear bumper diffuser, CSL carbon fibre bootlid, rear quarters pulled 2”, #LightWerkz custom headlights, all-red rear lights.

    INTERIOR OEM M3 carbon steering wheel, dash, doorcards, centre console and rear headrest trimmed in carbon fibre, Fox red leather dash, seats, doorcards with hex arrows stitching, Alcantara roof and convertible top cover, custom harness bar for Sabelt harness, Recaro CS Sport seats, floor mats trimmed in white, colour-matched air tank with custom leather straps, boot trimmed in Fox red leather and Alcantara, bottle of Johnny Walker Blue and glasses in boot.

    THANKS My wife for all of her love and support.

    The first time I drove it, it felt like a race car! I said ‘oh sheet this car is fast!’ Danny Pessoa.
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    Breaking the Mould / #Vauxhall / #Opel / #2015
    ASTRA VXR-R
    Nope, we haven’t made a typo, this really is a VXR-R… find out why in the feature.

    HOT RIDE: ASTRA VXR
    WORDS JARKLE PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS WALLBANK

    AN ASTRA VXR WITH AIR RIDE, 20IN VOSSENS AND A HEALTHY 321BHP...

    It took Vauxhall a long time to make their mind up regarding their range-topping brand. While the boys in Essex decided that ‘RS’ should be their undisputed halo range in the ‘60s, Luton took rather longer and straight up dithered. Between the ‘70s and the early part of the 21st century we were treated to HSs, HSRs, SRis, GSis, Turbos and finally, the VXR. This indecision undoubtedly enabled Ford to steal a march on Vauxhall, and it’s only relatively recently that the latter’s VXR range has begun to approach the levels of appreciation enjoyed by other comparable brands. Still, the VXR brand has delivered some seriously cool cars over the last decade and a bit, everything from bonkers re-badged Holdens to stupidly powerful family vans (take a bow Zafira VXR), and it just keeps on delivering.

    Top of the tree has to be the latest Astra J VXR, a car that bristles with tech, looks fantastic, re-defines what a performance front-wheel drive Vauxhall can do, and can go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Focus RS. Then we have the example here, a car bought brand new by Bryn Williams in 2014.

    “I’m known for driving my cars pretty hard and for going through a fair few gearboxes,” Bryn explains with a grin. “My last car was a Corsa SRi that I slowly converted to full VXR spec and I destroyed a fair few M32 gearboxes on that, so I wanted a car with a warranty.”

    Various Corsas were weighed up and rejected before Bryn finally settled on the all new VXR, put his deposit down, jumped in the car and drove direct to Thorney Sport to well and truly void said warranty. What started out with a discussion about the pros and cons of Stage 1 tuning ended with Bryn driving off in an Astra boasting one of the firm’s Stage 3 VXR-R packages. While this doesn’t involve any alteration of the internals or turbo, it does see the Astra given a stage 3 remap, induction work and free-flowing exhaust system, all of which left Bryn with a handy 307bhp, a figure that jumped to 321bhp once the box-fresh A20NFT had loosened up a bit (just over 60 miles had clicked over on the odometer at the time of the VXR-R conversion). “I’d be lying if I said I noticed a massive improvement in performance after all that work, mainly as I’d driven the car fairly conservatively up until then, but in the months since it’s really come alive,” Bryn explains. “350bhp is on the cards for next year, possibly more if I opt to fi t a larger turbo...”


    The VXR-R package came with a whole host of badges, stickers and wheel options, though this latter aspect of the kit posed something of a conundrum; the wheels offered were performance based (Team Dynamics Pro Race being the most popular), and while there’s no doubt that these are fi ne, lightweight alloys in their own right, they aren’t exactly a rare sight on bright blue Astra VXRs. In the end Bryn bit the bullet and fitted some Team Dynamics (though they weren’t Pro Race 1.2s) and ran them for several months, only deciding that they needed to go when he took the fairly drastic step of fitting an air suspension kit to the car.

    “That wasn’t a decision I took lightly but I can honestly say it’s been one of the best modifications on the car, and one that’s made it a whole lot more usable.”


    First, a bit of background. A set of posh Bilsteins found their way under the arches within weeks of Bryn’s name appearing on the V5, all wound down about as far they could go with the ‘helper’ springs removed. The resulting ride was, perhaps unsurprisingly, crashy and deeply uncomfortable. Throw in the fact that he kept gouging his splitter on all but the most pathetic of speed bumps and it becomes all too clear why Bryn eventually went all out and had Plush Automotive fit an air kit with twin 400cc compressors, Air Lift Performance struts and HPDT rear bags. Bryn admits that yes, he did have some concerns about compromising the poise and handling of his VXR, but the air kit has so far proved much better than the previously mentioned Bilsteins. “The only real issue associated with the kit was that it meant I had to change wheels,” he recalls. “Yeah the Team Dynamics were nice and very lightweight but they weren’t exactly a ‘show wheel’ and I thought they looked out of place on such a low car.”

    So what did he opt for? In the end Bryn took advice from his friend, a man with something of a thing for high-end wheels and someone who took him to Auto Werks, a local firm specialising in posh alloys in all manner of fitments. The Astra’s PCD isn’t exactly god’s gift to fitting fancy wheels but there were options and Bryn finally plumped for the rims that grace the car here, stunning 20in Vossen CVTs with their faces ceramic polished. Not only do these wheels stand out from the more commonly seen Team Dynamics, 3SDMs and Rotiforms, they also fitted perfectly right out of the box and with no need for arch work.

    This is one of those cars that really shouldn’t look as good as it undoubtedly does, and if you’d asked us beforehand whether fitting air suspension to an Astra J VXR was a good thing we’d probably have replied in the negative. Yet it does, and then some. Part of that’s down to the fact that seeing such a new car on its belly is a novel thing, though the extensive programme of smoothing, shaving and deleting that Bryn’s put the car through also plays a part. Flushing the boot was one of the more challenging aspects here, mainly because on the latest VXR the Vauxhall badge actually serves as the release mechanism so deleting it involved fitting a boot popper at the same time. Both front and rear bumpers were given the same treatment, while any chrome trims were relegated to the bin and replaced with perfect paint. It’s all very subtle and won’t be spotted unless you’re a fully paid up VXR perv, but then perhaps that’s the best indication of smoothing done well.

    This has been a fast paced build, with the car taking shape over the course of a year or so, but he’s already working on a custom centreexit exhaust, some other exterior details and, when the package is available, more power. Fair play!

    Smoothing the badge (and boot release) was hassle but the results speak for themselves.

    TECH SPEC: #Vauxhall-Astra-VXR / #Vauxhall-Astra / #Vauxhall / #Opel-Astra / #Vauxhall-Astra-Mk6 / #Vauxhall-Astra-VXR-Mk6 / #Opel-Astra-J / #Vauxhall-Astra-VXR-R

    TUNING 2.0 #A20NFT with Throney Motorsport Stage 3 #VXR-R package and Stage 3 remap, #Thorney-Motorsport panel filter, Pace front mount intercooler, Piper sports cat, #Flow-Dynamics cat back exhaust system, #Forge front lower brace.

    STYLING Astra J VXR in #Arden-Blue , smoothed front and rear bumpers, smoothed boot with boot pop relocated, dechromed, colour coded roof rails, smoked rear lights, tinter windows, black sun strip.

    CHASSIS Air Lift suspension setup comprising #AccuAir #AccuAir-E-Level management, twin 400cc compressors, performance #AirLift front struts, #HDPT rear bags, 4 gallon seamless tank, I-level, #Bilstein rear shocks, 20in #Vossen CVT with ceramic polished faces, 235/30x20 Nankang NS-2, #Brembo four pots, Hel braided hoses.

    INTERIOR Full leather #VXR interior with blue stitching and custom blue seat belts, one off boot build with x2 compressors, x1 tank and colour changing LED lighting.

    THANKS Richard, John at Thorney Motorsport, Dave at Auto Werx, Luke at Plush Automotive, Si at Still Static, Dan at Flow Dynamics, Mo Miah at Specialist Tint ltd, Stuart at Ultra Finish, Slammed UK and Sump Scrapers.

    “Stunning Vossen CVTs with their faces ceramic polished”

    Blue belts are an awesome detail Plush Automotive install is a quality affair as always Vossens will get more popular in 2016.

    BRYN WILLIAMS

    First Vauxhall: A Grasshopper Green 1400 Sri.
    Worst part of the build: Probably the bit that’s ongoing – trying to sort the centre exit exhaust!
    Best part of the build: Dropping it down right after fitting the air suspension.
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  • Post is under moderation
    FINE AND CANDY / #VW-Golf-V / #Volkswagen-Golf-V / #Volkswagen-Golf-Mk5 / #VW-Golf-Mk5 / #Volkswagen / #VW / #VAG / #Volkswagen-Golf / #VW-Golf

    Craig Levens has always liked colourful cars, but his latest Candy creation is probably the most talked-about to date. Words: Tony Saggu. Photos: John Colley.

    “It’s the colour,” explained Craig Levens while carefully massaging the microfibre over his candy-coated creation. “People love the colour, I get asked over and over what colour it is.” The 30- something Cumbrian custom car connoisseur is used to fielding colour queries; this one-off GTI is not his first attempt at a hot hue on a mad motor: “I had a bright orange Subaru STI before this,” he told us. “I was deep into the Scooby scene back then and the car had every modification available on it, as well as a lot of custom stuff.” Craig was obviously munching on the Scooby snacks pretty hard; the 450bhp flat-four 4x4 cost a rumoured £100,000 in parts and labour. Strong money indeed, but Craig did get a lot of Subi silverware and legend status among Fast Car types, bagging ‘Best in Britain’ in 2009 didn’t hurt either.

    While what he’s trying to express may have changed, Craig’s got the hang of using colour to make a statement, but fast and loud have given way to cool and classy. “The car has undergone a couple of makeovers to get it to where it is now, but playing with colour has really changed its character all through the project,” he said. Craig admits the GTI was nice enough straight out-of-the-box, aside from a little rims-andsprings action he was content to leave it factory fresh. “My friend had one,” recalled Craig. “It was awesome to drive, from the first minute I drove one I knew I had to own one.”


    Anyone who’s been on the hunt for a Mk5 will know the perils involved; there’s no shortage of cars, but small cars that go fast get trashed and/or pranged with inevitable predictability. A good few weeks of intense searching eventually unearthed what looked like ‘the one’. “I found it on Pistonheads, a black ’54-plate Mk5 GTI, reasonably priced, low mileage and in great condition,” Craig recalled. “I had to move fast; I saw the ad at eight in the morning and drove three hours that day to pick it up.” The mildly modded fifth generation Golf was perfect for what Craig had in mind: Eibach springs, #BBS CH reps and a gentle tinkering with the ECU was the sum of the aftermarket antics. “I was planning to add some stereo upgrades and just a few bits and bobs really, that was it,” he told us.


    Given his history with the STI and the fact that the car was delivered straight to Plush Automotive in Leicester on the day of purchase, no one was fooled. “The car was bagged within the first month,” he laughed. “Luke at Plush pulled out all the stops to get it done. Plush is always busy and you have to book months in advance. I wasn’t expecting to have the car even touched for ages!” Craig had barely got his name on the logbook in November 2009, and by the time fat man was sliding down the chimney that year plans were already underway to have the car at Ultimate Dubs early in 2010.


    Show car status was going to call for more than merely bags and BBS. So, with a makeover needed and time at a premium, a plan was hatched to go all-out on the interior. “I wanted to do something completely different that would really make the car stand out,” Craig explained.


    A headliner to carpet bright aqua retrim contrasting against the factory black paint certainly did the job! “I added a lot of accents before the show like a Lambo Gallardo steering wheel and some Euro touches to the exterior; the whole package looked good.”


    After Ultimate Dubs, Craig finally got to take the car out of Plush and back home to Cumbria… briefly. “Unfortunately that’s been the story ever since I’ve owned the car,” lamented Craig, “with family commitments, I’m unable to attend all the shows or take the car to places to have it worked on as I live about a four-hour drive away from most of the shows and shops.

    Just recently for example I decided to lend my good friend, and owner of The Install Company, Phil the car so he could take it to as many shows as he wanted, which would enable him to showcase his insane skills and promote his new business. We do meet up at shows from time to time so I can have a look at my own car, which is quite a surreal feeling!” Craig admits the months that followed saw him slowly edge towards the slippery slope of another total makeover for the car. “Things started to get a little out of hand in 2011,” he laughed. “I’d promised myself I wouldn’t get as involved in another project as time-consuming or expensive as the Subaru, but, well, you know…”

    Towards the end of 2011, Craig turned his attention to the engine; a light upgrade was to be the order of the day, he’d already done the whole fire-breathing monster motor thing with the Subi, so mild tuning would do just fine on the Mk5. Aside from the obvious cosmetic work on and around the mill, a lot of it courtesy of Forge, the 2.0-litre turbo has received a Revo Stage 2+ and HPFP (High Pressure Fuel Pump) upgrade.

    Craig reckons the PDT Tuning massaged motor now makes a little over 265 ponies with a healthy 290lb ft of torque. “I originally felt that I should have gone with the Edition 30 Golf, with the KO4 turbo as standard, but Dave at PDT unlocked so much power and drivability from the GTI engine, it’s now a total blast to drive.”


    The following year saw the car largely undercover. Major mods were afoot and 12 months out of the limelight would barely get the work done. “Over the last few years Ultimate Dubs has kinda become the show that we work to as a deadline,” he told us. “Pretty much all the major mods have been unveiled there.”

    Early 2013 would be crunch time and showgoers were in for a big surprise. If there is an exterior finish that can blend stunning, while subtle and crazy, with classic, it’s the scrupulous solvent-based automotive nectar that is Candy paint, and Craig had acquired gallons of the stuff: “I wanted something different,” he explained. “I always loved House of Kolor paints and felt that this car needed something to make it stand out from the crowd. I wanted a classy colour that would never age.

    “I looked at doing a colour that would go with my aqua interior at first but I found nothing that blew me away. Eventually I decided to sell the interior and the possibilities were endless after that. I always liked Candy red but this is quite a popular colour and a little boring if I’m honest, so I looked for different shades of the red, from dark through to light. That’s when I came across the Brandywine; as soon as I saw it I was hooked. Because the original colour of the car was black it made sense to go with the black base coat to give the finished job a rich deep look; the desired finish we wanted was a beautiful Hennessy bottle red.”


    Candy is notoriously tricky stuff to work with, even seasoned painters fear it. The trouble is that true Candy isn’t really paint at all, it’s a translucent tint; a thin almost see-through coating that is as unforgiving to work with as the average traffic warden. The stuff has to be applied with robotic precision, anything but a perfect, even coat and you’ve left the door open to blotches, dark spots and stripes in the finish.

    “It took about nine months to paint the car,” Craig said. “Tim at True Paintworks in Leicester did all the work. It took three months just to get the paint. Then it wasn’t just the paint; Tim was faced with doing all the other bodywork mods as well.” Craig told us he was more than a little eager to see what the custom Candy would look like on the car, but didn’t put the paintshop on the clock: “I told him I didn’t have a deadline for the job, just to take as long as it took to get it perfect. He took his time and did a fantastic job. He had the odd issue here and there but nothing he couldn’t sort out. His skill is extraordinary, I mean just look at the car… it looks like it’s covered in Cognac.”


    Tying the entire Candy brandy bad boy exterior makeover together are a set of seldomseen RSV Forged three-piece split-rim wheels. “I chose them simply because I wanted something completely different, and I have yet to see another set of these in the UK,” explained Craig. “I went with the finish as it matches the Satin grey detail on the exterior of the car, tying it in perfectly. AirLift Performance struts with camber adjust, AccuAir management and Bilstein rear shocks assist with altitude adjustment: “The chassis is notched and lots of custom work was carried out by The Install Company to make the whole setup work,” explained Craig, “including a full stainless steel hardline install. Mine is one of only two cars in the UK to have been done the same way.”

    Craig’s lowriding Hennessy hot hatch is more than just pretty paint job, though. Aside from a myriad of understated mods blended into the bodywork under the Brandywine, the creative custom work continues into the cabin. “Initially I threw a stockish black interior in the car after the aqua trim was sold, although that was a stop-gap measure,” recalled Craig. “I wanted a retrim that would work with the candy colour to form an overall character for the car. The old aqua black contrast was bold and didn’t take too many prisoners. The new interior blends better as it complements the exterior and brings out the class.”


    McLaren MP4-12C front seats are the centrepiece of the interior: “They were owned by a friend who I pestered until he gave in and sold them to me,” Craig explained. “I knew they would be a great addition to the Mk5 interior and make it more unique.” Steve at Edge Automotive in Rugby stitched up the black and Merlot masterpiece swathed in yards of finest Alcantara, and carbon detailing is peppered throughout as the Mk6 and 7 Series VW extras. “We ordered a US Spec driver’s doorcard to replicate the UK doorcard on passenger side,” revealed Craig. “It’s a small detail, but that’s what the project is all about; I wanted to concentrate on attention to detail everywhere.” The Hennessy air freshener certainly didn’t go unnoticed…

    Dub Details

    ENGINE: 2.0-litre turbo, S3 Intercooler, #Forge-Motorsport Twintercooler with black silicone hoses, Forge Motorsport polished oil cap, water cap, washer cap, polished atmospheric DV Valve, ITG intake painted satin grey, Autotech Uprated fuel pump internals, R8 coil packs, Stage 2+ Revo mapping, Eurojet Turbo back exhaust, Fuse box cover painted Satin grey, battery cover painted Satin grey, Forge Motorsport front-to-back shortshift, Forge Motorsport side-by-side short-shift.

    CHASSIS: RSV: S|1 series 19” RSF1 three-piece forge wheels, centres painted matte gunmetal, lips and barrel painted gloss gunmetal, hidden hardware, 215/35/19 and 225/35/19 Nankang NS2 tyres, M14-M12 stud conversion kit, D12 gunmetal wheel nuts, #AirLift front/rear performance struts, Bilstein rear shocks, Whiteline anti-lift kit, Powerflex wishbone mounts, #Powerflex control arm bushes, H&R 24mm front anti-roll bar, H&R 28mm rear anti-roll bar, BSH rear drop links, #AccuAir ‘E’ Level, 2x380cc #Viair compressors, 2x three Gallonpolished seamless air tanks, chassis ‘notched’, strut towers cut to allow camber adjustment on the font, Forge Motorsport front: 356mm, six-pot BBK, Forge Motorsport rear: 330mm, four-pot #BBK (includes separate handbrake caliper), calipers and disc bells painted in HOK Brandy wine with Charcoal ‘Forge’ decals.


    EXTERIOR: Full respray in House of Kolor Brandywine Candy, OEM Mk5 R32 Xenon headlights (split and painted Satin grey with Brandywine Mk7 GTI-style stripe), USA spec front bumper, smoked USA side-markers, Votex lip smoothed into front bumper, smoothed underside of bonnet frame, Mk6 Golf R mirrors grafted into Mk5 baseplates, Mk1 Audi TT filler cap grafted in, Edition 30 rear bumper smoothed together and edges faded away, front wings widened 10mm, rear arches pulled 5mm, R32 rear lights. Mk6 rear boot handle; centre of handle; centre of Votex lip; centre of rear bumper; smoothed GTI front grill; open fog grills; wiper arms; rear scuttle panel; and smoothed front slam panel all in Satin grey.


    INTERIOR: Wine/charcoal Alcantara trim (every panel), wine/charcoal Alcantara mats, carbon fibre and charcoal Alcantara Mk7 GTI MFSW, carbon fibre dash strips, door strips, fire extinguisher, centre console inserts, McLaren MP4-12C front seats trimmed with original stitch pattern, Mk6 GTI roof liner and visors, Mk6 GTD rear seats trimmed to match the McLaren stitch pattern, Alcantara MK6 GTI gear knob, US-spec driver’s doorcard to replicate UK doorcard on passenger side, chrome tipped switches throughout, Cherry red hazard warning switch, Custom #AccuAir controller in centre console, Hennessy air freshener, #Dynavin N6 OEM-style head unit, Audison Voce Amp x 2, Audison Voce Component speakers, JL rear speakers, Audison 10” Voce subwoofer, #Audison Bit 10D processor, Bit 10D controller custommounted in roof, custom stainless steel, floating polish tank, hardline install, white LED lighting throughout interior/boot install.

    SHOUT: Chloe for putting up with me, Phil at The Install Company: this car wouldn’t have been finished without him. Russ Whitefield and Mark Gurney for all their help, Steve at Edge Automotive for the epic trim. Dale at Meguiar’s UK for looking after the paintwork and keeping it fresh, Paul at C6 Carbon, Tim at True Paintworks, Kris at Forge Motorsport for all my Forge Parts and RSV Forged for my wheels.

    The staggered 19” RSV: SI1 series RSF1 forge wheels may be a bit of a mouthful, but the fit, finish and uniqueness is what steals the show for us!

    It’s hard to believe Craig’s previous ride was a bright orange Subaru Impreza. Something’s obviously changed in his mindset, not entirely sure what, but we’re extremely pleased for him and us!
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