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Next up, and winner of this week’s NGP Racing $50.00 gift certificate is VWvortex reader: DubGray1.8T
Q: How long have you owned this car?
A: Since early 1998. I was originally purchased for 700 dollars and was tornado red.
Q: Is there anything unique about the history of this car?
A: It started life as a trade-in at a Dodge dealership where a friend of mine worked. I paid 700 bucks for it and beat the hell out of it for a couple years until I decided it was time for a swap. I had a 2.0 X-Flow blueprinted and balanced – well fully built. I also undertook some body and chassis mods. This was an 8-month weekend project. I drove it to Waterfest in 2000 (where it seemed well-liked by all – especially with the 276-degree cam). A week after returning home (or some 2000 miles after the project was finished), a lady pulled out in front of me and darn near destroyed the car. After haggling with the insurance company, we agreed on a $5,600 dollar estimate. I then had it repaired (I did almost all the bodywork the first time around). The next spring I decided the 2.0 was not fast enough, so I did some research and decided I would perform a 1.8T swap. So in short; two body jobs, 7 blown trannys and two motor swaps later, I have a Dove gray 1.8T with a cable shift tranny swap. Note: it was also in the european car’s 2002 waterfest booth.
Q: What was your objective with this car?
A: To enjoy it. Also, to destroy the domestic car superiority complex in my area (just kidding).
Q: What tuning style would you describe this car as?
A: Motorsport and a subtle, less-is-more approach to styling.
Q: Who helped you build this car?
A: My friends and family.
Q: What makes your car special?
A: It’s mine (kidding). Naw, I think it’s the color and style with enough juice to back itself up most of the time. I think it is clean. Oh yeah – and it has Honda door handles (shhhhh).
Q: What is your favorite part/feature/function?
A: I’d say it’s robably the 1.8T and the T3 turbo. There’s nothing like embarrassing some Camaro owner on the highway while his girlfriend’s in the car. That kind of facialexpression is priceless.
Q: Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?
A: European motorsport – just clean and enjoyable. The first time around the car was too harsh, but I am slowly making the most enjoyable car I have ever driven.
Q: What don’t you like about this car?
A: Just the few things I tend to notice every now and then.
Q: What would you change if you could?
A: I would build a fully modified 1.8T with 450 horses. Wouldn’t we all, though?
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?
A: A 7 or an 8.
Q: What would you do to the car if money were no object?
A: This could be an extremely long answer… So in short, I’d go for all performance (450-horse 1.8T) and minor cosmetic improvements (a dash conversion and some seat work to match the body color).
Q: Who has been your biggest critic of this project?
A: Myself, for sure.
Q: What do your family and friends say about this car?
A: They all have nothing but nice things to say.
Q: What is your favorite place to drive this car?
A: The smooth back roads of Maine. Mmmmmm.
Q: What is your ideal day with this car?
A: Communting to work and destroying some overblown V-8 egos on the ride home.
Q: Who gets to drive this car?
A: Myself, my girlfriend, my best friend, and my father.
Q: If your car had a motto, what would it be?
A: “It’s not the displacement – it’s how you use it.”
Q: If you had to name your car, what would you name it?
A: I already did – it’s named “THE GOLF.”
Q: What was your previous project?
A: A 1984 RX-7.
Q: What is your next project?
A: A Datsun 510 (with VG30DET) and/or a VR6 Rabbit.
Q: What one word best describes your car?
Address- Limerick, ME
Club Affiliations- None (but I’m friends with Rennen)
Mileage- 230,000 estimated
Original Color- Tornado Red
Current Color- Dove Gray
Engine- 1999 Audi A4 1.8T [AEB]
Engine Modifications- T3 60 A/R; 340cc injectors; ATP software; custom plumbing; manual boost controller; much bigger stuff in the works as we speak
Exhaust Modifications- Custom 3-inch down pipe and Techtonics Tuning 2.25-inch stainless steel exhaust (yes, I know it’s small – still fast, though)
Transmission Modifications- 16V Passat O2A with VR6 3rd gear; ACT pressure plate; ACT clutch; Autotech lightened and balanced flywheel
Suspension Modifications- Neuspeed Race springs; Boge Progas shocks; polyurethane bushings all around
Brake Modifications- Brembo cross-drilled rotors all around; Mintex pads
Wheels and Tires- 16-inch Rota Sub Zeros; 205/45-16 Yokohama Parada Spec-2 tires
Exterior/Body Modifications- Complete Dove Gray respray; Honda door handles; shaved rear emblem; shaved rear wiper; shaved banana lights; color-coded mirrors; custom-made badgeless grill; clear side markers; M3-style taillights; smoked E-code “Aero” headlights; upper grill spoiler
Interior Modifications- Custom headliner; white-face gauges; Sparco Lap-3 Race steering wheel; Autometer Phantom EGT, air/fuel and boost gauges; Sabelt harnesses; custom red illumination for gauges
Audio/Video/I.C.E.- Clarion deck; JL 15-inch sub; Kicker 352 Xi amp; JBL speakers
Thanks/Props- To my friends and family for all the help and patience that made this project possible. Oh, and to VW for making such an attractive car.
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