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Next up, and winner of this week’s NGP Racing $50.00 gift certificate is VWvortex reader: rhussjr
Q: How long have you owned this car?
A: I have had the car for four years. I bought it from a local dealer for $1400, and have since spent nearly $20k on it, not including labor (which was all done myself).
Q: Is there anything unique about the history of this car?
A: It started out as a beater car that needed some serious body work. The front fenders, hood, front and rear bumper, and left rear quarter panels were beat and the headlights were frosted and cracked. Overall, the car was mechanically sound and drove well – it just needed some work. I used to own a Passat wagon years ago and it was the first car that I financed. I bought it because it was a five-speed – most of the cars that I found had automatics) and I knew that wasn’t what I wanted, as I am a “standard” kind of guy. When I saw this car and knew it was a five-speed, I was sold.
Q: What was your objective with this car?
A: To build something that was fun to drive and show off some of the ideas that I had been cooking up in my head. I was tired of building other people’s cars and not having something of my own. Plus, I needed something to replace my daily-driver ’96 Jetta VR6 Supercharged after it was totalled. It was “Euro” as well.
Q: What tuning style would you describe this car as?
A: Major “Euro” with the “Bad Boy” attitude with a mix of the old school and racecar technology in the mix and nothing else. I have a love of the German influence and the clean, simple styling that makes the German cars stand, out without being flamboyantly tacky.
Q: Who helped you build this car?
A: I have to thank to several people who’ve had a hand in getting me what I needed and bringing the ideas that I had to life. A lot of kind words and drive came from the members of the Vortex – all of them who watched my thread from when I first got the car back from being painted. I also need to mention JRC Motorsports, from where most of my time is spent building and fabricating parts and engines; Geoff McBryde (Trigger Man) at Showtime Restorations for his eye for making things happen when it comes to paint and body work (there are no better friends or people I know when it comes to this). There are also Dave Werner (2008cc) and Bill Lowrance (Boostdub), both of whom have helped me in building other people’s cars as well as their own over the past years. Last but not least, there is my wife Cindy and kids, Dawson, Carrie and Jacob – who l can’t forget. They are the ones that I do most of it for.
Q: What makes your car special?
A: Everything that I have done to the car makes it somewhat special. From the styling, the lighting, the interior and the wheels, but the thing that really makes the car is the sliding ragtop. This was the hard decision to make, especially when it comes to cutting the roof open. Bill helped me out on the install – Dave was more scared than I was, so he couldn’t watch.
Q: What is your favorite part/feature/function?
A: It has to be the sliding ragtop. There is nothing is more fun than to ride around with the top back and the radio playing. It is better than a convertible, as I can haul more of my friends around to enjoy the ride and go wherever I want to go.
Q: Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?
A: It is an extension of my personality, with many of my likes and tastes of cool concepts and ideas.
Q: What don’t you like about this car?
A: No turbo – well at least not yet. I have been working on turbo cars for everyone else and love the power and performance that a well tuned turbo motor can make.
Q: What would you change if you could?
A: I would love for the car to be right hand drive, with syncro and a turbo system. That would really top off the “Euro” concept for me.
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?
A: I am satisfied with the car and feel that is an 8 on my scale, only short of a 10 since I haven’t achieved building it to what I would like to see.
Q: What would you do to the car if money were no object?
A: This goes back to an earlier question. I would build it the ultimate grocery-getter with the ability to surprise most so-called performance cars and still haul the wife and kids out for dinner and a movie.
Q: Who has been your biggest critic of this project?
A: It has to be myself, because the final decision is up to me. If the final outcome is less than desired, it is my responsibility to change it or live with it.
Q: What do your family and friends say about this car?
A: My son Dawson say’s, “It’s cool Daddy.” He enjoys riding around in it, be it day or night, on our way to wherever we might go. We took it to watch the fireworks on July 4th near our home last year. With the sliding top back, the sky was a theater from the front and rear seats.
Q: What is your favorite place to drive this car?
A: Anywhere there is a nice road (I like them all), but my most favorite place is on the back roads around where I live. There is a fifteen-mile “course” that I love to drive that makes a circle around the area. With long and winding stretches and hills and sharp curves, I find myself pushing whatever car I drive to get the most out of the ride. We had our annual Car-Ba-Que and we had about fifteen cars out on that road, making a perfect afternoon for cars, food and fun.
Q: What is your ideal day with this car?
A: Cruising to a show or headed on vacation to the mountains or the beach would be perfect, or even adding a new mod or upgrade in the garage – it is all good.
Q: Who gets to drive this car?
A: Are you serious? Me, and only me. My wife won’t drive it; she is scared of driving any of my cars. But I’d let her drive it if she wanted…
Q: If your car had a motto, what would it be?
A: “Big, Bad & Bold” would do it up, but my wife summed it up the best when she first saw the front end of the car with the grille, bumper and the lights. “I am going to kick someone’s …”
Q: If you had to name your car, what would you name it?
A: Well, we call it Silver Bullitt, that is what it has been since I started the whole project.
Q: What was your previous project?
A: I had the ’96 Jetta VR6 with the supercharger and I loved that car. It was a beautiful car and was a blast to drive. Before that I had a ‘94 Corrado VR6 that met an untimely end, but found life in an ’86 Jetta owned by a girl in Tennessee. I had a ’92 Passat wagon before this one and I did several upgrades, such as leather interior, GLX foglights, Euro intake cam and performance exhaust, BBS wheels and Corrado G60 brakes. Also, I’ve had an ‘88 Alpine White Scirocco 16V that got a 2.0, full suspension tuning, rollbar, TSW Hock R’s and I even made custom white gauge faces for the instrument cluster (boy, do I miss that car!).
Q: What is your next project?
A: I am working on a black ‘88 Scirocco 16V that I bought for $500 from the original owner. I have since bought all new suspension, including FK coilovers, AST swaybars and even bought all-new Euro headlights and factory tail lights for when the car goes together. This car will see a turbo for certain, as the motor is finished and sitting on the stand. I have big plans for the car that will prove to be one of the best Sciroccos to ever built.
Q: What one word best describes your car?
Name- Rodney Huss
Address- Charlotte, NC
Occupation- Robotics & Automations Engineering
Club Affiliations- VAPOR
Model- Passat Station Wagon
Original Color- Satin Silver
Current Color- Same
Engine- 2.0 16V
Engine Modifications- Stock, for now, turbo to come
Exhaust Modifications- Techtonics 2-1/2” Stainless
Transmission Modifications- Stage 2 clutch
Suspension Modifications- FK Coilovers, Neuspeed Rear Swaybar
Brake Modifications- 288mm drilled front and rear rotors, DE calipers, braided lines
Wheels and Tires- Artec 17×8 Edition L with Yokohama Parada Spec2 tires
Exterior/Body Modifications- Sliding ragtop, RS front bumper, Bad-look front end, Euro tail lights, Hella DE headlights, GLX fog lights, Mattigg rear hatch spoiler, clear side blinkers
Interior Modifications- Sparco Torino seats, custom door panels, rear seats, aluminum tread-brite cargo plates, Momo Race Steering wheel and shift knob, tinted windows
Audio/Video/I.C.E.- Myron & Davis 7” DVD monitor / head unit, Kenwood speakers, twin JBLs in custom enclosure and 500-watt amp
Thanks/Props- JRC Motorsports, Geoff McBryde @ Showtime Restorations, Dave Werner, Bill Lowrance, Cindy, Dawson, Carrie and Jacob – not to forget the man that made things come together, my UPS driver Wayne.
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