A/b: 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T Wagon

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Next up, and winner of this week’s NGP Racing $50.00 gift certificate is VWvortex reader: variant03

Q: How long have you owned this car?

A: Three years and counting.

Q: Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

A: It started out as a family car. The usual family vehicle. Now it has no rear seats and is nowhere close to being a family wagon. It has changed a lot from its original form.

Q: Why did you choose this car to purchase?

A: Growing up in Europe, I’ve always been fond of the VW brand. My father drove a 1980 VW Bug and that alone made me choose a VW. I chose the Passat for its size and comfort.

Q: What other cars did you consider?

A: Volvo V70.

Q: What was your objective with this car?

A: To make it into something original and clean. There are not too many B5.5 wagons that are modded and I wanted to see what I could do with it. A nice clean look is what I strive for.

Q: What tuning style would you describe this car as?

A: A classy, clean and simple car.

Q: Who helped you build this car?

A: I do all my own work, along with some mechanical help from the boys at Rennen Performance.

Q: What makes your car special?

A: It’s a modified 1.8T wagon – not too many around. It’s the only one I know with only two seats and the extent of performance mods done to it.

Q: What is your favorite part/feature/function?

A: The variant as a whole is my favorite. The drivability and the handling are superb for a wagon.

Q: Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car?

A: I get my inspiration from myself. I envision something and I try to recreate it on my B5.5.

Q: What don’t you like about this car?

A: It needs a paint job and body work.

Q: What was your biggest obstacle in building this car?

A: The lack of parts for a B5.5 The parts stop at the B5 platform… to really mod a 5.5 you have to be creative.

Q: How did you overcome the issue?

A: Search, search and search some more. I’ve used Audi A4 parts along with some B5 parts. It’s a mix of the two.

Q: What would you change if you could?

A: I would change minor things like the trimming so it wouldn’t have the chrome.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project?

A: 5. It’s nowhere near done.

Q: What would you do to the car if money were no object?

A: I would redo the interior, change out the dashboard to an A4 dashboard, and I would add a Big Turbo kit.

Q: Who has been your biggest critic of this project?

A: Myself. I never think it’s good enough. I notice every scratch, dent and dead bug on the thing.

Q: What do your family and friends say about this car?

A: They like it, even if they don’t really understand it.

Q: What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car?

A: Every time I drive it it’s pretty memorable. I enjoy the day-to-day moments.

Q: Has this car competed in any events?

A: It has on one occasion.

Q: Results?

A: I placed 2nd in a NH show this past spring.

Q: What is your favorite place to drive this car?

A: The back roads of Maine. There’s nothing like it.

Q: What is your ideal day with this car?

A: Hanging with friends who share the same passion and dedication.

Q: Who gets to drive this car?

A: My wife and I.

Q: If your car had a motto, what would it be?

A: “It’s only a wagon!”

Q: If you had to name your car, what would you name it?

A: Sleepy.

Q: What was your previous project?

A: Never had one before this one.

Q: What is your next project?

A: More work on the Variant.

Q: What one word best describes your car?

A: Farfrommodest.

Owner Information:

Name- Nuno

Location- Bath, ME

Username in VWvortex Forums- variant03

Occupation- military

Club Affiliations- clubb5, b5one.

Vehicle Information:

Year- 2003

Make- Volkswagen

Model- Passat

Mileage- 73,000

Original Color- Black

Current Color- Black

Engine- 1.8T 20v

Engine Modifications- APR 93/100 octane software w/ V-Tune; APR engine snub mount; ATP front mount intercooler; ATP oil catch can; Forge 007 DV; Forge DV relocation kit; Evo motorsport CAI; Evo Motorsport FMIC piping; ESC lightweight crank pulley; Samco turbo inlet hose; NX intercooler mister kit w/ 5lb bottle; ECS N75 race valve

Exhaust Modifications- Neuspeed cat-back exhaust w/DTM tips

Transmission Modifications- ECS tranny cooler kit

Suspension Modifications- Koni adjustable struts; H&R sport springs

Brake Modifications- Stock

Wheels and Tires- Flick Artic 18×8.5 with Sumitomo tires; H&R spacers – 8mm front and 20mm rear

Exterior/Body Modifications- Kamei grille; Kamei eyelids; debadged rear hatch; removed rear wiper; removed front wipers; A4 DTM cup mirrors; smoked side markers

Interior Modifications- Autometer boost gauge; oil temp and fuel press gauge; Autometer gauge pods; Southern Performance wheel pod w/Autometer air/fuel gauge; Corbeau A4 seat; Schroth four point harness; removed rear interior; GReddy full auto turbo timer

Audio/Video/I.C.E.- Two and a half working speakers

Thanks/Props- My wife and everyone who has supported me through this whole project

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For more photos of the car in this story, click on the link to our gallery at the right.