AUTObiography: audisnapr and marked001’s 1990 Corrado

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Next up is VWvortex reader: audisnapr & marked001


How long have you owned this car?

The car was purchased in Oct. of 2006 by Jason and myself with the intent of converting it into a dedicated track car.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

No, there isn’t anything particularly “unique” about it; however, we like to think that we ‘saved’ the car. Our understanding is that the car had been a project car by a previous owner which was never finished. Although we were not given any specific details, it was clear the car sat outside for a long period of time, perhaps years, and accumulated a good amount of rust.

What drew you to this specific car?

There were two things that were important to us. First, we wanted a strong VR6 as a base for our project. Second, was price. We wanted something in the sub $1000 condition. Since we weren’t keeping any of the interior and were prepared to repaint the entire car, aesthetics weren’t as high on the priority list as much as getting into this project cheaply.

What other cars did you consider?

When first thinking about a potential track car, the Subaru 2.5RS was our first option. We both come from Audi backgrounds and with Audi comes Quattro. AWD for us was the ideal base for a great track car so we started our search on the “subie” forums. We realized very quickly, once on the subie forums, that a running 2.5RS was not going to be had for less than $2000-3000, way beyond budget. After the Subie dreams died, we toyed briefly with a few different ideas, ie: RX7, VW Rabbit, older BMWs, etc. Ultimately, both Jason and I had always wanted a Corrado and it was only a matter of time before we realized this and jumped on the idea.

What was your objective with this car? 

strip everything off the car that wasn’t necessary, clean it up, slap some stickers (race tires) on it and have some fun on the various road circuits throughout the northeast.

What tuning style would you describe this car as? 

Track car.

Who helped you build this car? 

Jason and I did 99.9% of the work ourselves. My wife pitched in on a few very grueling tasks towards the beginning stages of the tare-down as well. TyrolSport did the full custom cage during the winter of 2009/2010

What makes your car special? 

To most, it’s probably not special. To us, well, since we completely tore this car down to its shell and rebuilt it into a dedicated track car, it’s pretty damn special to us. I would assume that other corrado lovers out there might find it a bit more special than most.

What is your favorite part/feature/function? 

I think we both really like the sound of the VR6 through a couple of Magnaflow mufflers. I really like the simplicity of a track car in general. No fluff, just business when it comes to the “creature comforts”.

We both really like our motorsport inspired shifter. Its form and function are perfect for the car and how we use it.

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

Probably the most influential thing to both Jason and I are other race cars. I’ve attended many sanctioned races over the years and love to check out the details in the solutions race car builders come up with – Jason and I took a lot of our cues from real race cars.

What don’t you like about this car? 

There aren’t any big ticket items I don’t like about the car. There are a few small annoyances, ie: the sunroof infill panel has a small leak, the floor pans are a bit rusted… other than that, I think we are both pretty happy with what we have at the moment.


What was your biggest obstacle in building this car? 

Wiring was a big challenge for us. One of our main goals was to completely remove every wire that was unnecessary and re-wire with new, clean and non-corroded wire. We wanted to avoid many of the known pitfalls of the Corrado, ie: electrical fires and gremlins.

How did you overcome the issue?

A lot of patience. Jason and I spent a lot of time removing all the wiring from the car, laying it out on the ground in an open space, reading the Bentley wiring diagrams, figuring out what was and was not needed, replacing, lengthening and cleaning up what we were keeping, re-installing in a semi orderly fashion (as best we could), using all new wire whenever possible, soldering every connection (as opposed to crimping, twisting, taping, etc) simplifying what we could, but most of all, taking our time and making sure we did it the best we could – we spent a fare amount of money and time re-wiring the car.

What would you change if you could?

We were pretty lucky to have been able to do everything the way we wanted to… within our budget of course. Given a bigger budget I’m sure we would have done a few things differently, but all things being equal, I think we are both pretty happy with the outcome.

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

A solid 8 for what it is

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

Now that we were able to have the experience of building our first track car (which was a great learning experience) and if money were no object, I’d hand the car over to a real race shop and let them have their way with it. I’d actually love for the car to be completely stripped down, acid dipped, repaired, a full cage welded in, sealed, painted and rebuilt as a full blown race car with all the cool gadgets and gizmos race cars need.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project? 

We were our own critics.

What do your family and friends say about this car? 

They love it – they think it’s awesome and are very proud of what we accomplished. Some are so proud they’ve even shown up at our events just to watch.

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

The most memorable moment was realizing what a POS this car was once we got it home; it was in bad shape and we really didn’t inspect it so well after the long drive to go get it.

What is your favorite story about this car?

Maybe a better memorable moment was the day we towed it down to an open parking lot in NJ for its first real shakedown. The car had only been driven up and down one city block a half dozen times so we had no idea what to expect. We don’t have any photos of Jason and I from that day (only the car), but I’d imagine if we did you would see some huge smiles on our faces. After 9 months of building this car, everything done by us with no outside help, we accomplished what we had set out to do. We were pretty proud. One of my all-time favorite photos of the car was taken that day – a simple photo of the car sitting on the uhaul trailer we rented – to me, it just says: “damn, we actually did it.”

Has this car competed in any events? 

As I write this, the car has seen several different tracks. It debuted at Lime Rock Park, in Oct. ’07, approximately 1yr after we purchased it (9 months of build time). Although we didn’t do very well in the time-trial portion of the event, it was a great shakedown run and a good learning experience. Just this past July, we attended another track day at NJMP’s Lightning circuit. Again, we didn’t place in the TT portion, but we nailed the car’s setup and we had an even more successful day. Our third event, the North course at Pocono International Raceway was a big step forward for us. Jason and I both pushed the car very hard that day and as a result, both placed on the podium in our TT class. Since then, the car has also been to Watkins Glen twice for two different three-day events.

What is your favorite place to drive this car? 

Since we can’t drive it on the streets, maybe a better question would be, “what is your favorite track?” We both really enjoyed NJMP Lightning circuit this year, but I would have to say that Watkins Glen would be our favorite track.

What is your ideal day with this car? 

Unlimited track time with all our track buddies/families on an F1 track somewhere in Europe (probably the Ring or SPA). All expenses paid of course – haha – now that would be cool.

Who gets to drive this car? 

To date, Jason and I are the only two who have driven the car on a track. Our buddy Rui (benfica09) did get the privilege of test driving the car in that open parking lot in NJ during the shakedown run the weekend before LRP.

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


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

I don’t think either of us are into naming the car, but if we had to, I think we both agree “Buttons” would be the name – not the most masculine name in the world, we know, but it’s in honor of a cat that used to keep us company on those late nights working on the car. He’s was just a little guy that would come hang out with us while we worked on the car. If I was inside the car working, he’d come in and lay down on the floor a few feet from me. If we were working outside the car he’d find a spot not far away, curl up and fall asleep. Just wanted some company I guess.

What was your previous project?

This is my biggest project so far. I have a 2000 Audi A4 Avant that I bought new from the dealer – it has been an ongoing project for the past 7 yrs.

What is your next project?

Learning is what is on our plate at the moment. We are still in the learning stages of car setup and driving faster.

What one word best describes your car?


Any regrets? Tell us about it.

I can’t say there were any regrets, but we do wish we had had a bigger budget so that we could have done a ground-up strip, stitch and repaint (inside and out) of the shell before adding all the bits and pieces back onto the car.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We have several build threads that better illustrate the length to which we went to get the car where it is today.

Original build thread (w/ LRP debut):

Recap of NJMP:

Recap of Pocono North:

Owner Information:

Name- Joseph Stampfl & Jason Christiansen

Location- Plainfield NJ 07062

VWvortex Username –audisnapr / marked001

Occupation- Architect/Architect

Club Affiliations- None

Vehicle Information:






Original Color-red

Current Color-red/matte black

Engine-1995 Passat OBD-1 VR6


stock 1995 OBD-I VR6 Passat coilpack AAA delete of all emissions & secondary water pump

AC delete

custom 3.25” cold-air intake using a BMC CDA filter canister and front bumper inlet

Camaro upper radiator hose replacement

Moroso aluminum coolant expansion/overflow tank

Custom aluminum power steering fluid reservoir

6 port to collector Genie headers with heat wrap

custom aluminum header/firewall heat shield

4” Magnaflow round muffler to 6” Magnaflow round muffler to turn-down tip before rear axle beam

Morcal sandwich plate and oil cooler w/ -8AN SS lines

10” Flex-a-lite radiator fan

BlackForest “stage II” engine mounts

MSD Coilpack conversion

Zeitronix ZT-2 Wideband Datalogging System

Atomic Motorsports Intake Manifold

Apexi AFC-S Controller


stock 1995 O2A VR6 Passat

motorsport inspired shifter


fully stripped interior including all accessory-electrical, AC/heater core, etc

Corbeau fiberglass F1 “racing” seat mounted on custom water-jet cut brackets

Full custom cage by TyrolSport

G-Force 5 point 3” racing harness

Sparco “Corsa” pedal covers

Sparco 330mm “Ring” steering wheel

Custom digi dash powered by Dell laptop

custom CF dash insert and accessory toggles switches for rad fan, ECU power, accessories, windows, headlights, wipers, etc.

all new custom electrical, including relay panel and fuse block for all non-ECU accessories

Honda S2000 start button

battery key

2.5lb fire extinguisher

custom video camera mount

custom aluminum 2 way radio box for integrated push-to-talk button on steering wheel and fully wired helmets

battery relocated to back seat tub

Summit Racing shift light to LEDs on dash

custom aluminum driver’s side floor pan overlay



B&G coilovers w/450F springs

sway bar delete

VR6 control arms and hub assembly (5 lug)

Eurosport camber plates


B&G coilovers w/390F springs

Atomic rear sway bar


non ABS swap

removed and replaced all hardlines with new custom lines


SS lines

11.1” “rally” slotted rotors

Wilwood “Dynalite” 4-pot calipers

Hawk HPT-10 brake pads


SS lines

plain rotors

stock calipers

EBS “redstuff” brake pads



15”x7” Kosei K-1 wheels

225/45/15 Toyo RA-1 tires

5mm spacers-front

8mm spacers-rear


15”x7” factory SLC wheels

205/45/15 Falken Azenis tires

8mm spacers-front

12mm spacers-rear


factory G60 panels include hood, fenders and bumpers

two-tone gloss red & matte black paint w/ matte red engine bay

shaved rear exhaust hole

shaved windshield washer nozzles

shaved side markers

shaved antenna hole

shaved side/door moldings

custom molded-in fiberglass sunroof-delete panel

SS hood pins w/ SS pin tethers

fog/turn delete – replaced with custom brake duct inlets, engine intake inlet and tow hook

rear tow hook

Special Thanks

Olaf @ Atomic Motorsports:

Mike @ Tyrol Sport:

James @ ECS Tuning:

Allen @ Herbys53:

All of these guys have been a huge help to us.  Thanks to all the guys on VWVortex who replied to our threads and for the continued support and help on the build.

For more discussion on this story, click on the link to our discussion forums at the left.