AUTObiography Pako’s 1993 Corrado

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Next up is VWvortex reader: pako

How long have you owned this car?

I bought it in March 2003, so it’s over 8 years now.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car?

There are ladies who look like they have a long story to tell but at the same time you know that you’d better don’t ask. Same thing here.

What drew you to this specific car?

Corrado was my dream for several years since the first time I saw it and was the only car I wanted.

What other cars did you consider? 

Other than Corrado VR6 – none.

What was your objective with this car? 

I wanted to make it new, like just from the factory, and even a bit better.

What tuning style would you describe this car as? 

OEM+, while honestly it was more restoration than tuning – the car was taken apart to bare shell and then put together with new/improved/reconditioned almost everything.

Who helped you build this car? 

Engine, tranny and paintwork were done by specialized shops, disassembling, assembling, electrics, suspension, interior and ICE I did myself.

What makes your car special? 

Several things. The first is definitely the color. “Ithaka verde” from Lambo palette looks very good on it. Second – new original glass, optics and weather sealing all around. Recaro A8s are quite noticeable as well.

What is your favorite part/feature/function? 

Well, it is the looks. It really looks new, and even better than new. Unfortunately pictures don’t do it justice.

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

I was looking at the best Euro and US Corrado projects on the net, many of them here on vwvortex, and never thought I will be able to do something like that. My friend George (VR6_Glock) was supporting and guiding me a lot, making sure I look at the proper cars.

What don’t you like about this car?

I’m not 100% happy with the overall ride quality – 15” wheels, softer suspension and higher ground clearance used to give me much more driving pleasure on our bumpy roads. The beauty has it price.


What was your biggest obstacle in building this car? 

Motivation. When your project extends for over 3 years during which you marry and get a child it is quite difficult to keep on believing that that pile of parts one day will became a car again.

How did you overcome the issue?

I was imagining the day it will be done and I will be driving it.

What would you change if you could?

It’s a dangerous question as at first it starts with “if” and then you find yourself doing it. I know what I will change though – VF stage 1 supercharger kit and Peloquin LSD are waiting in the garage to be installed.

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

9. I don’t want it to be perfect – there should always be a room for improvement.

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

I would buy from VW a new engine, drivetrain, interior and everything else which is not new yet.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project? 

My father – he never believed that a 20 year old car can become new. He changed his opinion eventually.

What do your family and friends say about this car? 

Everyone likes it while some think that you have to be silly to dump so much money into an old car you drive 10 days a year.

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

The most embarrassing was before the project started – I was driving to work through the city center and my rear silencer came off and was touching the pavement. I was late to work so had to go – with awful scraping noise and lots of sparks underneath.

What is your favorite story about this car?

No sure about that, but if my car would tell you a story I guess it would be a Cinderella tale.

Has this car competed in any events? 

Yes, it took two 2nd places at the VWFest UA 2010 and 2011.

What is your favorite place to drive this car? 

Any narrow twisty road, especially at worm autumn days. It drives the best when it getting cooler, and looks the best in front of yellow.

What is your ideal day with this car? 

Come to garage on the week-end, take the car, put my wife and daughter in, and go to some nice place outside the city to have a lunch. We also like to go to the seaside (450km away) for the week-ends. It used to take us 3,5 hours to get from Kiev to Odessa, now with lowering and expensive paint it is more like 6, but we still like it.

Who gets to drive this car? 

Occasionally my wife may sit behind the wheel when she feels like it.

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

From rags to riches.

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

When I just bought it and shared first photos at VWVortex someone called it happyrado because of its front bumper lip. Now I guess it fully justifies that name.

What was your previous project?


What is your next project?

Funny enough – another Corrado. My sisters got fond of them as well, bought one, and now I’m helping her with the restoration.

What one word best describes your car?


Any regrets? Tell us about it.

When it was beaten up and rusty I was daily driving it hard – and that was fun! Miss that.

Anything else you’d like to share?


Owner Information:

Name- Pavlo Kovalenko

Address- Kiev, Ukraine

VWvortex Username- pako

Occupation- Strategic planning director and JWT Ukraine

Club Affiliations-,

Vehicle Information:

Year- 1993

Make- VW

Model- Corrado

Mileage- 160.000km

Color (Include original if applicable)- originally burgundy pearl, custom lime green when bought, ithaka verde green now

Engine- 2.9 ABV

Engine Modifications- full engine rebuild, Wiseco 10,5:1 forged pistons, Samco coolant hoses

Exhaust Modifications- Supersprint cat-back

Transmission Modifications- full gearbox rebuild

Suspension Modifications- Weiteс Hicon TX coilovers, all suspension elements sandblasted and powdercoated

Brake Modifications- OEM 288mm DE calipers front

Wheels and Tires- 17×8 ET30 RH ZW1, 205x40x17 Dunlop Direzza DZ101

Exterior/Body Modifications- full respray, new glass all around, new front optics, new weather sealing, M3 style side skirts, custom front bumper lip

Interior Modifications- Recaro A8 seats, DDI glow gauges, Rieger shift knob

Audio/Video/I.C.E.- Pioneer DEH-P88RS-II head unit, 4×90 Hi-End amp E.O.S. AE-90F, 6.5” components E.O.S. Opera ES 165, Hertz ES 250 sub

Thanks/Props- I would like to thank people here at, my friend vr6_glock and local Corrado club for inspiration and advice. I’m also very grateful to my wife for her support despite the fact that she hated every hour I spent away from her in the garage.