AUTObiography: quality_sound’s 2004 VW Passat

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Next up is VWvortex reader: quality_sound

How long have you owned this car? I owned it for 3 years and 3 weeks.

Is there anything unique about the history of this car? It has been featured in Performance Auto and Sound twice and was a demo car for Arc Audio and Dynaudio.

Why did you choose this car to purchase? I wasn’t able to get a statue I purchased at Disneyland into the trunk of my B5 sedan so I decided I wanted more space. The Passat variant seemed an obvious choice.

What other cars did you consider? None, really.

What was your objective with this car? Maintain the storage space and do something VERY few have done, which is build an elegant, subtly modded variant.

What tuning style describes this car (ex. Euro, Bling, OEMplus, street racer, auto crosser)? I’d say OEM plus Euro.

Who helped you build this car? Fred Lynch of Arc Audio helped with the system fabrication and the paint and body work was done by Curtis Pritchett of Beale Air Force Bases’ services division. Everything else was done by me.

What makes your car special? The subtlety. Very few people nothing the little things like the shaved bumpers and door strips or the fact that the Murano Green up top is a VAG color.

What is your favorite part/feature/function? The paint. It’s a combination you rarely see, the colors blend beautifully and it’s very elegant.

Who or what inspired the direction of modifications on this car? Nothing in particular. I just start with a picture in my head and get as close as possible.

What don’t you like about this car? It doesn’t have a GT28RS in it.

What was your biggest obstacle in building this car? My painter dragging his feet for 6 months.

How did you overcome the issue? I told him I was going to take the car elsewhere so it would be ready for its second Performance Auto and Sound shoot.

What would you change if you could? I’d have bought a 4Motion.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of this project? A solid 9.

What would you do to the car if money were no object? 4Motion and RS4 motor swap.

Who has been your biggest critic of this project? Me, by far. I’m so nitpicky and anal it’s scary.

What do your family and friends say about this car? They all love it. You rarely see a modded variant and they all think the color combo was perfect.

What is your most memorable/humorous/embarrassing moment with this car? Having a couple in a brand new Civic literally orbit my car on the freeway trying to figure out what it was since it’s debadged.

Has this car competed in any events? Results? Lots of local VW shows and typically second place behind another B5 in my club.

What is your favorite place to drive this car? The freeway. It’s a high speed cruiser and it excels on drives to L.A.

What is your ideal day with this car? Club drives are always the best.

Who gets to drive this car? Me. I’d let my wife drive it as well but she hates “wagons” but likes SUVs. Go figure. Other than that, Fred Lynch is about it. I’m a tad possessive.

If your car had a motto, what would it be? “If you’re gonna drive it, it might as well be laid the f*** out,” courtesy of a fellow SacWater club member.

If you had to name your car, what would you name it? Never thought of a name for her. Probably something like Renee.

What was your previous project? MKIII Jetta.

What is your next project? Probably another MKIII Jetta.

What one word best describes your car? Elegant.

Anything else you’d like to share? Look for the little things from other VAG cars like the New Beetle sunglass holder, Škoda Superb shift knob and boot, etc.

Owner Information:

Name: Paul Viña

VWvortex Username: quality_sound

Occupation: U.S. Air Force AMMO

Club Affiliations: SacWater, PassatWorld

Vehicle Information:

Year: 2004.5

Make: VW

Model: Passat

Mileage: 56,000

Original Color: Stonehenge Gray

Current Color: Stonehenge Gray/Murano Green

Engine: 1.8T

Engine Modifications: Neuspeed chip

Exhaust Modifications: removed OEM resonator

Transmission Modifications: DieselGeek short shifter

Suspension Modifications: KWv2

Brake Modifications: Porsche Boxster calipers, Brembo rotors all around

Wheels and Tires: Staggered 19” Rial Nogaros w/ Pirelli PZero Nero

Exterior/Body Modifications: custom two-tone paint (Stonehenge Gray/Murano Green), shaved bumper and door rub strips, shaved rear hatch emblem, W8 chrome roof rails, Zender front lip, Votex side skirts, Votex rear hatch wing, color-matched Euro tails, color-matched side markers, Kamei eyelids, badgeless/chromeless grill, shaved antenna, 45% tint all around

Interior Modifications: R32 steering wheel and airbag, R32 pedals, Skoda Superb shift knob and boot, New Beetle sunglass holder, Euro headlight switch, stripped and hand brushed OEM Euro Net Optic interior pieces, W8 overhead console

Audio/Video/I.C.E.: Alpine IVA-W200, Arc Audio IDX/XEQ combo, Arc Audio 4150XXK, 2050XXK, 2500XXK, (4) Arc Audio 10D2, Dynaudio System 340 MkII, Dynaudio System 240GT, (4) BatCap 400s in hatch, (4) BatCap 800s replacing the OEM battery, Monster Cable wiring and distribution, Dynamat Extreme throughout the car, custom sub boxes, amp rack, battery racks, kick panels, battery bus bars

Thanks/Props: Arc Audio, Dynaudio, Monster Cable, BatCap, Select Products, Fred Lynch and the whole SacWater crew

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