Can you remember when you were without a car for several days, maybe a week? Can you remember how that felt? How difficult it was? Now try to imagine not seeing it for more than 16 months while it was in another country!
That's what happened when this 2004 R32 took a vacation in Canada with the R&D staff at HPA Motorsports. Admittedly, it was being used to develop a supercharger for this already revved-up VW, so owner Scott Wood suffered for a good cause.
He bought the car in 5/04 and left it stock until the lease expired. He returned it to the dealer to find a replacement but nothing really put a smile on his face like the R32. So he returned two weeks later and bought it back. Have you ever been the first and second owner of a car? Funny thing is, he's also the fourth owner...
Once he bought it back, the modifications began with the suspension. He ordered and installed European R32 suspension, which lowered it and improved the handling. He followed it up with BBS RC wheels from a GTI 337 Edition.
Next on the list was a navigation update but didn't want the locked-down US version, so he sourced a unit from a Lithuanian VW dealership and had online help installing it.
You're not a true VW enthusiast if you don't know the exhaust note of an R32 and Scott decided to amplify his with a cat-back Borla exhaust system. "The tips filled in the exhaust cut-outs better," he told us.
"I again wanted a new car so felt it was time to upgrade," he continued. "I had fun in the R32 but I just wanted a change." So this was when he traded it for a new Mercedes Benz C350. "It was the first time since '83, that I didn't own something from VAG," he noted. "I enjoyed the Benz. It was a nice upgrade from the VW, but it just wasn't as much fun."
So while working the late shift one night, he began searching for another car. Starting on eBay he found his R32. Nothing had changed except for another 16000 miles and it was still in town!
He ran through the house at midnight telling his wife he'd found his car. She didn't believe him; it was impossible the car was at the same dealership he bought it at from the first two times...
The next morning, Scott was standing at the dealership door to purchase the R32 for the third time! "I was happy to own an R32 again, my R32!" he told us with a giant Texas smile on his face.
By now it was 10/10 and time for some more updates. He started with Milltek high-flow exhaust cats but it made the note raspier, but he wasn't a huge fan. So Scott researched other exhaust options and came across the HPA website. Enquiring about the stainless downpipes, Scott was asked if he could talk to shop owner Marcel Horn. A few days later, Marcel called to discuss shipped the car to HPA in BC, Canada to use as a test vehicle for the latest liquid-cooled supercharger kit for the R32. "I had to think it over. My car would be gone for a long time..." Three days later, Marcel had his answer and the R32 was loaded on a truck and headed to Canada. Cool, eh?
HPA had the car 16 months to develop the kit and to show it off. And while they had it, Scott was considering other things that he wanted done to the car. Up late one night, he located an upholstery shop close to HPA. So Scott made arrangements for HPA to remove the interior in order that Velocity Upholstery could pick it up. The company then trimmed the seat center panels in grey alcantara, with matching doors cards and boots, as well as some custom embroidery on the backrests.
At the same time, HPA installed the Haldex Blue Sport Controller, for better AWD torque distribution. They also fitted H&R Sport springs, CPT rear control arms and rear sway bar end-links for better handling.
It's now 5/12, Scott has his car back and can't believe how awesome it feels. The HPA Typhoon ixH kit uses a Vortech V9 H-Trim supercharger with liquid-cooled intake manifold, bigger injectors, and special software. It's claimed to make 400hp and 320 lb-ft at 10psi boost pressure, costs $8499, and is available to all HPA customers thanks to Scott's 16-month sacrifice.
He immediately celebrated the car's return by replacing the wheels with European Seat Cupra R alloys, powdercoated gold. He also added VW Lupo stubby mirrors and a few well-chosen interior pieces sourced from other limited edition VWs.
Scott has since taken to the supercharged R32 to several local shows and collected some silverware, including first place at the VW Classic show in Fredericksburg, TX.
So here's the question. How long could you be without your car? We'd be inclined to make the sacrifice for such great results but it's not an easy decision...
2004 VW R32
3.2-liter VR6 with HPA Motorsport Typhoon ixH kit using Vortech V9 H-Trim centrifugal supercharger, liquid-cooled intake manifold, cold air intake with K&N element, high-flow injectors, upgraded fuel pressure regulator, remote crankcase breather, HPA software and stainless steel downpipes, Milltek HJS Motorsport cats, Borla cat-back exhaust, DLI Teknik engine and transmission mounts, Haldex "Blue" controller, JCaps billet aluminum dress-up parts
six-speed manual transmission, 4Motion AWD, HPA Motorsports 02M short-shifter
drilled/slotted rotors, powdercoated stock calipers, Goodridge lines, Hawk HPS pads
Bilstein Sport dampers, H&R Sport springs, 21mm H&R rear sway bar, CPT upper and lower rear control arms, CPT adjustable sway bar end-links, UNIbrace XB
Wheels & Tires
18x7.5" powdercoated Seat Cupra R wheels, 225/40 R18 Continental Extreme Contact DW tires
European Seat Cupra R splitter, VW Lupo stubby mirrors, gecleant.de rear wiper delete, VW Phaeton antenna, Euro 25th Anniversary GTI H4 headlights, Euro "Ocean" tail lights
retrimmed leather and alcantara seats and door panels, alcantara e-brake and shift boots, Podi boost gauge and mount, 25th Anniversary seatbelts, backdated console, MFD-G Mk4 in-dash nav, rear center headrest and seatbelt deleted, VW Polo 6R headlight switch, JCaps billet seat release handles
Atsuko, HPA (www.hpamotorsport.com), Velocity Upholstery