We hate to tell some of you this but the tuning scene doesn’t revolve around Japanese cars. On the other side of the Atlantic, Volkswagens are one of the most owned and modified cars in Europe, in fact, the world for that matter. And while Super Street has never given Veedubs much recognition in the past, we’re always looking for ways to improve what we bring to the table. So while the haters can turn the page, we would like to invite the rest of you to take a look at one of the best Volkswagen project cars built on American soil.
The Golf and Jetta are the most popular cars carrying the VW badge but this showstopper here is a Corrado—an extinct model in the VW lineup. The last Corrado that rolled off the assembly line was in ’96; however, despite its limited lifespan, they were still regarded as one of the best driver’s cars of its time. Rados are small, nimble handling machines, also offered with two peppy powerplants—a supercharged 1.8-liter and a meaty 2.8-liter VR6. These solid attributes along with its old school Euro-sexy looks were what made them attractive to enthusiasts like Florida native, Sean Landregan.
Simply put, Sean’s Rado is on another level. It represents to the tee what the
VW scene has been about for the last decade. You don’t need any crazy widebody conversions or tons of parts. Instead, the finest Euros have been about being clean, subtle and slammed without getting too cluttered with hardware and stickers—something Sean has perfected here.
The story of his ’91 Corrado started out as a daily driver—something all of us can relate to. After the tranny blew, it was time for a rebuild and that’s when Sean went H.A.M. As a paint and body guy by trade, he used his own car to show off what he could do. The fenders were pulled to accommodate wider wheels while the body was removed of its hood washers and emblems for an ultra-clean look before being sprayed BMW Interlagos blue. Taking his skills as a body technician further, the bay was shaved to perfection losing every hole, crease and unnecessary piece of hardware in the process.
The rest of the build received the same attention to detail with a fully-built turbocharged VR6 motor that was polished and chromed. A flawless interior came next which had been reupholstered from head-to-toe in leather and suede. The wheels are one of the car’s more recent updates, now wearing Rotiform INDs dipped in chrome. And of course, the chassis was slammed appropriately via air-ride.
While the Corrado’s spec list might not match some of the rides we typically feature here, this build is about making the fit and finish look perfect, instead of trying too hard. If you ever get a chance to look at Sean’s Corrado in person, it truly is a work of art and a prime example of what most Euro guys aspiring to today.
1991 VW Corrado
Hometown Jacksonville, FL
Occupation automotive body tech and painter
Engine 2.9 liter VR6 with JE pistons; Integrated Engineering rods; ARP hardware; rebuilt head with heavy duty springs and titanium retainers; GT35R turbo; AFI tubular manifold; TiAL 44mm wastegate and blow-off valve; Schimmel Performance intake manifold and intercooler; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; chromed valve cover, oil pan, alternator, piping and turbo compressor; dual SPAL 11" slim fans; shaved engine bay
Drivetrain Five-speed O2A manual transmission with limited-slip differential
Engine Management Lugtronic standalone with custom harness
Footwork & Chassis Mason Tech front air struts; Air Lift/Chapman rear struts; Air Lift Auto Pilot V1 management; Viair 380c compressor; 3/8" ASCO valves
Brakes Brembo cross-drilled rotors and stainless lines
Wheels & Tires 16x9" front, 16x9.5" rear Rotiform IND wheels; 205/40R16 front, 215/40R16 rear Falken tires
Exterior pulled fenders; shaved hood washers and emblems; painted OE BMW Interlagos blue
Interior Recaro LS seats; BBS steering wheel; OE Euro seatbelts; tan leather/suede upholstery
Thanks You My wife Kayla; my mom and Mike for the continuing support; Brian and Jason at Rotiform; Corey and the guys at Air Lift Company; Drew, Travis and all my friends that were involved with the project; Kip Love of Loves Trim shop; my uncle Marc for helping me build the motor; Jason Diem from 4EverKustoms