If you’re into old school cars, no doubt you’re also familiar with the lyrics to You can go your own way, Fleetwood Mac’s hit from their classic album Rumors. And while we can’t say for certain whether Lindsey Buckingham had modded Euros in mind when he penned the song, the message should be taken to heart.
As we’ve mentioned on these pages before, the slippery slope of peer pressure from the Euro scene can often times lead to cookie-cutter cars. And while it may save you some grief (lower it, bigger wheels, more power, different paint!) or gain you 15 minutes of fame, it’s not doing the scene any favors long-term.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be like that. And here to show us are a couple of friends from Rhode Island: Mike Glossi and David Ferreira; both with Corrado 16v turbos.
What’s more, both cars are unique, and exude a quality of their own; offering their own take on the chunky coupe, while neither is what we would consider ‘scene’.
David Ferreira’s owned his Corrado a long time – since the junior year of high school, to be specific. It also happens to be his first car. And like most first cars, it’s seen more than its fair-share of use and abuse.
“It was a daily driver through high school and college. And I worked retail, so it had lots of shopping cart dents and whatnot,” said Dave. “And since it was originally a G60, all the basic stuff that happens to Corrados did… The G-lader blew, the door handles broke…”
Dave went through no fewer than three superchargers on the boosted 8v, which could have put even the most diehard VW fan over the edge. But the final indignity occurred at the hands of an errant Escalade pilot, and it could have spelt the end for the green coupe. “It ran a stop sign and plowed into me,” he explained. “My door, fender and quarter panel were caved in. So the car was parked for about a year while I decided whether to sell or keep it.”
After its years of faithful service, Dave decided the old girl deserved a makeover. After all, he’d lusted after it from a young age and it saw him through to his current IT administrator position. So the car was stripped in preparation for its transformation at the hands of friend and bodyshop man, John Breault.
The damaged panels were replaced, an SLC hood add, and the shell was re-painted in VW Classic green pearl. “I like green but not the lighter color, so I figured it was a good opportunity to paint the car a shade I actually liked,” Dave laughed.
Knowing the weakness of the G-Lader, a ride in friend George Almeida’s Scirocco 16v turbo had the gears turning. So Dave approached Rui Mauricio at RM Protune, and before long a Mk3 ABA 8v block was stripped and rebuilt with forged internals. This included new pistons to raise the compression after fitting a Mk2 16v head.
The tuner also decided to go with OBD2 fuel management, which was wired in, allowing for trouble-shooting and tuning through the functional OBD port. Even the air conditioning was carried over from the Mk3. “That was my only qualification. I wanted A/C because summer trips are a killer without it!” Dave said.
A fuel pressure problem following a switch to a larger Precision Turbo on Rui’s custom set-up has kept the car from the dyno, but the power is impressive at the current 12psi boost.
“For a small engine, I’m always surprised at how much power and torque this thing has,” Dave enthused.
The final touches included A6 handles, a de-badged rear-end, as well as an RS front bumper, chosen to accommodate the
front-mount intercooler. M3-style side skirts and a rear valance were bought to match, giving the car a lower look without being slammed on its 17x7.5" BBS replicas. Indeed, the H&R Race springs and Koni Sport shocks are highly rated by Dave.
Inside it’s almost OEM, with custom touches like the cruise control stalk being wired to the high/low settings on the boost controller.
It’s a nice package but, as we hear so often, things aren’t quite finished. Different wheels, more interior changes and an engine bay clean-up are on the menu. “When you own a VW, and especially a Corrado, you’re never done modifying it,” Dave proclaimed.
et Tech Spec
1991 VW Corrado G60
Owner: David Ferreira
Location: Cumberland, RI
Occupation: IT administrator
Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder ABA 16v with OBD2 harness and CPU, custom C2 Motorsports chip, forged JE pistons, 42 lb Green Top injectors, OBX fuel pressure regulator, Euro intake cam, BBM short-runner intake manifold and fuel rail, custom valve cover, ARP bolts, oil cooler, Precision 5431E CEA T3 .63A/R 54mm turbo, custom turbo-back 3" stainless steel exhaust with VR6 cat, Magnaflow and Borla XR-1 mufflers, Turbo XS dual-stage boost controller, 2.5" front-mount intercooler with custom piping under transmission, Forge DV, Mk3 alternator and A/C, Gruvenparts billet rad neck & Y-pipe, SpoonFedTuning carbon rain tray cover, BBM solid front mount
Drivetrain: G60 O2A five-speed manual transmission, Quaife LSD, lightweight flywheel, Clutchnet six-puck clutch
Brakes: Powerslot rotors, EBC Greenstuff pads, Autotech lines
Suspension: Koni Sport shocks, H&R Race springs, Autotech stress bars
Wheels & Tires: 17x7.5" BBS LM replica Wheels, 15mm front, 20mm rear spacers, 205/40 R17 Kumho Ecsta AST tires
Exterior: SLC hood, Mattig SLC badgeless grille, Kamei eyelid spoiler, RS-style bumper, M3-style side skirts, DDI rear valance, Euro G60 clear turn signals and E-Code headlights, FK crystal smoked and red tail lights, TM Tuning OEM aero wiper, Sprinter fender vent, Audi A6 handles, Audi A4 smoked markers, shaved rear emblems, rolled fenders, shaved side moldings, car painted SLC Classic green pearl
Interior: Passat cup holder, OEM Euro seatbelts with pillars, under-dash parcel trays, and door sills, Sparco steering wheel, shift knob and pedals, Auto Meter boost/vac, air/fuel, oil and fuel pressure gauges, custom boost controller switch on cruise control lever, custom OBD2 check engine light, 160mph UK cluster, custom dash trim
Thanks: Petra, George, Peter, Steff, Rui, John, Alex, Paul, Mom and Dad
Mike Glossi’s Corrado is more typical of what you might see on these pages, with its staggered BBS. But that’s not the result of his desire to be on point. His goal was period-correct OEM+ and, in our humble opinion, he succeeded.
“I’ve always been an OEM+ guy. Lots of people talk to me about the car and most think it’s relatively stock – they can’t tell the amount of work that’s been put into it, and I like that. It’s not loud and flashy, I like being subtle.”
Mike bought the car as a rolling shell in ’07, with only the 16v motor installed in the engine bay. “The previous owner ran out of steam before finishing the project. I found it locally and scooped it up because I wanted to get back into a Corrado,” he explained. “I’ve just been piecing it together over the years.”
An auto technician by trade, Mike traded work for a ’93 SLC chassis and proceeded to swap the hood, fenders, interior and plenty more. “I’m meticulous about having every last clip and cover,” Mike said. “So it’s pretty much 100% complete now.”
With the panels in place, a European lip spoiler was added along with minor de-badging and smoothing, before several coats of GM Super Jet black were applied.
Attempting to remain period-correct, Mike stuck with the original Digifant 1 injection on his transplanted 2.0L 16v. With a T3 Super 60 turbo and forged JE pistons, it delivers 14psi but has again never visited the dyno.
“The engine’s been super-reliable and, to be honest, lots of people ask about dyno numbers but most cars are out of this world these days. I’m just happy it runs well and has the power to get out of its own way!” Mike enthused.
FK Silverline coilovers provided a modest drop, but being super-low wasn’t a priority: “To be honest, my car is a bit lower than I’d like,” he said. “I like a car that runs, tracks straight, has no rattles, etc. So at a show I might not be as low as the guy next to me, but I can go on the road and actually drive the car.”
The drop brought the body down to meet the Porsche-sourced BBS RS017 wheels – a classic choice and perfect for the OEM+ theme. G60 cars often came with BBS wheels, although not the 16x9" front and 16x9.5" rears with stretched Yokohama tires Mike fitted, but that’s the point of the “+” movement: like stock, but better.
With plenty of time behind the wheel, Mike wanted comfortable and theme-appropriate seats, which is where the Recaro SRDs came in. Retrimmed in a perfect shade of tan, the upholsterer matched the OEM stitching patterns. “I wanted them to look like they belonged in there,” he said. “I like the idea that they look as if they might have come from the factory.”
It’s interesting that Mike and Dave expressed similar goals in their builds – both looking to make changes that could pass for factory, but with something extra. While they arrived at different conclusions, neither was afraid to build the car of their dreams.
et Tech Spec
1990 VW Corrado G60
Owner: Mike Glossi
Location: Warwick, RI
Occupation: auto technician
Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder 16v with Techtonics stage 3 head, street cams and adjustable cam gear, 9:1 forged JE pistons, metal head gasket, Garrett T3 Super 60-trim turbo, 2.5” turbo-back exhaust, Bahn Brenner fuel rail and solid front mount, 440cc Green Top injectors, adjustable FPR, inline Ford fuel pump, APR adjustable boost controller, Digifant 1 injection with SNS stage 5 chip, polyurethane rear mount
Drivetrain: Passat 16v five-speed transmission with 3.94:1 final drive, stock Corrado G60 clutch and lightweight flywheel, G60 hardened mount
Brakes: Girling 60 dual-piston front calipers, stock G60 discs
Suspension: FK Silverline coilovers, new G60 control arm bushings
Wheels & Tires: 16x9" ET62 front BBS RS017 wheeels with 1.5" lip, 16x9.5" ET62 rear with 2" lip rear, half caps with BBS carbon and gold centers, new bolts, gunmetal gray centers with metallic flake, 25mm 4x100 to 5x130mm PCD adaptors, 195/45 R16 front, 205/45 R16 rear Yokohama S.drive tires
Exterior: SLC hood, front fenders, front bumper, foglights, signals and badgeless grille, DD tinted mirror glass, 16v grille badge, Euro Corrado rear badge, deleted rear wiper, 90mm Euro front lip, smoked markers, red tails, Passat B3 glass sunroof with slider, car painted GM Super Jet black
Interior: ’93+ tan leather door cards, rear seats, dash, center console, switches, knobs and door handles, tan leather-wrapped knee bars, ’93+ gauge needles on early G60 cluster, custom gauge pod for boost and AFR gauges in factory console, Audi A4 shift knob, black pillars and carpet, Mk3 mats, Recaro SRD seats wrapped in tan leather with OE-style stitching, Scirocco Recaro sliders cut and welded
Audio/Visual: Pioneer head unit, Boston Acoustic component speakers
Thanks: Mom, Dad, girlfriend Grace, Sean W, Johnson, Kev Mac, Rich D, OSD, Tony G, LJ, Phil W, Alexi