We’re all aware of the dangers of buying a car online. Who knows; it could be stolen, endured hailstones, or be home to rats. For Aapo Torkkola, he simply didn’t like the color of his ’04 Audi A4 Avant 1.8T once it arrived in his hometown of Somero, Finland.
“For years I hated the original color. But in 2010 I was offered the chance to get the car painted as a school project,” Aapo told us. He’d been inspired by a Mk4 Golf he’d seen in BMW’s Sepang bronze a few years prior, and this was the chance he’d been looking for.
Aapo and Kalle Uutela started by stripping the original paint away. During the process they figured it was as good a time as any to widen the fenders to accommodate a more aggressive wheel fitment. Being their first time, the learning curve was relatively steep.
The first front fender came together well, but difficulty arose when they tried to match the other side. After a few attempts, Aapo had to buy another fender and start again before everything lined up correctly.
Adding to their rookie status, the duo was so engrossed in the front they didn’t schedule enough time to flare the rear arches. So when the appointed time arrived for the respray, Aapo settled for a simple pull of the rear fenders before the car was off to class.
Being his friend Joensuu’s final school project, Aapo had a showstopping paint job in mind. Again, things didn’t go as smoothly as anticipated. When it emerged from the spray booth, almost every panel was a different shade of Sepang bronze, along with several runs in the paint itself. Even the front fenders they’d worked so hard on didn’t look right with the rear-end’s subtle pulling.
Without losing faith in his project, Aapo consulted Asmo Niiilo at local bodyshop AN Auto Maalaus to see if the Avant could be easily remedied. Unfortunately, with the amount of work needed to correct the problems, Asmo thought it was best to respray the entire wagon.
Seizing the opportunity, Aapo decided to address the fit and finish of the rear fenders first. Friend Pekka Jaakkola advised him it would actually be best to use Mk4 Golf front fenders as the foundation for custom rear arches on the Avant.
Using only four hand-cut pieces, Pekka was able to carefully shape the metal fenders in a couple of hours, creating an OEM+ look in the process.
The exterior then received an S4 front bumper and Seat Cupra R lip. A pair of DTM-edition side skirts dressed up the flanks, while an S4 rear bumper and valance complimented Pekka’s handiwork.
The Avant was then taken to Asmo to be painted properly. He started with two layers of Sepang bronze, then wet sanded and applied a third layer. Asmo estimated he used two gallons to paint the entire car!
To fill the newly widened fenders, Aapo again browsed the internet, picking up a set of LED tail lights and scoring a set of 19x9.5" three-piece Brabus Monoblock 3 wheels.
Learning from his mistake of trusting blurry photos, he planned to have Asmo match the centers to the newly painted body, but with a matte finish instead.
Aapo then stretched 225/35 Falken FK-452 tires onto the wheels and tucked them under the fenders with a set of KW Variant 2 coilovers.
As the Audi was coming close to completion, the turbo started to hiccup. Stopping at local shop Pro-Mo, friend Jyrki Repo suggested several different upgrade options that ranged from a mild K04 to a full-on APR stage 3+ kit.
Naturally, he went the whole hog, with the bolt-on kit producing a neck-snapping 340hp and 332 lb-ft. It was paired with a Milltek cat-back exhaust to give the wagon a more menacing growl.
To keep the bronze beast tamed, he uprated the front brakes with Zimmermann rotors and EBC Red Stuff pads.
With Asmo working his magic inside, the center console, door- and dash trim were painted the same matte bronze. The cabin was also dressed with a pair of gauges above an S Line steering wheel, which keep note of boost pressure and exhaust temps. It’s all contrasted by white S Line leather seats, with smooth Finnish beats provided by the Alpine head unit and 12" subwoofer in the back.
Looking back, Aapo wished he’d put more time into transforming the rear fenders and painting the car properly the first time! However, he can thank his friends for all their help. And with Aapo’s addiction to cruising the internet, we can only speculate this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this particular project.
et Tech Spec
2004 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro
Owner: Aapo "Albanzo" Torkkola
Location: Somero, Finland
Occupation: Driving Instructor
Engine: 1.8-liter four-cylinder 20v with APR stage 3+ kit using Garrett GT28RS turbo and cast manifold, DV and software, AEM filter, Milltek cat-back exhaust
Drivetrain: six-speed manual transmission with solid flywheel, Audi S2 clutch
Brakes: Zimmermann front rotors, EBC Red Stuff pads
Suspension: KW Variant 2 coilovers, RS4 rear sway bar
Wheels & Tires: 19x9.5" Barbus Monoblock 3 wheels, 10mm front, 20mm rear spacers, 225/35 R19 Falken FK-452 tires
Exterior: Audi S4 bumpers and rear valance, Seat Leon Cupra R front lip, DTM-edition side skirts, widened fenders, rear wiper delete, LED license plate and tail lights, car painted BMW Sepang bronze
Interior: Audi S Line half-leather seats, steering wheel, handbrake, gear lever, A’PEXi EL2 boost and exhaust temperature gauge, Sepang bronze center console, door- and dash trim
Audio/Visual: Alpine IVA-106R head unit, two Ground Zero amps, Rainbow IQ front speakers, SPL Dynamics 12d4 Mk3 subwoofer
Thanks: Ella, Päivi, Pekka, Balls Deep Crew, Kalle, Peksi, Asmo at AN Auto Maalaus, Markus and Heli Jupertus, Koivisto, Otso, Teppo