Photos and words by Adam Bennett
Deep into the rich Volkswagen history you will come across what is regarded as one of Volkswagens best-ever drivers’ cars, the Corrado. With its inception in 1989, Volkswagen entered the sports car world. It wasn’t until a year later that this fine piece of machinery reached the states. Once again Volkswagen had hoped that by introducing such a different styled sports car than the rest of the automotive world, they would be able to have the same success as what they had when they introduced the Beetle back in the 1960s.
So with that brief history lesson into how the Corrado came to be, I would like to introduce to you one of the finest examples of the original Volkswagen sports car. Doug Wishard aka the man who takes the pride in building this beautiful Corrado resides in the great state of Pennsylvania where he tinkers on Volkswagens daily as a VW technician at his father’s shop, Denny’s Garage, which specializes in the VAG platform.
Doug’s love for the Corrado platform began sometime ago but it wasn’t until 1998 that he got to experience that love first hand when he came across a local for sale ad for the bone stock version of the car you see here. I know you are probably thinking, wow he has owned this car for quite a long time. In this day and age you will rarely find someone who has owned the same car for longer than 5 years. Well that isn’t the case for Doug. The modding bug hit Doug early and often. The first wave of modifications won’t surprise anyone, as it was your normal cat-back exhaust, Autotech lowering springs and a set of Mono Quazar wheels. These subtle modifications would suffice for some time. The next wave of modifications came in 2001 when Doug got the itch for more power. So Doug decided to have the supercharger from the G60 rebuilt by the one and only BBM. He also added a RSR outlet setup, Howitzer intakes and 65mm pulleys. With these nice go fast goodies, the itch for power was curbed. So at this point your probably sitting here shaking your head and thinking what am I talking about, there isn’t a G60 under the hood. Your right, there isn’t. But you must continue to read in order to find out why a VR6 is now under the hood of Doug’s Corrado.
Alright so lets fast forward to 2003. At this point Doug felt the 13 year old paint had seen better days so he decided it was best to have a full respray done in the OEM blue metallic pearl paint. But Doug didn’t stop there and opted to be different by adding some chameleon ghost flames which run along each side of the car. They are such a subtle but extraordinary aspect to the car. Of course once again Doug got the unforbidden power itch at which point he added a BBM twin-screw supercharger and full engine rebuild. He topped it all off by adding 50 shot of nitrous. Remember how I said you would have to continue reading to figure out how the VR6 got under the hood? Well here it comes! Fast forward once again to 2006 when everything seemed to make a turn for the worse with Doug and his Corrado. Somehow a fuel solenoid for the nitrous leaked fuel onto the header and of course we all know what happened next. The entire engine bay was engulfed in flames.
Now any normal person would be at a loss and almost always give up, however Doug isn’t a normal person. After gathering himself and setting a plan of attack, Doug found himself swapping in a VR6 and piecing together a turbo kit. With the new transplant under the hood, the Corrado saw a few more minor modifications come and go but it wasn’t until 2010 that Doug decided it was time to go “All or Nothing!” Doug quickly got on the horn with Will at Bagriders to order an airbag setup from Airlift. He then decided it was time for some new rollers and decided on a set of 17″ Zaubers. In order to add some character to the wheels, Doug broke them apart and had the lips color matched to the paint color of his car. The final thing to make it’s way into the car was a complete right-hand drive swap from Europe. Doug knew this was going to be quite an extensive project but he dove head first into it. The swap took the better part of a year to complete but it was well worth it once it was finished. While the conversion was being completed, it was only right to shave the bay in the process. Doug called to a good buddy Brandt in order to get the bay looking silky smooth! I would have to say that Doug definitely went “All or Nothing” during this latest stage of his build.
Since the conversion, Doug ditched the turbo and went with a naturally aspirated VR6 for drivability purposes. He has also went through 3 sets of wheels before finally settling on a set of 16″ CCW Smoothies. Next, Doug showed some love to the interior. You will find a set of black leather Corbeau racing seats, Polo steering wheel and a set of euro manual seatbelts. With the interior tidied up and complete, Doug has decided it was finally time to sit back and enjoy the masterpiece he has built.
If you are planning on making the trip to H2o in Ocean City at the end September, make sure you stop by and check out his masterpiece as well as all the other Top Dawg invitees!