1990 Volkswagen Corrado – AMU 1.8T Engine Swap


They said it couldn’t be done, it was impossible; thankfully, he didn’t listen. You see, Chris Cheeseman, like many determined individuals before him, simply wouldn’t take no for an answer and turned this 1990 Volkswagen Corrado in to ato some classic VW in Aviator Grey with pulled fenders over color-matched BBS wheels.

Was one of the nicest VWs I’d seen and was roughly 80 percent done; lots of untidy work needed to be re-done along with the beautiful paint had lots of blemishes that need considering a show car, Cheeseman explained, although It possessed a colorful past. But underneath the imperfection was really a diamond in the rough, he stated with a smile.

When he says the VW Corrado experienced a colorful history, he wasn’t kidding. The very first owner chosen toinside a shaved bay is a thing of beauty that provides sufficient power to keep your driver entertained.

he, the and Luckily car weren’t immediately annihilated; instead, the whole back end was a weenie roast. The subsequent damages were enough that Mr. Marlboro decided to part along with his charred Forest Green ’90 Corrado G60, rather than kick the ol’ habit.

Like many VW groups, cars tend to make their rounds among a small circle of friends. My good friend Brian Glogowski bought it, along with an Aviator Gray Audi TT donor car. Originally, he was going to swap the motor, but when he saw the two cars alongside one another, he realized an Aviator Grey Corrado was essential, Cheeseman said.to a different member inside the local VW scene. This marked your third owner in the local community. Denver Webb fixed some loose ends and got it running good enough for short drives, but the bad luck has never been far behind.

On the first drive with the new motor and fresh paint, it got a door ding, Cheeseman said. On the second drive, an axle came loose and broke the transmission. On the third, the rear bumper fell off in traffic, and the last straw was another fire-except this time, it was actuallyseats and door cards.

While the fire claimed the lifespan of an ultra-rare non-A/C heater core as well as other underdash parts, it didn’t toast the vehicle as badly as the first fire.

Fire has a knack of weeding out all but the most dedicated owners, and this one prompted Webb to sell it to another local, but not before he took a Sawzall to the heater core to remove the epicenter of the fire.The brand new buyer happened to be the dog owner of the shop where Cheeseman works. After months of relentless badgering, he would buy the Corrado from his boss, repair it, show it, and then sell it back to his boss. Confusing? Such is the life of a modified VW, even though you bet.

So, how did Cheeseman take a battered would-be show car and coax it into fruition? Simple: He’s a diehard VW guy with plenty of experience and patience, a virtue that’s essential when modifying classic VWs. I’ve owned lots of VWs, both water- and air-cooled. My first car was actually a Beetle, and every car after thatdoor and seats cards.

He also told us that although he’s always owned fast VWs, (his daily driver is his 15th Mk2 VR6-swap-a 400-whp Jetta VR6T, no less! ), none of them have been particularly clean, so getting a Corrado with this caliber was both a training in pride and patience. It takes a lot of work and dedication to obtain a car like this Corrado, he explained. You must spend days keeping everything clean, polishing the wheels, and a great deal of time making it look nice since it sticks out similar to a sore thumb when it’s anything lower than perfect.

Talking about less than perfect, when Cheeseman bought the Corrado, it had been far from complete. And So I even had more of the engine bay shaved because blemishes that go unnoticed on a daily driver draw massive attention on a car this clean, he said, I had every panel except for the hood resprayed.for the respray. He spent hours under the dash, tidying the wiring and repairing fire damage. Also, he resolved other issues like a broken turbo and reworked the cooling system to handle overheating issues.

The AMU 1.8T motor had 034 software, Kinetic intercooler, Techtonics 2.50-inch exhaust, custom downpipe, and turbo piping, Chris continued. Considering how nice it looked, the Rota wheels that came on it just didn’t fit the bill.””, although When housed in a lightweight Volkswagen Corrado chassis, it will make for a surprisingly quick car””So, he spun down the Patec Holeshot coilovers until the genuine BBS RM rims were tucked. The fronts measure 15×8 inches while the rears check in at 15×8.5 inches. The centers were color-matched, as the lips were polished and fortified with BFI gold bolts. The ensemble was then covered with Toyo rubber and fitted over Audi 90 two-piston front calipers and StopTech rotors, while theAs soon as the build was complete, Cheeseman wasted very little time reaping the rewards, showing up in the best 2013 East Coast shows like Dubs on SoWo, Dustoff, Defrost and Waterfest and H20. He drove the once-cursed Corrado thousands of miles without trouble and proved to himself, and the naysayers, that sometimes classic VWs just need a little TLC from the hands of an appreciative enthusiast.

I’m glad I was able to fix the remaining problems and get it running, he was quoted saying. It was nice to finish a project that many of my friends had started. I was merely the final piece of the puzzle.

Cheeseman is happy to report the vehicle belongs to his boss and therefore he actually gets to admire his Volkswagen Corrado every day at work. Well, he doesn’t miss that part at all, as for keeping it show-car clean!