Members > Member of the Month

May 2004 - Mark Digan


It was when my brother bought a 1998 fjord blue Passat that I really started to notice this particular VW model. I remember when I went to visit him just after he got it and I was very impressed. Such an interesting color (fjord) and the interior lighting scheme, this car was so unique. I didn’t know much about the engine or turbo, but it was such a nice ride, so smooth and quiet. Being my first encounter with the B5 Passat, it made such a lasting impression.

I’ve always kind of been into cars. Before I was old enough to drive I would modify model cars, hoping to have a car just like the ones I built. I would buy little trucks and cars, lower them, tint the windows, chop the tops and buy other kits just to get the nicer wheels. Actually, I still have most of them at my parent’s house. Eventually when I was old enough to drive, my parents bought me a Toyota Camry, which wasn’t your typical cool car, at the time. I couldn’t exactly modify my real car like I modified my little model cars either. Though, it was a great car. It was very reliable and I had fun with it. I tinted the windows, installed a keyless entry system, upgraded the stock tape player to a CD player and did a few other small things, which I could afford from working summer jobs. I had the Toyota for about two years, before moving to England when my brother got the car next. He put a good 50,000+ miles on it before someone crashed into him and the insurance totaled it. Thus leading to his Passat…

Before I got my Passat, I had been driving an Isuzu Trooper for about 4 years and was ready to get a car. I didn’t want an SUV anymore and the gas mileage wasn’t very good. It served me well though and I didn’t have any major problems with it. It was when I was helping my brother look for a new antenna, because the base of his had dry rotted, I stumbled across ClubB5.

Wow, a community for fellow Passat owners. I never thought of the Passat as a car to modify, but after skimming through posts and discussions I learned how tunable the Passat is, I knew I really had to get one now! I knew if I ever had any problems or questions there was an excellent resource available at my fingertips.

I would visit ClubB5 all the time and admire all the nice Passats and daydream about things I’d do if I had a Passat. I even became a member, even though I didn’t have a Passat yet. My screen name was Soon 2 B5…I had a few posts here and there.

My hunt for a Passat was beginning. I started to look in local classifies and searched online. I always kept an eye open for about six months or so, then for about three months I got really serious. I knew what I wanted and it was a black wagon. I chose a wagon for the cargo space. I occasionally buy wood and have to haul my bike, which I knew would be more difficult with a sedan. I chose a darker color, specifically black, so the lower plastic would blend better.

So, last June, I came across a listing on for a 99 black wagon 5-speed. Yes! This is exactly what I wanted and it was in my price range. I went the dealer as soon as I could to check it out. It looked great, the miles were within range the paint and interior were clean, but there was one catch…it was a tiptronic. I didn’t really want an automatic but I took it for a test drive and tried the manual-shifting feature. It wasn’t that bad and I was ready to buy it so I did. I traded the ol’ SUV in and got me a car!

I remember posting something on ClubB5 after I got my Passat and ColoradoB5 informed me about; that was the ticket! Now I had a local group of enthusiasts to hang out with and talk shop. Having resources like ClubB5 and really accelerated my need to modify my Passat.

Eleven months later I am still very happy with my Passat, though I wish it were a 5-speed. I have had so much fun learning about it and modifying it. I also really enjoy meeting all the people locally, who share the same interests in cars. It’s fun to get together, have garage days and go on drives. Thanks to and all the great people I’ve met over the past 11 months!


1999 Passat GLS Variant; 1.8T tiptronic; black magic pearl w/ tan cloth


GIAC 1 bar chip w/ spare ecu
ECS lightweight crank pulley
Audi TT DV

Neuspeed sport springs with Bilstein shocks

Wheels and tires:
19” RH Evolution (Work) C6 wheels w/ 235/35-19 Pirelli P7000's
S4 replica wheels w/ 225/45-17 Falken ZE-512's
10mm H&R spacers in the rear

Bonrath badgeless grille
Blue tinted side mirrors
Rear debadged

W8 dome light/sunroof control panel
Blaupunkt Heidleberg CD51

Hella HID's w/stage II xenon's
Third brake light mod
Dual fog light mod
WLED-6 city lights
Clear corners and side markers
Disabled DRL’s with independent city lights control

B5.5 plenum area cover
Silicone vacuum hoses


[0] Message Index

Go to full version