Rocky Mountain Club B5

Members => Member of the Month => Topic started by: ColoradoB5 on April 07, 2004, 08:06:40 AM

Title: April 2004 - Alan Wong
Post by: ColoradoB5 on April 07, 2004, 08:06:40 AM

I have always had a strong interest in cars for a long time.  I had aspirations of going into design, particularly in industrial design (specializing in automotive design) and architecture (which is the field I’m currently working in).  Like the famous modernist architect, Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details,” I strongly believe in good design and details in cars as well – which is why I consider myself a car snob and fanatic.

It was an interesting story and adventure on how my Passat came along:
I was on my way from Aspen to Denver to get my 1992 Acura Legend registered and titled (which was my car I had though university back in my hometown of Toronto), my car spun out on some black ice on I-70 near Idaho Springs and moments later it was T-boned by a 16-wheeler semi.  Luckily I walked away from the accident without a scratch, but my beloved Legend was totaled (it was had only 35,000 miles and was in like new condition).


Now I had to look for a new car.  Since this was going to be my one and only car I needed something that could seat four and have enough trunk space to haul sports gear, Home Depot supplies, and other day to day stuff, but still have good performance and looks.

Because there were only a handful of dealerships in the Aspen Valley, I was limited to the dealerships in the Valley, due to maintenance and servicing issues because the towns in the Rockies are pretty isolated.
I was originally in the market for an Audi A4 or a used A6, but I wasn’t impressed with its performance (the Quattro felt a bit sluggish on the A4 and the 2.8L V6 engine seemed underpowered for the heavy A6) and also Audis were a common sight in the Aspen Valley.  While in the VW/Audi dealership I noticed a new fully loaded (except 4motion) Reflex Silver 2001.5 Passat GLX that caught my eye in the middle of the showroom floor.  It was the first week that the new body style was available, and I was impressed with the Audi-like classy looks and design.  

In another ironic twist of fate, less than a week of getting my Passat, I had to make a trek to Idaho Springs to appear in traffic court for the accident involving my Legend.  On the way there I made a stop in Frisco for coffee.  When I got back to my car I noticed a peculiar sight: there was Mitsubishi Montero parked very close to my Passat with a couple people standing around it.  As I got closer I found to my horror that the Montero had collided into my parked Passat.  Apparently the driver of the rented Montero (who was a tourist on a ski vacation) slid through the stop sign and slammed into my car.  Because the Montero was so big and high, it went over the rear bumper and collided into the trunk, which caused extensive damage to the trunk lid, rear quarter panels, taillights, and popped the rear glass out.

The force of the collision was so great it pushed my car into the snow covered ditch.


My Passat was in the shop for almost four months (and a couple months on and off after that) and over $10,000 in repairs.  It took that long to fix because no parts were available because the model was so new, and eventually two cars had to be sacrificed from the assembly line in Germany for my repairs to be completed.  While waiting all that time for my Passat to be repaired (and driving a crappy Nissan Altima rental) I started shopping for mods and constantly checking out the forums to get my car fix, sans Passat.

I like having a ride that’s a little different from everyone else, but I want it to be still very tasteful.  Because the Passat shares many parts with Audis and other VWs it was easy to find OEM parts to make it more unique, while looking factory quality.  I still get people taking glances at my car, a friendly nod from other VW drivers, and others asking “is that a redesigned Jetta?”, or “what kind of Audi is that?”, or just recently, “is that the really expensive new VW model? (I assume they were referring to the Phaeton).

With the silver exterior, I have done a few chrome mods in keeping with the B5.5 theme, but without looking overdone.  My goal was to have a look that is clean and monochromatic.


2001.5 Passat GLX sedan  |  V6 tiptronic  |  Reflex Silver on Onyx black leather

Delivery: February 2001

17” BBS RKs w/Kumho ECSTA Supra 712 225/45/17
Eibach Pro-system suspension
Bi-Xenon HID headlights (W8-style)
Bulbs: Philips Vision Plus supplementary high beam bulbs, Philips Silver Vision turn signals, Philips All Weather fog light bulbs
3M 35% Black Panther tint
Inpro chrome side mirrors (Audi S-style)
Chrome exterior door handles
Blue tint aspherical side view mirrors
Wetworks rear lip spoiler
Front Euro license plate
Custom V6 grille badge
Custom all-chrome/painted rear VW emblem
Rear debadged
TT antenna
3M clear bra
Xpel headlight + fog light shields

W8 silver dash/door trim strips
Kamei stainless steel door sills
Chrome front armrest trim
WeatherTech rubber floor mats + trunk liner
Mercedes ML-class cargo net
OEM VW in-dash CD player
Phatbox 20gig MP3 drive
NB sunglass holder

AlienTech window module
K&N air filter
BEL 980 radar detector, hardwired
Automatic door locking feature disabled
OEM VW/Audi first aid kit
OEM Audi trunk mounted warning triangle


This summer will be another major evolution of my Passat.  Being the current generation model is starting to feel a little more commonplace (especially here in Denver), I’m planning many mods (many of which will be performance oriented) to keep my Passat more interesting to drive and look at.  Some of these mods include:

-   W8 overhead LED lit sunroof console panel.
-   ASP Aluminum Crank Pulley (a little more than 12 hp gain).
-   VAG com programmed sport mode.
-   GAIC Tip chip (modest hp gain).
-   Audi-style chrome lower grill surround.
-   Audi-style chrome trunk edge trim.
-   OEM brushed aluminum interior trim (OEM Net Optic finish removed).
-   OEM Phaeton shifter (my stock wood shifter is cracked).
-   C-Bar.
-   Deep gloss black painted roof panel, similar to the Mercedes panorama roof, to visually tie the front windshield with the rear glass.
-   Hella triple tone horn.
-   New brake pads, rotors, and tires.
-   Clear bumper lights.
-   Navigation system.


All in all, I’m very happy with my Passat and very fortunate to have met so many great B5’ers especially here in Denver and to share the love we have for our cars.  What other moderately priced mid-sized sedan could get you so much respect, attention and admiration?

Thank you RMCB5!