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RED THUNDER The U.S is geared up for all manner of extremities and Twisters and perfect storms are just an excuse to release another Hollywood Blockbuster but give them red thunder and they won’t know what’s hit them. Regular show-goer Frank Bisogno is no stranger to the red carpet treatment, when he rocks up to events in his Mk3 VR6 turbo, there’s plenty of cowering in corners and dumb founded stares. For Frank it all started in 1995 when he took a shine to what was then an unpolished gem. He set to work on smoothing the bumpers of the VR6, sourced some OZ wheels and also upped the power by fitting a Z-Engineering supercharger. A few other choice alterations and it was enough to crown him with the best Mk3 in the modified category at Waterfest. For those of you that are unaware of this event, it’s America’s biggest VW and Audi show in the East Coast. But Frank’s fame wasn’t to end there, neither was his relationship with the VR6, she had plenty more potential he had decided. Having been inspired by some other VW’s and their neat engine bays, there was soon a whole list of tasks he had set himself. These included stripping the front and back end down, removing the supercharger, rain tray and also taking off the windscreen wipers. Always eager to keep at the forefront of innovation, Frank also upgraded his wheels. After gaining yet more recognition at shows, he was spurred on to improve his project further. In 2005 the latest wave of change was unleashed starting with a turbo. Already having a radical red paint job, Frank wanted to steer away from an over extreme engine bay. He also needed to consider how to re-configure everything to accommodate for it. Although he’s a VW technician himself and had a few different ideas swimming around in his head, he decided to get a second opinion from Momentum Tuning in Connecticut. A combination of standard on-the-market piping as well as custom fabricated parts were used to divert the essentials. From the ceramic-coated ATP exhaust manifold to the polished T04E turbo the additional power is routed between the oil pan and transmission. It is then scooped up and delivered to a custom Spearco intercooler which in turn feds it through a bigger 2.9 VR6 throttle body to the engine. To make the engine even more efficient Momentum Tuning has custom tuned the management software. This allows a more optimum amount of fuel and air to be whisked up in the cylinders and the timing of each stroke more precise. On a dyno it showed up as having 297 break horse power at the wheels as well 315lb ft of torque. A custom 3” exhaust seemed the ideal scale for a car of this calibre so this was also fitted. The transmission was the next mod on the agenda; this has been enhanced with a Quaife torque-biasing differential. With all that back load of pressure, 2nd and 3rd gears needed to be hardened in order to effectively transfer all the available power to the wheels. 5th gear has also been made taller to give the VR6 more potency at high speeds and also to improve its motorway cruising potential. Making the most of the dynamics took a B&G coilover suspension together with the extra traction gained from having bigger wheels. Frank was keen to keep the same black and polished-silver colour scheme for the wheels so he sourced some BBS RS specimens. At the front they measure 17x8.5 whilst the rear axels sport 17x9.5’s. Of course fatter tyres were also needed and these come in the form of Falken’s 205/40 at the front and 215/40 at the rear. To house the unique set of rims, the fenders have been pulled out somewhat giving it a much tougher look. Frank’s attention to detail is well reflected in the styling stakes. From the eat-your-dinner-off-it shine of the mirror-finish chrome engine bay to the smoothed and filled U.S spec bumpers it really does look the business. Even the exhaust cut-out has been smoothed over in favour of a side exit. The absence of side view mirrors, the passenger’s door handle and all the rear badges add to its clean image. Then there’s the de-badged grille and removal of the upper spoiler; the latter has been replaced by a registration plate recess from a VW cabriolet while rear glass from a CL Golf has been fitted in the hatch. Frank also thought it would be quite novel to completely smooth over the petrol cap and move it to the rear. You may have noticed the smoked Jetta lights that sit in the place of the originals, they characterise the VR6’s face rather nicely. Their prominence is enhanced further by the use of extra bright Xenon HID bulbs which have been borrowed from an Audi A6 and slightly adapted. Wayne’s Autobody were responsible for the exterior looks, a company which Frank had used before and so knew they’d do a good job. All that was left now was to give the interior a bit of a make-over. At first his vision led him to create a Motorsport-style cabin with a polished roll cage and Sparco racing seats. Now he’s gone for modified Recaro seats which were originally from an Mk2 Jetta GLI. The outer bolsters have been given the leather treatment and all four seats don headrests from a Saleen Mustang. He’s stayed with the Alcantara dash but added smoked Plexiglas panels which conceal all but the vital gauges. In order to stun and amaze, Frank changes his mind like the weather. Even now he’s built up a storming reputation his critical eye is still working overtime. 297bhp and 315 lb-ft of torque at the wheels
CAR MAKE & MODELModified VW Golf Mk3 VR6 Turbo Pictures
CAR REF NUMBER16551
ENGINE MODIFICATIONS2.8 litre 12v vr6 with 2.9 litre intake manifold and throttle body, turbonetics to4e 60-1 turbo, custom spearco intercooler, tial 38mm wastegate, dahlback diverter valve, blitz air filter, atp exhaust manifold, 3" downpipe and 3" momentum tuning side-exit exhaust, custom software utilizing 36psi injectors, a/c, heater, power steering, coolant bottle and radiator fans deleted, custom radiator, engine de-wired, and plumbing rerouted. lightened flywheel, dual-friction centerforce clutch, 3.94:1 ring-and- pinion final drive, strengthened second and third gears, higher ratio fifth gear.
SUSPENSION MODIFICATIONSbg coilovers, les hicks rear strut brace, poly bushings, autotech cross
ALLOY WHEELS17 x 8.5" front and 17 x 9.5" rear bbs rs001 three-piece
TYRES205/40/17 front and 215/40/17 rear falken ziex tires
BRAKESdrilled rotors, mintex pads, stainless brake lines
EXTERIOR MODIFICATIONSsmoothed front and rear us bumpers, shaved passenger door handle, rear jetta door handle on the driver`s side, shaved gas door, aero filler cap relocated to rear panel, jetta front end with tinted euro jetta lights and audi a6 hid headlamps, de-badged grill and grill spoiler, shaved hood, shaved wipers, shaved tailgate with gold cl rear glass, cabrio plate recess, de-locked, shaved antenna, all arches pulled to fit wheels, deleted rain tray, smoothed frame rails, stut tops, radiator support, and fender tops, door mirrors removed
INTERIOR MODIFICATIONSmk2 jetta gli recaro front seats on modified runners, trimmed in black leather and alcantara, rear seats trimmed to match, all with saleen mustang net headrests, alcantara dash and headliner, momo steering wheel with chromed boss, momo shifter, leather door cards, custom floor mats, intelitronics digital gauges behind tinted plexiglass panel, airbags deleted, euro center console with relocated radio.
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