They say beauty is skin deep, but this Ger­man Corsa turns that the­ory in­side out…

Fast Car - - Contents -

This baby Vaux­hall has the full pack­age.

Be­ing an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned au­to­mo­tive snap­per (you mean chancer – Jules), my job is to make fea­ture cars look as best they pos­si­bly can for print. It’s like pho­tograph­ing peo­ple. You need to be se­lec­tive, high­light the best parts and avoid the less than per­fect at­tributes. But this Corsa is dif­fer­ent. It doesn’t have bingo wings, acne or an em­bar­rass­ing tat­too. Peel back the lay­ers and if any­thing, it just gets even bet­ter. Try as you may to find a ne­glected com­po­nent on this car, but the an­swer will be nein! And that means no, not nine. It’s a Ger­man car re­mem­ber.

As it hap­pens, the owner just hap­pens to be Ger­man too and his name is Chris­tian Thee­garten. We met Chris­tian at the world fa­mous Opel Tr­ef­fen show in Osch­er­sleben, Ger­many, where 20,000 Opels from all over Europe gather an­nu­ally to have a huge party. Even amongst those num­bers, this mighty Corsa just stood out. The at­ten­tion to de­tail is sub­lime. Af­ter smash­ing through the lan­guage bar­rier, Chris­tian told us some of his story. “It’s a Corsa OPC (VXR) and I bought it brand new in 2010. But it wasn’t un­til 2013 when I started mak­ing changes.” The first task was an un­usual one as me­chanic Chris­tian de­cided to coat the en­gine with real dol­lars. He got bored in work and messed around with the dol­lars, treat­ing and lac­quer­ing them on. It worked great and sparked off a theme that you can spot all over the car. From here on there was no par­tic­u­lar or­der to the mod­i­fy­ing, but Chris­tian set about the Opel with one aim. Do it all and do it right.

On the out­side, the first thing that jumps out are those front arches. Hav­ing al­ready picked the 19-inch Ad­vance rims, as soon as air ride be­came part of the plan it took much cut­ting, ex­tend­ing and weld­ing to add an ex­tra 30mm more girth to each side. The front bumper was tweaked to suit and smooth­ing done to lose the front plate. Cus­tom grills and a split­ter were added along with some clever dol­lar de­tail­ing. It was a sim­i­lar story at the rear al­though not quite as ex­treme. This time just rolling the arches was enough, but the rear bumper took some neat touches with the leather trimmed rear dif­fuser be­ing the high­light. Speak­ing of which, there can’t be many cows left in Ger­many as most of them have con­trib­uted their coats to this Corsa. The roof, bon­net, mir­rors, bon­net stays and even the fuel cap have all been lav­ished with lus­cious black leather and that’s just on the out­side. In­side it’s taken to a whole new level…

As sick as this Corsa looks on the road, the in­te­rior is what re­ally sets it apart. Ev­ery­thing is ei­ther cov­ered in stun­ning cross-stitched black leather or coated in gloss black paint. It’s not just the seats, door cards and gaiters, we’re talk­ing steer­ing wheel, floor mats, sun vi­sors and even the first aid box. The roof lin­ing is Porsche Al­can­tara to of­fer some va­ri­ety but over­all this re­ally is one of the best cab­ins we’ve seen

in a project car. Up close the qual­ity is sec­ond to none and sit­ting in­side it feels more As­ton Martin than Opel. Amaz­ing job.

Un­der the bon­net, the now fa­mil­iar leather trim­ming and dol­lar coat­ing brighten up the bay, with some gold plat­ing thrown in for good mea­sure. But it has plenty of bite too with forged pis­tons and steel con rods to beef up the block, while an EDS in­ter­cooler, Dbi­las in­take, Friedrich de-cat ex­haust and Klasen map­ping in­crease the per­for­mance. Brembo brakes from a Fiat Punto Abarth are a nice touch too, pro­vid­ing some ex­tra stop­ping power.

Trends in Ger­many don’t al­ways match with our tastes in the UK, but this is an ex­cep­tion. Chris­tian can feel proud of his Corsa build as it would be ad­mired as much on Bri­tish shores as it does in Europe.

19-inch Ad­vance rims sit per­fectly in the arches thanks to the air ride

Shot­gun car­tridge nut cov­ers

Who you callin’ a bunch of Mup­pets?

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