Grasshop­per Green paint, Alfa Romeo split rims and a stun­ning air sus­pen­sion setup help make Ally Boyd’s Corsa one of the UK’s coolest.

Performance Vauxhall - - CONTENTS - Words Jarkle Pho­tos Steve McCann

Kit­ted out with air ride sus­pen­sion and cool Alfa al­loys.

There’s no doubt­ing that the Corsa D is a pop­u­lar car, so much so that it’s at­tracted its fair share of neg­a­tive com­ments from other sec­tions of the car scene. Per­haps Vaux­hall’s at­tempt to make the car seem more spe­cial than it truly is via the use of lim­ited edi­tion badg­ing has back­fired some­what, though it’s cer­tainly not done the sales fig­ures any harm! It’s in­ter­est­ing to note how short our col­lec­tive mem­o­ries can be though, and wind the clock back twenty or so years and the ex­act same thing could be said about the now cov­eted Nova; they were lit­er­ally every­where and the vast ma­jor­ity of mod­i­fied ex­am­ples were noth­ing spe­cial, cer­tainly no more highly tuned than most 1.2 Corsa Ds, plus they cer­tainly had their fair share of ‘spe­cial’ edi­tion mod­els!

The very fact there are so many of th­ese cars around though is good – they’re cheap (ish) to buy and in­sure and can be mod­i­fied right out of the box, all fac­tors that draw peo­ple into the Vaux­hall scene. This Corsa D is a prime ex­am­ple. No, it isn’t a VXR and it cer­tainly won’t be both­er­ing LET No­vas and B204-shod As­tras any­time soon, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had a huge amount of time and ef­fort in­vested in its build.

“I needed a prac­ti­cal car and I’ve al­ways liked the look of the Corsa D,” says the car’s owner, Ally Boyd. “I went in in­tend­ing to buy a metal­lic grey car but I spot­ted this Grasshop­per Green SRi and pretty much had to have it!”

We’re not ex­actly sur­prised to hear

this as Vaux­hall have al­ways had a knack for turn­ing out a nicely coloured car (Ja­maica Yel­low SRs and Silk Vi­o­let GSis, any­one?), and it’s a shade that cer­tainly helps Ally’s car stand out from the herd of other Corsa Ds. It was a brand new car though, so ob­vi­ously Ally was some­what hes­i­tant when it came to the mod­i­fi­ca­tion side of things, es­pe­cially as it looked so good in fac­tory-fet­tle. Even­tu­ally he took the plunge and fit­ted a set of Team Dy­nam­ics al­loys, a sim­ple change that pretty much opened the flood­gates and set car and owner down the path of ex­ten­sive mod­i­fi­ca­tion. A whole host of body­work tweaks soon found their way onto the Corsa, with the most ob­vi­ous be­ing that mod­i­fied front bumper.


“I wanted to make the front end look dif­fer­ent so de­cided to al­ter the look of the bumper. It’s now had the ‘blis­ters’ re­moved from ei­ther side and been fit­ted with mesh, so it’s a lot more ag­gres­sive look­ing than the

“I spot­ted this Grasshop­per Green SRi and pretty much had to have it!”

stan­dard car.”

A Triple R split­ter and Opel badg­ing com­plete the trans­for­ma­tion, while a VXR bumper and cus­tom dif­fuser en­sure the rear is just as ag­gro-look­ing as the front. Other tweaks are more com­mon within the Corsa scene, such as the Team Heko wind de­flec­tors, VXR mir­rors, a stubby aerial and a deleted rear wiper, but they all add to the over­all look of the car. All nice, sub­tle and ef­fec­tive changes we’re sure you’ll agree, but by now Ally very much had the bit be­tween his teeth as far as this mod­i­fi­ca­tion lark was con­cerned and moved onto more dras­tic al­ter­ations;

“I wanted the car to be that much lower and for it to stand out from the oth­ers,” Ally ex­plains. “I’d al­ready fit­ted a set of coilovers and the Team Dy­nam­ics wheels but it didn’t look spe­cial enough, hence the de­ci­sion to go down the air ride route.”


Air sus­pen­sion is in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar among Corsa D own­ers, making the kits rel­a­tively easy to buy and sim­ple to in­stall, with Ally’s even­tu­ally be­ing fit­ted by Au­di­wise in East Kil­bride. Peek un­der the front arches (when it’s raised up, nat­u­rally) and you’ll now clock Fire­stone bags and cus­tom Gaz struts, while re­peat­ing the trick at the rear will re­veal more Fire­stone hard­ware, plus an Air­lift V2 man­age­ment sys­tem nes­tled in­side the car. The rear bench has been dumped in or­der to bet­ter dis­play the el­e­gant 2.5 gal­lon tanks and pair of Vi­air com­pres­sors, so what Ally’s lost in terms of prac­ti­cal­ity he’s made up for in scene cred­i­bil­ity!

The abil­ity to ‘lay frame’ at the flick of a switch is only one part of the equa­tion though, and it’s those wheels that really lift Ally’s car far and above the ma­jor­ity of sim­i­larly tweaked Ds.

“They’re cus­tom Alfa Romeo SZ three-piece splits from Im­age, so not ex­actly com­mon,” chuck­les Ally. “I saw some­one sell­ing them, checked they were the cor­rect PCD, then bought them there and then!”

Their off­set turned out to be OK – not per­fect and a touch too low, but at least there was no chance of them foul­ing the per­fect green paint. A pair of front spac­ers soon sorted the prob­lem, and, once painted in that gor­geous cop­per metal­lic colour, the newly bought rims were bolted to the hubs – game, set and

“I wanted the car to be that much lower and

for it to stand out from the oth­ers”

match. The com­bi­na­tion of wide, Alfa split rims in cop­per, metal­lic green paint and mas­sively low­ered sus­pen­sion is one that doesn’t ex­actly sound like a win­ner on pa­per, but there’s cer­tainly no ar­gu­ing with the re­sults – this Corsa looks sen­sa­tional.


Want more? Well the in­te­rior hasn’t ex­actly es­caped Ally’s at­ten­tion ei­ther, and he’s re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to sim­ply source and fit a pair of Corsa VXR seats. In­stead you’ll find plush Bride Cu­gas bolted to cus­tom run­ners, green Takata har­nesses and a green SMD con­ver­sion, both of which link the in­te­rior to the ex­te­rior paint­work rather nicely.

We’re well aware that some of you are not fans of the Corsa D, es­pe­cially if it hap­pens to be pow­ered by some­thing other than a Z16LER lump. We don’t ex­pect Ally’s car to com­pletely change your opin­ion then, but it’s well worth tak­ing the time to ap­pre­ci­ate what he’s achieved with a very mod­est bud­get and some sim­ple, nicely cho­sen mod­i­fi­ca­tions. At the very least you should take the time to ad­mire those stun­ningly painted wheels – we gen­uinely think they suit the rounded lines of the Corsa D more than the slightly fussy fac­tory al­loys. Things are set to get even bet­ter though, as Ally is keen to go that much faster with a turbo kit for the diddy 1.4 very high up his shop­ping list of fu­ture mods, plus big­ger brakes and all man­ner of other clever tweaks, so it’s very much a case of ‘watch this space.’

Diddy 1.4 is next on the list to re­ceive the ‘treat­ment’

Im­age split rims are just awesome

Air tanks and lines look pretty spec­tac­u­lar

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