They say beauty is skin deep, but this tuned Opel Corsa OPC turns that theory inside out
Being an internationally renowned automotive snapper (chancer you mean – Ed), 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 fi nd 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 fi rst 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.
TECH SPEC: OPEL CORSA
Nürburgring Edition front spoiler; front arches widened 30mm; rear arches widened 10mm; front bumper smoothed and customised with fog inserts and Opel badge laminated with genuine US dollars; custom grilles and splitter; rear bumper smoothed and diffuser trimmed in leather; roof, bonnet, mirrors, wipers and fuel cap trimmed in leather; dectane LED tail-lights; window tints.
1.6 Turbo; EDS Intercooler; JE forged pistons and steel con rods; Klasen engine software; Dbilas intake; Engine cover laminated with genuine US dollars; battery, tanks and hoses trimmed in leather; battery cover, heat shields, caps, screws, clamps and catches all 24k gold plated; bonnet underside, bonnet lifters and spark plug cover trimmed in leather; Friedrich Motorsport de-cat exhaust system with 24k gold plated tailpipe.
8.5x19in Advance AV1.0 wheels painted gloss black with insides laminated with real dollars; gold shotshell nuts; Hankook Ventus tyres size 215/35ZRx19; TA Technix air ride; Brembo 4-pot callipers.
Recaro Sports seats, rear seats, door cards, dashboard, floor mats, sun visors, steering wheel, gear gaiter, handbrake gaiter and first aid box all trimmed in leather and cross-stitched; headlining trimmed in Porsche Alcantara; all plastic in gloss black, carbon door handles.
ZE-NC2011D headunit; high gloss black custom boot build trimmed with leather and dollars; Kenwood amplifier; Emphaser EX10T-G5 subwoofer embedded in genuine US dollars; Hifonics monitor in place of rear headrest.
Words and photos Steve McCann