Let's hear a little bit about the driver - What's your name and where are you from?
My name is Brandon Bryant, people call me BERAW. I’m from Olympia, WA.
What got you into modifying cars and what kept you in it?
Originally, my dad was heavily into cars. I grew up around a lot of this stuff as a kid. From lifted trucks, to American classics, to imports (Japanese and European), you name it. My dad had heaps of cars back in his teenager and early parenting years, and him buying me hot wheels as a kid is what really sparked my interest in cars, especially being so young. It’s always been my hobby and here I am today!
Ok ok ok... Tell us about your ride, what is it?
It’s kind of wonky and unusual, especially for my purpose with it, but that was kind of my whole premise with this thing (LOL). It’s a 1991 Volkswagen Passat GL, Canadian spec car, that was originally a 16v automatic. I bought the shell from a guy down in Oregon and he had chopped the front and a friend of his tubed it! So I thought, perfect! This’ll be a great candidate for my project. Regardless of me buying this car or not, I wanted a Passat. My idea was the whole “sleeper” aspect and to be noticed in something that people just wouldn’t expect to be done that way. Definitely still a sight to see, as most people haven’t ever seen this generation before. A lot of people don’t even know what the hell they’re looking at!
Not a whole bunch going on with the exterior. The first few things you’ll notice is the hood cutout, the external oil cooler, and the tire size in the front! The hood... well. It had to be that way. When I switched up from a FMIC to an AWIC, it had to be cut to fit. These engines run super hot, so the cooler keeps my oil temps sub 200 degrees, even on hot days usually. With wheels, I’m running 15x8 Rota Slipstreams up front and 17x7.5 Motegi Traklites in the rear. Weird setup, I know. I had 17x7’s all the way around at one point and needed some meat up front, so I wanted to match the overall diameter! With that being said, I went with 235/50/15’s up front to match my 215/45/17’s in rear, as they have a similar diameter. I absolutely love the look. The front tires are Toyo R888r’s and grip up awesome when they’re warm!
Nothing special as of now! It’s pretty much a full stock interior car. The Passat came with all grey interior from the factory, and I switched it up a bit with a black dashboard and center console. It looks completely OE, and I love that. Other than that, it just has some gauges (boost/vacuum, AFR, temps, etc) and an aluminum Black Forest Industries shift knob!
Anything special under the hood?
There’s a lot special! Well... as special as it can be for what it is! This car has a full VR6 swap out of a 2000 Volkswagen Jetta. The engine was ripped apart and re-sealed, along with some ARP head bolts, ARP rod bolts, and 8.5:1 head gasket spacer. The head is also complimented with some black nitrile Supertech valves (stock size), and some Techtonic Tuning 268 cams. Pretty much what you’d call “bullet proofed” for a stock VR6 engine. They can handle a whole ton of power though, even relatively stock. The last time she was on the dyno, she made 420whp and 398wtq on 20psi with an eBay GT35 turbo. She’s got tons of room left! Once I go Megasquirt, she’ll be making a whole lot more!
What are some things you've done to your car that others might not notice?
At first glance, it just looks like an ordinary sedan, until someone sees the oil cooler or water to air intercooler. Other than that, not a whole bunch. Everything pretty much speaks for itself when you know what’s going on!
Anything else you'd like to add? (could be about anything)
I’ve owned this car for 3 years. I purchased it in the summer of 2017 as an an automatic shell with little to no wiring. Not to mention, little to no knowledge. I was pretty much jumping into this whole project blind, as it was my first ever legitimate project car. This car, over the years has been pieces together from 3-4 different B3/B4 Passats actually! With the help of friends, people in the community, YouTube, Google, and many other resources, it’s the main reason I know what I know today, and the reason this car is still chugging along. Everything was done by me, with the help of friends besides the tube work! I’m excited to finally get this thing prepped for the track, because I’ve never been out on the strip before. 3 years, and she hasn’t made a single pass. But that’s gonna change shortly and we’ll finally be seeing some bigger numbers and time slips soon. It’s a never ending process, but I couldn’t be happier. If anyone has any questions, just contact me on Instagram @beraw, and I’d be happy to answer any! I just want to give a huge shoutout to Will (Rubadub Media), for the opportunity to share this atrocity and to give a more broad explanation on my build.