RIP Yohannes Gebrekidan… we miss you man. This feature goes back to 2012-ish?? And I remember the day these pics were taken. I had just decided to give up caffeine that morning (didn’t stick), and my head was killing me! lol Orrrr maybe it was my gutted Honda CRX in Atlanta traffic & pot holes more likely. Anyway – I first met Yo in about 2001. I was running down the Loop in Athens GA in my MK1 GTI, when a dude I’d never met at that point, in a red MK3 GTI, ran alongside me and yelled at me to follow him. I did… all the way back to his house… where Yo’s black Mk1 was sitting out front. Whoa!! We all became instant friends. That’s how it worked before social media I guess. Yo’s been gone for about 5 years now, taken in a car accident… and I still hear his laugh in my head like it was last weekend. Here’s the Corrado article from S3 MAG 2012:
I’ve known Yo for over 10 years now… and his attention to detail has always astonished me.
It always has. It actually makes me feel like crap about myself lol. Because I’m just more of a “fix it with a sticker or a ziptie and worry about it later” sorta dude. Anything that I have ever tried to get to this level of perfection… I never finish. But Yo’s got that personality for it. He’s got the patience for detail. He’s got that ability to stick with one thing, and see it through to perfection.
There’s something to be said for this kind of attention to detail.
It pushes the culture forward, and it raises the curve. We see people pushing the limits of perfection like this in the Honda game – sure we do. But it’s a little bit different with Japanese cars. See – a Honda trendsetter would commonly have a set of rare Bride or Recaro’s in their car. And the interior would be stripped, sparse, repainted, and re-cleared. In the euro game (with this car for example), Yo found a set of rare old electronic-controlled Porsche 911 seats… and had them covered in supple baseball leather, and cross-stitched with some sort of fancy technique that I don’t even know the name for. He chose a stitch-thread that was two shades lighter than the leather, just to give the slightest hint of contrast. And while he was at it, he removed the dash, and every other piece of the interior, and had it covered as well. I’m telling you, new Ferraris do not come with an interior this nice. And that is a marked difference, between the Euro tuners, and the Japanese tuners. Japanese tuners tend to buy the attention-grabbing parts… whereas VW guys tend to create them.
What is shared between this Corrado, and a trendsetting Honda, for example, is the subtlety in exterior modifications, and the use of imported parts.
To the untrained eye, one would have no idea why this Volkswagen Corrado looks so good… so exotic. For one thing – the headlights on this Corrado are French. The French versions had built-in yellow fog lights, because a lot of times, in the busier cities like Paris or Nice, people do not run their actual headlights at night. They just run the yellow fogs, because there is enough light from the city to illuminate the road. The taillights on this car are limited-production European, and they are just way more elegant than what we got here in the States.
The paint and bodywork on this Corrado is perfect.
I have no idea how Yo keeps it so pristine – especially considering it’s black. And especially considering that it’s a daily driver. Well – it’s 1 of 2 cars that he rotates daily… so it’s a 50% daily. But still. Yo doesn’t even garage the car – no lie. It sits outside at his house, and the paint is 5 years old. That just makes my mind spin. Yo says he buffs it out every few weeks… and I guess he just really, really takes care of it.
The wheels are BBS. Yo was searching for these wheels for quite some time, and couldn’t find ‘em anywhere. So he bought an entire car that already had these wheels on it… kept the wheels, and sold off the car. I guess that’s one way to do it lol.
The license plate says PAY ATTN.
And that’s really a double meaning. On one hand, Yo is sending a sign out to distracted drivers behind him… to please look up & pay attention. On the other hand, the plate says PAY ATTN… and if you do… then you really begin to see the subtle details in the car. What is quickly looked over and unnoticed in the hectic pace of the road/world, can actually be quite amazing.
For Yo – the attention is in the details.
His passion is perfection & follow-through, and it’s really cool to have him around to inspire us. But believe me when I say… we don’t ALL have to be like this. For some of us, it just hurts way too much.
Story: Jonathan Wooley Pics: Matt Jones
Body work/paint done by Luigi Longhi
Euro French E-codes headlights & tail lamps
Spoonfedtuning larger rear spoiler
90mm front spoiler (oem is 50mm)
BBS 17×8.5 CH wheels & a 12.3″ front brake conversion
Eurowise powdercoated wheels
Custom foglamps (Miguel)
Custom interior uplostery by Love’s Trim Shop
Recaro seats & Euro manual seatbelts
Alpine head unit
Polk Audio speakers
Spoonfedtuning door speaker pods
JL audio 5×500 amp
8” Boston sub
Ported & polished
Intake manifold & T-body ported to match intake
41mm intake valves
268 Techtonics cams w/high rev springs
Assist motorsports (Scott Weekes), Luigi Longhi (all the body work/paint), Carlik Jones, Jeremy Lewis, Miki Bajric, Eurowise tuning/fabrication, Miguel Bovino, Alex Automotve, James Caro, Kip Love (Love’s Trim shop), Tim Murray, VW Vortex Corrado members.