What is it about a built car that excites us? Is it the incredible science and mechanical savvy behind its inner workings? Could it be the excitement of a few to several hundred metaphorical horses at rest under the hood, but rearing to go? Is it the shape of the body, or the look of the wheels? Perhaps it’s the freedoms that come along with owning an automobile, and the potential to make it something entirely your own. Whatever it may be, it’s most likely the combination of all of these things and more! Let us tell you what excites us about Ken Stevens’ 01 Audi S4.
Last time we saw Ken Stevens, we featured his timeless 1972 Audi 100LS, which captured the hearts of classic junkies everywhere. The clean, sloping lines of the 100 make it quite a laid back style of car. However, while Ken certainly knows how to keep his vintage game in tip top shape, he also has a passion for the more modern, ‘performance based’ side of building. Looking for function and form? Look no further.
Ken’s love for Audis goes way back. Initially, he had built an S4 prior to his current one. His previous S4 had slowly been built up from the stock platform he’d purchased it as. However, in a sad turn of events, the car was totaled, leaving only one logical option: build another! So, in 2007, Ken got ahold of this Nogaro S4, which at the time was already stage three. Other than that, it was a stock slate from which he would create a 530 awhp, 540 awtq speed demon that everyone would soon come to adore. After transferring many of the modifications from the totaled Audi, Ken’s ideas bloomed from there.
“The S4 was my first big build,” replied Ken in our interview. “The only real problem I had was finding a clutch that would hold the power.” After all, if run on race gas, this brute is capable of pushing 750+ horsepower, which is enough to make any adrenaline junky’s eyes widen. However, this B5 wasn’t necessarily created with the track or drag strip in mind. “I built the car to drive on the street,” he declared. “Beating a Lambo and a GT-R were some of my biggest wins. Both were extremely confused when a stanced Audi passed them.” Having grown up in Santa Cruz, he had become used to the winding, dashing roads of the surrounding mountains. This is partially what inspired such an exciting build. “I love the rush of going fast either in a straight line or in the corners,” he admitted. After all, speed is a characteristic which most of us enjoy in a car; and I believe that through this blue blur on the street, Ken has embodied that thrill.
One of the best aspects of automotive photography is getting to meet talented enthusiasts like Ken, and also hearing their stories. Everyone has a different story with their build—some are more unique than others, and Ken’s story is certainly one to talk about. Ken had told me that when he first acquired the car, he already had an image in mind. Admittedly, he never expected to, in his terms, “go so crazy” on the motor. While he may not have planned to build such an incredible speed machine, the results are by all means something that everyone, be it stance lovers or functionality diehards, can respect.
Built 2.8L APB Engine
JE 82.5mm 9.0:1 Pistons
Integrated Engineering Forged Connecting Rods
Coated Rod Bearings
Coated Main Bearings
2.8L Big Port Cylinder Heads with Cams
Supertech High-Rate Valve Springs and Titanium Retainers
Supertech Oversized Stainless Steel Intake Valves and Inconel Exhaust Valves
ARP Main Stud Kit Raceware Head Stud Kit
Tial 770R Turbo Kit
Tial 770R Downpipes with External Dumps
3.5” Cat Back Exhaust
ME7 Tuned ECU with Factory O2, EGT, etc.
Dual Bosch 044 Fuel Pump Surge Tank
2.7T Billet Fuel Rail Kit
Silicone RS4 MAF Hose
85mm “Big Turbo” MAF Housing & Sensor
Wagner Tuning RS4 Intercoolers
RS4 Intake Manifold and RS4 75mm Throttle Body
2.7T Large Port Phenolic Intake Manifold Spacers
2.7T Stainless Steel Bi-Pipes
Silicone RS4 Throttle Body Adapter
Carbon Fiber RS4 Y-Pipe
X34 Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake
Track Density Motor Mounts
Track Density Transmission Mounts
Snub Mount and Bracket
Southbend Stage 4 Extreme 6-Puck Clutch Kit
JHMotorsports Rebuilt 01E Transmission
JHMotorsports Solid Short-Throw Shifter
Rotiform NUE 18x9.5 Wheels
Wheel Stud and Nut Kit 300mm
B5 Rear Big Brake Kit
Density Line Adjustable Front Upper Control Arms
Adjustable Rear Upper Control Arms
Stasis Street Sport Coilover Suspension
The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/with/12778332103/
Words & Shots: Courtney Cutchen
Derek Parker’s 1995 M3/2/5 Cosmos Schwarz Metallic
- 1997 Facelift
- 1997 Black Kidney Grills
- Depo Euro Headlights w/ city lights
- NDG Honey Comb Bumper Grill
- E46 Trunk Lip Spoiler
- Clear Bra
-Euro M stitching steering wheel
-Hurricane Gray Alcantara Vaders
- Dinan Cold Air Ingake
- Active Autowerks Exhaust
- Brembo blank front rotors
- Brembo blank rear rotors
- Motul 600 brake fluid
- Broadway Static Coilovers
- TMS Rear Camber Arms
- Eibach Front Swaybar
- Eibach Rear Swaybar
- BBS RS 212
- 17x9.5 205/40/17
- 17x10.5 215/40/17
- San Jose Sharks teal centers
- Full polished Rotiform bubble lips - - BBS quarter caps
The full feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157641228021963/
Shots: Courney Cutchen
These are stills from our Feature videos shoot of this awesome Lupo!
Shots: Matt Clifford
The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157640565622553/
When I first saw John’s car, affectionately known as “Annie,” my first thought was, “Wow.” That’s a good thing—usually the goal of building a car is to create a unique, lovable image that will get people talking, and John has done exactly that.
John originally found his passion for automobiles in Hondas. “I’m a car enthusiast,” he says. “That said, I like all cars, from domestic to import.” Throughout the years, alongside his Hondas, he found himself interested in Beetles, which he had owned two of previously. “VW Bugs were always a car of interest,” he explained. The “look and styling of the classic Euro import” was strong in his attraction to these cars. He’s owned Annie for roughly two years, and he’s used that time wisely to mold her into what you see today.
Looking at this Bug is like looking into the past, not only because of its age, but because of its custom design. Branded with the name “Oak Creek Vintage,” it doubles as a fun ride and a mobile advertisement for John’s antique and vintage shop in the San Jose Bay Area. This car is the perfect example of a vehicle custom to its driver’s style. It screams “retro.” From its roof rack decked out with vintage luggage and an original Coca Cola cooler from way back when, to its groovy interior featuring a beautiful dream catcher, everything about this Volkswagen sets off the vibe from the good old days.
However, the fact that it kisses the pavement as it cruises adds a slight twist to the classic we all know and love.
Getting to see this car in person is a treat. Just when you think you’ve seen every detail, something else catches your eye. There’s always something to look at. This made photographing it quite a field day. I asked John what gave him the idea for Annie’s current image, and the answer was quite simple: “I put together things of my interest. My own personal style and way of life is rugged, outdoorsy, and rather simple.” The little things about the car he describes as “native, vintage, and classic, clean styling.” The attention to detail is one of the many things that I think truly brings the car together. It makes it personal, fun, and especially unusual. It is a reflection of John’s style and sense of fashion, as well as his love for cars. A perfect combination!
As far as future plans for Annie go, several ideas are being tossed around, so nothing is for certain. Mods such as a possible engine swap, new wheels, and even going lower could be a reality in the future.
Euro blade bumpers
Custom extended rear pop-outs(4.5 inch)
Empi Eye lids
Empi wood slat roof rack
Vintage bull horns
Vintage brass Coca-Cola bottle opener
1950’s Coca-Cola cooler
Vintage folding picnic table
Brass bumper bolts detail
Vintage 1950’s police siren/red light
German Ski Rack
Vent window wind breezies
Sign painting by JohnB Signs/SharperThanAny
BRM wheels 15x5/15x5.5
KCW(kustom coach works) 6inch narrowed front beam
CB Performance 2.5 drop spindles
Custom notched spring plates
Adjusted hella splines. Lol. ?
KYB silver gas shocks(short) 10.5 compressed
TMI seat upholstered seats
Original door panels
Glove box pull lever
Momo steering wheel hub
Steering wheel Quick release
Nardi wood steering wheel
Scat short shifter/T-handle
B pillar cafe hoop
Bamboo Parcel Tray
Basket cup holder
Vintage native print pillows
3 JVC 5.5in speakers
2 Panasonic 3way 5x7
2 Panasonic 3way 6x9
1 12 Rockford Fosgate sub.
Custom reclaimed wood speaker deck
Stock rebuilt 1600cc
Custom race tranny
Future plans with the engine.
Big motor turbo(Aircooled)
Subaru swap turbo
Or rotary turbo.
Words & Shots: Courtney Cutchen
The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157640694049265/
A video of Beth’s Hydro’d Volkswagen Lupo was a must! Some of us grew up on cars running oldschool hydraulics here at Watercooled Society, and this little Lupo is definitely worth a look for that alone. The car has a subtle boot build for shows which is changing soon as well as full interior re-trim.
Arches have all been tweaked to give that crazy fitment, to snuggly fit in those gorgeous BBS RS wheels finished in a metallic blue which could also be changing. All of the body has smoothed to give that clean finish as well as full LEDs and American indicators. There are loads of other small modifications to the car as well, way to many list. The car was detailed on set using KleenFreaks products only, which gave a great finish for video. Head over and check them out!
Thanks to Joe Graham for helping out.
We don’t own the rights to the music in this video, it has only been used to add a more creative edge, the song used is below.
Sombear - Love you in the dark
Check them out here soundcloud.com/sombear
- Upgraded head with 885 casting & dual valve springs
- Upgraded camshaft
- Upgraded intake & exhaust valves
- Upgraded harness & ECU to 173 Motronic with performance chipSUSPENSION
- AirLift Universal Double Bellow bag with air strut (front)
- AirLift Universal Sleeve Bag air strut (rear)
- Accuair eLevel air management system with rocker control
- Dual polished tanks with hardlines in custom trunk enclosure
- Dual chrome Viar silent compressorsBRAKES
- Custom Futura Design Big Brake Kit
- 2 piece rotor with anodized blue hats
- Calipers powder coated in Alpine White with blue logos (front)
- Drilled and slotted rotors (front)
- Stainless brake lines (front)
- New master cylinder
- Rear brakes upgraded to E32 750il brakesWHEELS
- HRE 506 the only set in the country & rebuilt by HRE.
- 17x8.5” et 7 and 17x9.5” et 7
- Federal 595s 205/40/17 and 225/4017 - tires have less than 500 miles on them.AUDIO
Sony Audio -
(1) GS Series Speakers Model number: XS-GS1720
(1) GS Series Speakers Model number: XS-GS1720S
(1) 12” GS Series DVC SubwooferModel number: XS-GS120LD
(1) GS Series 4/3/2 Channel AmplifierModel number: XM-GS400
(1) GS Series Class D Subwoofer AmplifierModel number: XM-GS100
(1) Bluetooth Receiver with PandoraModel number: MEX-BT4100P
- Custom Sub & Amp Enclosure built by German Audio SpecialistsINTERIOR
- Custom Recaro Evo 8 (fronts) completed
- Custom rear M5 rear seat completed
- Custom door cards, handles & shift boot completed
- NRG quick release steering wheel hub & adapter
- NRG Wood grain steering wheel & matching shift knobEXTERIOR
- Full European conversion
- European front & rear bumpers freshly chromed 9/2013
- Front European head lamps
- Front European grill
- Rear European all red tail lampsSponsors & Supporters-
📰The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157639176216114/
Shots: Juan Chavero
Carol Thelen’s 1983 Rabbit Pickup
Body - Resprayed in Ford Springtime Yellow with lettering in Mini Cooper Hot Chocolate Metallic
Wheels - OZ Vega’s in Mini Cooper Hot Chocolate Metallic 15x8/15x8.5
Engine - Stock 1.7l with 180,000 original miles
Interior - OEM pale blue with Grip Royal wheel with gold flake overlay
Suspension - Raceland front coilovers with rear flipped axle and Monroe air shocks
The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157639951219735/
Shots: Juan Chavero
The rest of the coverage can be found on our Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157639835622906/
Shots: Melissa Rivas
2003 VW GTI
24v vr6 (gonzo stage 2 tune)
Shaved emblems and resprayed Laguna Seca Blue
Interior was swapped from torn leather to OEM gray and black bolster seats.
FK Silverline Coilovers
Schmidt TH Lines
17x8.5 et33 with 25mm spacers
1964 VW Beetle
Found in a barn in 2007, was parked since 1969
Lowered 2.5” drop spindles up front
A combination of inner and outer clicks in the back.
Car is still 100% original except I’ve had the seats recovered to look new.
The rest of this feature can be found on our Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157637643629886/
Shots: Jakeb Miller
The rest of the coverage can be found on our Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/watercooledsociety/sets/72157639064764534/
Shots: Juan Chavero