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Shock to the System

The electric airbrushing might just be the least shocking element of Andrew 'Swede' Parson’s widebody Corsa

Crazy modified Vauxhall Corsa
As vans go, this one looked like it was carrying above its payload

“What the f%ck is that?!” Probably a common reaction to this car that can be read one of two ways. Either in a way that suggests the onlooker would rather jab themselves in the eye with a pointy finger, or in a way that suggests they want to actually find out what the f%ck the lump of wide blue awesome is that they’re looking at.

If you’re the former, then perhaps just look away as it’s generally not as painful as jabbing yourself in the eye. Less likely to have long-term effects on your vision too. If you’re the latter, then let us explain; it’s a Vauxhall Corsa... modified the old way.

With all that electricity flowing it was a good job the Corsa was grounded

But what’s the old way, we hear you cry! Well, it’s basically when you make it as wild as possible and sacrifice most of the drivability in the process. Obviously we’re half joking – even if owner Andrew ‘Swede’ Parsons freely admits it’s a pig to drive – but back in the mid- to late noughties it was all about being unique, no matter the cost. Money, drivability, sleep, sanity... it was all on the line back then in the quest to show your creativity off at shows.

Problem with that approach was when the scene changed you were stuck with a car that you couldn’t really use to just pop down the shops in. The tax disc stuck in the windscreen suggests the original builder of this car hit this issue back in 2010... and left it almost a decade before figuring it was time to free up some space and lob it on eBay. But who would buy such a car?

Step up an inebriated Swede. Fortunately, the drunken bid that seemed a good idea at the time still seemed a good one when he’d sobered up. And considering it cost him probably less than three month’s rental on a generic Range Rover Sport we reckon he got a bargain.

Crazy modified Vauxhall Corsa
Lower than one of Dan's chat up lines... and just as shocking

In fact, no matter what you think of this car/van, there’s no denying it’s got some serious quality. Take the paintwork for example. The candy blue paint is beautifully applied, covering things like the smoothed rain gutters in the roof perfectly. And while the airbrushing might be more Revs cover car than Max Power cover car, just look at how well it’s done. Sure, there’s a saucy chick on the bonnet that takes a fair bit of tearing your eyes away from, but the electric effect down the side and the car portraits are expertly done. We’ve seen people tattoo themselves with images nowhere near as well executed as these (Dan?).

Then there are touches like the carbon fibre doorcards housing the mid-range speakers. Put them in a Porsche and you’d have the stance boys creaming themselves. Or the three motorbike cans sticking out from the middle of the rear bumper. Or the smoothed in bodykit. And we're not even mentioning the timeless classics of the M3-style wing mirrors and single wiper conversion!

Oh, and the Mk4 Golf headlights that somehow seem to just blend in unnoticed. You noticed them though, right?

If you look really, really closely... you can just about see Dan in the reflection! Amateur!

And the crazy doesn't stop on the outside. There's a reason this Corsa is a van and that's so it can cram a ridiculous amount of ICE inside. Probably. We're talking four 12in subs, eight 6in mids and six tweeters and, the show stopper in the boot, a 32in Samsung TV that rises on hydraulic rams so, you know, you can play the period-correct PS2 while getting rained on outside. But while that big screen and speakers all grab attention, there are details that shouldn't be missed. Poke your head inside and look up and you'll see even the roof-lining is embossed with a lightning pattern.

Added all up, it might just be one of the craziest Corsas to have ever hit the streets (although the competition is pretty fierce and Jag-lighted ones and ones with split bonnets might all enter the debate... but where are they now?!), and that's why Swede is such a fan.

Not everyone loves crazy. Like women, the crazier they are the more difficult they are to live with... but get them in the sack and, well, all is forgiven. At least with crazy cars you can lock them away and just bring them out for those good bits, like car shows. Which, smartly, is what Swede does.

He may not have built it - that certifiable behaviour is Barnsley-based modified car shop, Performance Direct's - but he's the one who has lovingly brought it back to life. And he'll be taking some perverse pleasure in unleashing the crazy and seeing the shock on peoples' faces at shows again in 2022 as they wonder "what the f%ck is that?!".

To see more of the car and hear about it in Swede's own words, check out the video below:


NAME: Andrew 'Swede' Parsons

AGE: 46

JOB: CNC Manufacturing

How did you get the name Swede? You Swedish?

No, I was called Parsnip because of my surname, then someone called me Swede and it stuck

That sucks, Spud!

It's Swede!

My apologies, Turnip

To be fair, that would have been worse!


ENGINE: 2.0-litre 16V 'red top' engine from Astra GTE • 4-branch manifold • K&N air filter • custom exhaust with three motorcycle cans


SUSPENSION: Rayvern Hydraulics air ride with Koni shocks

BRAKES: Astra front brakes

WHEELS & TYRES: 18in Lenso AD1 alloys

EXTERIOR: Full candy blue respray • Fast and the Furious styled airbrushing • Prowler bodykit with extended sideskirts • bad boy bonnet • Mk4 Golf 'halo' style headlights • Storm single wiper conversion • Lexus rear lights • smoothed tailgate • smoothed doors • smoothed roof with rain gutters removed • delocked and dehandled • M3-style mirrors • Corsa GSI tailgate spoiler • window tints • Max Power sticker INTERIOR: Astra 888 front seats • Schroth 3-point harnesses • Momo millennium steering wheel • Richbrook window winders • Richbrook tax disc holder • race style switches/engine start • custom real carbon fibre doorcards • dash painted in black with gold metallic • custom quilted roof lining • custom seat to chassis covers ICE: Alpine headunit, running usb (due to CD's skipping under hard load) • 3x Massive amplifiers • 4x Massive 12in subwoofers in custom airbrushed housing, including inside panels • 4x Massive 6in mids and 4x Massive tweeters in custom tailgate build • 4x Massive 6in mids and 2x Massive tweeters in custom door housing • various neons • Sony PlayStation 2 • Samsung smart LED 32in TV • hydraulic ram for TV • 600w power inverter • split charge system with 2x 12v batteries • voltage gauge under bonnet

THANKS & FREE PLUG: Performance Direct in Barnsley • my wife Rosie for letting me buy a Vauxhall

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