It's inevitable that trends come and go, but luxury and class remain timeless. So while taste may be subjective, the transformation of Dieter Beernaert's Audi A4 is undeniably impressive.
A construction worker in Belgium, Dieter knows the start to every build is a solid foundation. And with a baby on the way, it was time to ditch his never-ending widebody Peugeot 206 project.
Sure, the little Pug was economical, but drained more money from Dieter's pockets than it did at the gas station. But above all else, it was far from an ideal baby transporter. Fast forward through hours of deliberation and Dieter decided to concede to his love for Audi, although it wasn't that easy...
You see, an Audi is an expensive machine. As prestige automobiles, a new Audi was financially out of reach but thanks to the used market he was able to find this mint '06 B7 Audi A4. Under the hood was something we don't get here in the states: a 1.9-liter TDI mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
Like any rational individual with a baby on the way, Dieter had to get his priorities straight. So he started to plan out some modifications!
The task was simple; explain to his pregnant wife how it was necessary to upgrade this perfect family vehicle. Obviously, new wheels were on order immediately, but finding that perfect fit can sometimes be tough. Fortunately, any wife can understand this; it's like try lots of shoes until you find the perfect fit.
Ten sets of wheels later, Dieter discovered the perfect fit simply didn't exist. So after getting the car to sit nice and low on coilovers, he decided to stop trying on shoes in the department store and go to the manufacturer. Wheel Concepts carefully measured the Audi for a truly perfect fit. The result was three-piece Concept wheels from RAC. With unheard of fitment, stuffing 19x9.5" up front with 215/35 tires and meaty 19x10" rear with 225/35 tires was made possible.
Stance is the new recreational drug and the RAC wheels were screaming for the mirror-polished lips to kiss the curves of this Audi's sexy body, so the coilovers were ditched for air ride. "Its comfortable for the entire family!" he claimed.
Sourcing a kit that suited the new family man, Dieter installed a complete air suspension kit from GAS. It provides enough suspension travel to lay the car as low as possible, while the dual 400c compressors could rapidly inflate the bags to clear curbs and cope with Dieter's 20,000 miles annual travel.
This B7 isn't all external beauty, either. With some precision threadwork, brown leather elegantly covered the interior from head-to-toe. The headliner, pillars and seats are stitched in a quilted pattern for a high-end luxury feel. The hide extended to the door cards, armrests, shift boot, lower kick panels and even the floor mats.
By now you'll realize Dieter is relentless in his builds, so you may have guessed he didn't stop there. He didn't want his trunk resembling a boiler room with tanks, compressors, wiring and air lines splashed around, so a custom enclosure was wrapped in more of the delicious brown hide.
With the rear-end finished, he couldn't stop there, so the nearly every component under the hood was wrapped in leather as well, with Dieter somehow managing to keep the oil-burner clean.
Sure, Dieter was pleased with the outcome but there was still one area that needed addressing: the bodywork. Teaming up with DE Car Designs, the trunk was de-badged before a US-spec grille and front plate panel were fitted, as well as chrome mirror caps. The car was then painted in a rich Porsche Macadamia Brown to keep it classy.
Right now, Dieter satisfied with where the A4 is at, although no project is ever really complete. He talked about adding some horsepower and even about a widebody conversion in the future, but for now he's happy to enjoy the car with his new family.
2006 Audi A4 1.9 TDI
Owner: Dieter Beernaert
Occupation: construction worker, Belgium
1.9-liter four-cylinder TDI turbo-diesel, leather covers
six-speed manual transmission
GAS air springs, dampers and controller, dual Viair 400c compressor, five-gallon tank
Wheels & Tires:
19x9.5" f, 19x10" r Concept Wheels RAC with polished lips, 215/35 R19 f, 225/35 R19 r Falken FK-452 tires
US-spec grille and front plate cover, chrome mirror caps, de-badged trunk, painted Porsche Macadamia Brown metallic
Leather-covered quilt-stitched seats, door cards, headliner, pillars, armrests, shift boot, lower kick panels and floor mats. Matching trunk with false floor for air equipment and gas tank mounted in rear wall