Members > Member of the Month

May 2005 - Gragravar


My love for cars VWs and Audis even began really early. My parents owned a bug when I was an infant, and by the time I was about 3, we had an old VW bus. I remember spending Saturdays as a kid helping my dad in the garage with routine maintenance on the family cars, rotating tires, changing oil, replacing burned out bulbs, etc. By the time I was 13 I was an avid reader of Car and Driver, and couldnt wait for my license.

When I finally got to legally drive, my first car was an 82 Pontiac 6000 LE. Not really exciting but it was a car and that was good. About a year later my dad picked up an old 67 International Scout. It was barely running, but with many hours invested, we got it running and reasonably restored. I learned a lot about how cars work with that Scout. After the restoration, I spent a bunch of time driving it rather than the Pontiac.

By the time I was 18, the Pontiac was near death, and I convinced my parents that it wasnt safe, not just for me, but also for my little sister who would soon be driving too. I convinced them to pick up a new Acura Integra for my sister and I to share until I went off to college. The Acura was fun in a go-kart kind of way. It was tossable, but high strung. Its engine kind of sounded like a vacuum cleaner.

The summer after my first year of college I met and fell in love with my first Audi. Ashley was a gorgeous red 87 GT coupe. (Yes, I was so in love that I actually named her). That car and I were inseparable. I drove her all over the country, from CO to WI to VA and to TX. She was the ultimate college road trip car. I got her with 32,000 miles on the odometer, and finally traded her in after the 287,000 mile mark! I loved having a practical car that was sporty, and that was unique. I think I encountered fewer than 10 other GT coupes on the road the entire time I had that car.

After that experience, I was stuck to Audi. When I sold Ashley, I purchased a 2000 A4 Avant Quattro with the 1.8T and a manual. The Avant was great for hauling the dog, and the car was still pretty unique. My mods list was pretty limited Dark Tint, and set of 15 studded winter tires that would grip like mad in fast winter runs up Berthoud Pass. I spent my entire time owning that car struggling with the debate about whether to chip it or not. In the end, I never did, finding the car pretty quick in stock form. At least I thought it was fast at the time.

As my career took off, I bought my wife Stacie a BMW 330i to replace the Saturn she had been driving. That re-defined fast. It made the un-chipped A4 feel slow. That just brought back all of reflection on chip issue, and I even began shopping for used B5 S4s, just so I could keep up with my wife. Then we found out Stacie was Pregnant. I felt the A4 to be too small to comfortably carry a rear facing child seat.

I needed something bigger, but still wanted fast and fun. Oh, and I still needed to haul a 100# dog around on occasion. In the quest for an A4 replacement, I stopped by Stammler and was looking through their inventory. I was surprised to find out that not only did the allroad have the engine from the S4, but it also came with a manual, and better yet, Stammler had one on the lot.

I scheduled a test drive over lunch on a Thursday. I DROVE the car on the test drive. I also got scolded by the sales lady and told to remember than any tickets I picked up would be mine to deal with. I liked that car. I came back in and told them that I didnt have time to negotiate, but that I would be back the next day at lunch and wanted to see numbers from them on what the car would cost. When I came back Stammler had the right number on the piece of paper and we agreed on the price. I told them to get the allroad ready for delivery and to prep the paperwork. I came back Saturday morning and traded the A4 for a new allroad my current ride!

My mods started early the Elmo mod and car seats went in that first day. After only a month I had ordered a trailer hitch (did you know the allroad can tow 3,300 lbs?) and a set of OEM 18 RS4 rims. Then after the support and encouragement of the allroad board on Audiworld, I lowered the car via the 402 mod.

It was through Jon (03Indigo) on the allroad board that I met RMCB5. He invited me out to 2nd Creek for the track day portion of the first annual GTG. I was really impressed with the genuine quality of the people that were there. Everyone was friendly and loved to talk about their cars. That, and we got to drive fast. I was in heaven.

The track day was followed by a garage day, a D&B GTG, then another garage day, and eventually I was encouraged to add another mod H-sport anti sway bars. Then an S2000 antenna. Then a Touareg flashlight. It never stops.

My to do list still includes a Chip, exhaust, DPs, Dual FMICs, Boost Guage, Cayanne 6 piston front brakes, and a short shifter. If I really go big maybe even a set of BIG Garrett turbos. The new K04 replacements are said to be good for 800 bhp!

Oh my. Then reality sets in, this is the family car! I need reliability as I will probably have it for a while at least as long as Audi continues to fail to offer a manual transmission in anything larger than their B platform cars. So if I need to keep the allroad for a while, maybe Id be better off with a dedicated go-fast car. Something like an Elise. Oh who knows? At least I can count on RMCB5 for opinions and support as I go through these decisions.

Since I joined up here, a couple of years have gone by, and I still cant go a day without checking in on RMCB5. It is great to have good friends, and car guys (and gals) nearby. See you guys in my rearview mirror.  

- Andrew


[0] Message Index

Go to full version