Rocky Mountain Club B5

Members => Member of the Month => Topic started by: ColoradoB5 on March 04, 2004, 01:48:08 AM

Title: March 2004 - Amanda Spear
Post by: ColoradoB5 on March 04, 2004, 01:48:08 AM
Mostly I think my VW fascination began when I was still in diapersÖmostly. My parents owned 2 VW buses in the 70s, and that I spent a little while going across country in one when I was just an infant.  Yep, thatís where it all went wrong.  2 weeks after I was born in Bryn Mawr, PA, we moved cross-country to Las Vegas in our VW bus. Our VW bus kicked ass! I remember many a camping trip spent in that old thing in the very impressionable years of 0-4.  

Me, my dad, and the bus we rode in on. Circa 1976.

[i/Road trip! (I am the cute one with the red purse.)[/i]

When I was a little bit older, in my pre-teen years, I remember being picked up by the parents that I babysat for, in BMWs and Audis. I always noticed the interior and felt very cool for getting to ride in one. I kept wondering why my parents didnít have a cool car like that, when finally they gave into peer pressure and bought a Mercedes 450 SLC. The meanies of sold it before I was old enough to drive. We did however, own a í65 Volvo sports coupe P1800, that my mom bought brand new, hence I think the Euro-fetish might be genetic. That was one of the first cars I ever drove. I drove it to high school and all over the place. It was surprisingly fast, and I remember being in love with the bright magenta light that came on when you were in 4th gear and went into ďoverdriveĒ. (Yeah Iím a dork, but you already knew that.)

Unfortunately I had not yet unearthed my gearheadedness when I was in college, and my parents sold the car to a Belgian collector who had the thing shipped back to Europe. *sniff* I canít help but think if theyíd have held onto it a few years longer, I would have loved to work on it and do some mods to it, and keep it running, cause it was sweet!

Iím grinning, because I know that someday I will be driving that Volvo.

Anyway, I had a couple of Japanese cars during my early driving years- I drove a Suzuki Samurai for a little while, because my mom Ďsoldí it to me for $1. I drove the crap out of it and 4-wheeled it in the national forests while I was in College, almost tipping it on its front end onceÖ that thing was amazing.  Later I traded it in for a Nissan Pathfinder, which was a mistake, because that thing sucked, had no power, and at the time I was doing a lot of skiing. I didnít understand why a V6 couldnít make it up I-70 going faster than 55. Plus it was a major gas hog. So I didnít even keep it a year, and sold it to some ďBoulder dudeĒ. Three of my good girl friends in college kept my VW fetish alive while I drove my boring SUV. They had an Ď88 Jetta, a Karmann Ghia, and a Thing! I knew I wanted a VW too and went for a brand new 1998 VW Jetta Wolfsburg. It was my very first brand new car.  I did my research and got a good price on it. I felt like I finally found a car that fit my personality and driving style. The four of us hung out and talked about our carsÖ who knew that we were like a zygote of a car club!? (And all chicks, to boot!) I was amazed I could fly up the big hill into Boulder going 80. And the mileage! Woo! I really didnít do any mods to my Jetta at all, except added a ski rack and a bra. I specifically bought the Wolfsburg edition because it kind of already was modded- tinted tails, rear spoiler, nice rims, aluminum spedo/tach dials, CD changer, etc.  I might still have that car if I hadnít sold it and gone to Boston for Graduate school in 2000. Maybe not though- at that time the new body style Passat had just come out, and I was in love with it, but couldnít afford it. I wanted one so bad and fantasized that some day I would have oneÖ

Well, I ended up quitting graduate school early and moved back to Boulder in 2001, since I was offered a job at CU doing IT work. My mom was looking to get out of her lease on her Honda CR-V so she could buy an Acura MDX for real estate. I figured, I need a car, Iíll just buy out her lease since itís a good deal. That car was good for me, but boooring. No acceleration, slooow and scary to drive at speeds over 60 mph.  I so badly wanted a Passat, every day at work I would obsess Ďbuild my owní on VWís website, and talk to my co-workers about them. I kept thinking I couldnít afford one, but I hated driving the CR-V and felt that it didnít suit me.

Then came the straw that broke the camelís back (to use Jayís clichť). In late 2001 I dated a guy who had a Passat. He let me drive it. I went really fast on C-470 and had a Ďdriving orgasmí. I was amazed at how good it felt at high speeds. I really should have never gotten behind the wheel. Then Iíd still have my CR-V, and as they say, ignorance is bliss. But noÖI absolutely had to have one. So December 31, 2001 I bought my dream Passat. Blue anthracite with Grey leather interior and a manual tranny. I scoped it out and found one still on the truck, one of only two 5-speeds with leather in the state at the time. I test-drove the tiptronic and didnít like it, however, now that I am older and wiser and actually know how to use the tiptronic, I kind of wish I had gotten one. Still, picking your own gears is much more fun. The only time I regret getting a stick is when Iím driving around real estate clients. :P

Here she is all stock.

The first mod I did was putting on a ClearBra and 20% tint all around, 2 days after I bought the car.  I thought the tint would make the lines of the car look better, and well, I like it dark. The guy I was dating told me about ClubB5, and I signed right up. I mostly lurked and just watched posts until I figured out that there was quite a large local contingent of B5 people. I became immediately aware that my car could be so much cooler than it was stock. I noticed how much body roll it had right away, so I wanted to make sure I changed the suspension, pronto. But I believe one of my first mods was the classic NB sunglass holder. Then came debadging a few months later, and then I began my quest to be a mod-whore.

After several mods, at the Motorworks show in 2002.

The one thing holding me back is that I have leased my car. Iím still not sure what Iím going to do with it at the end.. I have 2 more years, and have already way exceeded my mileage, I didnít really know that Iíd be doing real estate, and always dating guys who live 30+ miles away from me.  But, needless to say, I havenít wanted to do anything under the hood until I figure that out. Plus, I never had a speeding ticket until I bought this car. I still had paper tags and got a ticket on the Diagonal Hwy. Oops. Iíve also topped out the speed once on C-470. Clearly I get in enough trouble with a stock engine, so Iím not sure how much faster I want to make it. Most of the mods have been cosmetic and reversible, with the exception of changing the suspension. Having Bi-xenons and a sweet suspension setup has really made me very happy with the car. If I never change anything else on it, that would be fine. Well, at least until I figure out what I want to do in 2 years. Depending on how successful I am at the Real Estate biz, I am eyeballing both the Touareg and the A4 or S4 Avant, or maybe the new A6 that will be out in 2006.  I reeeeeeally want a car with Quattro. I kind of regret not getting that, but didnít want a V6.. so not much I could have done about that. Lately Iíve been tempted to buy out my car at the end and drive it into the ground.. then upgrade. Time (and money) will tell.

Throughout this process of having this car, Iíve enjoyed learning all I can about it. I really donít have any desire to completely dismantle my engine and rebuild it or anything, but I like knowing whatís going on under the hood. This probably goes back to my technically oriented brain, and my childhood deprivation of Erector Sets. My parents never bought me Ďboysí toys like remote control cars and engineering sets, even though I asked for them every Christmas. Having a car to mess around with is my way of making up for lost time.

Here she is in her (almost) current state.

Anyway, most of you know the history of the rest of my mods, but hereís a list of what Iíve done so far:

3M ClearBra
20% Madico Tint all around
NB Sunglass Holder
K&N Filter
Monster Mats
Momo Aluminum Sphere Shift Knob and Momo Boot
Aluminum Billet Antenna
OEM 6-disc CD Changer
Shoes: 16" Audi Replica + Conti CH 215/45/16
MB Cargo Net
Kamei Sport Grille
German Front Plate
Hella Eurospec HID Bi-Xenons
White LED City Lights
W8 light
Lower Tie Bar a la Chas
Red LED Interior lighting
Hardwired Passport 8500 Radar Detector
Neuspeed Sport Springs
Bilstein Sport Shocks with adjustable front perches
Rear Pads (Redbox) and OEM Rotors

There are days when I wonder what life would be like without my Passat. For one, my bank account would be a lot fuller. But the problem is that Iíve met so many cool people just by having a car in common, and I wouldnít want to give that back, not for anything. As we know we could probably all sell our cars right now, and weíd still want to hang out together and be friends. (Jon is proof, traitor! *wink*) This whole community has amazed me- not only in commitment and breadth of technical knowledge, but mostly camaraderie. Forking off into is probably the coolest thing we have done. We have so many new members; I hope I will get to meet each and every one of you. Thanks to everyone for making this happen, and for keeping our group alive, and putting so much time and effort into it. Above all, thanks for being a supportive group of friends I can count on. Lately I have been so busy juggling my 3 careers that I havenít been able to attend as many GTGs as I would like. I am hopefully just paying my dues, but maybe when I can narrow down to 1 or 2 careers things will simmer down. Then again, I might just be delusional. I know that no matter what you guys will be there for me, waiting for me to blossom into the UberModWhore Iíve always wanted to be. Hey, a girl can dream, canít she?