10K Friday: Ronin v. The Transporter

On the surface, the themes were very similar; two movies staring action superstars playing above-the-law criminals with an amazing ability to extricate themselves from seemingly impossible conditions against improbable odds driving large, fast executive cars. Despite this, the movies Ronin and The Transporter couldn’t be more different. I watched the former on the edge of my seat, captivated by the mystery, floored by the incredibly filmed stunt scenes, the attention to reality and detail, and the staggeringly awesome lineup of cars. The latter I struggled to get through at all; I managed to make it about half way through before giving up. To this day, I still haven’t seen the ending of the first movie, and nothing more than trailers of the second. Is there a third? I’m sorry, I’m sure it made a gazillion dollars in the box office but frankly when I watched the clip of the Audi A8L W12 corkscrewing through the air to miraculously remove a bomb from the bottom of the car on a perfectly placed scrap-metal magnet hanging in mid-air I lost all interest. I can suspend my belief for a movie like Ronin because there was an air of reality to it; the characters were flawed and mortal. Sure, there were problems with the plot and even some of the stunts – I mean, they don’t show Jean Reno standing in line at the DMV to register the 450SEL 6.9, for example. But in terms of reality, it was on this planet at least, while The Transporter seemed to be set in some alternate Japanese-live-action-anime reality I’m not sure I want to understand. Nevertheless, the central plot to both is about cars and driving (at least a bit), and today you can purchase just about all of the cars featured in these films for around $10,000 – so which would you have?…

Wednesday Wheels Project: BBS RS Refresh Part 2: Cleaning and Centers

A few weeks ago, I started up my BBS RS Refresh post with work on the centercaps. The time had come to do some work on the rest of the wheels; in this case, although overall the wheels were certainly in serviceable shape they needed a good cleaning. In addition, the center “waffles” seemed to bear the brunt of the years of brake dust; two had given up the ghost completely and had nearly no paint on them. But before I got there, the wheels needed a good cleaning. In particular, the backs of the wheels had years of material buildup. I’m not sure why having clean backs to wheels is at all important to me, but I really like having clean wheels – front and back. Over the years, I’ve tried many different ways to get the crud off, from scraping to chemicals, and worn down my nails in the process. I wish I had known the ways I’ve found now, because it would have saved me a lot of time and effort.

The answer was staring me in the face, though I guess I didn’t know it. One of my favorite race cars of all time was the 1992 Audi V8 DTM, and it was sponsored by Sonax – a company that produced some impressive wheel cleaners, according to the reviews I looked up. I took the plunge and ordered a bottle. The product is pretty amazing; you spray it on, and as it reacts with metal deposits in the caked on brake dust it changes from a bright green towards a wine-color.…

1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro

While the Audi 100 Avant I wrote up the other day was certainly a treat to see, for most late 1980s and early 1990s Audi enthusiasts, the cars that they’re interested in are the quattro all-wheel drive models. There are certainly many popular ones to choose from; recently we’ve seen the 4000 quattro and S4 quattro really take off, but the 200 20V quattro and Coupe quattro also grace these pages on a regular basis. One car we don’t see much of, though, is the 90 20V quattro; effectively the same car as the Coupe underneath, these 90s were rare when new and are more rare today. Featuring the awesome 7A 20 valve 2.3 motor and the legendary quattro drive system, unlike the earlier 4000s they were galvanized, meaning at least some could survive life in the environment which they were designed to conquer:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi 90 20V Quattro on eBay

1989 Audi 100 Avant

In yesterday’s post on a 1978 Porsche 930, Rob asked “What happened to Guards Red“? Well, I have a similar question – what happened to all of the front wheel drive Audi 5000s and 100s? Occasionally we see some turbocharged front-wheel drive 200 models come up for sale, but even they’re a rarity; yet, in the 1980s it was those front-wheel drive models that provided the revenue stream for Audi, who struggled to sell vehicles increasingly towards 1990. The 5000 and 100 were actually pretty popular, too – competent, quiet highway cars that looked much more updated than the rivals from Munich when they launched. Sure, they weren’t the best performing cars in their day, but they were a reasonable alternative to the Mercedes wagon, which was the only other big German wagon at the time. Despite that, there just aren’t many left – especially not in this condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Audi 100 Avant on eBay

10K Friday: 1994 Audi S4 v. 2000 Audi S4

Okay, so this isn’t the first time I’ve written up a S4 face-off, but it’s an interesting question to me. That’s because right now, clean examples of the C4 S4 are on their way up, while prices of the B5 S4 have come down and stabilized at levels that seem to be very reasonable. Compared to their equivelants from both Mercedes-Benz and BMW, both are priced very reasonably and you get a lot of performance value for your money. You also get all-wheel drive capability, a luxurious and quiet highway cruiser, a car capable of carrying 4 adults, and both a near limitless tuning potential; both are certainly capable of 600 to 1,000 horsepower, if you’re willing to foot the bills. So which would you rather have? The two in question today are quite different; a turned up C4 S4 versus a 1 owner, all original B5 – let’s start with the C4:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S4 on Craigslist

Heap(s) of the Week 2: Tres Audi Quattros with DTM dreams

Ahhhh, the Audi V8 quattro. It’s like that friend that comes over, crashes on your couch, eats all of your food and smears his greasy hands on your furniture, insults your wife and leaves the toilet seat up, burps and farts in a business meeting, forgets your birthday, and asks to borrow a hundred bucks (or several thousand) that you know you’ll never get back. But he’s your friend, and it would take a lot more than just those indiscretions to make him otherwise. Every once in a while, your friend really dresses up and looks great, but most times that you see him he’s disheveled, unshowered and hacking up some fairly disgusting looking phlegm – which, incidentally, he spits out on your carpet. Sound awesome? My experience with the V8 quattro was pretty similar, and yet it’s a car that I just look at and daydream about. Few are in good shape and serviceable today; many more appear as these do; discarded, forgotten, permanent projects. And much like your college bum friends, they seem to congregate in groups, because of course you need a parts car for your parts car. So what are they doing here? Well, one of this particular lot happens to be the best of the bunch brought to the U.S. – the coveted 1991 Audi V8 quattro 5-speed:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985, 1990 and 1991 Audi package on Craigslist

2002 Audi S4 Avant

Production numbers. They are just one of those things that people like to keep in their back pocket; a trump card to make your mass-produced automobile feel a little bit less mass-produced. It’s amazing, because along with a general love of cars, it is one of the few things that unite different brands, countries, makes, models and categories – everyone wants to tout how special or unique their particular model is. Of course, some of those cars are, in fact, quite rare; Ferrari 250 GTOs, Bentley 4.5 Supercharged Open Touring Le Mans bodies, Bugatti Type 57s. Yes, if you claim you’ve got one of x number of those, you’re talking very, very special. When we get to the 1960s and production assembly lines really heated up, and especially into the 1990s where even some of the “special” cars such as BMW’s M-division ceased being hand-built, then it’s really a matter of taste and preference, in my opinion. What annoys me about these production numbers is that they’re often misquoted, built on internet legend, and can be manipulated in just about any fashion. But here we are, with an already pretty neat Audi S4 Avant; made more rare by being a 2002, then made more rare by being Pearlesant White Metallic, and even more rare with black leather. I bet it was made on Tuesday, too – that’s a rarity as well. A claimed one of three, what matters to enthusiasts is that twin-turbo V6 in the classic Avant package with a 6-speed manual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

2002 Audi S8

I’m torn. I’ve made no excuses that I absolutely have an unnatural love and attraction to the D2 S8, and while part of that was framed by Ronin it can’t all be to blame. I want one of these cars. I’ve owned a 1993 V8 4.2 quattro, and that was both good and bad, but really only heightened my desire for a S8. So what am I torn over? Well, which color I want, of course. I originally fell in love with silver S8s when they launched in the U.S.; it was to me closest to the awesome ASF polished aluminum show car from 1993. But then I saw a Irish Green one with tan leather, and that was awesome. And then I saw a Ming Blue on, like the 2002 S8 I recently wrote up. To top it off, then there’s the really rare Avus Silver Pearl from 2003 only, replete with burgundy leather. Yeah, I want that one, too. But then I’m torn; should I hold out for the color I want or just take the plunge on a much more common silver example?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 on Craigslist

Heap of the Week: 1995 Audi S6 Avant

It’s been a mixed week at GCFSB for C4 Audis; yesterday I wrote up the best of the U.S. S4 which reminded us how incredible these cars can be; but more folks pine for a good example of the Avant. A few days earlier, I wrote up aslightly rough 1995.5 S6 Avant, which needed some trim work, a good cleaning and some center caps for the wheels but otherwise looked decent. In that post, I talked about how these Avants were used hard and most turn up in worn condition; today’s example is no exception. Looking a bit tired but – as they say with houses – with “good bones”, will this S6 Avant be a heap worth restoring?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1992 Audi S4

Okay, so you can’t get the Euro-spec C4 Audi S6 here in the U.S. yet. That means the awesome 6-speed, interiors, V8 engine options, better bumpers and wheel packages remain across the pond, just out of reach of enthusiasts. Bummer, right? Well, don’t forget that nearly the same version of the Euro-spec car came here for 3 short years in the form of the S4/S6, long a popular favorite in the Audi tuning crowd. Capable of monstrous levels of power, the snap of torque in chipped versions of the 3B/AAN motor is downright addictive. You’ll quickly find your self repeatedly slowing down, a gear up from where high-revving BMWs would be calling, and planting your foot deep into the carpet to ride a giant wave of torque to illegal speeds. But the C4 is also a comfortable cruiser capable of tackling long trips with luggage for the family in any weather. It is, simply put, one of the best packages Audi has ever produced – and they don’t get much better than this one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Audi S4 on quattroworld.com