10K Friday Family Truckster Edition: E500 Wagon v. 530xi Touring v. Passat 1.8T 4Motion Variant v. S6 v. Touareg v. Cayenne S

Family life – it’s a mixed blessing. I could never have imagined the unintended consequences expanding my family by 50%; in terms of space consumed, physics and logic told me that there was no way that the amount of space required with a small child would increase any more than…say, 50%. Yet, the reality of adding to my family is that the amount of space required for even what seems like the most miniscule trip increases disproportionately to the size of the package that arrives. Babies are a bit like those magic sponges in a capsule I got when I was a kid; once they hit air, they expand to 200-300% the size they were. So, long story short, when you have a family you likely need more space.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a general backing away from wagons towards the bane of most enthusiast’s existence, the S.U.V. and the “crossover” – many of which are really just tall wagons. So what are the options if you want to maintain an enthusiast’s lifestyle whilst still surviving the onslaught of baby-themed items? Well, for around $10,000 you can get some pretty diverse rides – so let’s see what’s the one you’d choose:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic Wagon on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2003 Audi RS6

Up until the early 2000s, Audi always did things a little differently than its countrymen. Critics and enthusiasts have sometimes criticized the designs for not being optimal, overly complicated or ill-timed. But get into a RS car – any RS car – and it’s hard not to be completely thrilled. Audi certainly pulled out the stops for it’s top of the line, quattro GmbH assembled super-sedans and avants; the great details abound. Subtly flared fenders, special bumpers, larger wheels and massive brakes, lowered ride height and signature twin exhaust became the blueprint for the RS4 and RS5 to follow and hinted at the new bar that Audi set, but under the hood lurked something special in the RS6. Like the S6 the power was derived from a V8, but in the RS6 two turbochargers boosted performance to 440 horsepower with torque to match. The power was seamless and unabated; more a freight train that never let up than a rush of power. This car is deceptively fast, so quiet and unassuming it really was the ultimate Q-ship of its time. I was lucky enough to push one of these cars to its limit when new around Le Circuit Mont Tremblant, and while it’s no lightweight sports car, the amount of speed and grip it generates is otherworldly, and it can easily keep up with many cars that should be quicker. Inside you were bathed in luxury; soft touch plastics, warm colors on the dashboard, excellent seats that managed to both be supportive and comfortable. There were small details too that helped to make the RS6 feel even more exclusive; the Alcantara headliner, alternating color piping on the leather, rich wood accents and carbon fiber details that were sprinkled in just the right proportions to make this car the ultimate Autobahn weapon:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi RS6 at Sun Valley Auto Club

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Kompressed: 2002 Audi S6 Avant Supercharged

The C5 Audi S6 was a little soft, you say? Not this one. While enthusiasts may have been disappointed that the C5 Audi S6 was available in tiptronic automatic only in the U.S., it was also only available in Avant form here, something that fans could at least celebrate. Mated to the excellent 4.2 V8, it was a solid choice for fast, comfortable performance for a family. But for some folks that just wasn’t enough, and we thank them for that. From the few that have undergone the manual swap, there are some row-your-own S6s floating around for sale from time to time. While this particular car doesn’t have that option, what it does carry is a PES supercharger pushing a few pounds of boost into that awesome V8. The result is near RS6 levels of performance in a sleeper package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 on Audifans.com

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2003 Audi S6 Avant 6-speed

In general, the C5 Audi S6 gets overlooked by enthusiasts who dismiss it as a soft, automatic-only fragile replacement for the legendary C4 S6. That’s a shame, because the C5 is a solid car and performer and one that the owners who have experienced them seem to love. What those who aren’t in the know seem to want is a 6-speed manual variant of the S6, though few have undertaken the swap. We have seen a few though, most recently a 6-speed converted S6 that was questionably modified but sported the all-important manual. No one jumped on that car despite the seemingly reversible modifications, so perhaps today’s more original example will make some converts?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi S6 Avant 6-Speed on Craigslist.org

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Afternoon Accessories: Audi A4/A6 polished aluminum 15×6 wheels

For some reason, every once in a while I see a wheel that I just really love. It doesn’t need to be the biggest, widest wheel available, and I’m not always sure why aesthetically some appeal to me and others don’t. Take, for example, today’s A4/A6 polished aluminum wheels – on the surface, a very similar design to the 15×7 wheels that came standard on the A4 1.8T – but those I hate, and these I love. They’re understated and hint at Euro-goodness, and are quite rare to see on these shores. Here’s a set for someone on a budget:

Year: 1996-2001
Model: A4/A6
Diameter: 15″
Width: 6″
Bolt Pattern: 5×112
Offset: ET 45
Condition: Used
Tires: Included
Price: $225 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi A4/A6 Polished Aluminum wheels on eBay

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2001 Audi A6 2.7T S-Line 6-speed

In the realm of overlooked Audis, the 2.7T A6 has to rank fairly high. It falls squarely off the radar of most enthusiasts, who focus on models like the S4, RS6 and S8 variants, or the V8 A6 and Allroad A6 variants. But ranking fairly high on the list of best sports sedans of the early 2000s list should be the 2.7T 6-speed – a S4 in a business suit. A few months bank I wrote up a A6 2.7T 6-Speed that reminded me of how great these cars are, yet how unappreciated they are by the general public. With a drivetrain capable of 300,000 miles plus, great tunability and a slick 6-speed gearbox, these are some of the last manual large sedans that Audi imported to these shores. Take a look at this lower mile Silver-blue example from the same seller as the earlier car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi A6 2.7T S-Line 6-speed on eBay

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Double Take: Two Turbo or not to Turbo 2: 2003 Audi A6 2.7T v. 2002 Audi A6 4.2

Taking some of the elements of my previous Allroad Showdown and S4 versus A4 3.2 Avant Showdown, this morning I’ve got another turbo versus displacement showdown, this time amongst A6 sedans. For effectively the same package, these two sedans perform their task in very different ways. It was evident from the Allroad showdown that the manual trumped almost everything else, so as with the S4 versus A4 test both cars today are tiptronic. While that may be disappointing to some, these are both competent luxury sport sedans at a budget price. Let’s start with the 2.7T:

Year: 2003
Model: A6 2.7T
Engine: 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,000 mi
Price: $11,950 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Audi A6 2.7T on eBay

VEHICLE FROM SOUTHERN STATES!

FULLY SERVICED(see records on the bottom)!

TIPTRONIC TRANSMISSION!

TWIN TURBO ENGINE!

All 4 matching tires ( 235-45-R17 ) – NEW
Front brakes – NEW
Rear brakes – NEW
Front rotors – NEW
Over $800 just invested!
17″ Audi SPORT Rims
Power seats
Memory seat
Dual Climate control
CD / TAPE
Folding Rear seats
Original floor mats
First aid Kit
All original books and manuals
CD PLAYER
SUN SHADES!
Dealer Serviced!
LOW MILEAGE Vehicle!
Bose Sound System!
4WD/AWD ParkTronic!

You are looking at a fully loaded luxury car that has been exceptionally well kept; it’s an all around great looking vehicle. This gorgeous A6 has been highway driven. This is a great car which combines superior luxury and comfort and sport sedan performance. This is a-never-smoked-in beauty that looks and smells new. The car was garage kept. Great looking bright red exterior and tan leather interior makes this car look great!

THE CAR HAS BEEN SERVICED BY THE DEALER ITS WHOLE LIFE!

The engines is one of the finest German engines ever created – a 2.7L TURBO Engine that runs and feels smooth and provides abundant power. The transmission shifts like on a new car, no skips or slips on shifts.

The interior is spotless while the leather shows almost no wear. The interior also has REAL WOOD trim! The front seats lean all the way back to the rear, so you can actually sleep rather comfortably in the car! The seats are extra comfortable with 16-way driver and passenger seat adjustments including Power driver + passenger 4-way lumbar adjustment provides variable lower back support.

The engine compartment clean, and void of any leaks. All the electrical options appear to be in working order. Audi A6 rates very high in safety, it’s not a light car, and has a lot of specially engineered alloys along its frame to dampen any possible impact. The SIDEGUARD Curtain and Rear Side Airbags provide the safety you and your family require.

A very good climate control system is present in this car, with not only front seats control, but you also have ice cold A/C blowing directly at the back seats, while the passengers are able to adjust how much airflow they want! The trunk is very clean and roomy as you can see from the pictures.

This is a unique hard to find automobile that has every option. It’s been garage kept, and is in good otherwise condition.

Talk about impressive condition; this A6 sure looks the part. I really like the departure from the typical drab silver or black often found on A6s – this splash of color makes all the difference for me. I love the super-light BBS RC wheels, the interior looks fantastic, and the lower miles are sure appealing. However, the price point is the highest I’ve seen for a non-S6 for a while – does that price this car out of the market? It just might; for $12,000 you can have your pick of pretty much any C5 A6 or S6. Still, the condition and color are what make the car appealing. Rather have two less turbos and two more cylinders?

The 4.2 A6 received not only a larger motor, but a host of upgrades to the body; S6-esque door trim, flared fenders and aluminum pieces to lighten up the front end. The result – surprisingly – is that the A6 4.2 with the V8 was less nose-heavy than the 2.7T V6 model. That makes for a bit more sport, coupled with wider-stance tires to really channel some of the earlier C4 S4/S6 model. In addition to making the car a bit more sport-oriented, it completed the look much better, and the 4.2 was the defacto S6 sedan despite not having the full 340hp motor.

Year: 2002
Model: A6 4.2
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 98,000 mi
Price: $9,800 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi A6 4.2 Quattro on eBay

2002 Audi 4.2 Quattro, 2 owners from new. 98,000 well maintained miles. All options including recent Audi sport rims and a set of winter Bridgestone Blizzacks mounted on separate rims. Great in the snow! $9800. Call Neil @ 260-466-8898 Or 513-378-0403 Beautiful, beautiful car. Recent major service completed. Have owned BMW and Mercedes and this car is faster and better In snow.

This particular example has more miles, is the not as appealing silver over black, and the condition doesn’t look as prime as the 2.7T. On the positive side, it looks more aggressive and comes with a set of snows on the OEM wheels, along with the sport wheels included. Additionally, it’s claimed to have a recent service though no mention of what was actually serviced is provided. Importantly, though, it’s priced $2,000 under the 2.7T, making it that much more appealing.

Were it me, I’d have a hard time choosing between these two – I really love the color combo and discrete package of the 2.7T, but were I in the market I’d probably hold out for 6 speed manual that really makes the package desirable. That leaves the V8; in my mind, the only problem is that these 4.2s are priced on the verge of S8 territory, and for me that’s a much more desirable package. But between these two specific cars, I think I’d choose the 4.2 – which would be the Q-ship for you?

-Carter

Wagon Week 10K Friday: Which Road would you take?

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The C5 Audi Allroad was one of the better wagons Audi has brought over to the United States in recent memory. The car was available with initially only the 2.7 twin-turbo V6 out of the S4 and A6 2.7T, but later was also available with a 4.2 V8 making for a smooth operator. What differentiated the Allroad from the S6 was a neat package; out of the box, these cars came with height adjustable air suspension that made for both impressive ground clearance and sporty handling in the twisties. Today I’ve cooked up an interesting comparison between the two more desirable versions of the car; the 2.7T mated to the 6 speed manual and the V8 4.2 model. Let’s start with the manual:

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Year: 2004
Model: Allroad 2.7T
Engine: 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 127,000 mi
Price: $8,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi Allroad 2.7T 6-speed on eBay

Hello! Up for sale is a 2004 Audi Allroad Quattro. This car is in a great exterior and interior condition. The color is very nice gray metallic and it’s the original paint. It has 6-cylinder 2.7T engine with all-wheel drive 6-speed manual transmission. Plenty of power combined with famous Quattro all-wheel drive system makes this vehicle the best for all kinds of weather conditions, especially for winters. This vehicle has currently a little over 127,000 miles. This car looks and drives like new and it’s very clean inside and out. Please, look at the pictures, they say it all.

This vehicle is fully loaded. It has black/grey leather interior, powered heated seats and rearview mirrors, 8 airbags, sunroof, power windows, premium Bose stereo system with 6 CD-player and satellite radio, dual climate control, cruise control, ABS, traction control, parking sensors, central locking, alarm, factory xenon headlights, fog lights, 17’ alloy wheels, roof racks and much more. It has all matching almost brand new Michelin tires.

The vehicle equipped with famous Allroad air ride suspension, which is a great feature. This system has no issues with lifting up and holding air for weeks. The engine and transmission work great. Timing belt, water pump and all possible seals and gaskets were replaced last week. Only original or high quality german made parts were used, no cheap junk. Check engine light never comes on, neither any other warning lights. No fluids are leaking, no smell of any kind, there are all new brake pads.

Since the vehicle is used, it does have its small blemishes, such as slightly worn headlight switch, dent on rear bumper, burn mark on driver’s seat and couple of almost invisible dings on the left fender, nothing major at all. Please, see the pictures. Radio and climate control buttons are in great shape. BTW, Audi has a recall for burned marks on the seats caused by heating element, so it can be replaced for free. This vehicle just passed NYS inspection and it comes with clean NYS title. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask.

Winning bidder to pay $300 deposit via Paypal within 2 days after the auction is ended. Bidders with the 5 feedback or less, please, contact me prior to bidding.

This car looks quite clean outside, and with some recent engine maintenance that’s a plus. The interior also looks quite clean and presents well. The Allroads are quite complicated beasties though, and though the seller claims the suspension works perfectly, you can bet either compressor or airbags are going to need to be replaced before long if they haven’t been already. It’s an expensive repair to undertake, though there are upgraded aftermarket parts now available. Alternatively, you can swap in steel springs from either a S6 or A6, though you loose the ride height adjust-ability obviously. Second downside? The two turbos; while they’re great for tuning, they’re more often than not a replacement item as the miles grow, necessitating removal of the motor. Those two things got you down? How about this unique V8:

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Adding the 4.2 changed the character slightly from the “wooshy” 2.7T to a more refined, torquey driving style with the V8. Ultimately, this relaxed the car and though on the books it looks very similar to the S6, it’s a very different car. This particular model is even more different than most, with it’s custom interior and monochrome paint scheme:

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Year: 2005
Model: Allroad 4.2
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 116,000 mi
Price: $10,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Audi Allroad 4.2 on Craigslist.org

I have a 2005 Audi Allroad 4.2 V8 for sale.

It is a special order and comes with the matching fender flares and body molding to the Titanium Grey exterior. It has custom Black, Grey & Red leather seating and both front and back seats are heated with heated steering wheel. It has Sirius/XM integrated, Homelink, walnut trim in front and back. It also has the automatic and manual variable height suspension. It is automatic with Triptronic shifting. Bi-Xenon auto adjusting & leveling headlamps as well as front & rear fog lights. It has had all of the services done in the past 2000 miles and in the last 500 miles had the air suspension and struts replaced. It has new Michelin tires in the last 5,000 miles. It also has legal front and rear window tinting.

It has 116,000 miles on it which is good average mileage and has been mostly highway. I am asking $10,500 or reasonable offers. Email and calls are welcome. This is for local private sale for cash or bank check only. This will not be shipped, etc. Contact 5085057737 with questions. These ARE actual pictures of the car. More can be texted upon request. I am looking to sell by the weekend.

Scared of the turbos and the airbags? Check those two off – the suspension and service has just been done to this particular car. The interior is a bit over the top, but not garish and thankfully not too overdone; I think it’s probably liveable, though I don’t think it really suits the car particularly well. This example does have the rivited two piece wheels I like more in terms of looks, and the Titanium looks better than the Alpaca Beige.

Despite likely less issues with the suspension, I’d guess that most people would choose to grab the 6 speed. It’s a versatile, sporty wagon that maintains driving enjoyment. My parents had one for a while and I always liked driving it, though I dreaded the repair bills it generated. Still, I’d rather drive one of these and fix it often than end up in a Q5. They can even tow a reasonable amount of weight if you’re looking for a track hauler – just make sure both the car and trailer are light.

The question is, which Road would you take?

-Carter

Tale of two Audis: 2000 A4 1.8T Quattro Avant and and 2000 A6 2.7T 6 Speed

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We feature a fair amount of “S” versions of Audis, but there are some great options if you’re not looking for the flash or repair bills of the bigger brother models. In some cases, I really think these models will be collectable or at very least sought after in the future. They’re also a stark reminder of what we’ve lost in the past decade, because in their own way each of these cars has been discontinued in the United States by Audi. Today we’ll look at the last of the manual A6s, a C5 2.7T A6 Quattro 6 speed and a reminder to when Audi imported small wagons with a B5 1.8T Quattro Avant 5 speed. They’re also stellar deals below $6,000. Let’s start with the 6 speed sedan:

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Year: 2000
Model: A6 2.7T Quattro
Engine: 2.7 liter twin-turbocharged V6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 128,500 mi
Price: $ 4,994 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A6 2.7T Quattro 6 speed on eBay

2000 AUDI A6 QUATTRO! 2.7T, AWD, 6 SPEED, MANUAL, SPORT, MUST SEE!

This car strikes me as a great deal and fairly undervalued. At $5,000, this is a lot of car, effectively a S4 in a more dignified suit. The 6 speed manual A6s are a joy to drive and really the last of the breed, as the manual option was completely discontinued in the U.S. after this model. With nearly 130,000 miles I’d expect some repairs in the future, but even given a healthy repair budget this car still is a lot of value for the money. $5,000 would get you into an S4, but that car would likely have close to 200,000 or more miles and throws a very different vibe than the A6. As I said in previous posts, this car is really the spiritual successor to the much-loved C4 S4/S6 and deserves more respect than the market gives it. Looking for something a little smaller and more versatile? How about a B5 A4 wagon?

The B5 saw the introduction to U.S. shores of the small Audi wagon; a decade on, Audi has decided that all roads lead to Allroads and has removed this option from our pallet. That’s a shame, because for a while the A4 really cornered the small sporty wagon category. Equipped with the V6 these were sedate and luxury-oriented tourers, but with the 1.8T and manual, the A4 felt small and drove more like a GTi. If anything, the weight of the Avant over the rear wheels really helps out balancing some of the understeer inherently dialed into the Audi platform:

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Year: 2000
Model: A4 Quattro Avant
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 129,700 mi
Price: $ 5,499 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro Avant on eBay

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2000 Audi A4 5dr Wgn 1.8T Avant Man Quattro AWD Wagon
Internet Special
2000 AUDI A4 1.8T AVANT TURBO WAGON QUATTRO B5 5SPEED NAVIGATION KW COILOVER APR

With some modifications to this already-Sport package equipped wagon, this is a desirable package. The APR goodies will up the power and make this car more fun, the KW coilovers are great in the twisties, and while black isn’t the option that I’d choose this car certainly looks great. I love the Speedline-option wheels for the sport package; as one of our readers noted they suit the design very well and look great while not standing out too much. Unfortunately this dealer hasn’t provided many photos of this car, but it’s priced below most of the market for similar mile A4 Avants, and like the A6 even factoring in some maintenance this appears to be a solid package for a daily driver with some spirit.

Honestly, I’d have a hard time choosing between these two; I love the A6’s combination of speed and style but the C5 chassis is not my favorite looker. On the other hand, I think the B5 A4 was better looking than the B6 that replaced it, but I’d really like to see more photos of this Avant before putting a bid on it. At these prices, though, either one seems like a good package and lots of fun. Which would you choose?

-Carter

2002 Audi S6 Avant 6-speed

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The other day I wrote up a questionably modified 2JZ-GTE swapped M5 that, while it wasn’t to everyone’s taste, had clearly undergone some pricey modifications. Well, today we have another rare ride that has gone under the knife for a pricey swap few engage in. While C5 S6 and RS6s came to the U.S. in automatic-only format, the seller of this 2002 S6 Avant has ripped out the ZF unit and swapped in a O1E 6 speed. The addition of the 6 speed to either an S6 or S8 on these shores sure makes the choice of which fast executive car to buy more complicated! While some of the other mods may not be to your liking, let’s see if we can redeem it a bit:

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Year: 2002
Model: S6 Avant
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 135,514 mi
Price: $13,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

2002 Audi S6 quattro AVANT AWD WAGON

MATTE PEARL WHITE PAINT

MANUAL:6-SPEED CONVERSION

RS6 FRONT CLIP

CUSTOM EXHAUST

FULLY SERVICED

TIMING BELT & WATER PUMP REPLACED 2,000 MILES AGO

FRONT & REAR HEATED LEATHER SEATS

POWER HEATED LEATHER FRONT SPORT SEATS

SIDE AIRBAGS

BOSE PREMIUM CD CHANGER SYSTEM

POWER SUNROOF

20 INCH AXIS BLACK ALLOY WHEELS WITH RED STRIPE

ABS LIGHT IS ON DUE TO CONVERSION
OF TRANSMISSION TO MANUAL-6 SPEED

SALVAGE TITLE DESPITE LIMITED DAMAGE

PLEASE CALL ALBAN..CELL:561 306-8241

First things first – while I’m not a fan of the matte white paint, I could probably live with it, if it wasn’t for the wheels. I’ve made it no secret that I’m not really a fan of black wheels, and these horrible units look like something that should be adorning a Chrysler 300 or Dodge Magnum wagon. I can’t stand them. Swap on something from the factory, though – such as these S6 wheels linked below, and the story might change quickly as to how you feel about the rest of the car:

Further, replace the poorly painted grill with an RS6 grill on Ebay and those smoked taillights with some OEM taillights and I think the rest of the car is pretty liveable. Sure, it has a salvage title, so you probably want to delve into why that’s the case and if the repairs – most likely to the front – were carried out correctly, but this isn’t an aluminum A8/S8 so I’d be a little less concerned about that.

The S6 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and usually that comes down to the transmission. Alleviate that problem and you’ve got a fast large wagon that can be had on a budget. Considering the quotes I’ve seen on manual swaps for the C5 and D2 range from $6,000 to $9,000 having this swap completed not only changes the character of the car but saves the future owner a lot of potential transmission headaches. If you’re feeling brave and can sport for some extra dough to “fix” the modifications, this car could be a stellar deal.

-Carter