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The Audi Guy is a convert

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by danix, Apr 11, 2014.

    • Member

    danix

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    When I was a wide-eyed lad of 12 and living in Portugal, the likes of Hannu Mikkola and Michele Mouton sliding by me at high speed in their Audi quattro cars made me want to own one.
    In 1992, I took over running the quattro mailing list and created audifans.com, and have run it ever since. Living in NY, I owned a long string of Audis, then VWs, then VW TDIs. I always had so many VW/Audi in the driveway in some state of repair, my neighbor thought I was a VW mechanic. I eventually started a parts business specializing in TDIs, then sold that business and moved west.

    Faced with horrible CA traffic, I bought a used Prius with HOV stickers to improve my commute and reduce my fuel costs. When those stickers expired, I sold the Prius and got a Jetta TDI, which turned out to be a lemon. Sold it.

    Now you're wondering, where's the BMW content?
    I replaced the TDI with a new leased 2011 335d with MSport. Now I had the MPGs, and an amazing handling car. I wondered - why haven't I ever considered BMW (cars) before? [I've owned BMW motorcycles].

    The 335d led me to start learning about older BMW models. My 7 year old son loves the show "Wheeler Dealers" and we talked about buying a car to fix up and sell.
    I ended up finding a 1988 E30 convertible, and have been working on it (and driving it) over the last few months. After years of not wrenching, it was fun to immerse myself into new challenges and a car with great engineering (but some quirks, like removing an inner balljoint nut!)

    As luck would have it, the 335d got slammed into by a Volvo last week, so it will be going back to BMW one way or another. I'm starting to debate european delivery of something, or the more fiscally prudent route of an E46. The E30 is still here and I will have a hard time parting with it, plus it's not quite finished.

    I love reading Roundel, in particular Mike Miller's tech section.

    My driveway now holds the 335d, 325iC, and a black and white R1200RT-P. The neighbors have tagged me as "the BMW guy" and somehow it just feels right :)

    I haven't hooked up with the Golden Gate chapter but I look forward to doing that one of these days.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    I have owned a 1987 325i convertible since 1997. Love the thing. It sounds like your E30 has been great fun for you to fix it up for sale, but consider keeping it. There is just "something" about an old sportscar that is magic. If you are like me, you will realize it is a better and better car as time goes on. For a guy with young kids, you will discover there is very few other 4 seat cars that can get you through that midlife grind with so much joy and fun.

    They are memory builders. When my daughter was 10 years old, she had to go to a special school which was 10 miles away. We shared car pool duty with another family. The two girls LOVED the E30 and tried all winter to break their "back seat top down cold temperature freeway travel" record. It was 33F if I recall correctly. They wore ski goggles, had a sleeping bag over their legs etc. High drama for 10 year olds. I have the fond memories of cruising 70 mph top down on the freeway with two bugeyed giggling girls in the back seat, hair flying.

    If you stare at something long enough on an E30, you can usually figure out how it works (See "Overlooked Nobility" Roundel Nov 2008). You will be surprised how special E30s are regarding home repair; straight forward systems and, probably more important, a huge inventory of vendors and parts availability.

    Upgrade the suspension. Fix the vacuum leaks. Buy some sticky rubber. Just don't sell the car.
    MGarrison likes this.
    • Member

    danix

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    Thanks Brian. So far I've done timing belt/water pump, steering and trans fluid flush, complete suspension overhaul, new brakes. All that's left is cosmetic (top and seats). At 88k it's barely broken in.
    Finding rubber seems to be a challenge - almost no one has 14" tires, even Tire Rack.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    88,000 miles! Wow! My car is at 190,000 miles. Lots of miles left (for both of us).

    Yeah, 14" rubber is going extinct. The nice thing about 14" bottlecaps is that they are only 13.7 lbs each: very light. Because of the 14" issue, I've now upgraded to 15" Spec E30 wheels from Team Dynamics Racing which are only 13 lbs each! I now run Bridgestone RE11 rubber. Me like.

    Sorry to hear about the top and seats: that is expensive stuff. I replaced my top about 10 years ago after the window just cracked one too many times for me to ShooGoo it back together. $1,100 IIRC and I remember thinking I got a great deal. Seats, well, tough to do cheaply. If the top of your back seat back is split less than 1/2", it can be stretched back and resewn; otherwise (expensive) replacement required.
    MGarrison likes this.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    Welcome to the good side just kidding!
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Brian A is back! Great meeting you @ O'Fest last year!

    Danix, welcome to the club & forums!
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Welcome to the asylum! Do not, DO NOT miss out on Euro delivery!

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