NOTE: I don't have this car anymore, but I miss it. I sold it to Johnny for $800 because I was scared of fixing the climate control. He fixed that right way and drove it for awhile, and then sold it to somebody else, I think. My Golf is much more practical, but not nearly as fun.
This is my 1987 Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro Avant (wagon). Saying that it's a turbo is a little redundant, since all 5000cs's were, but whatever ya know, it sounds cool... or something. This car replaced my previous car of the same description. The old one was black and had the standard flatface wheels and wasn't in anywhere near as good condition - otherwise it was exactly the same. Oh yeah and the old one cost me twelve times as much as the new one.
Twelve times as much? Yep, that's right. I bought the black one for $2200 and it immediately needed a steering rack, shocks, a head job (because it developed a manifold leak and the studs had to be drilled out of the head), and various other annoying things. I didn't have time to do this stuff, so I paid to have it done, which came up to about $2400 (including a replacement ECU that gave it ~11psi of boost). I then spent a lot of other random money on it, bringing the total cost of the car up to about $6k.
This car, on the other hand....
On day, Dave (my housemate) and I were going out looking at Sciroccos in junkyards, because my brother had crashed my Rabbit and I needed a new autocross car. On my way out to extreme western Mass where we were going to look at a couple of Scirocco 16v shells, I saw a sign for a junkyard and decided to pull in. I walked in and asked them if they had any Rabbits or Sciroccos. No, they didn't. OK, whatever - I walked out again, and the rear end of a really nice looking 5kcstqa caught my eye. "Man, whoever owns that car is lucky," I thought to myself. I walked around to the side of it and noticed that it had a number written on the window in marker. "Oh, it must be stuffed," I said to myself. I walked all the way around it - nope, it was shiny and gorgeous and perfect all the way around. And it had those nice Fuchs alloys. "Well, they must want a lot of money for it, or it doesn't run or something," I thought. I got back in my car (the black Audi) and said something to Dave about it. "Ask 'em, it can't hurt," he said. "Nah, they'll want lots of money for it - that's a really nice car," I said. "Well, why not ask?" he insisted.
Well, why not.... "We can't sell it to you," the lady at the desk said, "because you're not a dealer - we can't give you a warrantee or anything."
"Well, of course not!" I said. "I wouldn't expect a warrantee on a car I bought from a junkyard!"
"Well go talk to that guy getting out of that truck," she pointed.
And so I did...
"You want it?" he asked.
"Well, I might," I say. "Tell me about it."
"Well, I don't know much," he said. "I know it runs - he drove it in here. My son was sitting in it the other day listening to the stereo - he liked it. Go in and ask for the keys - you might want to check the fluids and stuff though, I don't know how long it's been sitting."
I asked and they were given unto me. I checked all the fluids - everything was fine. I climbed in through the passenger's door because the driver's door wouldn't open from the outside (this has never happened since), and turned the key. She sprang to life instantly and settled into a nice, even, quiet idle. I put the clutch down and slid her into reverse, backed out of the space the was in and drove her down the driveway, up to 3000rpm in second, and I knew that this was a car that I wanted to own. There were no squeaks, no rattles, the shocks were good, nothing clunked, it felt really good - much better than my black car. I turned around, parked it, and asked the guy how much he needed to get out of it. He shrugged. "Five bills?" he said. My jaw nearly dropped, but luckily I kept it in check. "Cool," I said, trying to act nonchalant. "I want it."
I switched the plates to it that day - I was that sure that it was better all around than my black car. I then proceeded to drive it 45,000 miles with one problem - the Michelin Man hose broke, which is hardly an expensive part to break. Two minutes of labor later I was back in business. The only inconvenient part was that I happened to be in Gunnison, CO at the time, so I had to get Pelham Auto to drop-ship it to my local NAPA, but MJ's good like that, so it was no problem.
I still haven't named this car, which is bad - I really should. She also needs some attention now, finally - I don't blame her. I gave her her second set of new tires since I've gotten her recently - I had Sumitomo HTR200's in 225/50-15 on for the summer, now I have Kumho ECSTA HP716's in 205/60-15 (the stock size). I recently put Bilsteins all the way around and replaced the front outer control arm bushings and strut mounts. She currently also needs brake pads and a power steering pump (I'm getting the infamous pentosin-foaming-out-of-the-top-of-the-reservoir problem, as well as intermittent power brakes and steering - lots of fun). I've bought a seal kit and we'll see if I can get away with fixing this problem for a few bucks and some labor. Seal kits are a lot cheaper than new pumps! (Update: The seal kit did not fix the bearing problem, which turns out was much of the problem, so I ended up buying a new pump. All is now well).
This car has been the most reliable car I've ever had, by a long shot. It's also the fastest and far from the most expensive. I put the Force 5 Auto ECU in her a long time ago, which gave her a 0-60 time (according to my brother's G-tech) of 6.5 seconds (average of two runs in either direction). I recently bought her a really nice-looking single-pass intercooler/bypass valve kit from James at Ringsperformance. It was very easy to install, and I highly recommend it. Better low-end, better high-end, less turbo lag, high boost overall, and it doesn't do horrible things when you let off the gas under high boost. Then it's 18psi and hopefully over 300bhp!