By the time the weekday TTAC crew rolls back into their cubicles/corner offices/gondola-of-the-”Zorin”-blimp-high-over-San-Francisco, the eBay auction for my 2009 Audi S5 will be crashing to a vaguely interesting end.
It had never occurred to me that my decision to sell a car would be “news”, but it probably never occurred to Elon Musk that he would have to explain his divorce to the readers of Jalopnik, either. Click the jump to find out why I’m selling, what the drooling morons of various BMW-oriented web forums think about it, and why I not-so-secretly hope it doesn’t meet the reserve…
There are very few one-of-a-kind cars in the world. My 2009 Audi S5 is one of them. To my knowledge, it was the first S5 produced by Audi’s “Exclusive” division, and a contingent of Audi dealers visiting Ingolstadt was treated to a sneak preview of the car before I ever saw it, just to impress upon them the lengths to which Audi would go to please their customers.
It is painted 1973 Porsche Lime Green, as seen on the Carrera RS 3.0 and the Porsche IROC cars. I paired the very loud exterior color with the Tuscan Brown interior because I wanted to pay homage to the early Seventies and the bright, cheerful, vintage look of German cars from that era. Some time around 1982, the default German look became a dark car, dark windows, dark Serengeti Driver sunglasses, hard-ass expression on the face of the oh-so-snobby man behind the wheel. I think that’s pathetic. Cars are supposed to be fun.
I’ve driven the S5 32,000 miles in the past 22 months. It’s gone from Chicago to New York to South Carolina, and back to my home town of Powell, OH. Although I’ve owned some attention-getting cars in my life, including a Lotus Seven replica, nothing pulls like the Audi. Squads of tough-looking black kids run across the street in downtown ATL to have me take their pictures. Teenaged girls working drive-throughs put their phone numbers on the receipts and hand them out with a lingering touch. Valets move Bentley Flying Spurs out of the way. Women of a certain age come to a dead halt in parking lots and beckon me over to chat while they slip three-carat rings off their left hands into their pockets. People drive up next to me and flip me off. I find notes left on the car, asking about drug deals.
My Audi has done hundreds of laps on racetracks, most notably during the CTS-V Challenge where the brakes proved inadequate to a televised run around Monticello. It appeared on SPEED TV. It has hundreds of Google results.
I have enjoyed every single day with the Audi, but it doesn’t seem to fit the person I currently am as much as it fits the person I used to be. My girlfriend hates being stared at while we drive down the road. I can’t tow a race car with it. The monthly payment is roughly what it would take to buy a sunburst-finish Gibson Les Paul Studio. Maybe it’s time for it to go.
A friend of mine with a reasonably successful auto-brokerage service wanted something interesting to launch his eBay biz with, so I handed over the S5. He put together the auction listing, misspelling just one word. (I’m so proud!) I didn’t think anybody would really notice.
I was wrong. The auction has appeared on most of the special-interest sites out there, particularly the German-car ones. Without exception, these anonymous little beta-males piss and moan that:
* The floormats are dirty (Yeah. They’re WeatherTechs.)
* The engine bay isn’t clean. (A clean engine doesn’t run any better.)
* It’s ridiculous to mention that the car will come with new tires. (That’s because they all run 20″ Sumitomos on their thugged-out used M3s. A real set of OEM Dunlops for this car costs big bucks.)
* A green car with a red interior is stupid. (It’s brown inside.)
* They would never “rock one”. (I doubt they’ve ever “rocked”.)
* LOLOMGFAIL (This, usually from people with Chinese-language arm tats)
* And so on.
It frustrates the piss out of me to see my little vintage-look Audi subjected to their comments. I don’t care if they wouldn’t “hard-park” it at Cars and Coffee. When I look at the car, I see my memories.
I see myself briefly clipping 142 on the back straight at VIR before smoking and curb-hopping my way in on the “Daytona Prototype line.” I remember parking it on the street in Manhattan, my girl on my arm, and walking downstairs to the Village Vanguard to see Al Foster’s quartet play five feet from my table. I think about the night before the CTS-V Challenge, killing half a bottle of vodka and falling over the motel bed onto the ground. I think about being black-flagged out of NJMP for “high-speed drifting” during a rainy track event, looking at Turn One through the driver’s window at eighty miles per hour.
This is my car. My memories. When the broker called to ask me what the reserve should be, I paused for a moment, and said, “Make it too high to see.”