By on September 14, 2010

Two months ago I wrote about the rather bizarre manner in which the drooling idiots of the world reacted to my Audi S5 and the eBay auction of same. Here are some of my favorite comments:

How to spoil a good looking car with a cheap paint job! Boak!!

looks very cheap and shitty in that stupid green

oh no no no no..it looks like the ugky duckling of a grass patch

While you guys are sitting idle saying “do not want” I’ll wait for this car to drop in price then buy it and paint it a respectable color.

Looks like a watermelon on wheels….this is going to be a tough sell.

Were they correct?

Of course not. I’ve been relatively quiet about this until today, but I am pleased to announce that early in August I sold the S5 to a rather discerning fellow on the Left Coast. Although there were a few mitigating factors added to his bid — I had the car Audi Certified at a dealership and replaced some rather expensive wear items — it also pleases me to note that no other S5 of similar mileage and condition has fetched anything like the same money. Most people who buy used German cars are looking to save a buck, but this fellow was perfectly aware of the wait and hassle involved in doing an Exclusive-color S5 and simply wanted to save time.

My broker, Auto Adrenaline‘s principal Jody Moggenberg, predicted early on in the process that this car would be sold in a private transaction. Jody reached out to his network of high-net-worth individuals and simply let them know the car was available. In that rarefied world, cars must be unique to be worthwhile; he’s currently brokering an “Azzurro California Blue” F430 Scuderia, a nearly perfect, low-mileage DeLorean, and a Switzer-prepped 997 Turbo with over eight hundred horsepower at the wheels. It took him about two weeks to put the deal together, and before I knew it my S5 had been whisked away to San Francisco. The only thing that kept the deal from being perfect for everyone involved: the buyer didn’t need or want my Borbet wheels and Dunlop winter tires. Oh well. Those, I think, will sell on eBay because the average twentysomething S5 owner who lives with his indulgent parents and makes the payments with his McJob can put them on his silver-with-black-interior “whip”, yo.

I’ll miss the Audi; it took me everywhere from the Deep South to the “CTS-V Challenge” television show. The fact that I put 33,000 miles on it in 19 months, however, made me realize that I needed something better-suited to my odometer-rolling lifestyle. Did I mention that I drove nearly 35,000 miles on my Porsches, and 7,000 miles on my second Phaeton, during the same period?

I hope the story of the Audi’s quick and fairly-priced sale encourages others to go out and make some fearless choices with their cars. The entire world doesn’t have to be “griege”. Not every choice you make has to be made with one eye on what everyone else is doing. I found it amusing that my pal Nick Salvatore from Speed:Sport:Life took delivery of his “Glut Orange” S5 right as I was selling my green one:

I don’t know what he’s thinking! LOL FAILZ! ALL AUDIS SHOULD BE SILVER BECAUSE THAT IS THE COLOR THEY ALL ARE IN THE GERMANY I HAVE NEVER VISITED OR TAKEN ANY TIME TO LEARN ABOUT! I hope Nick finds ownership of a one-of-a-kind car to be as fun, rewarding, and interesting as I found my time with the green one to be.

For the month after the Audi left, I pressed my pair of modern Porsches into service as daily drivers. They’re now both filthy inside and out. The Boxster is showing a Check Engine light; the 993 is down to the metal cords on the inside of its rear Goodyears. It was time for me to find another car. This one’s far more conventional than the last one, but I expect to be just as satisfied with it. And it contains real Panther…

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66 Comments on “Bye Bye Green Audi...”


  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Don’t worry about selling your winters. Unless there is something unique about the S5, they should fit any number of VAG cars.

  • avatar
    ash78

    That’s the great thing about unusual configurations or colors…while most of the bell curve will balk, you’ll often find the correct, slightly eccentric person willing to pay the right price. Dealers and other volume-oriented middlemen love to tell unique car owners that they’ll have to take a discount on the more obscure setups, when in reality the only roadblock is finding the right buyer pool. Most recently, a local Merc dealer told my in-laws they’d have to sell their E-class wagon for less than a comparable sedan, since “nobody buys wagons.” Lame.
     
    FWIW, I absolutely love the color. Silver, black, and white are boring.

  • avatar
    ArBee

    The purchaser of your Audi got a beautiful, distinctive car.  However, I can’t wait to read the report on your new Panther!

  • avatar
    findude

    The best cars typically change hands in private transactions–especially if they are unique and readily recognized.
    Paint to sample (what Porsche calls it–others may have different names) is a great deal. I’m not lining up to buy a new Porsche anytime soon, but I’d pay for my own color long before I’d buy other expensive options.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    I dunno. I kinda like the color.

  • avatar
    John R

    And it contains real Panther…
    Crown Vic?

  • avatar
    h82w8

    We admire and respect your individuality, Mr. Baruth. Rock on!

    BTW, don’t know what, if any, mods you’ve done on your 993, but the single best mod hands down has to be Fister Stage III mufflers. If you have to drive it daily, might as well revel in full-on air/oil-cooled flat 6 aural pleasure every time you turn the key. If there’s such a thing as “six” addiction these will give it to you.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Unique products are always going to be less liquid, but when you take the time to pair them with the unique buyer, it works out.

  • avatar
    twotone

    WOW — (33 + 35 + 7)/19 = 4,000 miles per month. Do you ever get out of your cars?

    Twotone

    • 0 avatar
      geggamoya

      About 190 miles per day if one works 21 days a month. A 2-3 hour roundtrip commute.  Probably shorter as there’s other driving included too. So quite a lot more than i drive but still reasonable.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    If you have to sell a hundred cars, you want neutral, inoffensive colors that appeal to the masses. But if you want to sell just one car, choose one strong color that will set your offering apart and appeal strongly to one person. That’s your buyer, and he can’t go down the street and find the same thing a little cheaper.
    I’d saddened by the overwhelming trend for safe car colors. I’ve bought a dozen VW/Audi products with never more options available than silver, black and red. When I decided to try a New Beetle, I went all in for color and chose Cyber Green. It’s the reverse of the Victorian Era of a little over 100 years ago. They painted their houses in every hue of the rainbow, but everyone dressed in black and white. TOday we seem to want to do the reverse….

  • avatar
    chris123

    Jack, did you get a Marauder?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    My GTI didn’t get a single bite for nearly 3 weeks (07, 6MT, 4door, plaid interior, factory aero, potato-cutter wheels, supp rear torso airbags, factory ordered by me because there wasn’t one in the country that came near my requested spec sheet) when it put it up for sale.  I casually mentioned to my barber, who is a VW guy and was in love with my GTI but had recently purchased a vehicle, to spread the word around to his VW friends.  A few days later, he calls me saying he wants the car and is willing to pay whatever I’m asking.  He loves the car and I was able to let it go to someone who will treat it well and enjoy it.  It is all about finding the right buyer.

    While I love my 4Runner (which is spec’d pretty normal for the area), there are a lot out there identical to mine and I kind of miss having an instantly recognizable car from the factory.

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      I’ve always had stand-out cars. a ’76 Chevelle sedan, a Pontiac 6000-STE in the ’00s, a belly-button Explorer, and a lime green 77 Chevelle sedan. People always see me, and the area I work in, a Merc or Maser is fairly common, and a 30 year old Chevy is exotic. It’s rather interesting to me to see what some would consider exotic is another persons ho-hum car.
       
      I borrowed my sisters BMW 3-series convertible while she was out of town for two weeks, and I never felt more invisible than even in the 6000. The 6000 at least was boxy enough to not blend into the jelly-beans that were so popular in the late ’90s and early ’00s and the Chevelles were just big and brightly colored and have lots of chrome. The Explorer just by my sheer persistence of keeping it on the road, looks like a rugged and well-cared for 15 year old SUV.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    I found a pic of Jack’s new car:
     
    http://www.americancarsuk.com/Panther_De_Ville/Panther_De_Ville_026.JPG

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    The lack of car color choices is a real irritant to me.  It seems that every 15-20 years, the color pallet gets more adventuresome, but then it retreats.  I may not want a coral car with gray trim or a bright turquoise, but why not make them available?  Even if we move away from the really vivid colors, the last 15 years or so have been a real color desert. 
    Most of car history, you could get a couple of greens, a couple of blues, a couple of reds, and a few neutrals.  Now, it is black, white, silver, beige, red and the color dujour – dark green in the late 90s, bright yellow in the early 2000s. navy blue in the mid 2000s, and the occasional brown or orange recently.
    I know that more color means more manufacturing complexity and more cost, but I will bet that a lot of people would pay a bit for special order colors. 
    As an aside, I came out of a restaurant the other evening and saw someone parking a new Charger SRT8 – Plum Crazy (purple).  Not my choice, but you can tell that somebody is having some fun with a new car.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      Here here.
       
      I wish every make had a British Racing Green available. Variety is good.

    • 0 avatar
      patman

      There’s a lime green Charger SRT8 with big black stripes on it in my neighborhood that is so bright it almost hurts your eyes – makes me smile every time I see it.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      I often wonder if the woeful economy world-wide (except China, I guess) accounts for the drab color palette manufacturers are offering.  It’s particularly bad in the luxury end of market, where gray, silver, and black predominate.  For every perky lime green Ford Fiestas we’ll see, we’ll get a hundred medium gray Corollas and Civics.  It really is a shame because even relatively tame colors like straight red or blue have been darkened and muted to the point that they might as well be gray anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      For me, the apocalypse came in or around 1998, when the new GM trucks came out with a choice of two interior colours (technically three, but different shades of dark grey don’t count in my book).  Prior to this you could get at least 5 different interior colours in the old body style.  I have navy blue with flecked upholstery in my 96 and it looks very sharp.

      This was also the year they changed the bodies on the Panther cars, and also went to two interior colour options whereas before there were five or more.  Even turqoise green, for christ’s sake!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Exterior colors are bad enough, but the interiors are much worse. I guess cheap plastic comes in only a couple shades of gray/tan. Rubbermaid has more colors.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Hi. Youall are very correct about the color choices available today, but don’t forget the fun colors available on Chrysler’s neon and PT wagons :)
       
      The neon had FANTASTIC colors upon release. Nitro Yellow Green sport, anyone?

  • avatar
    Macca

    Nice tilt/shift picture up top, by the way.  Incidentally, a ‘matchbox’ version of the S5 is probably as close as I could ever get to a car of that stature.

  • avatar
    Boff

    It’s not about the colour…it’s the provenance baby…

  • avatar
    dswilly

    Great color.  I own a BMW 2002 of similar color (mint green) and race a Mt. Bike the same green always drawing attention and compliments.  My 03 325iT is silver though.

  • avatar
    kjs

    That shade of green wouldn’t have been my choice, but the more I see it, the more I like it. I do love that orange, though.

  • avatar

    That 75,000 miles in 19 months sounds impressive until you do the math. Only about 131 miles/day. Sheesh, Baruth. Your cars are probably disintegrating from disuse.
    I quite like the bright colors on the Audis. I think it goes with their bold styling.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Jody reached out to his network of high-net-worth individuals
     
    I threw up a little in my mouth.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      Well, now you’ve done it. Clearly you’re a simple drooling idiot.
       
      (You’re sure it wasn’t the color?)
       
      At least the orange one will be an easy sale to some UF Gators-loving redneck proctologist in a few years. Call me, I’ll “reach out” to my “network” and hook you up.

    • 0 avatar
      PG

      @M1: “Redneck proctologist” is the most terrifying combination of words i have ever seen.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    Glad you got your S5 shifted, leave it to someone out in ‘crazy’ SF to appreciate some diversity, huh? Who’d a thunk it?

    Just another thought on color choice…in addition to the added manufacturing cost/complexity in offering non-traditional colors…the average/typical buyer is keeping thier cars notably longer than a generation or two ago…that Plum Crazy/Lime green/Fly yellow/etc “look at me” ride is beyond hot at purchase time, but may lose it’s appeal after a few years…when you’re upside down on your car loan and still have years of payments left, and that color now seems dated or just plain wierd, or you’re tired of the attention it gets.

    Hooking up with the (your gender of choice) hottie with all the tattoos and piercings at last call on Saturday night seems like an awesome idea, and often is…on Saturday night…but in the daylight/hangover state of the next morning, too many people get scared sh*tless by what they’ve got sleeping in their bed…

    Silver, metallic grey, medium blue, black, white, etc…these are the cars “that get brought home to meet Mom”…(and because many people keep their cars longer than they keep their spouses today.) Yeah, people are boring, but the’re also thinking of the long-term when it’s their money on the line.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    That orange S5 looks REALLY cool.  Wow.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    I was briefly considering a used BMW 328i, but a few weeks ago I wound up behind two silver 3-series, circling up a parking garage, past many other silver and gray BMWs and Audis, as another gray 3-Series and silver A6 fell in behind. While my car’s color is far from unique, I still felt I was in an aging, bright white wedge amidst silvergray pseudo-bubbles, and I felt an urge to shoot past them in the narrow garage (especially since they’d likely have reserved spots). I suppressed it, but I thought that I don’t want to blend into that kind of parade.

    While I see BMW does make a green 328i, I’ve never seen a used one that wasn’t silver, dark blue or black. As a sidenote, the only way to visually inspect the oil is to drain it (no dipstick).

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Not every choice you make has to be made with one eye on what everyone else is doing.
    Not a single one. See, people needs and vision are different. And you should have enough character to do what is needed/wanted without caring what other say.
    When I changed to my current job, I actually lost money and position the 1st year. Then, I earned much more the following 2.
     

  • avatar
    nikita

    The green and orange remind me of Porsche 911 colors of the 1970′s. My BMW was bright red, not black or silver. Today, American Honda is the worst about limited color choices. While the Fit I bought (Blue Sensation Perl) was available in eight colors, some Civic models come in as few as two! When my dad ordered an Impala in 1965 there were 15 exterior and and eight interior colors to choose.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    I am continually saddened by the state of affairs in the late model automobile marketplace regarding interior and exterior colors. I came to the conclusion 20 years ago that I belonged in the 1950s with its multicolored pastel sensibilities or as far forward as The Sixties with the lovely fluorescing and psychedelic paint jobs available straight from the factory with nothing more than a simple tick in the color selection box.

    While the current hot rod project nears completion and will be given a staid metallic green with gold stripe look, next on my list of teardowns and rebuilds will be the Haflinger – and I’ve already decided if it’s not found in PPG’s “Bold and Bright” selection section, it’s not going to be used during the multicolor repainting. Right now the main body looks like I’ll be giving it a bi-color treatment using Purple Passion – and Pink Panther. Add to that the equally rare LWB and PTO options this particular Series II originally came with, and I’m certain it will forever be “one of a kind” upon completion, rather like that gorgeous pink and charcoal Pantera I saw a decade ago.

    BTW, Fiat’s “sunburst” stamped steel wheels look lovely when sandblasted, primed and given a blue and yellow color scheme, and their 4-point flower stampings as found on the Strada, Brava and early X-1/9s are fantastic when the recessed bits are given a similar contrasting color treatment.

  • avatar
    tklockau

    Agreed.  I always liked the distinctive colors.  I had an S70 that was called ‘desert wind’, it was a pearlescent gold/green.  I loved the color, I only saw two or three other cars that color in the 3 1/2 years I owned it.  The most popular colors are the most boring.  Now I have a white V50, a ‘safe’ color, but I bought it secondhand and just added a red pinstipe to it this weekend.  The red really contrasts well with the white.  Does anybody else miss red, blue and green interiors?  I do!

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Props on the Anchorman reference.  I hope the Crown Vic/Townie replacement doesn’t also smell like pure gasoline (except during fueling) or a diaper filled with Indian food.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    An even bigger peeve of mine is the current choice of interior “colors” – would you like gray or tan Sir? And then you can’t get both colors with all the exterior colors – if I want a Blue on Tan VW Jetta SportWagen why can’t VW build me one??? Nope, Blue on Black only, Sir. Bite me! What happened to nice burgundy or navy blue or brown interiors? BMW at least has a really nice red in the 1-series and a nice deep brown in the 3.

    Maybe someday when my 9-3SCs Parchement (near-as-dammit-white) interior gets a bit too ratty, I will re-dye it burgundy or navy blue. Would look fantastic against the Polar White exterior.

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      +1.  I bought a 2007 Honda Fit Sport.  My wife did not want a black interior, so we picked tan.  This gave us precisely ONE (yes, 1) choice of color – white.  As nice as the tan interior would have looked with an orange, blue, black or red car, no dice.  If you want tan inside, you have to take white outside. 

      Although I can understand the cost and inventory issues that come with multiple interior colors, I miss the days of lots of choices.  In the mid 60s, you were routinely offered a choice of black, white, tan or brown, blue, turquoise, green, and red.  I guess those days are gone.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      At least in the case of VW, any talk of cost or inventory reasons is pure BS. VW is completely setup to build-to-order, because nearly every car they sell in Europe is sold that way. To the point that they have had advertising that no two are ever exactly alike!

      It baffles me that car companies won’t let you order what you want in whatever combination – it’s a garanteed sale after all. If you want to limit the DEALER’S choice for inventory, fine, I can understand that. But realistically, if the dealers are ordering cars, they are unlikely to order anything but boring and safe for inventory anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      You think “build to order” reduces part number proliferation? They still have to spec, order, stock and manage a full slate of pieces for every offered color.

  • avatar
    441Zuke

    i’d guess town car but marauder is probably right. switzer going to make the worlds fastest street-able pather. the image of a panther chassis diving in on about any car on a track would defiantly be wallpaper material

  • avatar
    RRocket

    Oh great….an “I told you so!” article about your Audi because you were butt-hurt that people didn’t like the color.
     
    And you wonder why other publications take cheap shots at this website/content….

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      If the car hadn’t sold, I would have done an article about that, as well.
      If you dislike hearing about real people driving cars they’ve paid their own money for, there are thirty sources on the web which continually recap press junkets, and you can check ‘em out.

  • avatar

    Panther do you say?

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    The fact that I own an Audi, which comes with an understanding of the kick in the wallet wear items are on them, would have made be buy under the condition that wear items get replaced.

    Why only 7000 miles on the Phaeton? If anything, that would be THE car to road trip with.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    It’s funny. I see quite a few Challengers about, mostly the orange and green with a few grey and black thrown into the mix but there’s a guy in the neighbourhood with a white one. The only white one I’ve ever seen and it looks so wrong it’s unbelievable. Those cars are supposed to scream LOOK AT ME! That’s why they’re bought and then have a bland paint job is just a waste.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Ah… but a white Challenger is a Vanishing Point fan.

    • 0 avatar
      Ronman

      I think the White Challenger is a looker, and about your Green Audi Mr.baruth, it wasn’t all that bad, i loved the interior color, and some ridicule from people who think they are true car fans is the tini weeny price to pay for automotive eccentricity that gives us petrol heads ultimate satisfaction…

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Amen. I always thought the Chrysler 300 looked pretty bad-ass in black….then they sold it (and sold a lot) in that gawd-awful off-white cream colour. A bland colour is more damaging to a car’s look than a bold, ballsy colour.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    I’m not keen on that particular shade of green, though I’ve got nothing against daring color choices. I’d love to take my chances in a plum-crazy Challenger.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    When I was looking for my ’05 or ’06 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited a number of months back, I really wanted this color called “Jeep Green”. It was a beautiful shade with a hint of military inspired olive drab in it, very appropriate for a Jeep. Unfortunately, it was a mid-year color so they were few and far between and I had to “settle” for midnight blue pearl…a beautiful color in it’s own right with the right light on it. At least it wasn’t black – based on the pool of vehicles for sale out there, it seemed like 90% of the Jeeps made those two years were black! Nothing against black per se, I just wanted something different than the majority of the ones I see on the road.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    At least BMW also has Individual, where you can customize Interior/Exterior color of your car. E38 7-Series was offered in Canada with nice red exterior with Individual program. I have also seen E38 with Navy Blue leather and interior and cream seats with blue piping. However most new I see in boring silver on black or Black with awful tan interior. I hate beige or tan!

  • avatar
    tailgate1234

    I love the green and the orange! I don’t see why every high end car these days has to be black, white, silver or grey.

  • avatar
    dozybee

    admire Jack’s choice, and of course it’s so personal, but I do think the green car even more ‘orrible than the vile orange, and has sold to some over-wealthy eccentric and good luck. as the phrase has it “you only need one buyer”. why an S5 anyway, or any other such car.
    Complments to Jack on having a second Phaeton though, way to go!

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    To be perfectly honest, black is my favorite color. All my previous cars have been black (except for my very first) but I can appreciate the eccentric choice of something like electric green or orangey orange on a car such as the S5. It’s definitely a rare sight and, I think, adds value to the overall price of admission.
    I dare say, it’s almost like a V6/manual transmission, a increasingly rare combo in 4 door cars these days. Screw the market price, find the right buyer and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

  • avatar
    hachee

    Not a fan of that green, but can certainly appreciate it, and I’m glad it’s out there.  Love the orange though!

    I admit I’m a fan of black and silver, because they usually just look great on almost any car.  But I too lament the fact that it’s all a sea of beige out there.  As a kid in the late ’70s, when I started getting into cars, I started collecting sales brochures.  Mercedes offered something like 30 exterior colors and 8 interior colors.  I loved the red, blue and saddle interiors.  Cadillac, and I’m sure plenty of others, also offered a tremendous number of choices.  But today, you’ve got 6 shades of gray.

    When I bought a 1998 Audi A6, they began a new interior program – what they called “atmospheres” – basically just different colors and configurations of interior components.  I think there were 7 or 8 interior colors, including blue, red, and turquoise.  While I went for Volcano black (basically a very metallic charcoal), I got the dark red/black interior.  I don’t think I saw more than one other car with this inside in the three years I had it, but I got loads of compliments.  But for whatever reason (I assume everyone got beige except me), they phased this out, and it was soon back to black, gray and beige as your choices.  Lately, everyone’s added brown.

    My current X5 is unique too – dark blue with dark brown interior, but next car is back to black for me.  Some of the interior plastics (especially around the seat bottoms and cargo area) are so crappy that I’m sure they look even worse because of the color. 

    I’d never want the attention of bright green, but more power to the guy who wants it.

  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    Gettin a Crown Vic??


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