The Internet Has An Opinion About My EBay Auction

the internet has an opinion about my ebay auction

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.”

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2 of 88 comments
  • Nick Nick on Jul 14, 2010

    It is painted 1973 Porsche Lime Green, as seen on the Carrera RS 3.0 and the Porsche IROC cars. Given that I'd still buy a car in FM3 Panther Pink, I am hardly in a position to scoff. As for your comments on the posts about your car...most of the Internet is an asinine waste of time. I think I am down to about 5 sites that I visit regularly.

  • PV_Pathfinder PV_Pathfinder on Aug 16, 2010

    I absolutely love that color! Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with the cars or scene of which it is an homage to, but... it's different! There's plenty of black, silver and white cars out there. At one point, Audi had a sweet, pale, florescent yellow too. In the Fast and Furious world of hideous, aftermarket bolt on accessories, it's great to see a manufacturer AND an owner with the stones to go big and bold!

  • EAM3 Learned to drive in my parents' 1981 Maxima. Lovely car that seemed to do everything right. I can still hear the "Please turn off the lights" voice in my head since everyone wanted a demo of the newfangled talking car. A friend of the family had a manual transmission one and that thing was fun!
  • FreedMike That wagon is yummy.
  • Syke Thanks, somehow I missed that.
  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.