I’ve watched the BringATrailer.com auctions since they launched, and every week I’ve had to bite my fingers to keep from bidding. They curate a phenomenal list of cars, and at any given time, there’s at least one or two cars that I’d love to own. The comments are half the fun, too – the BaT readership is well-informed and loves to share stories.
When this Audi RS6 came up for bids, my heart fluttered. I really like sleepers – cars that don’t get a second glance from most of the population, but us real car fans recognize their subtle clues. The RS6 is a great Q-ship because most American folks just think it’s a plain ol’ Audi A6, a car that sells in pretty big volumes. (Europeans know better – they still get RS6’s today, but we only got the RS6 for just one single year, 2003.)
The 2003 RS6 had a twin-turbo V8 that generates 450 horsepower, 415 lb-ft of torque, a beautifully deep exhaust note, and a propensity for speeding tickets. Dip your right foot down, and the scenery changes – fast.
At its introduction, it was the world’s fastest 4-door car, and the reviews were gushing:
- Car and Driver’s Daniel Pund wrote, “To use the new 450-hp Audi RS6 as your grocery-getting daily driver is to use a broadsword as a butter knife.”
- Road and Track’s Sam Mitani said, “The sensation was not unlike that of a genuine race car, and before I knew it the speedometer needle had reached 160mph.”
- Even just a few years ago, Jalopnik’s Patrick George called it a future classic, saying that “450 horses made the RS6 like some kind of Teutonic planet-destroying spaceship, a kind of all-wheel-drive Death Star, but better looking.”
- Eddie Alterman (at Automobile Magazine at the time) said, “In the end, is the ability to say you own the world’s fastest sedan that meaningful? Hell, yes!”
At this point, it probably sounds like I set out looking for an RS6, but that definitely wasn’t the case. I wanted one – but I want dozens of cars, especially Porsche 911s. (It’s probably best for all of us that I’m not rich.)
But this RS6 was a screaming deal. (At least to me.)
See, this particular RS6 was lowered to within 1/2″ of the fenders using a $3k aftermarket suspension, then shod with custom $5k Rotiform BTH wheels. The look resonated with me right away – most folks would just think this was a kinda-stock-looking car, while hard-core car guys would raise their eyebrows, try to figure out just what was going on here, and make Ronin and Transporter references. It’s not for everyone – but it’s definitely for me.
And ironically, it’s not for the typical BaT reader, because they don’t take kindly to kinda-late-model cars that aren’t classics yet, nor do they like lightly modified cars. I thought the car might be undervalued at BaT, so I watched the auction clock count down while I was on a plane heading home to Chicago.
In my defense, I would like to point out that I was under the influence of Spike Feresten, a car geek whose appearance on The Nerdist reminded me that life is short, and you should buy cars you want, take them on fun drives to make memories while you still can. Spike’s TV show, Car Matchmaker, is more about car personalities than raw number figures. In the interest of honesty, Spike wouldn’t actually want me to buy this, because it’s not going to appreciate through the lifespan of my ownership, and it has horrific ownership costs. Anything Tavarish recommends is usually a bad idea.
Bidding stalled at $16k, even though plain stock RS6s were in the $17k-$25k range. (Since this auction, another RS6 came up, that one with more miles, accident damage, cheaper rims, heavily modified, unable to pass emissions testing, and that one went for $16,800.)
So I put in a $16,250 bid, then $16,750.
Nobody else bid, and I won.
I wanted to dance in the plane. I may have actually done so in the bathroom. However, Erika did not share my enthusiasm. After seeing the auction photos, she said, “It looks like the leather probably smells.” <sigh> It’s definitely my car, not our car. (The Infiniti is henceforth her car.)
The BringATrailer.com buying experience was super-easy, especially since the seller (Wob) manages private car collections for a living. He helped me arrange transport, and nicely packed in the extra wheels and parts.
I knew from the photos that it had a really low stance, but I didn’t appreciate just how low it was until it rolled off the car carrier. I kept blinking and thinking, “Is the suspension cinched down for transport or something?” There was no way this thing rode so low. Even the truck driver said, “I had one hell of a time getting the straps onto the tires – I’ve never transported a car this low before.” The ride height made sense in LA, but in Chicago’s pothole-ridden downtown streets, not so much.
Like any sane city-dweller, I figured I’d raise the adjustable suspension up by an inch or so to buy myself more clearance, but after walking up to it a few times….
I absolutely love the look. I’m not a StanceWorks fan (despite owning a Lowly Gentlemen t-shirt), and I don’t wanna drive Rusty Slammington, but the way the wheels fill up the arches seems perfect for the minimalist design of the car. It’s one of the cleanest, simplest, sedan designs I’ve ever seen, and the combination of the lowering and the wheels make it feel like a concept car. It’s not like I need something practical – hell, it’s not even like I need a car, because I telecommute. I own this thing just to be proud of it, and to blow off steam on the weekends.
And it’s fast. Holy moly, it’s fast. I have a Nashville client visit coming up in September, and I can’t freakin’ wait for the road trip. (I’d already booked the flights, but who cares? Time to let this thing stretch its legs.)
Oh, and I need a name for him. Going by popular 2003 German baby names, I’m thinking Felix.