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S4 for Business, Road Warrior, Project Car?

1st, Great note, Thanks a bunch:
You are driving the right considerations.  I don't want to foster the 
 impression that I can afford (or want) to ignore the financials on 
 this decision.  I was initially interested in the hardware ideas that 
 might pop out of the of group.

It is interesting  to see some of the basics fall out of a calculator 
 exercise: $.08/mi for fuel ($1.50/19), $.02/mi for tires 
 ($150/30,000), $.02 for routine maint, $.02 for license ($600/30,000) 
 and $.04/mi for insurance ($650/6mo/2,500mi) are "reasonable" 
 expectations if care is not taken with the car choices -- over $.18/mi 
 before any of the equipment!

In the end it will come down to a safe and fun ride calculated inside 
 the reimbursement available, although no Pontiac Grand Prix is going 
 to qualify.

There is a side issue (my reputation) in this debate that I have not 
 disclosed to the group.  I am "the Audi Guy" in the company since 
 1986, and have slowly influenced the purchase by others of several new 
 cars (4-100, 7-90, 1-S4) and a growing parking lot population of 
 capable iron with 4-rings on the grill (3-4000, 2-5000), and a fox 
 (without my advice!).  There has only been one problem in any of these 
 cars (a '94 90), corrected by the Washington State Lemon Law and 
 cooperation by Audi of America, so the cars will continue to multiply. 
  The A4 is going to boost this much further if we can get delivery of 
 the units.

John (me) NEEDs to drive an Audi, if I want to continue to work here!  
 There are the required BMW 735, 540, 325, Mazda RX7, Volvo, and Saab 
 choices in the lot, but Audi has definitely pushed aside many of the 
 individual decisions after I started to park my Audi 4000CS backwards 
 (rings visible) in the first space years ago.  I hope this better 
 defines my situation for you!

I don't see new job lasting 3 years, it will be less - one way or 
 another.  The mileage should be greater than 25K which is why I keep 
 thinking "consumed."

I bought my S4 private party with only 10K on the meter at a very good 
 price.  It now has 25K as an early '93 almost out of Audi warranty, 
 definitely a "low mileage" car as I own it today.

It is the "right" S4 long term too: pearl white, carbon fibre interior 
 trim, "all the options" like CD player - no damage, no scratches, 
 chips or bra - capable and understated.  Of all the model years for 
 S4/6, this is the one which will resell in a few years - I think.  
 What is your opinion?

The Pacific Northwest is Audi territory.  The center of my travel area 
 (Seattle metro) has two dealerships (University and Barrier) and 
 several private Audi shops; to the north in Bellingham (Robert 
 Larson); to the south in Tacoma, Portland, Bend, Salem; and to the 
 East in Yakima and Spokane.  I should have good access to service.

Your caution on modified cars is fair and proper here.  But I have 
 always wanted to take a standard cheap good condition used Audi and 
 spend money to fix it up into another "standard" Audi.  I've wondered 
 if this Road Warrior exercise might be my chance to try it again?

To get nuts for a moment, and twist our Road Warrior debate in a 
 different direction, some quattro examples:

Audi Coupe Quattro transformed to an "S2" with the Standard S4 motor? ($??)
Audi 90 Sport with the same S4 motor? ($??)
Audi 400CSq ('87) with the 20v L5 from the later 90CS 20v?

Are there GOOD choices possible?  What would be needed to do it correctly?

Remember that I know machines can be repaired and run to major miles - 
 if maintained.  The trick is to make the choice reasonable to assemble 
 and not a "custom" job for the daily maintenance requirements.  I've 
 done this with VWs (an '81 VW Scirocco was the most fun as a freeway 
 onramp joy, and even subtly European badged as a "Scirocco GTi").

This idea would clearly fit in with my #2 concern!  A used car, run 
 into the ground by the requirements of the job, but fun while it 
 lasted (if it would last).

Al, I should have commented your banner "The PACK is back!"

I will assume you are in a difficult spot due to the Dallas Cowboys 
 barely beating the Cinderella Season Green Bay Packers for the 
 Superbowl chance.  I'm a Wisconsin boy raised near Madison until the 
 Army took me to other shores.  This has been a wonderful football 
 season!  My friends back there have been unbearable.

 "... a 1958 Fiat Spyder Roadster, 1200cc of cool Italian!!!"  True, fun.

I just love to see the faces of [plug in Corvette, Camero, Mustang, 
 ...] drivers as this little black-over-red 10' long Austin Cooper S 
 jumps ahead on the freeway onramp seemingly glued to the pavement.  A 
 little timing, Yoko A008s, and 1,300lbs help this expression!  Golly it's fun.

My son loves it all too.  Cars can soak up a lot of attention.

'93 Audi S4,  '67 Austin Cooper S, '89 BMW 325, '93 Jeep Cherokee