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1989 90Q 2.3E update (LONG)

Hi all,

Firstly I'd like to thank all list members for their hints, enabling me to
make a thorough check-up of this car. Once more the list came to the
rescue. I love it!

On arrival yesterday after work I went to visit the dealer who advertised
two cars, an '89 and a '90, both 90Qs. It appeared that he'd already sold
The remaining car turned out to be the ultimate: a 1989 90Q 2.3E 20V!
According to the dealer (shifty looking character) it was imported from
Germany, and would be sold with a new registration number and a year's
warranty. (Valid only if he's still in business in a year's time, I guess).
The car was metallic black (beautiful colour) with a black interior, making
it very dark inside. The paint was still gleaming, two deep and ugly
scratches on the front wing (fender) and there were small dents all over
the car as if it had been in a hailstorm.
I asked the guy to open the bonnet (hood). The 20V engine looked a bit
dusty, but the undershield on these cars does keep the engine bay clean. On
pulling the dipstick, the oil level was way below minimum and looking very
grubby. Hmmm...
The guy wanted to close the hood and be done with it, but I asked him to
start up the engine. It started readily enough, but sounded like someone
hacksawing a giant redwood. Do these euro 20Vs have ISVs, anyone? Beside
that, the lifters were shot. It sounded like the number 51 bus in the
morning. No way was I going to buy a performance car that sounded like
this... The previous owner had kept the original aero-look wheels, but
replaced the 195 tyres by 215s. This looked stupid (apart from being
dangerous). Besides, all four tyres were down to the last .5mm of their
tread. This car looked like it had been seriously neglected... What with no
oil in the engine and  four bald tyres (in the rain!) I wasn't even going
to test drive it. Besides that I checked the rear discs: one was heavily
scored, and there was lots of play on the rear 'steering rods' (thanks
Tadeusz Gladczenko). Guess these were shot as well.
The guy claimed it had the A7 engine instead of the usual A3, giving
230bhp? Any comments? I looked it up at home, and couldn't find any 20V
with more than 170bhp. Cr*p?

While driving home I settled in behind a beautiful silver A8, put a Clannad
CD in the stereo and turned the volume to deafening, to make some mental
notes of the pros and cons. Please, ladies and gents, your comments on my

Stealth- a car for taking to customers without being ashamed of yourself
Very quick and safe (quattro)
Beautiful colour IMHO
Still a nice shape in my eyes, butch and solid-looking
Sports interior in great shape, didn't smell of smoke, upholstery like new
Factory sports suspension
Nice factory -aero- alloys
Lots of toys: c/locking, a/c, elec. mirrors, trip comp, ABS
No visible accident damage
Low mileage (116K km=72K miles)
Reasonable price (16K Dfl= $7K), about Dfl 6K cheaper than next Q in the

No oil whatsoever (????)
Rough idle $$
Lifters shot $$$
small dents everywhere
4 completely bald tyres (the guy was gonna replace these before the sale)
horrible stick-on graphics (hard to remove)
damaged alloys from stick-on balancing lead, one center cap missing
no elec. windows
German imported car, will always be worth less than original Dutch car
Speeding tickets, crippling insurance without $$$ alarm, fuel consumption

The guy would only give $4.5K for my gleaming, undamaged 1988 80, which I
think a joke. He wouldn't budge on that though. Gave me the usual cr*p (If
you don't buy it now, someone might beat you to it! Yeah, so what?)
Well, listers, how about some advice? Do the absence of engine oil, the
rough idle and the bald tyres spell serious neglect? I didn't drive it,
should I have?

The nearest Q in the country is a 1989 Coupe Q (which I think is even more
beautiful and fun to drive) which costs about Dfl 6K more. Too expensive by
far. I'm going to look at some more non-Q 90s today. Pity about this one,
I'd love a real Q!

I await your comments!

1988 80 1.8S (for now)

   Tom W. Nas, graphic design                        tnas@dtpdirect.nl
   DTP Direct bv                              Voice +31 (55) 5 790 799
   Apeldoorn, the Netherlands                   Fax +31 (55) 5 790 125

             I think animal testing is a terrible idea;
             they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
                                 --'A Bit of Fry and Laurie'