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An unintentionally sappy Audi story

I must admit I was a little disappointed at the number of replies to my 
last post (one) but y'all must listen now...

#1 Say you bought an '86 5ks and you brought it from s*** to a very nice 
car. You have $1,000 LEFT. What do you do-- as far as PREVENTATIVE 
maintenance? I WANT TO "DRIVE IT FOREVER." I certainly do not have 
Audi's sared maintenance booklet, but I still want to look at real 

#2 My pop is probably going to buy a Pontiac for his next car, in spite 
of the fact that when he needs to go to the grocery (when I'm home) he 
borrows my '86 5k. (Funny, that is, his car is swimming in American 
rust). How do I convince him to pick up an Audi A4 2.6 or 1.8t? (he 
won't share the level of his income, but speaking as his only child, I'm 
fairly sure that he can afford it). All he cares about is reliability 
(he is on his third tranny-- that's funny too)-- he thinks Audi is a 
PITA-- too many evenings in the garage. (reminder: he likes my Audi more 
than his paltry Bonneville-- mine's 2 years older, and I bought it 
really cheap). It saddens me that the cars he thinks about buying have 
no _soul_. 

I must admit he has taught me the little I know about cars in general 
(It seems like he can diagnose any electrical fault without the 
Bentley-- give him a multimeter, he'll figure it out). In fact, to any 
CAN RELATE ABOUT (I as an unemployed Philosophy/ Creative Writing B.A.), 
and it means something-- it was almost tear-jerking when, on Christmas 
day, he bought me a new P/S rack and we installed it, with limited tools 
(I would almost kill to be as resourceful as dear old dad). It 
especially meant something-- me as a writer, he as a fixer-- it was the 
only common bond I have ever found.

Take care of your kids-- _raise_ them. 

I love him. It seems like we have rebuilt my car from the ground up. The 
irony is that when I take the 5k (as sorry as it is without quattro or 
turbo) home to fix problem "gremlin #374" he _glows_ when I pull up a 
Dave Head Email (thanks, BTW) about the problem (A/C programmer, 
sunroof, and the billion things he alone has sent me)-- that is, my dad 
is really jazzed that I care about fixing and making my car last so 
well. My Great-granddad just died at 97-- he worked as a carpenter till 
he was about 85. My Granddad just retired at 70 as a machinist (you 
should see his Chrysler Imperial-- It is beautiful-- we love effective 
simplicity) and my Dad works for Sprint as a technician (though after 25 
years his title is much cooler). I am the sole surviving male, and 
automobiles _must_ be my niche,(in a pragmatist family that makes things 
WORK-- they still use DINO oil, but...;)) as I don't get along well with 

I wanted to say a little more (like the speedo I sent to VDO (the area 
code has changed-- I'll Email Dan privately for the vendor page)) but I 
find myself a little choked up about the dad stuff. The 5k, abused as it 
is, has provided a few family moments that I never expected to have with 
my dad, growing up. 

The automobile is part of America (even though the best are German), and 
part of the American family. Indirectly, Audi has brought me much mirth.

Goodbye for now, and excuse the sappiness, please--
--Ted Harlan