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V* Shake Down Cruise ( A Little long)

This is the initial installment of a (1) week (5 days) series in the
inauguration of  "new" V8Q. 

Just bought a 1990 V8, sight unseen, with 78K on the clock, totally
stock. A friend and fellow lister, Paul Waterloo, finally convinced me
of the A-U-D-I "mystique". The only Audi I've ever experienced was
Paul's 1991 Turbo 200Q. An AWESOME ride. After experiencing the
"non-performance" of a 420SEL for two years, in the snow of upstate NY,
I was convinced. The 420SEL, a great car for what it is, can wait unitl
I retire. So the search for a V8Q started in December 1997.

Looked at one 1990 V8 in NYC (without sport seats) in mid-December 1997.
An impeccable V8 with 17" aftermarket wheels and an engine that you
could eat off of. With only 55K on the clock, the car appeared the
perfect specimen even at a $16K asking price. However, an inquiry to the
dealer regarding the VIN# (to check the history at the dealer and a
Car-Fax Report) resulted in silence. Even given the "pristine"
appearance of the car, this resulted in a fishy suspicion of an
otherwise excellent appearing car.

In January '98 found as good a specimen with a traceable maintenance
histoy through the local Audi dealer. The car was purchased in Chicago,
a beautiful, midnight blue, with grey leather, sport seats, slush box
and aftermarket 15" wheels. The "Shakedown Cruise" will consist of the
experiences of a "Virgin" Audi owner on a journey from Chicago to New
York via Toledo, Detroit, Pittsburgh and finally the Big Apple and
to Poughkeepsie, NY.

Before the initial leg, business dictated a short jaunt from Chicago to
Bloomington, Il. A short 135 mile prelude to a much anticipated ROMP
across half of the U.S. The V8 is superb in every aspect so far. About
75 miles into the warm up session, a short test of the raw power of the
V8 was warranted and desired. This resulted in a 120mph+ test on a long,
unpopulated, stretch of I-55. This car is so-o-o-o solid in the sweet
spot, including a long sweeping curve that demonstrated the
"controllability" and "smoothness" at the high end MPH. WHAT A RUSH!!!
Even had a little left after 120+mph. Rumor has it the V8 will do 140
mph. Stay tuned!! Very comparable to the ride of the 420SEL with the
controllability of the 911. One helluva combination. Noted some
vibration from the front (possibly only a routine balancing needed) and
a slight "pull" to the right (alignment?)

Noticed that the "Brake" warning light came on momentarily when
the car was braked hard. This has happened on 3-4 occasions so far. Is
this normal, or do I have something that going to haunt me somewhere in
the middle of Bum***k, Ohio???

After the inital test run, took the V8 to have the alignment and balance
checked. The mechanic noted that the alignment was OK, but the right
front caliper was "dragging". Balance was performed. Is this the curse
of the UFO's I've heard about, and if so, what sacrifice does the Audi
gods require to ensure a safe journey???  

Also, have noticed a "popping" sound that appears to come from the right
front wheel when the wheel is turned to the stop on either side. Sounds
like the UFO shroud is hitting the wheel??? Is not a serious problem
yet. Any suggestions.     

Stay Tuned!!! Tomorrow, check out test results of the balance and
from the Chicago-to-Toledo leg.