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Report on CPA Motorcars (longish)
Some weeks ago, I made it known on the List that I had purchased an 89
200TQW from CPA Motorcars in Van Nuys, CA. Some List discussion ensued
regarding the merits of dealing with CPA's proprietor, Bob Allen. As a
result, I promised to report here how I fared in Bob's hands in terms of
after-sale attention. The purpose of this message is to fulfill that promise.
I agree with Paul Timmerman's comment that one can do significantly better
with respect to purchase price, given sufficient patience and the
willingness to search out-of-town or out-of-state. However, I was unable to
find any used Quattro Avants for sale in Southern California in some weeks
of searching. I thus elected to buy from Bob instead of remaining patient.
Could I have saved money? Probably. A lot? I don't know. At least part of
the savings would have been offset by the $1,000 or so I'd incur in travel
expenses in bagging and bringing back my trophy from Seattle or Denver or
Salt Lake City.
At any event, it turns out that there were two things wrong with the car as
delivered, neither of which I noticed immediately. First, the
column-mounted combination switch was bad, so the headlight high beam
flashing feature didn't work. Second, the vacuum pump was broken or worn
out, so the cruise control didn't work. A couple of weeks after I took
delivery, the IC-to-turbo hose blew out. CPA made all these things right
cheerfully. My only out-of-pocket expense was the $60 or $70 cost of the
hose. I paid no labor.
An additional data point is provided by the work I subsequently had CPA do
on my 5kcstq. I had a complete service done, and the spark plugs, fuel
pump, and driveshaft support bearing replaced for something like half what
I reckon Vacek Polak Audi would have charged (actually, a *lot* less than
half, since Vacek would have replaced the *entire* driveshaft assembly).
I don't offer this in defense of CPA, but simply as another data point to
help others to make their own judgements. Some on the List have made
less-than-positive comments, so even though my experience has been good, I
would advise the exercise of prudence and caution in dealing with CPA, but
not necessarily avoidance. For my part, would I do it again? Absolutely.
Standard List disclaimers apply, YMMV, et al.