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RE: '85 Ur-Q...

>If you guys are truly wondering whether these cars will ever reach
>"collector" status, make some phone calls.  There are a number of
>experts in the country who deal in and with true collector cars.  Ask
>them.  My bet is they will say "what car?"  when asked about the Ur-Q.

You definitely have a point -- just how valuable are Ro80s these days,
anyway? -- but you're discounting the emotional appeal of these cars.  The
price they command is a reflection of what someone's willing to pay for
them, no more and (hopefully) a little less.  Rarity is certainly a factor
but hardly the dominant one ... I need only point you in the direction of
the nearest camera store to prove that point.  Just because it's old doesn't
mean that it's valuable...  

As for seeking out the opinions of experts, I can't help but think they have
a vested interest in this.  The few that I know are nice enough guys but
getting an honest answer out of them is difficult ... if they think there's
a buck to be made, honesty often takes a back seat.

>To me, this talk is much like the debate about whether works of art
>[ie., Remington pieces] should be owned privately or held by museums
>for the enjoyment of all.  I think material items fall in several
>categories:  Tools and enjoyment pieces are the two main categories.

I understand and accept your position on this.  You obviously view your cars
as tools and own rebuilt wrecks because it's about the most cost effective
way to buy a car.  On the other hand, I have an attachment to the cars I
drive, emotional or otherwise, and having to look at minor ripples in the
shock towers every time I'm under the hood or a door gap that's not quite
right would quickly begin to wear on me.  For me, cars are NOT just tools
but "enjoyment pieces" as well [that's a legal term, right?] and I don't
understand why these two categories are always considered mutually exclusive...

The day my that Ur-Q gets hit is the day I stop worrying about keeping it
original ... until then, though, I will continue to wrestle with my
conscience.  Some mods -- different wheels, brakes, etc. -- are no big deal
since they're easily reversed; others are less clear-cut: While you can put
the stock chip back in your ECU, can you ever say with a straight face that
it's original again?

>If you want a stock Ur-Q, GREAT!  If you don't, you owe nothing to
>anyone but yourself--since you paid for it.  Modify until your heart
>is content.  To talk about slow, detuned, smog-certified cars with a
>hushed tone simply ain't for me.  

Obviously.  Not sure it's for me, either, hence the reason for the dilemma.
In fact, one solution I've been considering is simply to buy another one,
probably a late '83, and tinker with that one instead.  Of course, this
brings with it an entirely new set of problems to resolve...

>Btw, you that own an '85 Ur-Q---what is the market for the car right
>now?  By this, I mean, what did you pay, not what would you take?  My
>guess is 6-10k? 

It's unfortunate they arrived in this country at _precisely_ the same time
Audi was taking it in the shorts.  Last weekend, while I was installing the
eurolights on my mother's car, one of my girlfriend's new neighbors (she
lives in an apartment complex) spotted my Ur-Q in her garage and walked over
to talk with me.  It turns out that he'd seriously considered buying one in
'84 but couldn't because he was going through a divorce and his wife had
convinced the court to issue an order that prohibited him from signing any
contracts.  In 1986, after his divorce had been completed, he decided to buy
an '85 that his local dealer was trying to close out but couldn't convince
either his credit union or his bank to finance it for him!  They both said
they'd been stuck with an unusually large number of defaulted loans and had
a difficult time selling the cars at auction ... as such, they both insisted
that he put up one-third as a downpayment.  He decided instead to buy a 944T
(which he still has, btw ... looks sharp!) and said his bank was happy to
finance that for him with only the usual ten percent down.

What you pay for a car only reflects the seller's perception of what it was
worth and not the buyer's ... if they agree to sell, then by definition,
they got their price.  How much more the buyer was willing to pay is
unknown.  Obviously, I can't speak for anybody else but I do know that what
I paid for my Ur-Q was less than what I was _willing_ to pay for it ... to
me, this is a better indicator of its future value than the actual sales price.

If you look and listen carefully, you can see signs that the Ur-Q still has
an appeal to many people ... the mere fact that many of us are still talking
about our "slow, detuned, smog-certified cars with a hushed tone" is proof
enough of that!  :^)

    _                _
   / |      _| o    | \       _| o  Jeffrey Goggin
  /__| | | / | | __ |  | | | / | |  audidudi@mindspring.com
 /   | |_| \_| |    |_/  |_| \_| |  http://www.mindspring.com/~audidudi/