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Mail order Blaus

I had my first taste of Blau within the past month.  However, it was quite
different than the usual Q-lister's encounter:

My wife grew up in Manitowoc, WI from the age of 5 through high school...her
parents have now lived in the town for about 33 years.  Manitowoc is a
farm/factory town about 80 miles north of downtown Milwaukee.  

I was up there over Labor Day on vacation (currently live in NC), and I
usually get quite bored when I go (I am a city slicker, natch)...but must
keep the in-laws happy by delivering the baby!

Maggie got restless during a social gathering my in-laws held on Labor Day,
in need of her PM nap.  So Daddy puts her in the 5kt, and we drive around.

What does Daddy see but a bunch of Audis on the outskirts of town?
Hmm...what is this Blau-fer-whatever place?  Need another look tomorrow when
it is open.  Wasn't this place mentioned on the Q-List?

So I go over there the next day...the "tech" (Jim) wasn't around and the
young woman running the counter is quite annoyed with this outsider looking
around and asking questions about the merchandise on display and behind the
counter.  It is clear to me she is no Audi afficinado and really would like
me to scram.  So I did.

I called the next day 2 or 3 times in the morning, and by late morning Jim
finally is in house.  

I go over there and have a positively enjoyable time with Jim.  I drop $55
in miscellaneous parts-he did have the overflow hose which I wanted to
change before driving the 1000 miles back to Raleigh NC from Manitowoc.
Plus I picked up some odds-and-ends my local GermanPartsHaus had trouble

He looks over my recently acquired '86 5kt and seemed to be impressed that I
only have about $2400 tied up into it thus far.  He checked the engine,
after run cooling system and Goo2000 system out for me.  He especially was
impressed with the shape of the leather interior for a 150,000 mile car.

Bottom line is that I am pleased thus far with Blau.  I will make it a point
to deal with Jim as much as I can as he seems to be the man with the
answers.  But I will still go to my local man first-I can check things over
before my Visa is charged!  Besides, I have decent leverage with "T Hoff"
nowadays, and the prices are getting much better than when I first went in
there two years ago.

I will also start training my father-in-law to act as my "proxy"-he can go
over there and see if the stuff is actually in stock for me! :)  Father in
law actually liked the 5 kT.  He drives a Taurus, and agreed with me when I
told him that Ford stole some design cues from the early 5k for the early

I used to work in service for a major ham radio dealer based in
Milwaukee...the people up in WI can be surly if you beat them
up...especially the ones from places like Manitowoc, Fond-du-Lac and Omro!
They do not like the big city folks telling them what they are doing wrong.