So I'm filling up at the local Texaco station and watching the end of Army of Darkness on the Q7's video monitor. The hero has just slain his evil doppelganger and is about to kiss the girl.
"Hail to the king, baby."
Ah, Bruce Campbell at his finest.
I hadn't noticed the pump spinning furiously past the $70 mark. Finally, a bit north of $90, it sputtered and stopped. Ouch.
You know how much beer I could buy with $90? A metric shitload, that's how much. And I could have fun with all that beer too, invite all my buddies over and throw down (or possibly up). By the end of that week, though, all that beer would be gone, just like the $90 tank of gas in the Q7.
My point is both the aforementioned things make me happy. I don't mind paying for stuff that gives me pleasure (a rationalization a day is good for you).
So far, the Audi Q7 has proven to be an exceptional vehicle, capable, comfortable and huge on the fun factor. To me, it's worth every penny I put into it. We will be living with the Q7 for the next eight months, driving it the way they do in the commercials. Will it hold up? Most likely. But what about the next five years, 10 years or, hell, 15 years?
We don't really know what happens to our long-term cars after they leave our garage. I do know, however, they aren't crushed like many of the domestics the Truckin' boys drive.
I'd like to install tracking collars in our LT cars, electronic devices that would relay the vehicle's health and location for the next 15 years or so. That way we could gauge their overall quality. Although a year's worth of magazine driving is equal to three normal years (in general, car magazines tend to be harder on cars), it's still not enough for this editor. I want to know how this Q7 will fare in the long run.
Last month, I'm pretty sure I saw our first LT 1996 Audi 2.8 Quattro, a car we fell in love with more than a decade ago. Its gleaming silver paint still looked fantastic and the BBS RC wheels, well, they where still mostly round, but showed signs of many curbside encounters. The windows had been tinted, and from what I could see inside, the cabin was holding up with exceptional poise. An elderly woman apparently thought my intentions nefarious and threatened to call the police while her miniature schnauzer gave me hell. I split rather than trying to explain.
I wonder how our LT Porsche 911 is doing as well. Given it was on its third engine, it's either fabulous or has been pushed over a cliff for the insurance. The Jaguar X-Type-well, um, who cares? It wasn't so much a bad Jag as it was a good Ford. Chances are that one got crushed and no one is any worse for it.
And then there's the Phaeton, Volkswagen's most beautiful failure. Word has it you can pick up one of these magnificent machines for $30K. Part of me thinks this is the deal of the decade, a chance to advance to a higher station. Another part wants to see how its multitude of gadgets and gizmos are faring. A car of the Phaeton's magnitude and technical complexity could nickel-and-dime you to death. Or not.
And then there are my personal cars. Do they still exist? I know for a fact my 1987 GTI 16V was cut to pieces and now lives in several different cars (I'm an organ donor as well). The Corrado is alive and well in Virginia and its current owner has proven to be a great caretaker. The kid who bought the M3 e-mails me every few hours to tell me how great it is. I hope he stops because, in hindsight, I should never have sold it (you were right, Karl).
What about ancient history? Where is my '73 914 or '75 2002 or '76 V6 Capri? Are there any Capris still alive? Does anyone even care? If you happen to see a Capri bearing the plate 621PQLL, it was mine. Drop me a line and let me know how it's doing. I like to keep tabs on all my past loves.