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Thread: Das Ponto's 3.2 A3 Journey Home!

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    Das Ponto's 3.2 A3 Journey Home!

    Hi everyone! Figured I would introduce myself.

    I am from over the pond in the frozen north of Canada! And here starts my story.

    Last Summer I started looking for an A3. Specifically the 3.2, now in Canada land those are few and far between, I think in all of Canada there were 2 or 3 for sale. All of which were high mileage. Now currently owning an 04' Gti cresting 215,000km it was time for something newer and less driven. So I broaden my search to the US of A. Selection improves greatly! I find one - 2007 with 10,700 Miles, seems a little to good to be true ( still on the fence in some regards ) in Miami. I hum and haw over it, to the point where I eventually ignore it. Month later, same car still up for sale. Ok time to get the internet on my side, post up a wtf kinda thread to see what the deal is. Review's came in mixed, but did have a few nice gents down in Florida pipe up about their own experiences and deals, one even offers to take a look at it! Well this is good news for me, having a 3rd party check out the car is a huge plus. Report comes back good, car looks as described and seems to be in fact a good deal. (Car Fax also came up clean)

    Time to contact and deal, see what I can find out and what price I would be looking at. After a little bit of back and fourth the deal is struck and all of a sudden I own a car that is 5300km (3300mi) away from me. Shiiiit, what have I done? ok ok no big deal, lets ship it up. Buddy did it from Texas for roughly a grand. Start looking into it, prices are coming in higher... Well Eff it lets see what flights are. Holy cheap batman! I can't fly to a near by city for that price half the time. Alright book a flight for me and the girlfriend. (We had only been dating for 2 months, might have been suicide with a 5300km drive looming ahead of us together lol) She was pretty excited I was taking her to Miami with me. I well wanted the company and didn't think driving such a distance alone would be fun or wise.






    The time comes to fly down and pick the beauty up, I am nervous as all get up... What if i get there and the car is gone, or a pos, or who knows what else?! Flight was delayed, cab was slow it felt like it was taking forever to get to the dealership! Dealership closes at 8... its quarter after 7 and I have no idea how much further I have to go. Reallly don't want to lose a day as we were on a very tight schedule (only had 5 days before we had to be back to Edmonton)


    Well we made it. There the car sat, fresh rain drops beading on the freshly waxed body.





    Finish the last bit of paper work and toss our gear in the car and we are ready to roll! First stop - Orlando!





    Arrive there around midnight after 4 hours of driving and a few near heart attacks in Miami... Man alive talk about some crazy drivers, doesn't anyone know how to signal? Or you know let someone in? Thank goodness for the instant torque of the VR!





    Day 2 we spent at Disney World





    Oh right... Already had to stop at what would be the first of many gas stations.





    then shopping followed by a stop off at a Forum members house for a quick scan before hitting the road yet again. Car checks out minus a few codes which would likely be from a dead battery (and later a non working heated seat, but who in Miami needs a heated seat right?)


    Twins basil!!





    Made it later that night to Jacksonville (Again around midnight)


    The following morning came quickly, up and on the road by 5 am. The girlfriend seemingly alright, well she woke up, trudged to the car and fell back asleep within 10 minutes (Man these seats are comfy!! Thankfully!!)


    So now that the fun is done its time to make some miles!





    They start to fly by quickly and before we know it we have left Florida and are on to the next state! Next stop Atlanta, can't really remember what time we got there but it was daylight.





    Hmm no zombies anywhere! I am disappoint.





    We didn't stay long, just enough to get our bearings, more fuel of course and some food and back on the road. Making good time, we hope to hit Nashville in time for lunch with an old family friend who is now a country singer ( And well quite hot... But shhh don't tell my gf that!) Well we were making good time... Until Chattanooga, all lanes of traffic slowly come to a hault. Traffic jam. fffuuu. Then low coolant... DOUBLE FFFUUUUU. Ok time to find a dealership (Cringe) Luckily it was only about 3 miles away, so dipped off the interstate as soon as I could (2 hours later...)
    Get to the dealership go in to buy some coolant. They are all very friendly, and offer to give the car a once over and fill up the coolant for me! Hmm alright, well I am sure this is gonna cost me but whatever rather have it done then have my car die before I even make it home. 25 minutes later my car is back around, they give me my jug of coolant and send me on my way. Free of Charge?! wtf that never happens up here. Bonus!


    Another stop at a gas station...





    And more miles to be made, sadly we did not make Nashville in time for the lunch so we decided to press on to our next planned stop St. Louis and the Arch! (Figured we might as well see some cool **** on our way)


    Hope you all enjoy! More to follow along with pictures! Cheers!


    Ponto

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    Oh I will add a google map here... For those curious of the drive!

    http://goo.gl/maps/SXjKH

    That should take you to our path.

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    This should be an epic thread for the drive home, wow 3.3k miles back, that's long man, I have done Italy which is 1k & that was in one long hit aswell, harsh but 3.3k, wow lol.
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    What an epic journey. What a way to introduce yourself to the new car as well. Looks gorgeous, btw.

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    Thank's guys, it was a long drive to say the least. But fun for sure! If I ever do it again I will make sure to have more then 5 days to do it though.

    Will post the rest of the trip and more pictures later! Including updated to where the car is at now.

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    could you really not find one closer?! :P but it looks sweet! and wis i could do a drive like that! :D

    well jelly :P
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    Excellent thread mate... I bought my car 5hrs away and thought that was bad haha...


    Look forward to reading your thread, nice to see pics of some sunshine and not the terrible weather we have over here right now in Scotland!
    Audi history... Brilliant Red 2.0tfsi Quattro, Sprint Blue S3...

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    What the flamin hell am I doing in England. Always looks so clean and fresh out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ.Foulds View Post
    could you really not find one closer?! :P but it looks sweet! and wis i could do a drive like that! :D

    well jelly :P
    Haha well in all of Canada there was 2 for sale with the 3.2, lots of others with the 2.0t. Not to mention the price difference was about 10k compared to one with 40,000 more miles on it. There were a few in the states a bit closer, but all around the 20-40k mile mark. I had 3 that was the final choice and I picked this one because of the Lava grey, the other two were brilliant black.

    Quote Originally Posted by S3_Jacko View Post
    Excellent thread mate... I bought my car 5hrs away and thought that was bad haha...


    Look forward to reading your thread, nice to see pics of some sunshine and not the terrible weather we have over here right now in Scotland!
    You are welcome! And the weather can't be that bad can it? We are having a fairly warm fall here, no snow as of yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr901 View Post
    What the flamin hell am I doing in England. Always looks so clean and fresh out there.
    I'll have to post some dirtier pictures then. haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr901 View Post
    What the flamin hell am I doing in England. Always looks so clean and fresh out there.
    +1 when I saw those pics man.

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    10,700 miles on a 6 year old car....

    Did the person who owned it forget they had it or something? Almost barn find material!

    How much $$ if you don't mind me asking....just roughly...
    2012 Ibis Black Edition S-tronic S3, 3 Door, Shark Stage 2, MTC Intake Kit, Powerflex Fast Road Dogbone Mount, Full Non Res Milltek Exhaust, Forge Development Intercooler + DV system,
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHN View Post
    +1 when I saw those pics man.
    I look out the window now, all i see is mud, typically english wooden partition fences, oh and rain....

    Get me out.
    2012 Ibis Black Edition S-tronic S3, 3 Door, Shark Stage 2, MTC Intake Kit, Powerflex Fast Road Dogbone Mount, Full Non Res Milltek Exhaust, Forge Development Intercooler + DV system,
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    I thought I was mad traveling 300 miles to get both my cars!

    epic read though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr901 View Post
    I look out the window now, all i see is mud, typically english wooden partition fences, oh and rain....

    Get me out.
    Again +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr901 View Post
    10,700 miles on a 6 year old car....

    Did the person who owned it forget they had it or something? Almost barn find material!

    How much $$ if you don't mind me asking....just roughly...
    Little crazy I know, well car was 5 years old when I found it. All I can surmise is that it was someone who was vacationing in the states perhaps? Not sure really. It was originally a Texas car, then it went out to Miami, and actually I found out at the border that it was on the list to be exported to England at one point but that deal must have fallen through!

    Cost was 21,000 USD by the time I imported it I was roughly 24,500.
    Similar A3 with 50,000 Miles on it was selling for 32,000 Locally.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr901 View Post
    I look out the window now, all i see is mud, typically english wooden partition fences, oh and rain....

    Get me out.
    Hmm Outside leaves are still falling off the trees, we got a skiff of snow the other day. But mainly brown.


    Quote Originally Posted by smurfworth View Post
    I thought I was mad traveling 300 miles to get both my cars!

    epic read though!
    haha well we look at distances differently out here, the next major city (500k people plus) is a 3 hour drive... Well should state not an english 3 hour drive, but open straight 185 miles of road. haha

    Hmm my lunch time, supposed I could post the rest of the trip here too!

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    Hmm what was next... Of course more fuel! Thanks to my speeds (80-100mph average across 11 states) I think I averaged 20mpg for the entire drive.


    I had already driven a ton and was beat, so time for the girlfriend to take the wheel. She was really nervous after seeing the drivers down in Florida haha, but did awesome.





    Shortly after the delays we did make it to Nashville!





    Quick stop to make sure we were heading in the right direction and we were back on the road to St. Louis, whiich we didn't get there til oh 8 or 9 I think it was.





    The parking for the Arch was pretty cool, basically on some crazy cobblestone right on the bank of the river.





    Stayed there for a bit, walked around took pictures etc. It was pretty cool to see. But we still had more to go that night, needed to get to Kansas City!
    There was a lot of night driving, so needless to say I was in love with having HID's now, man alive talk about making things easier to see!





    Around 10 pm I realized we wouldn't be getting to Kansas city any time soon... So had to tell the gf no hotel that night if we wanted to stay on schedule. Well she handled it well, and improvised.





    I drove through the night and finally arrived in Kansas city somewhere around 4:30am, pulled into a rest stop slept for half an hour and got back on the road. Made it about another 30 minutes of driving and needed another power nap. After that I was good to hit the road to Sioux City!


    Morning did come as well!





    I had to laugh at the billboards you see across the states, either about jesus or strip clubs. And damn trucker discounts?! what a deal!


    However this one made me laugh even more.





    So we pass Sioux city, trade off driving and I fall asleep. Wake up to nothingness! aka South Dakota.





    Man I though Saskatchewan was bad, this is terrible there aren't even any tree's!


    Oh I lied, there was one.





    Along the drive we did manage to stop at nearly every major chain of burger joints Canada doesn't have. Have to say Checkers has the best fries of the lot. Sonic was pretty good too.





    Next stop though would be Mount Rushmore, never though I would actually see it, but low and behold there it is! haha Again, pretty cool.








    Northward bound... which means snow.





    Started running into it a bit into Montana, which is fine and dandy with quattro and all, but not so much with 5 year old 115 degree texas baked stock summer tires. So needless to say it was a little nerve racking. The roads though stayed clear through all of Montana so still managed to make good time!


    Arrived at great falls Sunday morning around 11am or so!





    And more snow after we got through Great falls.





    Including some crazy fog.





    Moment of truth! We have reached the border.




    Time to see if all my paper work arrived and if I would be bringing this baby across into Canada land!
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    Wow, what a drive!

    Always wanted to drive from one side of America to the other! Such a cool country compared to England!

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    Well some of it can be very boring!!

    The car will finally make the west coast this Christmas actually. Thinking maybe do Alaska too so I can say I went from pretty much the most South East Point of North America to the Very North West Point.

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    Don't think you realise how lucky you are to be able to drive to places like that, you could literally wake up one morning and think, I'm going go to New York, Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, Texas, Atlanta, Miami Today!

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    Well same can be said for Europeans - today I am going to go to France, Italy, Spain etc. OK maybe not driving... but you are all close to some very cool things!

    Most of those places you listed are 20 hours or more of driving haha.
    We have thought of doing a car show in Vegas, its about 21 hours drive time.
    San Francisco is about 20-24 hours.

    It is awesome to be able to do some massive road trips though. And well our fuel is waaay cheaper than yours. Especially in the states - tank of fuel ran me 45 USD dollar on average, home in Canada its closer to 65 USD.
    Last edited by Das Ponto; 31st October 2013 at 18:36.

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    But we have to mess about getting a ferry or going through the tunnel, which can be expensive.

    Plus you only have one border to cross! 20 hours would kill people over here, we moan about 3 hours to London! :D

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    Yup very good point! I lived in Denmark for a year - 11 years ago now.. Funny the family had an A3.

    They thought 2.5hour drive was crazy long. I once did a 1600km round trip in one day for my birthday. Wanted to go to the mountains for this tree top adventure trek park. I didn't even get out of my own province!

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    I have got to do that one day, epic!

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    More!!




    Yup, worth its weight in gold.




    So got to the border, head on it to see about getting this beauty imported. Head to the desk, first lady - rude short with me about where I parked etc. 'MERICA


    I go re-park where she told me, come on back in and yay get someone else! This lady is super friendly and much more pleasant. Provide her with my paper work ( Bill of sale, title etc) She asked if I called ahead to ensure all my other documents were there 72 hours prior... Ummm, no? It said specifically not to call. She informs me you should anyways just to confirm they got it all... If they didn't have it I would be waiting at the border for 3 days before I could bring the car across.


    Few nervous moments while she checks the computer...




    Yay! We are in luck, all was in order. And actually turns out the car was scheduled to be exported once before - To England? Sale fell through obviously.


    That concluded the 'Merica side of things, off to Canada land. Head over the border and into the office there for the importing dealio stuff. Short wait in line, quick check of the car by the border officials, a few thousand dollars out of my pocket and we are on our way!!


    Wooo Alberta!





    Hey Look mountains!! - Those will have to wait for another day, and some real winter tires!





    This is about where I stopped taking pictures seeing as I live in Alberta I have seen most of it.


    The last stretch of the drive was good... Minus the last 100km or so, snowing, icy ****ty conditions. I was very nervous and averaged 70kmph. It sucked!! But even with degrading summers we did manage to make it!





    However it took two attempts to get up the icy driveway. The Tires were that bad!!


    Next day the car went to my trusty mechanic for an Oil Change and once over. Forgot to tell him how bad the tires were... He was not happy with me!





    Since I have been home, the car has been amazing. Got winters on, love going sideways and the heat of the VR is amazing!


    It has definitely been tested and proved it's might!





    To finish off here are a few pictures since I have been home as well. (Mostly hipstagram as I haven't taken the camera out... Will do that come summer time)








    This went on shortly after getting home.





    And here ends the story. So far.





    I hoped you have all enjoyed the read!

    I will post some new pictures of the car etc and some of the smaller road trips it's been on since then!

    Still need to get exhaust, coilovers, Euro Facelift tails, and some decent summer wheels!
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    1st thing, more pictures of the bird lol

    2nd double garage, that's what I hate about across the pond, they actually use logic when building houses, to actually fit a garage you can actually fit a car in without climbing out of the sunroof.

    3rd, check that snow man, you chain the wheels all the time, man must be fun with that weather.

    4th, you know about my retrofit for that gearknob, its not pnp, requires twisting the plastic rod 90 degrees.

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    Bird you say? What Bird? (haha I kid I kid)

    The garages are nice for sure, tight squeeze for 2 vehicles though, but that's only if you go with a standard double. Can get wider which is even better!

    Haha Chains?! Nah Don't own a set. Think we did for the old farm truck. But with quattro and good snow tires it goes through everything!

    Ah yes the gear knob... It has been swapped out already. Tried the heat and twist method... and failed. Lucky a guy in the states here made replacement shift pins.






    MisterJJ on Fourtitude made a batch of new rod tops to tap and die into the old shift rod





    Shown here is my broken shift rod with the 2mm grub screw in place.



    And here is the other end of the shift rod (testing depth of the grub screw on it before install, do this because its a pain to unscrew it all if you don't make the holes deep enough)





    Once both have been tap and died... then simply screw it on and have the holes facing forward instead of sideways.Once both have been tap and died... then simply screw it on and have the holes facing forward instead of sideways.

    Last edited by Das Ponto; 31st October 2013 at 19:27.

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    How'd you manage to snap it of that badly man, wow.

    Maybe its uk drivers lack of driving skills in slush, that makes us shxt at driving in snow lol.

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    Well I attempted the heat and twist method, was working fine, got it all the way around and was golden... Went to put the new shifter on and the edge must have caught or something... Whammy snapped it off good.

    Got the new shift rod about a week and a half later. Installed and it has been golden ever since.

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    Oh and as for the snow.. well when you get it 4-6 months of the year you learn to handle it well.





    And leaving my dad's farm after a big snowfall in the spring



    My old Gti the previous year fwd and good winters it plowed through everything


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    The majority of people over here don't even know winter tires exist, maybe that's why were useless at driving!

    Plus £400+ for a set for a few days a year of snow is a bit much! I just prefer to stay in the house or get a taxi!
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    Great thread mate and a highly enjoyable read....

    Now they pics of the snow is more like home to me.... no snow here yet, just p!ssing it down constantly at the moment, but the cold is on its way... wee bit of thunder today to keep things interesting lol...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant_A3 View Post
    The majority of people over here don't even know winter tires exist, maybe that's why were useless at driving!

    Plus £400+ for a set for a few days a year of snow is a bit much! I just prefer to stay in the house or get a taxi!
    This is a very good point - Vancouver is like that, more of a coastal city that gets more rain than snow.. People usually panic when they get snow. haha

    Quote Originally Posted by S3_Jacko View Post
    Great thread mate and a highly enjoyable read....

    Now they pics of the snow is more like home to me.... no snow here yet, just p!ssing it down constantly at the moment, but the cold is on its way... wee bit of thunder today to keep things interesting lol...
    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Was a fun trip! I will see if I can dig up some more snow pictures. And well more will come once it starts to snow. Last year I think we ended up with 4 or 5 feet over the entire winter.

    This was overnight last spring (April)


    This coming June we have our annual road trip to Seattle where there is a massive cruise through the mountains to a small bavarian town. I will have to get lots of pictures then too. We usually have a big group go and round trip is about 1600mi

    Edited... Better pictures



    I am in the middle. This was 2 years ago when I took my gti. Silverstone Mk4 on the far right.
    Last edited by Das Ponto; 31st October 2013 at 20:05.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Das Ponto View Post
    This is a very good point - Vancouver is like that, more of a coastal city that gets more rain than snow.. People usually panic when they get snow. haha



    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Was a fun trip! I will see if I can dig up some more snow pictures. And well more will come once it starts to snow. Last year I think we ended up with 4 or 5 feet over the entire winter.

    This was overnight last spring (April)


    This coming June we have our annual road trip to Seattle where there is a massive cruise through the mountains to a small bavarian town. I will have to get lots of pictures then too. We usually have a big group go and round trip is about 1600mi

    Edited... Better pictures



    I am in the middle. This was 2 years ago when I took my gti. Silverstone Mk4 on the far right.
    Excellent, must be a different culture over there with all the euro hatches... obviously a lot more main stream over here.....

    Do you get a lot of S3's over there?
    Audi history... Brilliant Red 2.0tfsi Quattro, Sprint Blue S3...

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    Quote Originally Posted by S3_Jacko View Post
    Excellent, must be a different culture over there with all the euro hatches... obviously a lot more main stream over here.....

    Do you get a lot of S3's over there?
    Very different over here!

    Salt in the wounds..... We don't get any S3's or RS3's here Few imitations though. I got in an accident this summer and thought about changing the front end for an S3 front.. but the bumper is damn expensive!! Even before paint.

    With the new generation coming out we are supposed to get the S3 but in sedan only. It's a real shame but a majority of NA don't like wagons or hatchbacks. (Or shooting brake is it?)

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    Oh and how the car looks now. Thank's to a mini van I got a new gloss black front end.





    Side markers got paint matched as well. I have ordered new fogs (current ones are nackered) interior led replacement lights, including license plate frame, S3 ebrake handle with white stiching. And waiting on a friend for some Euro Facelift Tails which should be soon!

    Come spring will be KW V2 Coil overs, Magnaflow Exhaust, and wheels well they are a ***** to decide on so still hunting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Das Ponto View Post
    Very different over here!

    Salt in the wounds..... We don't get any S3's or RS3's here Few imitations though. I got in an accident this summer and thought about changing the front end for an S3 front.. but the bumper is damn expensive!! Even before paint.

    With the new generation coming out we are supposed to get the S3 but in sedan only. It's a real shame but a majority of NA don't like wagons or hatchbacks. (Or shooting brake is it?)
    Yeah.. I was thinking that... Thats a shame! Just need to make your next car purchase a wee bit further afield next time for a s3 or the likes... A wee trip to France or Germany perhaps (Left-hand drive of course)... just think of the snaps you would get from here and then maybe a trip to the uk haha.....

    If you thought that Miami was a challenge, it might be a little more difficult in the UK with you having to drive on the correct side of the road for a change
    Audi history... Brilliant Red 2.0tfsi Quattro, Sprint Blue S3...

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    Quote Originally Posted by S3_Jacko View Post
    Yeah.. I was thinking that... Thats a shame! Just need to make your next car purchase a wee bit further afield next time for a s3 or the likes... A wee trip to France or Germany perhaps (Left-hand drive of course)... just think of the snaps you would get from here and then maybe a trip to the uk haha.....

    If you thought that Miami was a challenge, it might be a little more difficult in the UK with you having to drive on the correct side of the road for a change
    Well European Delivery isn't out of the question for my next car. And if that happens I will have to make the trek to the UK! But that is at least 5 or 6 years away I think. But definitely already been on my mind haha.

    Driving a RHD in UK would be tricky for sure. A handful of people drive imported LHD drive cars here though too.

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    Here is one of our local smaller shows that I help put on every year. And a few of the bird are in there as well even haha.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=29079b0635

    And the Leavenworth Drive

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=87745a0071

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    Quote Originally Posted by Das Ponto View Post
    Well European Delivery isn't out of the question for my next car. And if that happens I will have to make the trek to the UK! But that is at least 5 or 6 years away I think. But definitely already been on my mind haha.

    Driving a RHD in UK would be tricky for sure. A handful of people drive imported LHD drive cars here though too.
    Need to start saving the pennies in the jar... you'd be the belle of the ball if you turned up to one of your euro hatch meets with a nice racing mica RS3.... puts a smile on the face!
    Audi history... Brilliant Red 2.0tfsi Quattro, Sprint Blue S3...

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    haha well need NA to allow the RS3 to be imported as well. As it sits I can only import one that is 15 years old

    But if it can be done I will do it. I would kill for the 2.5 - supposed I could get a TTRS those we do have here haha.

 

 
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