|September 03, 2010
Words by: Gabriel Caldwell
Photos by: Kevin Salisbury
I packed up the avant with all the Audi Anarchy goodies on Thursday night and I left for the festivities on Friday morning. After a stop at the Greyhound in Bellingham, WA to send a CQ exhaust to Los Angeles I was ready to give the road some hell. Fortunately for me the Greyhound station was right next to the beginning of one of the most scenic and twisty roads in Washington (Chuckanut Drive) and it leads directly to the highway I needed to take.
The drive down Chuckanut was beautiful and the music of Girl Talk was pushing my pace as I hit the highway. My music selection lead to a run-in with the Concrete Sheriff’s department as I was a little too eager to resume my speed when I left town. The result was a warning and a brief lecture. I got lucky and was on my way, but just to be on the safe side I switched to Thelonius Monk.
I was enjoying the wandering jazz as I wound through the American alps. I was 30 miles from Winthrop and felt like I was in the home stretch when “click” my car turned off. I was coasting down a large hill and several attempts to restart failed so I elected to pull off where two cars were parked. I hoped that someone might be near the cars because I was in the middle of nowhere and I had no cell reception.
The cars were empty, so I started the process of diagnosing my car. Since there was no check engine light when the engine died and there were no strange noises, I already suspected a dead fuel pump. Cranking the engine and pulling a dry plug pretty much confirmed it. As I pulled out a pipe wrench to bang on the fuel tank someone showed up behind me. “Something wrong with your car?” he said. This startled me but I fought off my initial urge to turn and swing and replied, “Yes, I think it’s my fuel pump.”
It turns out the two cars belonged to some rock climbers who had just emerged after a few days in the bush. Perfect timing. I hitched a ride to Winthrop where I could at least use my cell phone. I called ahead to Audi Anarchy and let Carl know my situation. One attendee volunteered to drive 2.5 hours to come and get me. I was extremely grateful that I would still make it to the party and in an S8 no less.
This left me with 2.5 hours in Winthrop to kill while I waited for my ride. I found some wireless internet and set about trying to locate a fuel pump. This is a very hard task on a Friday night. Almost immediately one of our sponsors (Brendan from Apikol) reached out to help me. Unfortunately since it was Friday night even an “overnighted” fuel pump wouldn’t arrive until Monday. A little later that night I also got an email from another Audi Anarchy attendee that he had a spare C4 S4 fuel pump on him. Things were looking up.
The ride to the fest was sweet and fast. Boy does that S8 feel good. We arrived around 12:30am to a warm fire, a cold keg and plenty of stories which lasted until 3:30am.
The next morning we awoke to Carl and Stephanie (Audi Anarchy’s most gracious hosts) making coffee and putting out the breakfast fixins; a tough task for Carl who had stayed up with us all night. I resumed my search for a fuel pump and got word that another attendee was bringing two fuel pumps from Jason at Addict Motorsports. With three fuel pumps on the way I was confident I could get my car going again in at least a jury-rigged fashion. My worries subsided and the rest of the Audi Anarchy attendees started to roll in from all over the state and Canada.
The day was full of highly modified S-Cars a surprise RS2 and some interesting conversions like a 1993 100 Avant turned widebody S6 avant. Our event photographer Kevin J. Salisbury was on hand to capture it all. Everyone seemed to enjoy checking out each other’s cars and swapping stories. Eric (eric20v) was offering up free VAG-COM scans and fixes and Carl slaved over the smoker making delicious BBQ for everyone. There was even a little field trip over to a local resident’s collection of classic American muscle for those so inclined.
In the evening we had our raffle that was full of so many amazing prizes from our sponsors: Carl’s Foreign Cars, 034 Motorsport, Apikol, Avalon Motorsports, Kevin J. Salisbury Photography, Sunset Porsche Audi, University Audi, VM Autohaus, WORLDPAC and of course this forum. Everyone left happy thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. They really came through for us. Quality, dedicated people.
Those who hadn’t had too much Spaten stayed up until the wee hours again watching classic car movies and episodes of Top Gear.
There are so many stories from the day and I hope that some of the attendees share them with you. As for me I hitched a ride the next morning with our own Dave F. and we set off to repair my car. It took us an hour by the side of the road to swap the pump. My car fired right up and I was on my way home. It was a great feeling. Let me tell you.
Audi Anarchy is a really special event because of the people involved. I’m sure I’ve missed some details and names but don’t think I don’t appreciate the effort that everyone put in making this event a success and helping each other out in person and on the forum over the years. I hope to see everyone there next year and look forward to some new faces too.