|September 24, 2001
2001 S-Car Nationals
They say variety is the spice of life. The innaugural S-Car Nationals event in Westminster, Colorado could be described as nothing less than spicy indeed; the variety of Audi models was just that good. Put together by the folks at S-Cars.Org and held over the Labor Day long weekend, the event was one of the few in recent memory catering exclusively to Audi "S" car owners and enthusiasts.
The organizers were deliberate in the varied aspect of the event, making sure there was literally something for everyone. The event kicked off with a technical session and BBQ put on by TEC (Turbocharger Engineering Corporation) in Golden. Saturday's activities included a concours, group drive to the mountains and dinner banquet with Audi legend Josef Hoppen as special guest speaker. Finally the S-Car Nationals were capped off on Sunday with dyno testing at Autosport Werks in Broomfield.
Due to previous commitments I attended only the Saturday morning portion of the event. The upside of being present for just four hours was that I encountered essentially all of the owners (and their cars) together for the concours, allowing maximum exposure to the aforementioned variety of automobiles.
Owners of current S-Car models having little or no previous experience with Audi's past would have been well served to attend the event and take the opportunity to appreciate the "S" lineage. The original UrS4 and UrS6's were more than properly represented, including (at least by my quick assessment) one from each model year 1992-97. With a healthy range of tuning options and no small lack of motivation on the part of their owners, many of these original S4's and S6's included exotic engine and interior mods, updated brakes and wheels and in some cases even all new paint jobs.
The older S-Cars were clearly the stars of the concours with First Place going to Hap Maguire's 1993 S4. The list of modifications is too long to list here and would, by all accounts, leave the novice auto enthusiast scratching his or her head anyway. Here's an article which profiles this immaculate automobile. Keep in mind that the judges at the concours were not just looking at modifications; the car was pefectly maintained both inside and out.
The older S-Cars were also there in sufficient numbers to allow serious comparison and scrutiny amongst the various models. It was a real luxury, for example, to be able to sit in a '94 S4 and appreciate exactly how the '00 S4 had drawn cues from its predecessors and been modernized along the way. Other features of the older cars such as the sport seats, however, remain clear winners.
The newer crop of S-Cars were certainly in attendance as well, including a surprise appearance early in the day from an S6 Avant. The requisite S4 and S4 Avants appeared with plenty of the latest tuning options. My chariot for the day, courtesy of Audi of America, was a 2001 S8. While there are no Autobahns in Colorado allowing me to relive my German S8 experience from this past February, I have firmly concluded that I would swap my S4 for an S8 straight across with no questions asked.
With the goal of attending the entire 2002 S-Car Nationals event next year, I bid adieu to the 75 or so attendees as they were about to depart for the drive up to Estes Park. Besides the opportunity to view the unique assortment of cars I was pleased to finally meet many Audi owners whom I had previously known only through e-mail and discussion forum posts. It is my understanding that next year's location has yet to be set, but this event is highly recommended wherever it ends up being held.