|July 16, 2008
2008 Audi Expo
Hundreds of Audi enthusiasts from all over the Northwest joined together in Burien, WA on June 28th to celebrate their shared passion for the Audi marque. Audi Expo is the largest event of it's kind on the west coast. People came from as far away as Quebec, Canada and Southern California to attend. The event was so large, in fact, that the city of Burien, WA closed off an entire street to give the group enough room to park and display all of the cars.
Audi Expo was founded in 2000 by local enthusiast Brian Presser. The event has grown from just 70 people to well over 400 in 2006. Last year the event was put on hiatus because Presser and his wife had a new baby at home and wanted to take a year off to focus on family needs. However, the show picked up right were it left off and this year's show was a huge success.
The Audi Expo is held each year at Burien's Bison Creak Pizza, which has become a mecca for automotive clubs and enthusiast from around the area. Any given weekend you will find automotive races of all kinds, including F1, being broadcast on their large screens inside. Ferrari, BMW, Audi and Porsche posters surround you as you partake in some of the area's best Pizza and micro brews. They offered show goers a delicious all you can eat pizza and salad buffet.
The weather was picture perfect. It was in the 80s and there was not a cloud to be seen. The sun was out in full force but this was nothing that a nice cold beer in the "beer garden" patio area couldn't fix. Patrons were very thankful for the nice "mist" that Bison Creek had spraying from the bottom of their sign to provide a relief from the heat.
Audi Expo brought out Audi fans from every generation. There were a wide variety of cars on display including urQuattros, 4000s, 200s, allroads, B5s, B6s, B7s and of course some new B8s. There was even a urQuattro Rally car on display.
One of the most interesting cars at the show was a mint 1970 Audi 100. It was recently purchased by a local enthousiast Andy Sprague who owns two other Audis as well. He left his TT and A4 at home in favor of showing off his new toy. It was one of the more popular cars at the show.
Several local vendors and business were also on hand to show of their goods to the Audi loyalists. Vendors included Audi Club North America, Mirrorworks Detail, Achtuning, Motorsports Unlimited, Thule, Griot's Garage, Podi.ca, Performance Coatings, Carbon Copy, Accutint, SJM Autotechnik, TKO Motorwerks, Cantrell Motorsports, Redmond European, H&R, SyKart Indoor Racing Center, TT Car Club of America, Dent Wizard, Wheel Wizard, University Audi and the NW Audi Club.
Among the Audi resellers was University Audi which brought out over a dozen vehicles and took up the better half of an adjacent parking lot. They had A3s, A4s, A6s, and even a new RS4. Their sales people were on hand to answer any questions that people had about the cars.
One of my special treats for the day was that University Audi asked me to drive a brand new 2008 RS4 to the show for them. Upon arrival at University Audi in Seattle, they had it polished up and threw me the keys. I plugged my ipod into the "port" in the glove box and I was on my way. I set the RNS-E Nav to the address of the show and set off. The RS4's powerful V8 growled as I fired it up. It was asking me to have some fun with it. The RS4 was effortless to drive - it had such a harmonic sound that I found myself turning off the stereo system and rolling down the windows to hear it's roar. It was quite painful handing the keys over to University Audi salesman Ben Moses at the end of the day. I tried to give him my Stage 3 B5 S4 in as trade, but he would have none of it!
Achtuning.com (Aka. Hartmann Wheels) made a statement with an impressive 30 foot tent showing off all the latest and greatest goodies. They had many of their popular wheels on display as well as APR turbo kits, intercoolers kits, RS4 goodies, Status Seats, Stoptech brakes, Stasis Engineering suspension and much more. They even brought a 42" plasma TV which was playing APR's promo video. Hartmann/Achtuning has established themselves as a national leader in distribution of tuning parts and wheels for the VW/Audi market. With over $1 Million in inventory, there is a good chance they have what you need in stock.
New to the Audi Expo this year, Motorsports Limited showed up with a large selection of used Audis for sale. They run a successful higher end used car business in Seattle. They were quite excited to attend and the cars they brought right off their lot fit perfectly in place with the other Audis at the event.
Addict Motorsport Design has stormed the local scene, quickly becoming the local leader in 2.7T tuning and upgrades. They have been well known for some time for their 20valve tuning and recently partnered with EPL tuning to build up some very powerful S4s. Two of their high HP S4s were at the Expo on display. Ben Abrams' 2000 S4 (pictured) now features Tial turbos and was recently dyno'd at 530whp and 450wtq. However AMD estimates that it should be at 600whp and 475 wtq if new wastegates were installed and it's given a final tune. Many of you may remember this stunning black widebody S4 from it's victory in the 2004 European Car magazine "King of the Rings" competition. Sitting next to it was Dave Ahl's "plain Jane" K04 powered car putting out an astounding 450whp and 460wtq. Both cars feature AMD's methanol/H20 injection system and custom AMD/EPL tuning.
Other popular cars of the day included this B6 A4 on airbags and polished wheels. It certainly was the talk of the show. Many people talked negatively about it because of it's "Useless Bling", while others applauded the owner for doing something new and different. I would tend to agree with the latter because if we all had the same tastes in cars and mods it would have made for a very boring show.
Music from the Daddy-O's kept us all entertained with their variety of popular cover songs. This resulted in a few people dancing and singing along. The band members deserved big applause at the end of the day as they really put their heart into the performance, disregarding the high temperatures and their resulting sun burns.
The day ended with a raffle drawing where over 50 generous prizes were handed out. Prizes included gift certificates, product giveaways and sponsor schwag galore. Finally they handed out the "Best of Show" award which was voted on by all of the attendees.
One surprise of the day was that once all the "Best of show" votes were tallied, Nick Bode's 1993 Pearl White S4 came out on top! This car has a fully custom designed suspension from AMD including koni coilovers, front control arms, spherical bearings, custom camber and caster plates and poly/aluminum subframe mounts. It also features a 1.8t coilpack conversion, upgraded fuel pump, running RS2 manifold and a Strommung exhaust system. Power is estimated at 300hp. Porsche big reds up front and AMDs rear big brake conversion keep the power under control. 18" ASA wheels and Euro bumpers complete the look. Andy Sprague's 100 took 2nd place.
Founder Brian Presser wanted to thank everyone that came and says he is already planning for next year's event! What will 2009 Audi Expo bring? My guess is that we will see it grow yet again...next year one street might not be enough to hold us all!