May 17, 2001

First Annual Lone Star concours
Article and photos by Don Pavlik

The Lone Star Chapter of the Quattro Club USA held their general meeting and First Annual concours event on May 12th. Don McGill Audi in Houston, TX graciously hosted the event.

Quattro Club members and Audi fans alike turned out on a near perfect spring day with cars carefully washed, polished, vacuumed and detailed in preparation for the day's festivities. Many in attendance used the early part of the event as an opportunity to both socialize and spend time admiring the fine examples of vehicles on display.

Of course for those competing in the concours, socializing was a much lower priority compared to putting the finishing touches on their respective vehicles. As many of us know from experience, a car that starts spotless isn't necessarily spotless after even a short drive across town. A few miles worth of dubious Audi brake dust and the untimely death of a some insects thanks to the front bumper is all it takes to mar a perfect shine. Even details such as meticulously shined exhaust tips become important.

As late morning approached, it was time to hand out door prizes. The event host, Don McGill Audi, was also generous enough to provide Audi-related prizes such as coffee mugs and quattro shirts. The Quattro Club of America provided quattro key chains and quattro caps. For lucky winners, myself included, it took little convincing to accept 4-ring emblazoned merchandise.

Growing hungry, the gathered crowd was served burgers, 'dogs, sausage and all the other fixings by the Audi Service and Parts Managers dressed in Audi cooking attire. The food was great, but the source for the Audi cooking gear still remains a mystery. The Audi accessories catalog was scoured without yielding a single piece of cooking attire. Don't ever let it be said that auto enthusiasts aren't resourceful!

Appetites now fully satisfied, it was time to move the serious issue at hand - announcing the concours winners. First place went to Clifford Johnson and his stunning TT Roadster. Second place was snapped-up by Tracy Dent and his spiffy new (and shiny in the way only a black car can shine) S4 Avant. Matt Chow took home third place with his Nogaro S4, although with no less than three AudiWorld logos on his car we had to wonder how he missed out on one of the top spots!

The people's choice award, as voted by spectators, went to Nick Snyder for his classy silver S4 with very sweet looking RS4 carbon fiber engine covers. Each winner received a trophy and a case of the synthetic oil of their choice.

First place winner Polishing exhaust tips Second place winner

Third place winner Peoples Choice winner

The final activity of the day was a one and a half hour tech session presented by Dan Severs, winner of the Audi Tech Challenge 2000 Technician of the Year. Dan walked through a typical vehicle pre-delivery inspection (PDI) to give the attendees an idea of what it really takes to prep a vehicle.

Much to our surprise we learned that vehicles are shipped without batteries and most of the fuses. An obviously critical part of the inspection is to enable the vehicle's electrical system and to initialize all of the body computers (usually around 26 depending on how the vehicle was ordered). All the computer preparation is done with a VAG5051 scanner, a fairly sophisticated diagnostic tool with a $20,000 price tag.

VAG5051 scanner

Installing license plate holder on the bumper

Other PDI tasks include checking the operation and function of every electrical switch, door, window and component in the interior, topping up fluids, resetting the air pressure in the tires (vehicles are shipped with 60 PSI to prevent flat spots on the tires), giving the underside of the car a once over, and removing the shipping plastic from the body (prevents acid rain damage).

One of the last tasks, sure to make any Audi enthusiast wince, involves installing the front license plate bracket. It was interesting to note that a typical car has around 30 pounds of wax applied to the body panels throughout the assembly process to maximize corrosion protection and provide additional noise insulation.

All in attendance agreed that it was a fun and informative day. If there's a Quattro Club charter in your area and you're not a member then you are missing out on Audi-related get togethers and driving events. Check out both the: Quattro Club U.S.A. and the Lonestar Chapter.