User Name: S4DTM
Real Name: Danny Keller
Location: Northern California, USA
Year of Vehicle: 2007
Model of Vehicle: S4
Engine of Vehicle: 4.2 liter V8
Color of Vehicle: Dolphin Gray
It's always nice when things go perfectly hand in hand, when the stars align and magic happens. You know, like chocolate and peanut butter. Like pizza and beer. Like an Audi and a racetrack. Match the later up with an enthusiast and an S4, an S4 that's been modified with plenty of both go and show, and you have yourself one hell of a combination. That in a nutshell describes this month's Featured AZ'er and his car, but there's a lot more to Danny's story than that. Those in the B6/B7 S4/RS4 Forum
would know him better as 'S4DTM', but for those of you meeting Danny and his S4 for the first time, sit right back and we'll tell you a tale.
It's a tale of a young man and his 2007 B7 S4, of how a car can change someone's life in a way they never expected. It may sound silly to those outside the automotive enthusiast world, but it's probably quite relatable to most of you reading this article. The car seen here has made him some very close friends that he probably wouldn't have even met otherwise, brought him closer to his father, and opened him up to all new experiences. As a founding member and president of the small tight-knit group of Audi enthusiasts dubbed the "Four Rings Racers Group" (or "FRRG" for short) he's been bitten quite hard by both the mod bug and the urge to do what these cars are made for - to drive! This involves organized street drives as well as sanctioned track events. Danny's car may be well modified and look fantastic, but for the most part the bits he's changed out all serve a functional purpose.
While it does indeed look great standing still, Danny's gone for a perfect match of both function and form. First off there's the sexy 19 inch BBS RGR wheels, which are both larger and lighter than stock. Also lighter and better looking than factory would be the carbon fiber hood by Vorsteiner. The car has been lowered from its stock height, but only using some of the best track-tested suspension available via the STaSIS Ohlins coilover kit. Keeping with the theme there's also the STaSIS Alcon 6 piston front brake kit and a lightweight set in the rear. Other mods not so much seen, but certainly felt, would be the StaSIS catback exhaust, Torsen center diff upgrade, H-Sport rear swaybar, and GIAC tuning. Even the fully custom one-off HID foglights provide function in the twisty, dark, and often foggy back-roads around Northern California. But yes, it is true they also do look damn good poking out of that mean looking DTM front bumper. All of this and more done to an Audi and enjoyed on the tarmac by one very proud enthusiast. It's like chocolate and peanut butter.
- GIAC tuning (stock, pump, and race)
- STaSIS Catback Exhaust
- STaSIS Torsen 4:1 Center Differential Upgrade
- STaSIS Ohlin SL Suspension
- H-Sport Rear Sway Bar
- 19" Diamond Black BBS RGR Wheels
- 245/35/R19 Bridgestone Potenza RE050 Tires
- STaSIS 6 Piston, 14.5" Alcon Front Brakes
- STaSIS Developmental Lightweight Rear Rotor Upgrade
- RS4 pedals
- RS4 Shift Knob
- JHM Short Shifter
- Custom Xenon Fog Lights
- Vorsteiner Double Sided Carbon Fiber Hood
- Blackout Sidemarkers/Reflectors
- Window Tint
APR Snub Mount, Clear Corners, Labree Downpipes, FRRG Intake (In Development), Supercharger (or Turbo if available)
Q (Audizine): Firstly, how long have you owned this S4?
A (Danny): I have owned the car for two years this month...wow...time flies when you're havin' fun!
Q: And how has your ownership been with it overall?
A: It has been incredible! The car itself has been amazing, and I haven't had any real major problems. A few fixes here and there, but overall a very reliable vehicle. Probably the best part of my ownership though has been the people I have met in the Audi community. Before I bought my car, I had a few good friends, but none that I could really consider "family", if that makes sense. About 6 months after I bought the car I met Reggie (AKA: 'Tripleblack'), who pretty much brought me into the world of Audi enthusiasts and has become my best friend (Wassup Scuba Guy!?). Then, about a year ago I met two more enthusiasts who just loved to do the same thing I did, drive the cars! After meeting Seth ('Dr. Quattro' on QW) and Brandon ('frrg' on AZ or '4 rings racer' on QW), we began to talk about starting a group where we could get people together to do what these cars were made to do...drive! Thus, Four Rings Racers Group (FRRG) was born, and these 3 guys (as well as Brandon 'bsrpilot44' down south, making it 4) have become family to me. Guys I would lay down my life for, knowing they would do the same for me, and that's what has made this ownership so amazing!
Q: Think you'll be getting another Audi in the near future?
A: Well, I would love to...but I can't afford one right now unfortunately. My plan is to eventually sell the S4 and get the RS 5 or R8 V10, but that won't be for awhile.
Q: Is this your first Audi? If not, which other ones have you owned?
A: Yep, my first one, but definitely not my last!
Q: How long have you been into Audis and in the European tuning scene?
A: I've only been really into it in the last 2 years, but I've always liked European cars.
Q: How long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: I have been into cars since about high school. I always loved the thought, but never had the car for it. My dream car when I turned 16 was the Mitsubishi Eclipse from The Fast and the Furious (laughs) but my mom wanted me in a truck, so you know how that goes. In the long run...better option anyways!
Q: Where do you think your passion for cars comes from? Can you trace it back or link it to anything?
A: My dad really is the driving force behind my passion. He was a Mercedes mechanic for a long time. He and my mom owned their own repair shop and has always been into German Engineering. Growing up, I never really got into it as much as I wish I had, but I guess I was just too busy with other things. My parents recently told me that they never even thought I would pop my own hood before a few years ago. (laughs) But I think that passion that my dad had for cars and such really stuck in the back of my head and has shaped my views on the European scene. To be honest, I think this ownership has brought us closer as well now that I have an interest in the cars and everything about the community. We've gone to a few events together, including the Audi Driving Experience, and it has really increased the bond that we have. It's great! My parents have always been 100% supportive of my passions, but this one has become the best I think.
Q: What do you love most about your Audi?
A: Driving, pure and simple. The sound of the V8, the spin of the tach, the feel of the G-forces pulling you across your seat as you pass someone on the inside of a turn...there's nothing like it! That and people asking "What kind of car is that? It has a V8!? Man, you never see these things on the road!" Yep, that's why I didn't buy a BMW!
Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: I guess the only real peeve I have about the car is the lack of modability. But to be honest, that's not even a huge deal to me since it's such a great car right out of the showroom.
Q: Can you explain your modding style? Do you prefer more go, more show, perhaps a combo of both?
A: I have always modded for performance over styling first. Obviously I want the car to look good, but I'd rather have it perform at it's peak first. Really, I prefer a bit of a sleeper look as well.
Q: Do you prefer to do the work yourself, or do you have a shop or a specific person perform the work?
A: Most of the mods have been done by a shop (STaSIS Engineering and Genesis Engineering); however, I do like to work on my car as well. I did the fog light install (12 hour job...crazy!), the short shifter install, the blackout pieces, and the pedals and shift knob. However, I prefer to have professionals do the rest because they have the tools and lift readily available. Both STaSIS and Genesis have been amazing people to work with and I would back them in a heartbeat!
Q: Which mod are you the most proud of?
A: My fog lights actually. My only peeve with the DTM package was the lack of fog lights. Living in the bay area, we get a lot of fog in the winter, so I need good fog lights. I looked into the S6 LED lights; however, they aren't fogs, they're running lights. So, I purchased some lightweight Xenon fogs from Hella and my dad and I took on the task. We spent the entire day removing the bumper, carefully cutting out the grille pieces, placing the lights, and reinstalling the bumper. You're always most proud of your own work, so for me, that's my favorite.
Q: Now please describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving your S4.
A: Hmmm...that's a hard one. I would have to say I have two really good memories in this car. The first would be the day I drove my car home from STaSIS with all of the parts I had worked so hard to get. It was an amazing feeling knowing how all of your hard work and patience had paid off (not to mention the beers afterwards with 'Tripleblack' and 'Dr. Quattro' where we gave a girl the fake names "Welden," "Bick," and "Sharif". Classic!). The second is a very recent event, the Inaugural FRRG Buttonwillow Trackday. We had been planning the event for what seemed like forever, and when it finally came it was perfect. From meeting up the first day in the parking lot of the hotel and hanging out in the loading area with all the cars parked around us, coolers in the back seats, to going hard on the track with some great people. The entire weekend was one that I will never forget!
Q: What would be in your ultimate two-car garage, if money were no object yet you could only choose two vehicles?
A: Well...I would have to go with a R8 V12 TDI and a 2009 RS 6 sedan.
Q: What do your friends and family think about your passion for Audis?
A: Well that varies. My immediate family like I said has always supported me, and my Dad loves it! We've done two of the Audi Driving Experience courses together, and I think I'm even starting to convince him on a R8! As for my friends, my closest are the guys I talked about above, so they obviously are fully supportive. Other friends tend to wonder why I'm so into car stuff and why my Facebook is entirely full of car pictures. (laughs) But I just tell them it's my hobby and they just roll their eyes.
Q: How does your love for
cars, and Audis specifically, affect your life? Does it play a big part?
A: My passion for these cars plays a huge part in my life. When I'm not working, I'm driving or hanging out with my driving friends. Even at work, people see my car and ask me about my passion and experiences with it. Even one of my co-workers calls my car "Staci" because of the sticker on the front...not that STaSIS is even close to "Staci," but you get the idea.
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: To be honest, I don't even remember why exactly I came to Audizine. I found it about 2 years ago when I was just looking for a great place to find information and talk to people who were as passionate as I was, and this forum just stuck. I was also on AudiWorld (and now QuattroWorld as 'Maverick14'), but I like to hear the opinions on this forum because I tend to get really good feedback rather than just blunt comments. However it was that I stumbled upon AZ, I'm happy I did!
Q: What else do like to you do for fun?
A: I played volleyball for Saint Mary's College for 4 years, so I'm always down for a game or two. Other than that, I pretty much like to just workout at the gym, play some Halo with 'Dr. Quattro' and 'bsrpilot44', or Mario Kart Wii with 'Tripleblack'. Oh and I also like to cook!
Q: Do you have an interesting day job? Care to talk a little bit about it?
A: I actually have 2 jobs at the moment, and had 3 about a month ago! My main job is a physical therapy aide for PACER Physical Therapy. I'm trying to get into grad school, so I work a lot of hours there to get as much experience as possible, and I love it! My second job is a personal trainer. I used to work for 24 Hour Fitness, but had to quit to move on to more physical therapy based work, so now I train privately. I absolutely love both of my jobs and hope to one day do them jointly. I was also coaching the men's volleyball team at Saint Mary's College up until a few weeks ago when the season ended, so I'm a very busy guy! Not to mention the unpaid work that I put into FRRG, but that's just fun! But I work hard so that I can play hard.
Q: So do you have any advice or words of wisdom to offer your fellow enthusiasts out there?
A: No matter what anyone tells you, or how anyone feels about your passion for cars, do what feels good to you. At any moment, this thing we call life can change dramatically and you never know if tomorrow you will even be able to sit behind that wheel and feel the deep happiness it brings you. So live it up and enjoy every day in your car and outside of it. Turn down the radio, roll down the windows, and listen to that pile of metal you call "baby." Drive safe, drive confident, but mostly...just drive!
Q: I definitely agree with all of that, well said! So before we go, do you want to give any thank-yous or shout-outs?
A: I'd like to thank my parents (Lynda and Barry) for their support in my crazy life, Reggie (Tripleblack) for being an amazing friend all around and introducing me to this awesome community, Seth (Dr. Quattro) and Brandon (frrg) for bringing me in as a part of your families and always being there for me, Brandon (bsrpilot44) for all your generosity and humor, Jason, Jim, C.J., and all the other guys at STaSIS for all your hard work and cooperation, Jeremy and Cary of Genesis Engineering for always being available to fix the little odds and ends and for opening up your shop to us pretty much everyday, all of the FRRG members for supporting our vision and just being great guys to hang and drive with, Joe (SixFiveOh
) for the great photographs, and everybody else in the Audizine and QuattroWorld community for answering questions, giving me great feedback, and allowing me to grow as an enthusiast.