A: Really great. I came from the same platform A4, but my A4 was FWD and a CVT automatic. The difference between the front-wheel drive A4 and an S4 with quattro is night and day. The power is so smooth and plentiful, the handling so graceful and predictable, and last but not least I really love the Brilliant Red exterior of the S4.
Q: How long have you been into cars in general, as an enthusiast?
A: I was born this way. My great grandfather was a car guy, so was my grandpa, my dad, and of course me. I've had the privilege of driving and building some amazing cars over my life, including a 65 Mustang Fastback my dad and I restored & modified in high school, as well as enjoying my late Grandfather's stable that included gems such as a V12 Jaguar E-Type Roadster, a 1939 Rolls Royce towncar, a 1956 Jaguar XK120, and a few other fun cars like a Mercedes Gazelle replica. In high school all of my good friends were car people, and we'd get together all of the time to do whatever modifications we could afford to our cars and dream of the days when we'd be able to buy nicer cars and do even more extensive modifications to them.
Q: Where do you think that passion and enthusiasm comes from, can it be traced back to anyone or anything?
A: Definitely family, as noted above, as well as just a general appreciation for the engineering and design behind cars. A great car to me requires breathtaking design, which cars like the E-type Jaguar and '67 Mustang taught me, as well as great engineering and handling, which probably helps explain why Audis appeal so much to me.
Q: What do you most love about the car?
A: The full package - the handling advantages provided by quattro, the power and sound of the 4.2 V8, and the great interior and exterior design of the B7 in general.
Q: What's your biggest peeve in regards to the car, the one thing you dislike the most?
A: How difficult it is to work on. The engine bay is pretty cramped, and it drives me nuts that you have to take the front bumper off to do simple things like replace headlight bulbs or access the snub mount. Audi didn't design these cars to be easy to service by DIYers, which can sometimes make the DIY process frustrating and/or painful.
Q: When did the modding bug bite?
A: Pretty much ASAP. *laughs*
When I parted out my B7 A4 to get my S4, I kept all of the parts that could transfer over like the wheels and tires, oCarbon trim, grilles, etc. So, within one week, I had a pretty nicely modded S4.
Q: Can you explain your modding style? Do you prefer more go, more show, perhaps a combo of both?
A: A combination of both, but going from an A4 to an S4 I've enjoyed a pretty nice power increase just out of the gate, so I've been focused more on handling and aesthetics first with my S4. I like mods that look like they could have come from the factory, and prefer a subtle but slightly more aggressive look to my cars. Handling is usually my first order of business as most cars, even S4s, are designed by the factory for a more comfortable ride with favorable ground clearance for the "average Joe" instead of a more sporty ride for an enthusiast and track junkie like myself.
Q: Do you prefer to do the work yourself, or do you have a shop or specific person perform the work?
A: I like to work on my car when I can, but these days I have so little time that more often than not I leave it up to the professionals. Audi North Scottsdale helps me out with general service and maintenance, GoodSpeed Performance Lab with modifications and tuning, Phoenix Collision & Custom Paint with body and paint needs, and Wheel Specialists Inc with wheels and tire needs.
Q: What was your first modification to the car?
A: The oCarbon trim. Even though my S4 came with the OEM trim, I really love my oCarbon trim and the more pronounced and aggressive weave pattern that Matt at oCarbon made for me. It's one of my most favorite mods and most noticeable since I see it every time I drive somewhere. I'm pretty sure I'm still the only Audi with that particular weave pattern, and I like that uniqueness and exclusivity as well.
Q: Which was your last, most recent mod?
A: The flat bottom wheel from Europrice
. I had been wanting it for a while, and finally allowed myself to splurge on it. It came out even greater than I thought it would and ties together with the seats nicely.
Q: Which mod are you the most proud of or happy with?
A: Such a tough question. I honestly don't know. It all comes together in a way that it's hard to just isolate one part or change. The suspension is a big one though, as it improves the handling, comfort, and aesthetics of the car. The STaSIS Ohlins SL kit is really a great product.
Q: How has your ownership been with it overall?
A: Awesome. It's the perfect daily driver, a delight on the track, and looks damn good at shows too.
Q: Describe your fondest memory of owning, modifying, or driving the A4.
A: Probably my first track day in at Spring Mountain Motorsport Ranch right before Wuste 2012. I was blown away at how well the car did - both in areas I expected (power delivery and handling) as well as areas I didn't expect, like the stock brakes holding very strong despite taking a huge beating. I drove the car ~800 miles that weekend, had nearly 2 hours of track time, showed it the next day, and drove home without a single glitch or problem and a huge smile on my face.
Q: While the car you have now is amazing, what if money were no object? What's your dream car, or cars?
A: It's a long list, but for starters: Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo 6.0, Audi Sport Quattro, Porsche 356, Porsche Carrera GT, a Jaguar E-Type, Lamborghini LM002, Land Rover Defender 90, Mercedes 300SL, a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500KR, and maybe an Audi S7 or S4 as a daily driver. Oh and I also really #WantAnR8 in case anyone from Audi of America is watching...
Q: What do your friends and family think about your passion for Audis?
A: That I'm nuts. That's okay though, they're mostly correct...
Q: How does your love for cars and Audis affect your life, does it play a pretty big part?
A: Yes. I became part of Audi Style Racing and race an Audi a few times a year in the 24 Hours of LeMons, and also spend a considerable amount of time fixing that car. It's an endurance race so a lot of things break. I blog about my car a lot on NicksCarBlog.com
, I have met a lot of my closest friends through Audi meets and get-togethers, and my Facebook, Instagram and Web browsing history is like 97% Audi-related.
Q: What brought you to Audizine, and how long have you been with us?
A: I've been around since 2005 when I was hanging out on another forum...actually a BMW forum if I recall correctly! Audizine was recommended as a good place to check out for Audi fans. I did, and I've been visiting ever since on a pretty regular basis, even when I didn't own an Audi. I love that Audizine has something for everyone, a great community, tons of fresh content daily, a robust classifieds section, and cool articles and coverage of events.
Q: When you're not on Audizine, or out wrenching on the Audi, what do like to you do for fun?
A: Blogging, reading, photography, running, eating pizza, and being a tech geek.
Q: Have an interesting day job? Care to talk a little bit about it?
A: I work in digital marketing and do everything from SEO, which is Search Engine Optimization, to social media and blogging. It's a great career as someone who lives and breathes digital anyway, as my job allows me to help clients and brands improve their online reach and connect with their audiences in new ways. It has a technical aspect and a creative aspect, which keeps me engaged and always learning more.
Q: Any word of advice for your fellow enthusiasts, a bit of wisdom you'd like to impart on the masses?
A: Whoever said "do it once and do it right" first was a brilliant person. I've taken plenty of shortcuts with cheap parts, low budget installers, or both, and most of those times I paid dearly having to replace the parts, have the part re-installed elsewhere, or other misfortunes. You're way better off thinking through every mod and trying to avoid shortcuts and do it right the first time.
Also, really understand what you want out of the car - it's easy to just start piling on mod after mod, but if you're modifying without a purpose then it may come out tacky and overdone. For me I aim to enhance the strongest points of the car and improve the weakness but keep as much OEM flavor as possible. That means subtle exterior mods and then adapting the handling & suspension to my likes. I daily drive the car so I keep the mods fairly conservative, but I also track the car a few times a day so I make sure that the car can handle a good hooning now and then, too.