No Blind Eye with the ur Social Network

words: George Achorn, photos: Denis Podmarkov

As I’ve shifted a cog jumping from web community to Audi Club over the past year, the advantage of a tight-knit organization some 10,000 strong is becoming more and more apparent by the day. Take for example the purchase of a weathered ur quattro blindly from some 1,600 miles away.

It all started as most fantasy transactions do. A well-worn but apparently equally well-loved iconic ur quattro was listed on Facebook’s Small Chassis Audi Group for an incredibly fair price. It needed a lot of work, though it was basically all there and also drivable.

The vintage Audi community is a small one, and I knew people that knew people that knew the owner, but the low price and the ask for a pitch of my plan for the car’s restoration before he’d agree to sell it to me had me wondering if it was either an enthusiast with an admirable attachment to the coupe, or perhaps a situation too good to be true. My heart said the former, but my conscience said potentially the latter.

I made my pitch from long distance, and the owner agreed, approving of my plan for the car. Having eyes on the car though and, even better, someone to handle the transaction by handing over the check and mailing me the title was another matter. I inquired on Facebook seeking friends in Colorado… which netted a lot of likes from virtual devils on my shoulder, but no friends local to the car and willing to help me actually make it happen.

Then it occurred to me. Our own ACNA President is a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter. One call to her led to another highly recommended friend of hers, Ron Maxwell.

That’s when the magic happened. The real experience of trust between this club, this ur social network of Audi enthusiasts exposed itself clearly in aiding and abetting in such a vintage car acquisition scheme. That was most clear when Ron agreed not only to to handle the transaction, he even offered to displace one of his own cars from his home garage with the threat of hail in forecast.

No joke. I refused he do such a thing given the car’s already well-earned patina. He did it anyway though, and sent me photos that not only proved the car had been delivered, but also unintentionally proved he made room in his garage for it as well.

One day later the ur quattro was on a truck and headed out of Colorado. My appreciation for Ron and the unfair advantage being a member of the Audi Club offered me and my habit for vintage Audi automobiles will go on much longer than my search for such a rare car.

That’s the thing about being a member of a group like this club. It’s family. Spend some time around them and you’ll see it manifest itself in many ways. There’s the more literal, such as watching members’ young child hugging another retiree member at a dinner as I saw last summer in Georgia, or brothers in bad habits such as Ron helping me bring this ur quattro home. That family isn’t a bullet point on our ‘Join the Club’ pamphlets we hand out at events, but maybe it should be… and at the top of the list.

This story originally ran in the Fall 2017 issue of the Audi Club North America quattro quarterly print magazine. In order to subscribe to quattro quarterly, join the Audi Club North America HERE.