quattro Lounge – Benny Schwarz

words: Denis Podmarkov, photos: Benny Schwarz

Welcome to the quattro Lounge. My own little corner here at ACNA. A place to relax and talk to fellow Audi enthusiasts. No politics, no problems. Just life, hobbies and the four rings. I’m excited to bring to you the stories of all the different people in the Audi world.

Up first is Benny Schwarz, also known as @audi_bahn on Instagram. Some of you might have seen his account or already follow him.

Denis: Hey Ben! Tell us a little about yourself.

Ben: My name is Benny Schwarz and I am an independent life insurance strategist specializing in risk management solutions for business owners and race car drivers. 

Denis: I’m sure you have some interesting clients. What car do you currently drive?

Ben: I currently have a C6 A6 Avant with 255,000 miles, it’s the perfect highway cruiser to and from New York City.

Denis: Just breaking her in! Is this your first Audi?

Ben: No, I had a B8 S4 that I sold upon moving to New York City. 

Denis: Why Audi?

Ben: My Dad had a 5000 back in the day and I worked at a local Audi dealership in high school and fell in love with the cars. The blend of design, performance, and luxury is unparalleled and they have always struck me as an automotive “sweet spot”.

Denis: Nice! It’s thanks to my dad as well that I have a passion for Audi. I’m sure everyone knows or has heard of @audi_bahn, what exactly is it and how did it get started?

Ben: @audi_bahn is a page that brings Audi owners, photographers, and enthusiasts together. I started it out of my love and respect for the brand and it has grown to something more than anything I could have imagined. I’ve always enjoyed creating and connecting and that’s where this page blossomed from! 

Denis: I share your posts on my story. Great content! What are the future plans for the page?

Ben: Future plans include; posting more of my own original work, working with dealerships, and contributing photo and editorial content to publications.

Denis: Has @audi_bahn brought you exciting projects?

Ben: The friendships, connections, and partnerships that have formed because of @audi_bahn are my favorite parts about running the page. I have had the opportunity to shoot for many brands and detailing shops, dealerships, events such as Avantoberfest & Waterfest, and shoot one-on-one with individual owners.

Denis: It’s deffinalty about the people you meet along the way. I’ve shared some of your photos before, what camera gear do you use?

Ben: I use a Canon T3i with a 50mm and a few other kit lenses, but am looking to upgrade soon! The T3i is a great camera for someone that likes to teach themselves like myself. 

Denis: Nice! I’ve shot with w T3i and a 50mm for 5 years before upgrading. Great set up. Any future mods for you personal car?

Ben: I put my Peeler wheels from my S4 on the A6 Avant to give it a more OEM+ look, but while I am street parking it in New York City, I don’t want to put too much money into it! 

Denis: What is your dream Audi and why?

Ben: I would love to buy a C5 RS 6 Avant someday, the C5 chassis is one of my favorites, and the combination of Biturbo V8 and Avant body style is hard to beat! I have also dreamt of owning a UrQuatrro someday in the future, the 5-cylinder turbo and classic boxed fenders are my weaknesses.

Denis: C5 A6 was my first Audi, I would dream of picking up a RS 6 in that chassis. Would you ever consider an electric Audi?

Ben: I have a deep love for internal combustion engines, but I could see myself in an electric Audi as a daily driver in the future, especially one as striking as the e-tron GT!

Denis: Same here, the e-tron GT seems like a perfect upgrade. Now, I’ve seen some of your coffee posts, are you a coffee kinda guy? If so, what’s your favorite cafe and choice of drink?

Ben: Big coffee drinker and a fan of Parlor Coffee out of Brooklyn, NY! Americano’s are typically my drink of choice! 

Denis: Next time you’re in Los Angeles, I’ll take you to some of my favorite coffee spots! A lot of auto manufacturers are heading different directions, where do you see the Audi in the future?

Ben: I see Audi continuing on as an early adopter and leader in the electric car space, innovating without compromise as they have done in the past. I am optimistic that Audi Sport will reward its faithful following with more RS variants and Avants in the coming years as well! 

Denis: We would love more Avants! Do you shoot anything other than automotive?

Ben: Photographing cars is definitely my favorite, but I like to shoot just about everything – from architecture and street photography in New York City, to portraits and dance portfolio’s for actors and actresses in the city. My fiancé and I started our own photo business in NYC shooting headshots and dance portraits for her colleagues in Broadway musicals and shows. 

Denis: Fantastic photos man! Is there anyone you’d like to thank or shoutout?

Ben: I would like to thank my fiancé Talia for her love and support. She has been one of the core pillars in my life pushing me in my work, the @audi_bahn page, and our photography work. I would also like to thank my Dad, who is the reason I’m such a car nut in the first place and helping to show me the importance of being a man of faith and integrity. 

Denis: Where can people find you online?

Ben: My personal IG account is @benny.schwarz, my Audi IG account is @audi_bahn, or you can contact me via email; [email protected].

Denis: Thank you Ben for joining us today! Enjoy the photos taken by Ben.