words: Joshua Sharp, photos: Chris Daley
Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in the Q2_2020 issue of quattro Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to quattro Magazine, please join Audi Club here.
Editor’s Note II: For an enthusiast, a car can mean a lot of things. It can be the focus of a dream, the reward for achievement, or the project that helps keep you focused. For Captain Josh Sharp of the U.S. Army, who recently returned from a tour of duty, his car is all of these things. When we saw photos of his recent return and heard his story on Facebook’s Audi S4 B8/B8.5 Network Group, we knew we had to share it in his own words.
My name is Josh Sharp and I’m a Chaplain in the United States Army. I’m married and have two children. I grew up in a family of ten and we were poor. At the time, I would look at German cars and always felt they were out of my reach.
When I was 24, I found myself at a crossroads, trying to decide what I would do with my life. That I would be the only member of my family to ever graduate and earn a bachelor’s degree just sounded amazing. I also felt the desire to serve my country, so the Army ROTC seemed like the perfect fit.Four years later, I had my bachelor’s degree in hand and was commissioned in the United States Army. I had to decide at this point what career path to pursue. I love God, and I love soldiers, and I felt that serving both was what I was meant to do. So I applied to enter the Chaplain Candidate program.
During this time, I needed a job in order to care for my family. I had a good friend who ran Cascade German. He offered me a position and my time there grew my obsession for Audi. My dream car was the Audi S4. Eventually I moved back into a service position, becoming a police officer with the Salem Oregon Police Department. It was one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my life. At that time, I also graduated with my master’s degree and decided to get myself a graduation gift – a 2012 Monsoon Gray Audi S4.
Just when I began to get comfortable, God threw me a curve ball. I was assigned to the 1972ND Combat Operational Stress Control Medical Detachment and was deployed some three months later. I now had a decision to make. Should I keep the car or sell it and find something else when I returned? This was my dream car. Then, an idea began to grow in my mind. Why not keep the car and take it to the next level?
There was one major hurdle to this process…I’m married. The beauty of my relationship is that my wife gets me. She doesn’t always agree with me, but she gets me. After a number of long conversations, she agreed to let me move forward. I contacted a friend, Nickko Skinner, owner of Zollwerks. He agreed to take my car and have it completed before I returned from my deployment. In February 2019, I dropped my car off at his shop. I ordered most everything I could through Cascade German, using other sources as needed. Contacts on the Audi B8/B8.5 Network helped me fill in the gaps.
I kept tabs on the progress throughout my deployment, but with a week before I was to return, it was still questionable whether or not it would get done. You have to realize Nickko runs the shop on his own, and he had a lot going on. Even still, he came through.
It might sound ridiculous, but second to coming home to my family, the thought of coming home to this car motivated me and helped me continue throughout my deployment. It was something I thought about every week, as I ordered parts and coordinated modifications. I also wanted the car at the airport when I returned. I wanted a few good friends, my wife, and my car. My friend Chad Waldrop helped make that happen. I was also put in touch with Chris Daley, a phenomenal photographer, who agreed to drop everything and capture the moment.
My final flight from Dallas to Portland was the longest flight of my life. I was seated between two fairly large men. I don’t have the narrowest shoulders and I had to sit sideways the entire flight. Compared to the flights from Kuwait to Texas, this felt like an eternity. As I got off the plane, I had to fight the urge to sprint to my friends and family. I came out and there they were; my wife, Kaija, and a few friends. I got to baggage claim, and Chad threw me the key to my car. It was all really coming true. I was home, with the people I loved, and the car I had dreamt of was finally mine.
We all walked to my car, and it was better than I imagined it would be, and I got to drive off “into the sunset” so to speak.
CH (CPT) Josh Sharp
1972ND COSC MED DET
On a Mission: The Build List
Josh’s 2012 B8 Audi S4 Prestige:
Exterior, wheels, and brakes:
BBS CH-R wheels (winter set) (Private Party)
BBS CI-R wheels (summer set) (Private Party)
RS-4 Style Front Grille, Silver (Amazon)
ECS Braided Stainless Steel Brake Lines (Rameez Waliyani)
ECS Wheel Spacer and Bolt Kits (Rameez Waliyani)
Engine and Performance:
034Motorsport Heat Exchanger (Cascade German)
034Motorsport Supercharger Pulley (Cascade German)
JHM 180mm Crank Pulley (JHMotorsport)
APR Open Air Carbon Fiber Intake (ECS/Rameez Waliyani)
APR Ultracharger (JHMotorsport)
Devils Own Water/Methanol Injection (Cascade German)
Jokerz Full-Tilt Supercharger Port with black Cerakote (Jokerz Performance)
034Motorsport Dynamic Stage 2+ Tune (Cascade German)
034Motorsport Dynamic TCU tune (Cascade German)
Suspension and Handling:
KW V3 Adjustable Coilover Suspension (ECS/Rameez Waliyni)
034Motorsport Complete Adjustable Control Arm Kit (Cascade German)
034Motorsport Density line Engine, Drivetrain, Subframe, and Transmission Mounts (Cascade German)
034Motorsport Adjustable Rear Sway bar with End Links (Cascade German)
Exhaust and Miscellaneous:
ECS Valved Resonated Catback Exhaust (Rameez Waliyani)
ECS Complete Street Shield (Rameez Waliyani)
Hand made Flat-bottom Steering Wheel (Reggies Custom Wheels)
Black Forest Industries black perforated leather DSG Shift-knob (ECS/Rameez Waliyani)
Complete LED light kit (ECS/Rameez Waliyani)
In addition, Cascade German sourced me a host of maintenance parts, all to be done at the same time:
Liquimoly Oil Change
OEM Ignition Coils
OEM Fuel Filter
OEM DSG kit
Zimmerman Sport front and rear brake rotors and pads
OEM PCV Valve
OEM Water Pump
All of the work was done by Nickko Skinner, owner of Zollwerks.