Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

There’s something intrinsically rewarding about having something few others can share. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe S3 is claimed to be one of only five in the entire U.S., which makes it as exclusive as can be. Does that fact mean it should be as pricy as it is?

Just based on the comments, the only thing keeping the majority of you from grabbing a Greyhound and hightailing it down to buy yesterday’s 1993 Dodge Viper is that to do so, you would have to hightail it all the way down to Florida As we all know, that’s the crazy state.

At just $18,900 there was nothing crazy about that Viper’s price, as its sizable 68 percent Nice Price win did prove. The main focus of discussion however, was on the seller’s choice of locale in which to pose the Viper for the ad’s photos—amidst a distraction of clutter in his Florida Man backyard. Sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.

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What we got… er, what we have today is a 2001 Audi S3 hot hatch, and that’s something, here in the States at least, that few can claim. In fact, its seller says this is one of only five such models presently calling the U.S. home.

The S3 is based on the A3, and the first generation of that lesser model first hit the European market in the summer of 1996. Available in both front and all-wheel drive, the A3 eschewed Audi’s traditional longitudinal engine placement for a transverse setup just like that in the Volkswagen Golf.

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Volkswagen of course, was and is Audi’s sugar daddy, and unsurprisingly the A3 was based on the same ‘PQ34’ platform as the MKIV Golf. Volkswagen’s introduction of the refreshed Golf would lag a year behind that of the Audi. VW’s own super hot edition of the PQ34 platform, the R32, wouldn’t arrive for another five years.

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The hotted-up Audi S3 arrived a more modest three years after the A3’s debut, and advanced the platform’s performance substantially. The engine here is a turbocharged five-valve per-cylinder four displacing 1781ccs. In the S3 that mill was claimed to make 210 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque from the factory. That all gets routed to the four corners via a six-speed manual transmission and torque-sensing Haldex intermediary biaser.

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The first generation S3s were sold all around the globe, with the notable exception of here in the U.S.. This Laser Red over black 2001 seeks to address that inequity. The car comes with a modest 54K on the clock, and looks to be in fine fettle both outside and in.

The seller does note in the pictures a chip on in the paint on the passenger side door, but other than that there don’t appear to be any bodywork boogers. S3 badging is resident on all four sides and the car rides on what look to be Porsche-branded two-piece wheels. In lieu of tires, those have been mounted with black rubber bands. The ride quality of this Audi is probably a bit punishing as a result.

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The seller describes the car as ‘tastefully modified,’ and you see the evidence of that under the bonnet. The engine has been imbued with an aftermarket intake and probably a bigger intercooler. Those are all connected by bright blue flexi-joints that seem to imply performance.

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The work is said to have been completed professionally by shops in both Maryland and Georgia. The ad claims that receipts are included in the photos, but the seller seems to have forgotten that detail as I don’t see them.

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The interior looks terrific, and carries a pair of Recaro thrones with electric adjustment and leather upholstery. An alcantara steering wheel faces the left one and just behind that sits an add-on boost gauge atop the steering column. Automatic climate controls and an aftermarket Alpine head unit hold court in the center stack. And yes, I do think that ‘NO DEVICE’ is very likely a No Doubt cover band.

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The ad claims that the S3 was imported legally in 2011 and that it currently carries a clear New Jersey title and plates. I’m not sure how that all works with Federal standards requiring anything under 25-years old to be brought into compliance should permanent residency be planned, It’s been here for eight years now, and hence it’s increasingly less likely that Uncle Sam will be all that interested in it.

Should you be interested in going for it, you will want to be sure to bring along $23,900. That’s the asking price, tasteful mods and all. Yes, you could get a much newer and fully federalized S3—even one with a separate boot—for similar money, but then so could everyone else.

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This first-gen S3 is a rare duck here in the U.S. and it’s that exclusivity—no doubt along with the overall condition—that makes the seller think the car is worth that $23,900 price. Do you think he’s right?

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You decide!

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Philadelphia, PA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Thanks to FauxShizzle for the hookup!

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