Do you remember the movie Ronin and how crazy everyone drove in it? For reasons that will become evident, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe S8 is emblematic of both that film and the lone warrior mythos. Will its price however, prove more of a bonin'?

Yesterday's Volvo-powered 1985 Oscar proved to be the Sommer of our discontent, owing to its overwhelming 85% Crack Pipe loss. As we noted, that Cobra mimic was a dealer's one-time attempt to kick-start a homegrown auto industry for Denmark. That didn't happen, but at least he got a nice auto museum out of it.

Okay, for today's 2003 Audi S8 we're just going to just get something out of the way - rip the bandaid off as it were. This cool car has a salvage title. Now, I know that can be a total buzzkill for mostof you, and in fact a deal-ender for some. It's like a 'I've got herpes' announcement on a first date, or the discovery that the lottery that you've just won was in fact written by Shirley Jackson.

Still, before you skip on down and hammer the Crack Pipe button with all your enraged, why did you lead me on so cruelly? ardor, hear me out. You might just want to consider going with this big-ass Audi despite its tainted title. You want to know why?


I know that the suspense is killing you so I'll spill the beans; this big S8 has been converted to a six-speed manual. Now, if you're in Europe you're probably saying, pfffft, big deal, Shifty McShifter. That's because you all got Audi's range-topper with just that box from the factory. The thing of it is though, here in the U.S. we only got the big aluminum sport sedan with a 5-speed Triptronic, a lamentable fact that gave us all a case of the sads.

The row-yer-own in is otherwise U.S. spec car backs its 355-bhp 4.2-liter V8 with a sextet of personally-choosable gears. That's the most egalitarian of transmissions! The big eight also rocks five valves per cylinder which means healthy breathing through the rev range, lots of power, and astronomical repair bills should you let the timing belt go bad.


Thankfully, the ad claims there to be a new belt, along with a fresh water pump and some related gaskets and whatnot. It also touts a bunch of new suspension components and some wild 20-inch alloys which show off the Brembo brakes to good effect.

The rest of the exterior aspects of the car look to be in good order, while inside the alcantara and leather draping pretty much everything also appears perfectly serviceable. The headliner looks so plush that you may just want to take off your shoes and run your toes through its plushy plushness, spider pig style. Overall this seems to be a fine example of the D2 S8, and the six-speed makes it - at least here in Freedom Fry land - a unique one as well.


But there's still that little black cloud hanging over this Audi's honey pot, and that is its salvage title. Now, these cars are all aluminum, featuring Audi's ASF (Audi Space Frame) design which uses cast alloy connectors at critical structural points and demanding specially trained service people for its repair. That means any structural issues (accidents, fatigue, etc) are going to be expensive. Like, cartoon eyes popping out of your head expensive. That can mean a write-off for what could have been a minor but really expensive repair.

The issue here is that there's no explanation for that black mark on the title. It would have been nice if the seller had noted the reason - as well as the real mileage - rather than letting potential buyers let their minds wander. Was the cause frame damage? an Ebola infestation? Clowns? Who knows!


What I do know is that the seller is asking $15,000 and now I'd like you to vote on whether you think that's a deal or not. What's your take on this muscular Audi? Does that six speed salvage it from its title? Or, is that too much cash for a car that's been potentially crashed?

You decide!


Seattle Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Nick for the hookup!

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