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Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams

Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes

I dubbed this summer the Summer of Dreams because against all odds, 2020 has been by far the best year of my life. I’ve been able to make a bunch of dreams come true while consistently crossing things off my bucket list. I’m still not really sure how this all happened.

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I’m Legally Me!

My name change forms and such have all been submitted. Come November 2nd my name will legally be Mercedes! Gender marker change is immediately after. Should have done this sooner, but there’s no better time to finish something you haven’t done than now! Sadly, name changes are significantly more expensive where I live currently than where I used to live. Thought conservative counties were supposed to be cheaper. lol

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Balls Deep in VAG

On my end of our shared vehicle fleet, I’ve sold more vehicles I didn’t particularly care about. As expected, I made some coin on the Harley Sportster. I’m now down to the Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman 650, and Genuine Stella. I still have the Honda Spree in my living room but that’s still just decoration. Remember when I had like 12 motorcycles? Weird times.

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My girlfriend learned how to drive manual in the Ranger and determined she’s in no rush to drive manual and is content with her automatic. As it served its purpose it was sold. The same friend that bought my 4.0 Ranger bought this one, so they once again have a daily Ranger until whenever this one dies.

Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes
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The Xterra is burning enough oil that you can smell it in the exhaust. A new PCV valve and some seafoam later and it runs a little better, but the exhaust stinks of oil. Beginning to look like valve seals or piston rings. Good thing I didn’t get it as a daily. Some Nissan folks have told me this is par for the course and just use thicker oil. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I also ran into a deal that was too hard to pass up. Two functioning TDI wagons for the price of one? Why not!

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Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes

First up is this 2012 Jetta TDI Sportwagen. This high mileage hero is sitting at 353,000 miles. It was neutered by VW two years and 60,000 miles ago. It runs and drives great. According to the paperwork I am legit the second owner. The PO took good care of the car, the driver seat doesn’t even have a crease in it and the interior overall has the fit and finish of a car with a fifth of the miles. How did he manage it is beyond me.

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Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes

Second, we have another B5.5 Passat TDI Wagon. Like my last one it has an underboost issue. I’ve already located the issue to be vacuum related and am already fixing it. It’s in even better condition than my old Passat with a better interior, cooler wheels, and a stereo that actually sounds good.

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And lastly, I came into a very very weird project. For Gambler price I got a Passat W8 4Motion with a manual with the intent on making it a Gambler car.

Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes
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Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes
Illustration for article titled Good News to Conclude the Summer of Dreams
Photo: Mercedes
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I bought it from the second owner, who bought it from the first owner after the first owner smacked a pole with the front passenger door. Aside from the mismatched doors it has a broken sunroof and a misfire on cylinder 6. But with only 100k on the odometer it’s otherwise very tight! We drove it home from Michigan and the car never once skipped a beat. It sounds so so so good and the manual is so so fun. It even comes with complete service history. The cylinder that’s misfiring appears to have an old coil.

My whole Gambler plans for it sort of derailed when I discovered how rare these things are. There are under 5,000 W8s in the US for all years, of that number, under 450 total are manual. Oops. So I guess this one will be a resto project.

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The W8 means my total vehicle count is 1 more than my limit, so I’ll most likely flip the Xterra after a couple off-road events. I wasn’t even supposed to have the little green thing to begin with. lol

The American

On my girlfriend’s end of the stable, her search for her own dream cars is going quite well. Next month she wants to pull the trigger on a supercharged Monte Carlo SS. It looks like she slipped out of the Maxima debacle making a slim “profit”, if you can call a tax deduction a profit. Her little Camry continues to be a reliable cockroach. Biggest problem thus far was the left brake caliper coming off, getting caught in the wheel, then somehow managing to damage the CV axle. At least...that’s the crazy story her mechanic came up with. But every time she comes back from that mechanic the car drives even better so maybe he’s not as crazy as I think.

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If she gets the several figure position she wants we’ll most likely be moving someplace that has ample storage on the property (like a pole barn or former dealership) for my crap and what will inevitably be her collection of American cars. She really really wants a Challenger Hellcat, and I can totally see her getting one before this year’s even out.

Yes, this does mean I own more VAG cars than I do smarts. Does this mean hell has frozen over?

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