So, where do I even begin? Well, one day the TT was having a 2.0 stroker, big turbo build and the next a train is departing to Edinburgh.
Months went by dabbling with the TT Big Turbo idea, as we was seriously working out the complications and wrote out a huge list of parts I'd need to purchase. I posted this onto the TT Facebook page at 4 am and set to get some sleep for the big purchases coming up the next day, well, in a few hours. Obviously everyone was out partying.
Literally, at 7-8 am I get numerous messages and tags waking me up telling me to check out Matt's S3 for sale post. Now, bearing in mind I was half asleep, looked at them, chuckled and dropped off for another 10. Ryan kept at me, and said that I should buy it and transplant everything onto my TT, as majority of parts are exchangeable. I jumped up as suddenly the penny dropped, everything I've spent ages writing out is now available. And not only that, built onto an S3. I jumped up like a kid at Christmas, never had so much enthusiasm so early before!
Having another serious car hasn't really been an option until now. There was so many things to get my head around at such an early time of day, it was really intense. But, I put any negatives away and focused on what was up for grabs and tinkered with the TT whilst idea mapping.
A few messages to Matt later, talking over what the situation was we started thinking how on earth I was going to get to him, as he had 2 extremely interested enthusiasts looking at it on Sunday. I had just a few hours of Saturday afternoon to get first dibs. Considering flights and trains left within an hour the latter was the best for timing, and comfort! In all my rags, not eaten a thing, phone about flat I sent Matt a deposit and said, "That S3 is mine. I can make the 5:44 pm train" to which I got "Get your ass to the train now! Lol. You've just bought yourself a very special car."
4 hours fly by like I was staring at a plain white wall, as inevitably my iPhone had 3% and had no other belongings with me. Arriving an hour later than expected Matt was still waiting, far more cheery than myself, and I was automatically stoked by his enthusiasm. Cruising through the 11 pm rush of Edinburgh nightlife in his 'daily workhorse' which is a tuned Skoda VRS 1.8T I might add. Madness.
Arrived. I didn't really know how to contain myself when he opened up his perfectly lit garage to the immaculately polished S3. But, we soon got to test driving it. I feel he was just as excited to see my response as I was to see what it's made of. It genuinely sat me back in my seat, and lost all my words. 17 stone just squatted in the Recaro seats like I was a feather. Insane. Being genuinely speechless, this gave him opportunity to talk over all the goodies at has (briefly) as it's rather extensive. Here's a few.
ENGINE: 1.8 20v turbo BAM with a full MKS Performance forged rebuild, Badger5 custom map with 5 settings, 380bhp & 350lb/ft high down to 280bhp min, Supertech Nitrate inlet and Inconel exhaust valves with HD springs and single grove collets, Badger5 V2.2 80mm turbo intake pipe with BMC induction filter and heat shield, Badger5 V2 high-flow cast manifold with large port mod, Beach Buggy Turbo (BBT) Stage 4 Hybrid K04 turbo also with B5 large port mod in hotside, AEB large port cylinder head, 600x300x76mm Toyo sport type B front mount intercooler, Pipewerx 3in down pipe and custom 5 inch sports cat, Milltek cat back exhaust, Devilsown dual port 100% methanol injection with solenoid upgrade and inline pressure gauge, DO3 injector post front mount intercooler and DO1 injector pre-throttle body, 550cc Bosch injectors, IE rifle drilled Tuscan rods , ACL big end shells and Mahle main shells, ARP main and head stud kit, OEM pistons (Forged Mahle) and new rings still at 81.5mm bore, full Forge coolant hose kit, Forge 008 recirc-valve, Draft45 Designs oil catch can with custom catch can system, N249 valve delete. A few bits of engine bay bling, but jeez, who cares after reading that?
TRANSMISSION: Loba stage 2 single-mass flywheel kit, ECS metal clutch bleeder, Haldex blue controller.
BRAKES: D2 356mm 6-pot brakes with drilled rotors
SUSPENSION: AP coilovers, adjustable rear control arms for camber control.
WHEELS AND TYRES: Rota Grid Drift, 9.5x18in, Yokohama Parada Spec 2, 225/40/ZR18.
EXTERIOR: 2x genuine Audi replacement front wings inc. bumper respray, cut out front bumper, black detailing in the badges and grill along with MKS graphics.
Probably the most viewed side of the car, for more than one reason - Photo by: Pixel Works Photography
We got all of the paperwork sorted, had a good chat whilst waiting for about 2 hours on PayPal and then clocked his rear garden view. Such an immense place, over looking the whole of Edinburgh. Soon to which I had to drive back through.
Well, the time had come. 3:30~ am Sunday morning, and I'm currently filling up the S3 with Shell V-Power whilst keeping an eye on 2 Scottish drunks arguing with the cashier and wobbling into windows.
I set off, heading onto country roads I've never even heard of, nor could even see. The roads were narrow, it was pitch black, and I was dabbling with the demon throttle of the S3. Having to keep full concentration for 4 hours was literally going to kill me, but, it had to be done. I had no phone battery, so I had to navigate myself to the A1 as soon as possible. Luckily stopped and chatted to Luke, who stopped to chat about the S3 (at 4am) whilst I smoked, and followed him through the quickest route.
BINGO. Finally be able to go into a stable, fully conscious, autopilot mode. I was fighting everything to keep my eyes up as I was flying past Berwick-Upon-Tweed, heading to Newcastle. I must say this here though, as I have to nearly everyone who obviously asked how my ride back were. This was the most amazing journey to date. By a long shot.
The way this all happened so fast. Travelling to the top of the country within the hour of sending a deposit in nothing but my rags and empty pockets. Or the sheer fact I was fighting my eyes more than I ever have to stay awake and get this absolute weapon of a car home safe. Driving through probably some of the best roads I have ever driven in a car that just wants to eat tarmac for breakfast, and witnessing the epic sunset and sunrise over Newcastle-Upon-Tyne all in one trip. It really was one hell of a surreal, weekend.
I arrived home just gone 8:30 am. So 24~hours from when I got that very first message showing me the S3 for sale in North Edinburgh, to owning it back down in Newark-On-Trent.
Ended stayed up, as Matt was coming back down in a few hours to pick his new RS3 up which weren't far from me. So I very oddly drove (his car 6 hours ago), to pick up his new car... Weird day/night all round for both of us I think!
After owning it a while now, I've really got to grips with the handling and power. Learning still, especially where to gain peak performance. The meth has been a little issue, but currently upgrading that so it'll be fine for a time. I'm really enjoying the ride, the standard interior with a race car-esque exterior. A few of us will be going to the Nürburgring in May 2017, so this should be another journey of a lifetime! Eurotrip!
Plans for the future will be some subtle changes in the interior, maybe some new alloys as I want fatter rubbers on. The current Rota setup might rub on the coilovers running 255's unfortunately. Maybe tidy the engine bay up a little, and that's it. What do you do to a car that's already pretty perfect?
So yeah, this story was something that certainly had to be shared, as it's a whopper to me.
I'd like to give Matt Shannon a huge shout out for helping the whole process go easier than what it could of. And, let's not forget building this absolute monster of a car and selling it to me. Expert knowledge from the MKS Performance creator, to which makes ME a very, very happy S3 owner. Built with precision.
Absolute legend. Check out MKS Performance.
Some people may hate the S3, especially with all the stickers and holes in the bumper. It's quite aggressive. But, to me it's absolutely mint and I couldn't of collected it in anymore of a exciting way.
Dreams don't come to you, you got to go get them!