Vehicle specification is huge in 2021. From hours wasted on new car configurators to entire Instagram accounts dedicated to weird and wonderful colour combos, our obsession with spec shows no sign of abating. When even a new 911 GT3 is being offered with a bigger range of Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur equipment than ever before, it's clearly a big deal. Optional extras on a GT3 used to be whether you wanted harnesses or not - and that was about it.
Still, the meteoric rise of personalisation is understandable. The only thing more satisfying than virtually creating your own dream car is seeing someone put actual money into a very similar vehicle, defying convention to build something unique. We'd all get jolly bored if every Ferrari was red and AMGs were always silver, so credit where it's due to those doing something different - and for liberally filling the pockets of manufacturers.
Of course, individual specs go back decades, all the way back to the coachbuilding days - we just knew less about them then. Cars kept in collections couldn't be seen on a phone, and optioning up a new vehicle was a process reserved only for those people actually buying one. Nice to see the internet has been good for something, at least.
And, believe it or not, this 2001 Audi A6 is one of those bespoke orders. Yes, really - it cost more than £60,000 new, which is just over £100k in today's money. Which, quite frankly, seems a bit silly, but look a little closer and it all becomes clear. Both the Racing Green Pearlescent paint and Vanilla Ambiente Pearl Nappa leather were special order options, the latter still looking remarkably vanilla-y given 20 years and 130,000 miles of use. The hide is paired to vanilla headlining - natch - and the original owner optioned in the Recaro seats front and rear as well - classy.
That was just the start, too. Seemingly adamant about creating an A6 wagon with an even subtler look than the S6, the original owner ordered this car with sports suspension, the Parabolic Competition wheels, the sport steering wheel, Vavona high gloss amber wood and the stainless steel exhaust tips. Oh yes, and the load through hatch with ski bag - it's just the sort of Audi social media would have meltdown about.
And it's yours for £5k! Or £4,795 to be precise, thanks to a 129,000-mile odo reading; plus, whatever the ad says about it being a fast appreciating classic, the fact that this isn't an S or RS Audi probably makes it less desirable to the masses. It's being sold having just undergone a recent major service (cambelt, water pump, brake pads, gearbox refresh) which is encouraging, even if the MOT history shows a car with a fierce appetite for consumables.
Still, it would be naïve to assume otherwise. Big, heavy, fast cars place additional stress on parts that lighter cars would not. And this big, heavy, fast car is 20 years old now. Furthermore, though this generation may not have the best reputation for reliability, the V8-powered A6 still presents a tempting proposition given how little money it costs. This S4 of the same era, for example, is approaching 100,000 miles and almost £10,000 more. There's no vanilla leather there, either...
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