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    1. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      Jun 23rd, 1999
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      Boston
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      54,465
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      12 XC70 T6 | 09 Silverado
      05-06-2019 07:25 AM #1
      This is mostly aimed at the folks who started here in the early 2000s (lets say 1998-2006), but feel free to chime in.

      With guys like Brinskan (Brian Scotto) and crew being nominated for an Emmy Award I was curious how many others have done over the past 20 years?

      Any fun stories about how you started off here in a rusted out ****ter and now own a car you only dreamed of.

      Any success stories that are a result of being a member and networking with folks on here?

      I'll post my story later. It's boring and not a good lead off.

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    3. Member
      Join Date
      Oct 15th, 2006
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      SC
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      614
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      Mazda 2
      05-06-2019 08:47 AM #2
      Had a bright blue Mazda hatchback when I joined.. Now I have a bright green Mazda hatchback... I make a lot more money now, but I got married, bought a house, and had a couple of kids, and put some away for retirement, so I don't get to spend any of it.

    4. Member Maximum_Download's Avatar
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      May 17th, 2010
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      Chicagoland
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      05-06-2019 08:56 AM #3
      I joined in January 2000 when I bought my 2000 Jetta VR6 5 speed. I was transitioning out of my 1998 Cavalier Z24 5 speed, and was well and truly done with the J body people (we were on an email list at the time, not the J Body forums that are notorious now). At the time, Larry's wife was still sick and the group had banded together to send some donations their way. I was utterly taken aback and knew I wanted to be a part of the community.

      NINETEEN FREAKING YEARS LATER, I still regularly post and lurk here. Life is life....people come and go, I made some great lifelong friends through here (yo Parklife, Dempsey, PineappleMonkey, Mike B, and plenty of others), I had career ups and downs, and right now I have a house, a wonderful wife, a precocious 5 year old son, a brand new Golf R in the garage, and a brand new boat.

      I'd say life is pretty good for me. I hope the same for the other OGs here.
      Last edited by Maximum_Download; 05-06-2019 at 09:00 AM.
      Matt
      2018 Toyota Highlander SE AWD, Midnight Black Metallic/Black
      2018 Volkswagen Golf R 6-speed, Lapiz Blue/Titan Black
      2018 Four Winns H210 / 5.3L Volvo Penta V8 300 / DPS-A Duoprop drive

    5. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      Feb 17th, 1999
      Location
      Vermont, USA
      Posts
      31,254
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      '94 Miata - '16 RAV4 - '10 Prius
      05-06-2019 09:03 AM #4
      We were just buying our house in 99 when I joined, no kid yet, I was still making my bones at an ad agency.

      20 years later, same wife , same house, we have a 16 year old son, and I work for myself. Oh, and I nearly died.

      My automotive enjoyment has changed so many times over those years. I used to be so happy with a crap used car, then I wanted the nicest, new car I could afford. A new (leased) B5 Passat was my entry into this world and I made some real friends from here and the old Club B5 as well.

      Then I got into offroading and building trucks. Turns out going really slow was a lot more fun for me than trying to go really fast. Had a great time with that.

      Now I'm really into reliable (boring) daily drivers and having fun with my old Miata.

    6. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      Feb 2nd, 2001
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      Detroit and Düsseldorf
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      16,890
      Cars
      dark blue stick shift station wagon, shiny yellow motorbike, dirty green motorbike, bluBRZ
      05-06-2019 09:05 AM #5
      Switched jobs a couple of times, finally ending up in Detroit. I moved to Germany and back. Does that count? Still have the old B5, have added a string of Golfs, two Toyotas (eek) and a Toyobaru. One Toyota is an MR2 and driven by my kid, who, because of that, is cooler than your kid. lol.

      Still here. It's comfortable.
      たくさんとうふ、よ Where did all these damn Toyotas come from?
      Compared to a British roadster, all Volkswagens are reliable!
      nevAr Lose - DE Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Bankruptcy Controller - IPROfftopikstan, kuhlBRZ

    7. Member masa8888's Avatar
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      May 5th, 2003
      Location
      Reston VA
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      8,070
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      2019 VW Atlas SEL R-Line, 2000 911 Carrera, 2005 Audi TT 3.2 Quattro
      05-06-2019 09:17 AM #6
      Joined during my last year in college 16 years ago. Biggest change is how much more free time I had back then.

      The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.


    8. Member GTijoejoe's Avatar
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      Oct 5th, 2001
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      '06 Evo Mr, '17 Ridgeline RTL, '18 Accord Sport
      05-06-2019 09:18 AM #7
      I graduated high school, then college with 2 degrees, then got a job,... many years later built a house, wife, .... kids are in the planning.

      Amazingly vortex is still relevant and one of the best sources of information about almost anything you can think of.
      I think the vortex has rare value, that you can ask just about anything and you'd ..eventually... receive an intelligent educated answer from someone who has done, or does do, what you're asking about.
      I think its unique in that sense as its a car forum.
      2.0T+034efi+meth = 300+whp = RIP

      Quote Originally Posted by Ryukein View Post
      Everyone always praises function over form until the form is something that they don't like

    9. 05-06-2019 09:19 AM #8
      Started here in 1999(Tyrolkid) when I was interested in getting a MK4 1.8T GTI for a daily, as my Foxbody had become too hardcore. I bought a GTI in early 2000. Starting modding it in my spare time, and posting results in the 1.8T forum. Had local people start contacting me for installs, which I did for free after work and on weekends. The following grew rapidly as word spread in NYC. I quit my 6 figure corporate consulting job in 2001 to do the mod thing full time out of my backyard. 18 years later, I own Tyrolsport, have eight employees, and get to do the "car thing" full time. Life is good.
      Last edited by [email protected]; 05-06-2019 at 09:22 AM.

    10. Member
      Join Date
      Jul 29th, 2000
      Location
      Los Angeles, CA
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      7,512
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      2018 GTI SE
      05-06-2019 09:22 AM #9
      20 years of joy?! But, really... Aside from my camera, probably the most consistent thing in my life for the past 2 decades. Many things have come and gone, but wake-up Car Lounge views continue!
      Thru My Eyes: Nicholas James Photography | Instagram

      Contact me for photos shoots in the Los Angeles/OC area.

      P A L E S T A R

    11. ***** (Cat) Lover Pizza Cat!!!!'s Avatar
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      Dec 2nd, 2006
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      Near McBanagon
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      1) allmistake 2) V8 rental 3) merican vw
      05-06-2019 09:29 AM #10
      Started lurking for probably 4 or 5 years when I was a dumb kid.

      Then, finally got an account after I bought my MkV GTI in '06.

      Graduated college a few years later, got married - fast forward and now I've been married for 10 years and I have a little bit of jnms to play with.

      Got a kid, got fat (Ross reminded me I got fat - but he drives a Crosstour, so meh), and also picked up a few TCL darlings and/or ****boxes along the way.

      My claim to fame, however, is being McVanagon/McBanagon/@McMike's neighbor. Also, I may have banged efrie one night in St. Louis.

      My old cat also really liked pizza. I'm still Rabbit, though.

      Own a Chevrolet SS? Join the Official TCL Registry!

      It's me, Rabbit, I promise.
      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      NATORabbitCat5PizzaSand

    12. Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      Jul 2nd, 2002
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      NH Lakes Region
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      21,252
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      15 GSW, 15 Passat Sport, 03 20th, 88 Cabby, 64 Yamaha
      05-06-2019 09:35 AM #11
      It would probably easier to list what hasn't changed in the 19 plus years I have been on here.

      Joined in early 2000 after picking up a '00 Flash Red GTI 1.8T. Spent most of my early years in the MK4 forums. People back then were very helpful in there - guys like Sammiches and others. Picked up my first 20th in October of 2003 and from there moved to Montana following a g/f.

      We broke up after a year and then I lived with roommates for a number of years did a lot of drinking and a (fair amount of drugging), working in kitchens and landscaping and playing in the mountains there before moving home to NH in 2007. Everything I owned fit in my '07 Jetta including my dog.

      Fast forward to now, have a successful job in sales, a loving wife which I will celebrate 10 years of marriage with this month, a beautiful 6 yo little girl, four VW's, bought a nice old farm house with garage space for everything and some land. A lot can change in a short period of time if you work for it.

      I think I counted 40 cars I have owned in the course of the 12 years I have been with my wife.

      Still enjoy logging on here and reading/laughing while eating my breakfast or on a rainy Sunday.

    13. Member
      Join Date
      Dec 9th, 1999
      Location
      West Chester, PA
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      7,826
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      '01 S2K, '18 GSW, '18 CX5 GT
      05-06-2019 09:48 AM #12
      In 99 I was renting a room in a friend's house, dreading going to work, and dating a miserable B that I knew from college. Since then I cut down on the drugs a lot. Got fired from a few jobs. Got married. Spent countless dollars on trying to have a kid. Renovated 2 houses. Had 6 VWs, 3 hondas, 2 mazdas and 1 Audi. Lost 2 feline best friends, got 2 new feline best friends. Found my happy place by becoming a sole proprietor of 2 businesses. Now every day that I don't have to sit in an office is the best day of my life. Things are much better than '99.
      Last edited by MAC; 05-06-2019 at 09:53 AM.
      Expose your cracks and love will fill them.

    14. Member sicklyscott's Avatar
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      Jun 24th, 2002
      Location
      Metuchen, NJ
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      3,956
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      2018 Tesla P3D, 2012 S60, 1991 Miata, 2007 RX-8 LFX, 1965 Cutlass
      05-06-2019 09:49 AM #13
      Joined back in 2002 when I bought my first car, 2001 GTI VR6 in Tornado Red. I LOVED that car. My first summer with it I was an intern out in Cincinnati, I was introduced to the street racing scene (Fast & Furious era) and some really friendly VW friends. Over the following 5 years that car brought me so much in terms of valuable life lessons and life long friends. I eventually sold it for an engagement ring, one of the best and dumbest decisions in my life.

      Since I've realized the Mk4 platform is junk . I was speaking to an old friend of mine about getting back into VW's and we both had the same sentiment. Why would we do that? We also reminisced about all the time we spent hanging out in parking lots, we should have gone racing instead.

      I will say I have really opened up on my automotive tastes. I have owned 15 cars since my GTI with a wide range of power, configuration and origin.

      '06 Cobalt SS/SC
      '82 Rabbit convertible
      '05 Legacy GT Wagon 5mt
      '91 Miata - BRG and turbo'd
      '01 Audi TT Roadster 225Q
      '04 BMW M3
      '78 MG MGB
      '11 Audi S4
      '80 Porsche 911 SC
      '15 Chevy SS 6mt
      '15 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
      '91 Miata - Supercharged and now the track car
      '65 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible
      '18 Telsa Model 3 Performance
      '07 Mazda RX-8 - Now GM LFX powered

      Unfortunately I am not famous, didn't make a boat load of money any place, and still don't work for a car company.
      Full force wallet weight reduction, my Miata build:
      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...build-journal)

    15. Member Maximum_Download's Avatar
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      May 17th, 2010
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      Chicagoland
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      5,868
      05-06-2019 09:57 AM #14
      Some of you have said this way more eloquently than I can, but you're right in that the Vortex still remains "relevant". It's (relatively) troll-free, you can usually get an answer to damn near any question, and it still has the best general car-talk on the internet. The Car Lounge is usually where I go to get my aggregated auto news.

      And has been for 20 years. That's pretty incredible when you think about it.
      Matt
      2018 Toyota Highlander SE AWD, Midnight Black Metallic/Black
      2018 Volkswagen Golf R 6-speed, Lapiz Blue/Titan Black
      2018 Four Winns H210 / 5.3L Volvo Penta V8 300 / DPS-A Duoprop drive

    16. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      Jun 17th, 2002
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      Ontario & Ohio
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      2015 Fusion Wagon Allroad Turbo
      05-06-2019 10:00 AM #15
      My first summer browsing Vortex / TCL was age 16 in 2001. I think I had another account and then forgot the password and made a new one the next year, closing in on 17 years since "join."

      Like many, it was MkIV GTIs that brought me here. I'd always read all of my dad's car magazines growing up, and the GTI was catching my attention at just that age. I was looking forward to getting a decent paycheck and getting something fun like that. Funny thing is, it never actually happened. I've followed along here for years on new releases, on other people's interesting cars, but my own ownership experiences have been pretty damn boring. I'm grateful for the hand-me-down car and support from my parents in my 20s, but I went right from "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" '97 Outback Limited (4EAT) and '05 Outback (4EAT) to married life, and also sticking with practical vehicles.

      '10 Mazda6 was purchased in auto instead of 6MT after much agonizing over the decision. It did end up being our only car, which was the consideration in mind when we made it, so I guess that worked out. I still regret the whole process though, which started with me being bored to death of the numb-steering, leans-like-a-boat '05 Outback, had me looking at used manual Mazda6 wagons, which I should have bought instead of the new, auto sedan. After I bought the low sedan, we ended up doing a lot of driving on gravel country roads where it would have been better to have an Outback. Go figure. I'm pretty happy with our current only-car, a '15 Edge, AWD, turbo, much peppier than anything I've owned before it, and much nicer driving than the Outback, so in that sense it worked out.

      Career-wise, thankfully everything's worked out. We're just putting the money into the mortgage instead of extraneous things like "fun car." I know I'll get there so I'm not too concerned; just living vicariously through TCL as I always have.

    17. Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 2nd, 2002
      Location
      NH Lakes Region
      Posts
      21,252
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      15 GSW, 15 Passat Sport, 03 20th, 88 Cabby, 64 Yamaha
      05-06-2019 10:01 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Maximum_Download View Post

      And has been for 20 years. That's pretty incredible when you think about it.
      Remember when all photo threads started with "56k beware". I used to use the free AOL discs to access the internet and vwvortex.

    18. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      Jun 17th, 2002
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      Ontario & Ohio
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      2015 Fusion Wagon Allroad Turbo
      05-06-2019 10:05 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Maximum_Download View Post
      Some of you have said this way more eloquently than I can, but you're right in that the Vortex still remains "relevant". It's (relatively) troll-free, you can usually get an answer to damn near any question, and it still has the best general car-talk on the internet. The Car Lounge is usually where I go to get my aggregated auto news.

      And has been for 20 years. That's pretty incredible when you think about it.
      Agreed. There's absolutely nothing like it. Brand forums still suck (yes I know, VWvortex, but TCL has always had a life of its own). Edmunds gutted Town Hall. They brought back BBS and called it Reddit, and I didn't like BBS the first time around. Proper web forums are so much better. News and talk are much better found here than anywhere else I can think of.

    19. Member KingUnderpants's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 8th, 2004
      Location
      Ontario, Canada
      Posts
      2,375
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      1996 Porsche 911, 1988 Porsche 944, 2012 VW GTI
      05-06-2019 10:05 AM #18
      Well, over the past 15 (GASP) years life has been pretty darn good. Here's some highlights:

      - Got married,
      - Moved to Germany for 2 years (got to work remotely for the same organization),
      - Travelled to 33 different countries.

      Automotive journey from when I joined has been less exciting perhaps:

      2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg.
      Full 1.8T nevarlose spec, was drawn to TCL because of this:


      2007 VW GTI
      I miss this car


      2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade
      I do not miss this car


      2006 Acura CSX
      This was suppose to be a temporary vehicle upon arrival back in Canada... almost 7 years later, it's still going. Body is rusting and it's got almost 300,000 kms but has never let us down. Outside of being a boring POS.


      1996 Porsche 911 Carrera
      Best car purchase hands down


      TBA track car

    20. Geriatric Member @McMike's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 9th, 2002
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      Northern part of the Virginia
      Posts
      35,045
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      German Vans, British cars, and a motorbike.
      05-06-2019 10:10 AM #19
      When I started I had one Vanagon. Now I have two.

      Not sure that's the progression I expected, but it's the progression I deserve.

    21. Member Surf Green's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 16th, 1999
      Location
      Silver Spring, GerryMarylandering
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      14,060
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      2 Manuel Turbo Wagons... One is incredibly slow.
      05-06-2019 10:14 AM #20
      I joined before the crash not long after I got my namesake GTI VR6. I was hopelessly single, living in a Townhouse where I would host GTGs (typically before the Manassas Bug-Outs) and wake up with people sleeping under my dining room table.

      20 years later, married with a kid, living on the other side of the river. I yell at clouds, and there is a very short list of people I'd now allow to sleep under the dining room table.

      >>>
      Last edited by Surf Green; 05-06-2019 at 10:16 AM.
      I keep up with traffic with only 90 hp. What's your superpower?
      2002 Golf Wagon TDI, 198k - 2007 Fuji Heavy Industries WRB WRX Wagon, 115k
      Past: 1996 Surf Green GTI VR6 - 1985 Golf 1.8L - No Trim Level Edition

      Grammatical and spelling errors may be intentional

    22. ***** (Cat) Lover Pizza Cat!!!!'s Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2nd, 2006
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      Near McBanagon
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      1) allmistake 2) V8 rental 3) merican vw
      05-06-2019 10:15 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Surf Green View Post
      I joined before the crash not long after I got my namesake GTI VR6. I was hopelessly single, living in a Townhouse where I would host GTGs (typically before the Manassas Bug-Outs) and wake up with people sleeping under my dining room table.

      20 years later, married with a kid, living on the other side of the river. I yell at clouds, and there is a very short list of people I'd now allow to sleep under the dining room table.
      Would said people also fit under a Vanagon dining room table?
      Own a Chevrolet SS? Join the Official TCL Registry!

      It's me, Rabbit, I promise.
      Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Dubber-GLI View Post
      NATORabbitCat5PizzaSand

    23. Member GLI Dan's Avatar
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      Sep 28th, 2006
      Location
      South Florida
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      5,267
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      A Fancy Nissan
      05-06-2019 10:19 AM #22
      I don't quite consider myself on OG around here but my join date is old enough to join in.

      I joined here about 3 months after my parents purchased my 2004 GLI, we bought it early so I could learn how to drive stick with my father before I got my full license in September. Since then, graduated high school, graduated college (go Noles), graduated law school, and now work at large size firm and bought a town house last year.

      Before joining here I always loved cars, but this place really opened my eyes to the vast variety of vehicles that are out there and the enthusiasts who follow them. Basically, my interests were much more narrow before coming here. I also rarely ventured out of the MKIV GLI/20AE/337 forum until I sold my GLI, then I lost interest here for a while, mostly focused on the...um, college experience. one day I stumbled on TCL and wondered why I hadn't been here before. Haven't left since.
      Quote Originally Posted by DzlDub View Post
      Cars are ****ing awesome, anyone who doesn't want a car is a communist.
      Disclaimer: Generally, I strongly dislike people.
      Current: 18' Infiniti Q50 Red Sport
      Prior Vehicles: 13' E92 335i M-Sport l 04' E46 330ci SMG l 04' MKIV GLI 1.8t 6spd

    24. Member Unilateral Phase Detractor's Avatar
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      Aug 23rd, 2005
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      Columbus, Ohio
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      13,400
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      2016 Mazda CX-5  2013 Ford Focus Electric
      05-06-2019 10:24 AM #23
      Started here with my well loved '85 Jetta but was looking to upgrade to a MkV since I just graduated and got a real job. Usual life stuff - marriage/kid/house. Make way more money now which is nice, but daycare is expensive so not a big automotive spender at the moment.

      I'm glad that TCL has remained a relatively pleasant place on the interwebs over the years. So many of us used to be strong VW enthusiasts but have moved on to other things. Also, remembering the days before computers were everywhere, it still blows my mind that I can talk directly to people who work at GM, Honda, Henkel, or Consumer Reports who really know their stuff. The world has become figuratively "flat" in a good way.

      I also occasionally wonder where some of the more colorful folks like BillLeBob and WhiteRat went.

    25. Member Surf Green's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 16th, 1999
      Location
      Silver Spring, GerryMarylandering
      Posts
      14,060
      Cars
      2 Manuel Turbo Wagons... One is incredibly slow.
      05-06-2019 10:27 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Pizza Cat!!!! View Post
      Would said people also fit under a Vanagon dining room table?
      Let's find out!
      I keep up with traffic with only 90 hp. What's your superpower?
      2002 Golf Wagon TDI, 198k - 2007 Fuji Heavy Industries WRB WRX Wagon, 115k
      Past: 1996 Surf Green GTI VR6 - 1985 Golf 1.8L - No Trim Level Edition

      Grammatical and spelling errors may be intentional

    26. Member Samson's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2nd, 1999
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      11,896
      Cars
      Ghetto35, Lifted AWD Prius
      05-06-2019 10:28 AM #25
      I have forgotten why I chose the user name that I did. All I can think of was that I was watching a VHS of Half Baked in my dorm room when I signed up, probably looking for justification in spending a few grands worth of student loan money on a new RPI short block for my old 16v GTI.

      On that note, the main thing that I've learned is to not take advice from anybody on here.

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