How to flip a car

Will It Flip!? 2001 Audi A4 Quattro – Part I

So I’m having my beloved 1990 Nissan 240sx under go paint soon. It’s a project I’ve been working on for 5 years now and is on the tail end of completion. Currently it is in the paint prep stage and is still my daily driver. Being that this project car is also my daily driver, I run into this one specific issue too often for my liking. Every job or modification I do needs to be completed that same day or else I’m stuck without a ride to go to work. That’s a big problem.

Well since I foresaw a future where my daily driver will be out of my possession for a few weeks I had to ask myself, what is the most sensible thing to do? Borrow a car from a friend? Share a car with a family member? No. The answer is to buy a piece of shit off Craigslist for as cheap as you can of course! Which leads to the first installment of Will It Flip!?

But wait, I need to be smart about this. There are a few criteria’s I need to follow. My maximum budget for a temporary daily driver would be $1000, it has to be able to drive, and I can’t loose money on the resale. Which means no blown head gaskets! Here at the Factory, Adam likes to tell me that I have a bad habit of looking up cheap cars on craigslist on my free time. I thought it would be the perfect time to provoke this habit and see if I can make use of it. After about 10 minutes of coming up with this idea and 40 minutes of browsing craigslist. I found a mechanic’s special 2001 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 liter Turbo for $800 about five miles from me.


Though this whole idea may sound bad, I was convinced that this might be a decent purchase being that this car usually sells for about $2500 in decent running condition. The ad mentions that it only has been through 2 owners and even provided the VIN number. I had a friend do a VIN check and the provided information provided stands correct. I felt a growing sense of trust here. The life of the car has predominately been in Texas and just made its way to Los Angeles last August. No rust. The seller even mentions that it needs ‘minor work’; the front lip fell off and was in the cabin, the rear windows wouldn’t roll up, it needs a new mass airflow sensor, and has some cosmetic wear and tear. Easy fixes. All things I can live with.

After feeling the engine on a quick test drive and a really hard-ball-no-haggle-price of $800 later, I became a proud new owner of an all wheel drive, four-cylinder turbo, sedan in boring beige. The car ran decent for the price. I felt content as I drove home. That was until literally a stop sign away from my driveway, the temperature needle was reading higher than Donald Trump’s nose and the car started smoking out of the hood. That damn bastard didn’t mention about an overheating problem.

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I made it just in time to get to my garage. Whatever, it’s okay. I think I’ve done enough work on my car and friends’ cars to trust that I can get to the bottom of these problems. The next morning as I reinstalled the front lip, I noticed the Audi gave me a small gift. It peed a little green. A coolant leak it is!


I’ll be taking you along the process of repairing the car, polishing it up and ultimately finding out if I can break even, trade up, or even sell it for more. Follow me on this multi part journey of…Will It Flip!?