ECS Tuning and BILSTEIN were proud to deliver the new Audi A3 to the winner on Friday the 17th of November. The ceremony was held at the BILSTEIN facility in Southern California and was met with the local car communities interested in seeing the exchange first-hand. For the past months, we have held a sweepstakes in which ECS Tuning bought, built, and and gave away an Audi A3 in appreciation of all our loyal customers.
The A3 featured a lowered ride height, a stiffer suspension setup, carbon fiber accessories at every corner, aggressive brakes, and performance pieces from ECS and several other manufacturers. The transformation made this A3 a truly unique and eye-catching car. Even without the jaw-dropping graphics that provided a curious asymmetry to the car, it was abundantly clear this Audi possessed some serious competitive power. With the car in hand and sponsorship in place, we needed to decide on a method for selecting the winner.
Entrants purchased their normal maintenance parts, performance components, and other accessories as they normally would; but there was a twist. Every $50.00 spent on anything from ECSTuning.com automatically entered the customer in our sweepstakes with chances to win the ECS Tuning & BILSTEIN A3. The Audi spent its life with us being constructed, detailed regularly, photographed, and truly loved by those who had an opportunity to be around it. One lucky winner from our community was about to feel all that energy and dedication we imbued on the Audi, and it could not have been someone any more descriptive of the ECS family.
On the 17th of November, we had the winner picked, thanks to the random drawing by an independent third party agency: Nick S, of California. He is an extreme Audi enthusiast and a long time customer of ECS. Currently, he is in the middle of rebuilding an Audi B5 S4. He took the S4 from an untouched, 160k mile, used car and stripped it down. He removed the V6 Twin Turbo to refresh the Audi’s heart, and is currently in the process of putting everything back together. In the meantime, he is daily driving an Audi Etron. The Etron will be taking a back seat to the ECS Tuning A3, however, as Nick expressed his intention is to drive the A3 every day.
One interesting question we all waited to ask was, “what would become of the graphics?” On a track, the Audi looks right at home with the striking vinyl covering the car. On the roads, it may be slightly out of place. We were ecstatic to hear what his opinion was regarding the love-it-or-hate-it graphics adorning the car. Nick, in what is undoubtedly a surprise to some, decided to leave the graphics intact! He is excited to have something that is both eye-catching and a reminder of the overwhelming participation of so many individuals who helped take this car from a dealership lot to someone’s driveway.
When asked about his feelings approaching the whirlwind of activity around receiving the car, he expressed how surprised he was upon being first contacted:
“I thought it was spam. I got some email and just threw it in the spam folder. Then I got another one, and then a phone call. That was when it really sank in.”
This new Audi will see car shows, canyon carving, and the parking lot at his place of work. Its life until this point has been almost like that of a celebrity; it was constantly prettied-up for photography sessions, endured countless hours of custom modification work, was trailered to automotive shows like SEMA, and now is finally about to see its first opportunity to stretch its legs in the hands of its new owner.
Nick’s excitement was palpable during our conversation. His overwhelming sense of pride and humility carried through the interview:
“Community is such a big deal (in car culture). The fact that there are companies out there that want to engage, I don’t really know how to describe it, that there are people like ECS that push that envelope and really drive the platform forward is incredible.”
Nick is ready to enjoy this car that so many of us here at ECS have grown fond of.
“I already have it entered in a track day at Thunder Hill in April. I plan on swapping for a more aggressive set of tires and otherwise hitting the track as-is.”
Now that the Audi will be regularly driven in Northern California, locals will more than likely see Nick cruising Highway 9 and carving up towards Redwood country.
“I’m ready to enjoy it. It has everything I would look for (in a daily driver). It looks good, it’s fun, and it’s reliable.”