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Introducing The New Karen Federmobile: 2001 Audi A6

2001 Audi A6After talking for what seems like forever about getting Karen a different vehicle, the time has finally come: The new Karen Federmobile is a 2001 Audi A6.

Now, some of you may be thinking to yourselves, “Gee that Audi looks familiar.” You would be right. This was my grandmother’s (Nonnie’s) car. To some, it is the Queen Betty on land (the deck boat at the cabin is known as The Queen Betty on the water).

Simply put, this car is special for many reasons. My grandmother loved this car. I’ll never forget the day her, my uncle, my father, and I were in the Audi dealership in Fargo placing the order. At one point there was a conversation that went something like this:

Nonnie: Joel dear, don’t you think the color combination is gorgeous?

Me: Nonnie, the interior color is too light, and it’s going to be a nightmare to keep clean. Also, that exterior color is going to be awful to maintain. Do you realize it’s going to be difficult to find someone who loves this color combination someday when we have to sell this car when you pass away?! Don’t do this to us.

Nonnie: Nonsense, this is just gorgeous. I love it. You’ll see, it’ll be terrific.

I will never ever forget this interaction, or the rest of the memorable quotes during the buying process.

2001 Audi A6

The exterior of this A6 is finished in Ming Blue Pearl Effect while the interior features Vanilla and Royal Blue. It’s definitely unique, and frankly, I do think it’s a sharp looking car in the right light.

Under the hood is a 4.2-liter V8 connected to a five-speed automatic transmission. The car is surefooted through all forms of weather thanks to Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.

The car currently sits with about 86,000 miles on the odometer. Most of those are highway miles put on early in the car’s life, as my grandmother drove from Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis, Minnesota to see us, her grandchildren.

Since the car’s been in the family since day one, I happen to have all the service records, manuals, and even the window sticker. Though I will say the most treasured piece that comes with the car is the original brochure from the Audi dealership. It has my grandmother’s notes scribbled throughout the book as she went through the ordering process.

Ironically, both the first owner and second owner of this car have the name Mrs. Feder, though I wouldn’t advise calling Karen, Mrs. Feder.

I know just how much my grandmother loved this car, and I know how happy it would make her to see Karen driving it.

We will remember my grandmother long after we end up selling this A6, but for now, it’s yet another way we are able to keep a small part of her in our daily lives.

UPDATED – Stolen Car: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 Wagon

UPDATEThe police recovered the stolen car this morning at 3 am PST. Oddly enough, the person who stole it returned it back to Portland International Raceway. 

My buddies 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 Wagon was stolen approximately one hour ago from Portland International Raceway. It currently has black window tint and black alloy wheels. It also has a bike rack on the roof. The back window has a @JareyRoy decal on it. The car has Minnesota plates on it. The plates are NBC 817.

If you see this car call the police immediately. Then please email me at

Welcome To Accelerate PDX

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s already been nearly six months since Karen and I moved to Portland. The name change on this site has taken longer than I expected. Maybe it was me not being ready to finally face the reality. Maybe it was me just being lazy. Whatever the case, today is the day.

You’ll notice the new logo incorporates the Portland skyline and my BMW M5. Uncs Z is back in Minneapolis with my father, so the M5 seemed fitting to be in the new logo.

The adjustment has been easier than I expected. I’ve started meeting new people and have found the local car community. The driving roads here are something I could’ve only wished for back in Minnesota.

While I’ve been insanely busy with work, I know this site has been neglected. I struggled to figure out exactly what I should post here. Most of what I used to post I now write and post for work. While my postings here will be less frequent than they used to be, I do plan to post here.

Thank you to all my followers. It’s been quite a journey since I started this blog. Stay tuned as the journey continues.

Introducing The New Federmobile: 1991 BMW M5

The wait is finally over, and I am happy to announce there is a new Federmobile roaming the streets of…Portland. After months of debating what to buy and looking at numerous vehicles, yesterday I purchased a 1991 BMW M5 near Seattle.

I could go on and on about many things right about now, but there is a black M5 calling my name in the garage. So I will keep this as short as possible. We all know how well this’ll work.

It started in the middle of last week when I found this particular M5 listed on Craigslist in Seattle. I called the seller and learned he was the third owner.  The second owner lived in Seattle, and he believed the first owner lived in Flordia. To his knowledge the car has never seen salt or snow. This car was his toy and never his daily driver. The reason for selling, merely to buy either an E39 M5 or newer M3.

I arranged for a friend who knows much more about this particular car than I, to see it in person and drive it. Friday night I received a call that went something like this:

Friend: “If you don’t come buy this car…I am.”

Me: “Don’t even think about it. I’ll be there in the morning.”

And so it was written. I called the owner and arranged to meet him at his house at 9 AM on Saturday. This was at 10 PM on Friday evening.

Let me take a break to tell you all what a trooper my wife truly is. She loves me. Way more than any of us ever thought. She got up at 4 AM so we could leave the house at 5 AM to go buy this car. Even Otto was wondering what the heck we were doing up so early, as he was less than pleased.

We arrived at the owners house and the car hadn’t been started for the day. The car fired right up and he backed it out for my inspection. The paintwork is all original and the car is in great condition for its age. It definitely needs a detailing and small minor things inside the cabin, but nothing that is completely outrageous.

Karen and I hopped in and took it for a drive. It took three blocks for me to know I was buying this car. When Karen offered to just turn back and let me buy it, I said absolutely not. I wanted to go for a quick drive.

After a short stint on the highway and then on some suburb streets, we were back in the sellers driveway. I confirmed on the agreed upon price, and he handed me a folder. This folder contained not only ever service record from him, but also every service record from the previous owners. Along with all this, the folder had the cards from the BMW factory with the original key and radio key codes. The cherry on top: the original window sticker.

I know you want details, so without further delay:

  • 1991 M5 black on silver/gray
  • 140,000 miles
  • Most every major wear item has been replaced with OEM parts, including but not limited to the water pump, timing belt, most rubber in the engine bay, brake pads and rotors, suspension bits, and much more.
  • Dinan stage one suspension
  • Only major flaw, (if you’d call it that) is the A/C doesn’t work. I’m still not sure if I’ll have this fixed as I’m not sure how necessary it’ll be in Portland.
  • Front leather seats are cracked, but no tears or holes. Leather is still soft.
  • Has an E36 steering wheel (slightly smaller diameter than the original steering wheel).
  • Factory tinted windows.
  • Pulls hard.

Last night I followed Karen on the way back to Portland (a terrific idea since there turned out be way more cops out than I would have ever anticipated) and averaged 24.3 mpg while cruising slightly above the speed limit. I was pleasantly surprised and more than happy with this.

The pictures in this post and in the below gallery were taken this morning without even washing her. The road grime from the drive back and anything else on her has not been cleaned.

I look forward to spending many many rewarding miles in the newest member of the Feder family. While she hasn’t been named anything beyond M5 yet, I can already tell she’ll fit right in.

While I won’t name names, there are specifically five people who literally helped to make this happen. I want to thank you all for helping with this. You know who you are.

Announcement: The Feders Are Moving To Portland

I keep reading the title of this post and have a hard time believing I typed it. It’s true, we are moving to Portland, OR.

Karen has accepted an amazing opportunity as the Search Manager for WebTrends. I am so proud of her and am being as supportive as possible.

We’ll be moving in a few weeks, and she will be starting on October 17. Did I mention I’ll be traveling for work the entire week we are moving?

This decision did not come lightly. There have been many tears shed and heated arguments as to what we should do. But in the end, Karen taking this position is the right decision. I’m sad we will be moving away from our friends and family.

As many of you know, one of my main priorities in life is the family cabin up North. Giving up the ability to go up to this place of serenity as often as I want in the summer is so difficult, words escape me. I know how devastated you are that you won’t be seeing new pictures of me water skiing every weekend. Trust me, I’m even more devastated that I won’t be going water skiing nearly as often.

As far as my job goes, this won’t affect my position with High Gear Media in anyway. In fact, one of our editors lives in Portland. It’ll be great to be able to collaborate with him.

I know many of you are wondering what will happen to this blog, as it is called Accelerate Mpls. I’ve been giving it some thought and have yet to really determine what I will do with the name. For the current moment as we are in the midst of the move, I am going to leave the name alone.

This blog started as an outlet for my automotive passion, quickly turning into a site where I could post automotive news and reviews. Since I joined High Gear Media, a lot of the content I now write is posted for work on our network. That leaves this site for some reviews and other personal stuff. I decided before my wedding that this site would evolve, and I believe this move is going to be the catalyst for the evolution. I will still post reviews, and random stuff, but I would like to see it morph to be more about me, my life with cars, and cars. You know, instead of just being about cars.

Portland is going to be a whole new adventure, and I can’t wait to experience it with Karen and Otto. Stay tuned for more updates, as I will try to provide plenty.

Wedding And Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged Wrap-Up

To say the last two and a half weeks has been a whirlwind, would be an understatement. First things first, on Sunday August 28 at 4 pm I got married. Quite a few people were shocked she went through with it, but I’m a lucky guy.

I know many of you are wondering what we drove away from the ceremony in. While there was some discussions regarding the topic initially, it was quickly decided that we would drive away from the ceremony in Uncs 1990 Nissan 300ZX. Read More…

Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged Is A Go

Well, that day is nearly here, on Sunday I will be getting married. It’s been an interesting road getting to this point. Not quite as many emotions as I would have thought, but as of this morning it is all starting to hit me. I’m excited and anxious.

Earlier in the week I started reconsidering Operation Blackout. I have decided to go forward and unplug for an entire week as I had originally planned.

To make things even easier, I will not have my computer with me during the week. It needs to go in for repair, and I figured what better time to be without it than the week I will be unplugged.

Just to be safe, incase the world ends and I need something, I’ll have an external hard drive with a clone of my computer. This way I can boot off Karen’s computer, you know, if the world ends.

I have purchased Bob Lutz’s new book and fully intend to read that, smoke some cigars, fish, hang on the boat with Karen, and take naps with Otto. Sounds like a terrific week.

Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged with commence on Monday when Karen and I leave town. I will not touch the Internet until Monday night the 5th. I might even wait until Tuesday morning the 6th, I mean at that point, what’s the difference?

Update On Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged

Two weeks ago I announced what I dubbed Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged. Since then, it has been extremely interesting to hear and see peoples reactions. With less than a week until the wedding, and only a week until Operation Blackout commences, I figured an update was necessary.

Many of my friends, and even family, have made comments about how they just don’t think I can do this. While some believe I can do it, most don’t think it will happen. Really feeling the support if you can’t tell.

This past weekend Karen and I were having dinner with my parents. Operation Blackout came up in conversation. After my mother informed me she didn’t think I could do it, she asked for more details. During this discussion I quickly realized that Karen plans to use the Internet, surf Facebook, and post to Twitter. Excuse me? So I’m planning on giving up the Internet and she’s not?

So apparently I misunderstood how this all happened. You see, Karen was asking me not to work during our vacation. She wasn’t asking me to give up the Internet. Talk about miscommunication. Further, when I took it the wrong way and said, “I can totally give up the internet for a week,” well she decided to take advantage of that and let me commit to it…publicly. So here I am, committed to not using the Internet and or posting to my own social media for a week. On one hand I almost feel tricked. She clearly knew I misunderstood the situation and let me continue. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to see me try.

So now I’m at a crossroads. There’s no question, I’m not working on my vacation. But I will admit, it would be nice to post  picture from the lake here and there while on vacation. But according to the rules I set out initially, that is prohibited.

I really want to prove to the world I can go a week without touching the internet. But is it worth it? Is changing who I am and how I live for a week going to make my vacation more enjoyable or less enjoyable? What’s wrong with posting a picture to Facebook while drinking an alcoholic beverage and fishing? What happens if I catch a big fish? Then I can’t share it with all you loyal followers.

This is the situation I’m in. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I definitely am not a quitter. More to come later.

Announcing Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged

As some of you might know, I am getting married in a mere three weeks from yesterday. I know, I know, I can’t believe she is going through with it either. But from what I’m told, the dress is paid for, so she better not back out now.

Many have asked where we will be going for our honey moon. After a short discussion, we both agreed that leaving Minnesota in August to go somewhere exotic seemed a little bit weird for us. So we decided to head up North to our family cabin and spend a week there alone. We will probably take some vacation to an exotic location during the cold winter months here in Minnesota.

Something that has commonly come up in discussions with pretty much everyone is how will I “disconnect” for a week after my wedding. Can I disconnect for a week? Most people seem to think I can’t. Even my own fiancée thinks I can’t go a week without posting to Twitter, Facebook, and checking in on the auto news.

So today I am publicly announcing/committing what I am dubbing Operation Blackout. From the time we leave Minneapolis on Monday morning August 29, until I leave the cabin on September 5, I will not open my email, look at Twitter or Facebook, or surf the internet. The only thing I will touch the internet for is if we decide to watch Netflix or check local movie times.

Yes, the first two days I may get the shakes. This is after all me going cold turkey with no social media…or internet.

This is happening. It’s necessary….and I’m going to prove to the world I can go a week without the internet.


Introducing Accelerate Mpls 2.0 – Buffed, Polished, Ready To Go

Wow it’s been a long road. In August this site will be 2 years young. Feels like a decade, but who’s counting. Now it’s time for an upgrade.

The goal was for the site to have a cleaner look. I feel that’s accomplished. The gorgeous graphic that resides at top is the work of Mirko Reinhardt. He has some serious talent. Mirko is also credited with the favicon which features a 300ZX.

An important function I wanted  in this upgrade was some sort of featured section, giving me the ability to highlight certain posts. That is of course being taken care of by the featured slider at the top.

On the right there’s a new search function, and below that you have the ability to view the most popular posts, the latest posts, recent comments, and tags.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter (wait, what? Why aren’t you following me? Can’t we be friends?) you can view my latest tweets on the right sidebar. The latest photos from my Flickr account will be below that. Last, but not least, we have the archives with old posts and the blog roll.

If you notice any bugs, things that just don’t look right, or just have a comment, please feel free to let me know.

Note – I’m told by some if you don’t dump your cookies you might see the old version of the site. Insert bit about tossing your cookies here…

Second Note – I’ve been informed that the super awesome favicon is only working in Firefox. For you Chrome and Safari users….I’m looking into it. Sorry.