Tag Archives: Federmobile

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.

Why I Bought An E34 M5


A ton of people have asked me why I bought an E34 M5. While it’s been over five months since I’ve bought my car, it’s taken me this long to fully understand it. At the time, I knew why , but couldn’t put it into words. Now I can.

E28 M5 – The Original

I started off thinking I wanted an E28 M5. The original. I did all the research, talked to all the right people, and started looking. Eventually I ended up finding one within 40 minutes of my house. I went and test drove it. It was in acceptable condition and ran well.

The moment I started driving it I got this weird feeling in my gut that I’ve never experienced before. Something felt off. I pushed this feeling aside as best I could and continued the test drive. Now, let’s be clear, the car was very fun. It was light on its feet so to say. The straight six hummed and loved being revved. But the chassis and the powertrain didn’t seem to be a perfect match for me.

The interior didn’t feel substantial enough for what I was looking for. It was spartan. This car is going to be my “daily driver” and not a garage queen.

In the end, I just didn’t feel the E28 felt like it was going to be what I wanted. I would never kick one out of my garage, and would love to own one, someday.

E39 M5 – The Legend

I then started considering maybe I wanted the legendary E39 M5. With a high-strung V-8 engine and slick six-speed manual transmission, the only term one can use to describe this car is beast.

When I thought about the E39 I couldn’t stop thinking about the dreamy engine. But then I started thinking about traction control, stability control, side curtain airbag this and passenger side airbag that, navigation, and then I stopped. This car was filled with technology and driving aids. Was that what I wanted? Sure, you can turn that stuff off, but that’s not the point. I still decided I must drive one.

I ended up getting my hands on one and driving it. Yup, it was a beast. Amazing powertrain. Silky smooth and sounded terrific. But I decided in the end that it wasn’t time for me to own an E39 M5. That’s not to say it’s off the table for someday, just not now.

E34 M5

Suddenly I felt like this was like Goldilocks and the three bears, too hot, too cold, juuuuust right. I kept researching the E34 M5, and quickly thought it might be a happy medium of everything I was looking for.

The car is more modern, if just barely, than the E28. With a more substantial interior and timeless exterior, it has the looks. It has a driver side airbag but no traction control, no stability control, definitely no navigation, not even an OBD II port.

I started looking and found a few for sale that seemed to meet my requirements. Eventually, I found a black on silver 1991 E34 M5 in Seattle. I talked at length with the owner and finally determined this might be the one. Before just picking up and driving to see the car, I had a buddy who is local and knows BMWs go meet the owner. My buddy took the car for a drive. An hour later he called me and said if I didn’t come buy it tomorrow he was buying it. I believe my words were something along the lines of, “Don’t you dare. I’ll be there at 8 am tomorrow.”

I won’t go into the full story as you can read that here. But I will say upon getting into the E34 M5 it just felt right. It was exactly what I had been searching for. It was the right generation M5 for me at the right time. The chassis, interior, powertrain, looks, it all worked. Karen looked at me before we even made it down the block during the test drive, and asked if we should just turn around so I could buy it. I said heck no, we were going to hit the highway first. But she was right, I knew within minutes I was buying this E34 M5.

And the rest as they say is history. So now you know exactly why I bought an E34 M5. The E28 and E39 M5 are both fantastic vehicles, that I may own someday.

Happy New Year: Reflecting On 2011

As I sit here on a plane flying at about 12,000 feet, I wonder how it can already be 2012 and why am I flying to Portland, Oregon to go home. Yes, it’s been a crazy year and it is time once again to reflect on the past 12 months in the life of Feder Feder.

Let’s start with the big one, I got married. Yes, in case you missed it, there is now officially a Mrs. Feder Feder (AKA Karen Feder). Karen and I got married on August 28 with perfect weather and all the family and friends a couple could ask for. It was a beautiful ceremony and an amazing party. While I still haven’t gotten around to uploading the amazing photos to Facebook, the day continues to replay in my head. There’s no question, I’m a lucky guy.

One would think that planning a wedding would mean a whole lot less time at the cabin in the summer. Luckily for me, my (now) wife and mother are rockstars. Working fast and furious to make sure everything was in order, all while ensuring my father and I were content with the amount of quality time at the cabin. In all reality, we spent quite a bit of time up North this past summer. There was plenty of water skiing and thankfully no major accidents. The fishing was terrible, but the cigars, Monster Lo-Carb, and company of my father made up for the lack of actual fish.

Funny enough, a mere month and a half after Karen and I got married, we packed up our stuff and moved out West to Portland, Oregon. My rockstar wife accepted a position with WebTrends as a Search Manager. Not only did we move, but I was traveling both the week before, and the week we actually moved. Needless to see, my champ of a wife moved us and unpacked us.

I’ll fully admit, the decision to move did not come lightly. It was a very difficult decision that we struggled with. Moving away from everything we knew, all our friends and family, might possibly be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Three months later, I don’t regret our decision. But I do still miss our friends and family. That said, I’m happy to report I can now make it to most places in Portland, including Costco and Chipotle, without using a GPS.

I celebrated my one year anniversary at High Gear Media and head into 2012 as the Social Media Manager. While my title hasn’t changed I’ve taken on more responsibility and definitely grown as a writer. The HGM Editorial Mafia breaks knee caps on a daily basis in an effort to make me both a better writer, and probably a better person. For that I am grateful. It’s not often you can say you truly love what you do, and I have the opportunity to say I love both what I do, and who I do it with. The team is terrific and I look forward to what 2012 brings.

Another milestone for me in 2011 was what I dubbed Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged. The week after my wedding I went seven days without touching both the Internet and Monster Lo-Carb. Yes, no Twitter, Facebook, or Email. My RSS reader just continued to collect stuff. Many people didn’t think I could do it. They were wrong. Even my own wife didn’t think I could do it. But she admits that I did. Just for the record, it wasn’t as refreshing as everyone said it would be. I felt lost in the world. Like I had no clue what was going on. Unplugging for a few hours, maybe even a day, is OK. But going seven days with absolutely no Internet or form of communication outside of talking on the telephone or texting, that just felt weird.

Back in March I made the decision it was finally time to sell my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yet another tough decision. My Jeep had 172,000 miles on it and literally had three door dings. The paint shined and it ran like a top. It sold in a day and a half. While I truly miss my Jeep some days, I know it went to a good home. I have some amazing memories in that vehicle, but the time had come to move on.

In October right after we moved I purchased the new Federmobile: a 1991 BMW M5. After searching for weeks I found the right car waiting for me three hours north of Portland in Seattle, Washington. A three owner car with every service record dating back to the original delivery of the car. I not only have the records, but also have the original window sticker and key cards with the radio codes and key codes. While the car has 140k on it, most major mechanical parts have been replaced, and the expensive stuff like tuning the valves was done right before I bought it. While the car is my daily driver, it is more of a toy than anything at the current moment.

I know you are all wondering about the four legged member of our family, Otto. He’s doing well. I’m happy to report he is very happy in Portland and loves that our house has only carpet instead of laminate floors like in Minneapolis. He sprints up and down the stairs multiple times a day, all three flights. We are fairly confident the stairs has made him lose a little weight, but when we moved he was only 8.4 pounds, so he didn’t have too much to lose. He’s fully grown and loves to sleep. I am sad to report he finally killed Mr. Fox by ripping open his head. Mr. Fox had a good run of nearly a year and a half. Mr. Fox was replaced by, you guessed it, Mr. Fox II, who sadly was destroyed in three weeks. Otto is moving on to Mr. Fox III, but we aren’t sure about his chances of survival. So we already bought Mr. Fox IIII. Otto is also becoming a world traveler. This flight we are on right now will be his fourth flight. This time, we didn’t even sedate him, and he’s doing quite well.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family in Portland and were able to see both our family in Iowa, and our family in Minneapolis during the holidays. It was terrific to catch up with friends over the holidays and it truly reinforced what great people we have in our lives.

As you might have noticed since I moved to Portland, this blog has been lacking consistent content. The reality is much of what I used to write here is now being written for work. Duplication isn’t necessary. Going forward in 2012, I hope to get back into the habit of writing stuff here more consistently. This is a terrific outlet for my thoughts and I know many of my friends and family read this site to keep up with me and my adventures.

From all the above, I’m guessing you figured out that 2011 was a pretty good year. Some big life changes but all of them leading to new adventures. I look forward to tackling each one head on and seeing what 2012 brings.

So with that I’ll end with wishing everyone a healthy, and happy new year.

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.

SOLD – My 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee: Everyone Wants A Federmobile

On Sunday I posted that my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee was for sale. Within ten minutes of posting this to Facebook my phone started ringing. Two different friends from out of state called inquiring about it. That is before the three people from Craigslist called. All this within two hours.

Everyone wants a Federmobile. The reason? It’s simple, I’m so ridiculously anal retentive about my vehicles. I fix crap that any normal person in their right mind wouldn’t even notice, none the less actually pay to fix.

So what happened? Well the short story is a friend from Michigan bought my Jeep. I am somewhat relieved to know it is going to a good home. I will be meeting them in Chicago sometime in the next few weeks to deliver the Jeep.

So what’s next for me? Frankly I have no clue. Karen (my fiancée) and I are in deep discussion about what will replace my vehicle. Over fifty percent of the vehicles I want just aren’t in the budget. Quite a few of the vehicles just aren’t approved by Karen due to the fact that she thinks I shouldn’t get a car (note actual car not SUV) that gets 13 mpg in the city. Of the vehicles that fit the budget, and I want, dear Karen feels about ninety percent of them are “ugly.” Girl thinks a vehicle like the WRX is ugly….

More to come on this topic as I try to figure out what will be the next Federmobile. Until then, if you see my Jeep wandering the streets of Michigan please do say hi for me. Or better yet, snap a picture and send it to me.