Salta Service and Performance of Denver, Colorado are passionate professionals dedicated to Audi, Volkswagen service, repair.

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Four Wheeled Friends

imageMy first car’s name was Orton. It was an 80 something Chevrolet Cavalier that was given to me by my aunt. By the time I inherited Orton, he was a little lackluster, though I have to wonder if there was ever a point in time when a Cavalier was considered sexy or even attractive. His clear coat had worn through, making his dull grey exterior that much more dull. His carpet was grey, his seats were grey, he was about as glorious as a winter day in Cold War Russia.

Orton’s namesake was a bank teller in downtown Denver. A dull man with no real emotion to speak of. Orton the bank teller probably drove a Cavalier just like mine, but I doubt he had the creative energy to go through with naming his car. He probably didn’t even name his children. He was the perfect namesake for my nondescript little car.

I didn’t even really want a car when Orton came into my life, but it didn’t take long to succumb to the ways of automotive dependency. In the beginning, I wasn’t so attached to Orton, I couldn’t even be bothered to check or change his oil. But over time, I grew to appreciate and maybe even love Orton…

He drove me safely through bad weather and bad neighborhoods, and because he never caught the eye of anyone, we could speed right past cop cars with all the confidence in the world that we were in fact, invisible.

Most cars are given recognition for being fast or beautiful, but Orton’s crowning achievement would be the day that I sold him. He provided me with the funds I needed to move to New York City, so, you could say that Orton had provided me with a future I could not have afforded otherwise.

There have been many cars since Orton, and all of them have had names and personalities of their own. Yes, personalities. Take, for instance, Klaus, my Audi Avant… Klaus, the no-nonsense German never failed me. He was functional, reliable, and if he had the ability, he would have been disappointed in my constant lack of punctuality.

Over the years, I have come to realize that our customers also affectionately name their cars. There’s Jeffrey the Volkswagen Jetta, Peppy the Touareg and there was even an Audi A8 called the Doctor.

At Salta, we always do our best to consider that we’re not just fixing any old car… For a lot of our customers, we recognize that there is an emotional bond there, a genuine concern for the well being of their four-wheeled friend. We get it. We’re the same way. And we’re always happy to help a friend in need, whether it’s a car or not!

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Salta Rally

imageNever a dull hill climber…

Salta rally post #5

If a hill climb is a race unlike any other, you must also assume that a hill climber is also quite unique. The race venue is always set in a typically beautiful Colorado mountain town, but being that it’s Colorado, there’s bound to be some erratic weather. Hill climbers can accept that they’ll either be roasting in their race suits or shivering on a mountain side. They can probably even deal with driving on the wrong tire for half the race because of how quickly the climate can change the road.

Joseph and Steve are both fine examples of what hill climbers should be… They spent the weekend driving on muddy roads and bogging around an equally messy service area. The good news was that Joe’s rally car had no problems over the course of the entire weekend. There would be no mud bog transmission swaps, nor were there mud crusted Salta techs in the service area. Just a fluid check and tire pressure monitoring and then back to racing!

While the mud may have posed a problem for the bulk of the other race classes, this was not a problem for the rally class. In fact, there’s nothing more exciting than bad weather when you’ve got a rally car. (The same is true for most Audi owners!) While at first, Joe was tentative on the sloppy surface, Steve ensured him there was plenty of grip and the boys ended up with a ten second gain on their nemesis.

Follow this blog by clicking the Salta Rally link to the lower right.

Salta Rally

imageAnyway, back to racing…

Salta rally post #4

It takes a lot of trust to sit in the passenger seat of a race car, and an equal amount of concentration to actually navigate. It’s not just important to navigate, but to navigate well is a real benefit. *Perhaps I should have said that to navigate well is imperative, but that’s what safety equipment is for. For instance, in the unfortunate event that the navigator calls out a left 1 when in fact, the road is making a tight right, well, my sympathy goes out to all involved, but most especially to the poor navigator. A simple error can be a big deal for a nav and it’s a tremendous responsibility to take on.

The Land’s End hill climb was Steve Bis’ first race as a navigator. Usually in the driver’s seat, Steve was not only able to navigate the course, but was able to pull from his prior driving experience to guide and encourage Joe into making faster runs up the road. As I understand it, Steve was an ideal navigator, it was a definite benefit that he had so much previous race experience. And it definitely didn’t hurt that he’s one of the best Audi/Volkswagen service techs that Salta has. *You’ll notice that I said he’s ONE of the best and not THE best… Well, it’s just not nice to play favorites, now, is it?

Follow this blog by clicking the Salta Rally link to the lower right.

Salta Rally

The Service Vehicle

Salta Rally post #3image

It’s kind of funny, but if you want to race cars, you’re going to have to buy a truck. You won’t even really want the truck, but you’ll need it for sure. And it won’t be the high performance race car that gets all the miles, it will be the clunky old pick up truck that you will come to depend on. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but a necessary evil that all racers must come to terms with… The service vehicle.

It’s especially hard to accept that the service vehicle is not going to be half as desirable as the Audis and Volkswagens that we work on. It won’t even come close. It’ll be loud, it’ll belch smoke out of the exhaust and more than likely, it will have a mismatched door or panel here or there.

Now that Joseph is a race car owner and driver, it’s no coincidence that he’s also the proud owner of an old Dodge pick up truck. I’m giggling a little as I write this because what Joe may not yet realize is that his pick up truck is incredibly useful in so many ways… He can now help his friends move giant sofas across town, he will be able to haul engines down to the recycler and he’ll be able to pull a friends car out of a ditch in the middle of a snow storm. Oh, and he’ll also be able to tow his race car. 😉

 

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Follow this blog by clicking the Salta Rally link to the lower right.

Salta Rally

imageGetting to the Land’s End

Salta Rally post #2

For those of you who have never raced, perhaps this post can serve as good advice from someone who has. All of us at Salta have gone through the scenario that I am about to describe several times over. I’m talking about building a race car with the intention of meeting a specific race date. *This is not a healthy practice, and yet, I’ve done this a million times.

Joseph’s goal of trying to get to the Land’s End race with a car that would not only start, but maybe even finish probably sounded reasonable at the time. This being Joe’s first personal race build, it may have been a lofty goal to set, but if you’re determined to race, then you’re going to lose some sleep.

In between working on Audis and Volkswagens for our customers, Joe lost plenty of sleep rebuilding the abandoned race car project that he took on. This is a common occurrence in racing, so much so that the build almost becomes a race in itself. Time flies when you’re building a race car, and there was concern about being able to test the car before heading off to the races. With three days left to test and address any of the services that would need to be done, Joe could only hope for the best.

Testing a car for the first time is always nerve wracking, but Joe’s mad skills didn’t fail him. The only issue that needed repair was the oil pump, which was original and was spitting oil under high RPMs. The Salta guys made quick work of replacing the pump and the next test was successful. *This is not a common occurrence… Usually, if a race car is going to have problems, the problem is going to be big and it’s going to happen the day before you have to go racing. If you ask me, Joe’s meticulous nature was a definite asset, but I also think he had a bit of good karma on his side.

In true Salta fashion, the stickers were stuck on the car, and it was loaded onto the trailer with only moments to spare. Though it would have been easier to pick a race at a later date, I have to say that I completely understand the need to build a car by the very next race. I just don’t know how to explain it.

Follow this blog by clicking the Salta Rally link to the lower right.

Salta Rally

imageimageIt was bound to happen…  

Salta Rally post #1

For us folks at Salta, it seems we can never really escape the overwhelming desire to race cars. Our esteemed Salta partner Joseph Chiarelli has recently succumbed to the old Salta ways…

Over the past few months, Joseph has not only been servicing Audis and Volkswagens by day, but has been working feverishly to rebuild and prepare a Subaru rally car every night after Salta closes. After many a long night spent on his first race build, Joseph’s efforts will be realized this weekend at his first race event.

Joseph’s racing debut will be at the Land’s End race in Grand Junction, Colorado. It will also be a debut of sorts for our other partner Steve Bis, who will be navigating for Joe. Steve is an accomplished driver, but a first time navigator. Should be exciting, stay posted!

The Lands End race is hosted by the Colorado Hill Climb Association, if you find yourself with nothing to do on July 27th-28th, come join us! http://www.chcaracing.com/

Follow this blog by clicking the Salta Rally link to the lower right.

The snow is coming!

As we all know Colorado winters can be hard on your Audi or VW. Drop by and we can get your car right before that first big storm hits. In preparation for colder temperatures and longer nights we will check your lights, wipers, coolant freeze point, heater functions, battery load point and age. Checking these items will keep you safe and keep you from being left out in the cold. Give us a call and we can check all of these systems. Nothing beats a Quattro or 4motion in the snow so we hate to see a great car sitting in a nice warm garage when it is dumping outside.