A car enthusiast who sold his classic Audi nearly 30 years ago because he couldn’t afford the insurance has bought it back off eBay – after recognising a DENT in the bonnet.
Keith Harris, 49, bought the 1983 Audi GT Coupe Fuel Injection for £4,900 in the summer of 1987 but crashed into another car just six months later.
After seeing his insurance premium skyrocket he decided to sell it after having the damage to his bonnet repaired.
But he has been reunited with his beloved motor 29 years later after he spotted it by chance while trawling eBay looking for classic cars.
Incredibly, he recognised the car, which was now a wreck, after spotting the 12inch-long dent which was still visible in the bodywork.
He called the seller, who lived 300 miles away in Dunfermline, Scotland, who confirmed it was his old car and he has now been reunited with it after buying it back for £1,100.
When dad-of-two Keith, brought it back to his home in Catshill, Worcs., he discovered the engine still runs and has its original features including seat covers and lights.
Keith has stripped down the Audi – named ‘Dignity’ after a song by 80s pop band Deacon Blue – and is preparing for it to be resprayed.
He is now planning to drive his daughter Heidi to her wedding in the car this summer.
Self-employed carpenter Keith said: “When I sold it I was heartbroken. I had a bump and it was insured in my mum’s name.
“I went into the back of someone when I was driving a bit too fast. I had the damage repaired but the insurance went up and I couldn’t afford it.
“I sold it for £4,200 with 63,000 miles on the clock.
“The night I saw it on eBay my wife was out of the house and I was looking at classic cars for sale.
“I saw a red Audi GT Coupe and I thought ‘that looks like my old car.’
“Then I saw it still had the old kink near the bonnet catch and I could see the marks where the dent had been pulled out and resprayed.
“They normally blank out the car registration plates when they sell online. But amazingly you could still read the number plate on this one.
“I zoomed in and I could not believe it. There it was, my old number plate – A100 GRW – the car of my dreams for sale on eBay. It was surreal.
“I rang the seller and said ‘I’ll pay whatever you want’ but fortunately the guy let me have it for £1,100, which was only a little more than the starting price.
“It only has 93,000 miles on the clock and the bloke told me the guy he bought it from had left it sitting on a driveway for about ten years and hadn’t drove it.
“When my wife got home I said: ‘Sit down, I’ve bought my old Audi again.
“The car looked a bit tired and tatty but better than I expected.
“It is still totally the same car as I had all those years ago and still has many of the original parts.
“I’m absolutely chuffed to have my pride and joy back. Every time I walk past it I think, ‘how the hell have I got that car back on my drive?’
“The neighbours probably it’s a heap of junk but I can just see it as it was.
“It is such an easy car to work on and I am definitely aiming to have it ready for Heidi’s big day.”
The car has a top speed of 122mph and is one of just 11 Audis of its kind still registered to drive in the UK.
Wife Sally, 48 , a hospital administrator, bought Keith an original manufacturer’s manual for the model shortly after it arrived.
She said: “I didn’t mind as throughout our marriage he had told me many times ‘I wished you had seen my car, I so loved it’.
Daughter Heidi, 21 – a deputy manager at a nursery – will marry builder Alex Bleby, 23, at St John’s Church in Henley-in-Arden, Warks., on October 8.
She said: “I am confident Dad will have the car ready for the wedding. It will be great arriving at the church in such a classic vehicle.”
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