If you’re familiar with Freddy “Tavarish” Hernandez, you’ll know that buying old supercars in dire need of repair is sort of his thing. He then wrenches them himself and gets them back into working order for far less than they would have cost otherwise. This time, though, the supercar is an Audi R8 V8 (first-gen) and it isn’t his. Yet, he swapped the 4.2 liter V8 out anyway for a great cause.
Awhile back, Tavarish met a man by the name of Erik Dietz, who worked for Porsche as a driver at the time. Now Dietz works for Michelin but that’s not important. What’s important is the fact the Dietz ordered the very last Audi R8 V8 sold in America with a manual transmission.
Dietz loved his Nardo Gray R8 with its lovely gated six-speed manual gearbox. He fitted it with a roof box and used it as a daily driver. He also put tens of thousands of miles on it driving it across the United States and even taking it to Europe for some epic road trips. It was, and still is, one of his prized possessions.
Even still, as Tavarish mentions, Dietz’s fiance is even more important to him. So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Dietz had to start selling off a lot of his possessions and put some business ventures on hold to pay for her medical expenses. The R8 was the last thing he didn’t sell and he relied on it as his daily driver. However, 150,000 miles later, he suffered from total engine loss and couldn’t afford to repair it, as it required a new engine at a total of $30,000.
That’s where Tavarish, and others, come in. He decided to help Dietz out and told him to supply and engine and he would do the engine swap for him. After all, Tavarish has a kick-ass garage and a ton of tools. Thankfully, being the Dietz is well-known in the industry and a valued customer of Audi’s, the four-ringed brand decided to donate a 4.2 liter V8 long block (essentially the just block, cylinder head, crankshaft, pistons, camshafts and valve-train). So Tavarish got to work replacing the engine, which seems difficult and complicated, and fitting the new long block with all of the extra bits it needed.
We won’t go into the full process because you really should watch it. Not only does it show off the internals of such a cool engine but it’s also a really great story.