Internet Revolts After Couple Trades in Husband's 'Dream' 1966 Ford Mustang for a New Audi S5
A harsh lesson in viral publicity for Audi Peoria.
The internet is a fickle place, that we all know. But an Audi dealership in Illinois felt the unexpected wrath of the masses after posting a photo congratulating a local couple on trading in the husband's "dream car"—a pristine 1966 Ford Mustang GT—for a 2018 Audi S5 Sportback in the name of love.
A car dealership's Facebook page is typically a pretty innocuous space, with posts sharing information on sales, photos of happy buyers next to their new rides, and the usual mix of questionable online reviews. But on May 3, Audi Peoria unintentionally shattered that peace when it shared this picture of a smiling couple identified only as Robert and Julia standing between his beautiful classic car and S5 Sportback after making the switch.
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The Audi S5 is a fine machine, but let's face it, it's not an all-original vintage Mustang. And whether it's the idea of a new car dealership getting its overpricing hands on a classic, or the way the post frames it as a guy giving up "his dream car" for love, the general public wasn't quite as congratulatory.
The original Facebook post has since been deleted, having been swarmed by commenters denouncing all parties involved. But the vitriol lives on (for now) in the dealership's review's page, which contains gems like "I just can't believe Robert traded in that beautiful piece of history for a pile of steaming Volkswagen garbage," and "Yo, I'm pretty sure that Robert should've traded in Julia, not his dream car." Whoever runs the page appears to be actively deleting comments, so don't be surprised if the whole thing is locked down soon.
We reached out to Audi Peoria for its side of the story and the dealership has declined to comment, citing “ongoing harassment” of its staff and customers. Obviously, anyone has the right to trade in any car at a dealership for any reason, and you can't blame the dealership for doing business with someone who showed up of their own volition. Robert may have earned the scorn of a thousand Mustang enthusiasts for choosing his wife over the car (if that's even accurate), but if he's happy, who cares?
At the same time, Robert, come on. Sell the Mustang if you please, but handing it over to new car dealership is like selling your Picasso on Pawn Stars. It's not going to someone who will appreciate it like you once did—its purpose is now to make money, and it's going to the highest offer. Given the negative online reaction, we wouldn't be surprised if Audi Peoria tries to unload its most recent acquisition in private, so we'll have to wait and see if a sale price is ever disclosed.
One thing's certain: If the dealership ever takes in another classic on a trade, its social media team will be a bit more cautious in sharing the good news.