Mark Janas

It began with an email,

From: Mark Janas
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 4:12 PM
To: John Pirtle
Subject: 928 S4 enthusiast


I have been doing some research on buying a 928S4 for some time now and have recently come across your web site and wanted to seek your advise.

I also live in Forsyth County ( Shiloh Farms off McFarland) and I commute to Buckhead every day. I am bitten by the 928 bug and would like to "trade" in my '96 Camry ( great family car) for the car of my dreams . I have found several 928's in the Atlanta area . A few 928S's and one 928S4 that I really like ( all of which have 120K + miles ). I have been told that a mechanic inspection is a must for any novice 928 buyer . What kind of yearly maintenence can I expect ? Can the 928S4 be used as a daily commuting car ? Do you have a mechanic in the area ?

I noticed that your son goes to Big Creek elementary. I also have a 10year old at Big Creek Elementary in Ms. Ferrell's class ( shortstop/pitcher at Sharons Springs Park) and a 7 year old in Ms. Purdy's class.................... My wife just called and I asked her if she knew you guys. I turns out that my daughter Kayla went to Meg's birthday party (she had a blast ) . I just found your "Photo Gallery". Kayla is in the "Big Party" pictures ( she's the one in the red pants ) Small world isn't it !

Sorry to ramble on but I would love to chat with you some time on our mutual interest.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Mark Janas

A couple of days later...

From: Mark Janas
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2001 12:31 PM
To: Pirtle, John
Subject: RE: 928 S4 enthusiast

I'm sure you've heard it before, but in case you haven't, listen to this
'87S4 start up at this site : . Gives me
goosebumps ......:)

From: Pirtle, John
To: Mark Janas
Subject: RE: 928 S4 enthusiast
Date: Friday, January 12, 2001 12:35PM

I think you need a ride on GA-400 ! :)

From: Mark Janas
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2001 12:45 PM
To: Pirtle, John
Subject: RE: 928 S4 enthusiast

If you could see the size of the smile on my face..... can't wait !!!

A week or so later...

From: Mark Janas
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 10:40 AM
To: John Pirtle
Subject: '88 a/t (127K)


I just spoke with a guy in Lilburn who is selling an '88 a/t . He has had
the car serviced by both jim ellis and performance Import for the life of
the car. It has 127K , TB/water pump replaced at 120K, and he is getting
ready to get the 130K service/tune up done this weekend ( red/black interior
he says is in great shape). Everthing inside works, car is completely stock,
may need tread on the front end. He is asking $12500 ( came down from
$17500) . I might be able to get him down even further . No picture, but is
listed at .

He is not in a hurry to sell, drives a 930, and is not hurting for the $, so
this could be a great find. I was thinking about seeing him on Thursday or
Friday of this week .

Let me know what you think . Thanks .

Mark Janas

Most of the information on the car turned out to be lies...

From: Mark Janas
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 11:32 AM
To: Pirtle, John
Subject: RE: '88 a/t (127K)

His name is Alfred in case you want to give him a buzz.Tell him your a
mechanic please.... looking out for my best interests :). I started to ask a
few technical questions after he mentioned the T-Belt/water pump change at
120K, , he said he has all the paperwork via Jim Ellis/Performance Import .

I know, I know, of all colors , its got to be red. I'm not a big fan of red
for that very reason.. " officer, I had the cruise control on, there's no
way I was doing ..." !

But, if I can get this car for $11K or less, my monthly payment should be
similar to my current "Camry" payment. With your technical help, you can
point out some "maintence headaches" he has probably missed, which will help
me get that price down. Alfred did say the car looked real good ... garaged
its entire life.

Had a nice chat with Paula before church yesterday ( I was checking Evidently she remains concerned with month-to-month
maintenence. She actually checked out your "site" and she was mistaken that
you have poured thousands into your S4. I tried to explain that you did your
homework, and purchased a very reliable, maintained well S4 . I segue'd into
the "mercedes" reliablity and explained that Porsche's a/t was built by
Mercedes housed in a Porsche "Tranny" frame . I think she see's the light .
I may have to buy her a "tahoe".... I don't know why, but she wants one . I
know, American engineering...blah .

Hey, put the word out as you chat with your buddies at work. I am cleaning
up the camry, probably but some new tread on the front end. 86K miles, I
have maintained this car impecably. New TB, value stems at 60K done by
dealer ( Atlanta Toyota), cv joint, brakes about to be replaced, oil changed
religeously every 3K, transmission/radiator flush at 80K ( done by my
convient "firestone" full service shop here in Buckhead) . Nvere smoked in,
very clean. Much more I'm sure I'm forgetting.
I am checking to see what the payoff is. I will price this car for a quick
sale based on our thoughts of this '88 a/t, and of course my wife's
blessing... I'm being so nice at home it's not even funny :) .

There was nothing wrong with the car that typical 928 maintenance wouldn't take care of. He finally got it home on February 9.

Porsche's newest mechanic

The first job we tackled was the timing belt, a critical component. Here is Mark with his personal Santa.

It took a Friday night and all Saturday (March 9-10).

Eventually we emerged victorious from the heat of battle. Mark was so proud of the work - he was a true "do-it-yourself'er".

Unfortunately, in disturbing so many components the car refused to run smoothly afterwards. All the rubber hoses and wires were brittle with age, so they cracked. After many weeks of new hoses, wires and other parts Mark finally had a screaming red rocket. Of course Paula said, "It's about time!!"

As part of a labor trade-off, Mark said he would paint my house! "Aw we can knock that out in a couple of days." I thought he was nuts but he assured me we could do it. Like the car and baseball, this was a challenge.

Mark worked hard at everything he did. Actually he only did three things: work on the car, coach baseball, and worry about how much trouble he was in with Paula! (haha)

While we painted the house, Kayla and Meg painted themselves.

I bought Mark a Rear Muffler Bypass for all his work on our house. I'm not sure the neighbors were very happy about that! Day later, his steering rack.... (well, it was always something!) This was April 27.

Like most jobs, we had to finished ASAP so he and Jonathon could get to ball practice on time.

Mallory always checked on us while we worked on the car.

The summer and fall was full of baseball, not to mention a number of minor car problems. Mark got tickets for the Petite LeMans at Road Atlanta on October 6. Since that was my birthday I couldn't go, but he took the family, made lots of pictures, and came back all excited.

On October 27 we got our cars together for a bunch of pictures.

Jonathon made these two:

Of course, Mark usually left at full throttle. :)

As the holidays hit, Mark started chasing a vibration in the rear of the car. After new shocks, a battery, and an axle he was "riding on rails". For Christmas he had convinced Paula that he really and truly wanted car parts!!

Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2001 2:11 PM
To: John.Pirtle
Subject: Lenox is a madhouse

I was going to get some A/T fluid for my car, but thought I
should start looking for a Christmas present for Paula (being
a good husband and all). Wow, I actually went inside lenox
mall. Very scary. Now I remember why I don't shop. Saw a
bunch guys with blank faces walking around like zombies. I
guess I have a similar look.

From: MJAtlanta
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 10:18 PM
To: john.pirtle
Subject: frankenstein constant velocity joint
Hey John,

I've been sick for the past few days. Sore throat, flu like
conditions. I also had clients in this which made things
worse. One more day then I'm on vacation.

I spotted a small "928" box under he Christmas tree. Hope
it's the tranny svc kit. I can't wait to see what's in the
bottom of the tranny pan. What torque setting did you use
to torque down the transmission pan bolts? Did you apply
ATF to the pan gasket before torquing down? Do you put ATF
on the filter when replacing? It appears to be a simple
procedure. I think I remember you mentioning you noticed an
improvement with the new fluid.

How does that CV joint sound on your car? Lemme know when
your axle comes. I guess after seeing my "Frankenstein axle",
you didn't want to take any chances of the joint blowing up.

: )

Heading for the nyquil in the pantry for a decent night's sleep.

Meg spent the night on Friday night (as usual!).

From: MJAtlanta
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2001 6:36 PM
To: John.Pirtle
Subject: Re: Frankenstein constant velocity joint

What a find ! Great stocking stuffer. I'll mention it to one
of my kids, see if they tell santa. I went to lenox today to
get Paula's gift. Madhouse. I ended up in Victorias Secret.
They have some great cami pajamas if your not done shopping

The picture I sent is of a S4's engine being pulled out.

Meg says you have a house full. 10 counting you guys. Wait till
everyone goes to sleep then see if ya got any presents under
that tree.

We're going to shoot pool. Lemme know when your axle gets here.
see ya

"see ya"

Subject: RE: Merry Christmas
From: "John Pirtle"
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 20:03:45 -0500
X-Message-Number: 52

Guys, I am very sorry to report that Mark Janas, one of our
"brothers-in-928", died suddenly Sunday morning. I met him last January
through my website - he was looking to buy a 928, found my website,
discovered we lived only three miles apart and our 3rd-grade daughters were
already best friends! He found a nice '88 in February and if any color was
right for him, it was RED. Several of the service procedures on my website
were written from his car.

Last week he caught a cold that seemed to turn into flu. Sunday morning he
suddenly collapsed and died instantly. He leaves three young children and a
wonderful wife (yeah, she usually hated "that car" but knew it made him very
happy). We are anxious to know the doctors' final report as you can
imagine. Mark was only 37, had no known health problems, coached baseball
about nine months of the year and was very active and healthy.

Be sure you love your family and friends this Christmas. They are dear

John Pirtle

From: Rennlist Administrator
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2001 8:22 PM
To: john.pirtle
Subject: Re: Mark Janas account

On Mon, 24 Dec 2001 19:51:04 -0500, John Pirtle wrote:
>My best car buddy, Mark Janas, ....

Dear John,

I have deleted Mark's e-mail from the 928 list.

Please know that his wife, family and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
I know there is not much I can say - but at the same time, please know if
there is anything at all I can do, simply ask.

My Sincerest and warmest regards always,


Subject: RE: Merry Christmas
From: Biguns928gt
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 20:34:38 EST
X-Message-Number: 55

John that is truly terrible news. I'm sorry to hear about it. Although he
and I had never met, you have spoken of him fondly several times, and he
seemed to be "our" type of guy. Please pass on Christine's and my
condolences. As you said, we need to cherish our family and friends, because
we have no idea when we will see them again. Merry Christmas my friend. We
wish you and your family, as well as all my 928 brethren a wonderful, happy,
safe holiday season.

Chris Lockhart
'89 GT

From: Joe Ferguson
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2001 9:25 PM
To: John Pirtle
Subject: Re: [928] RE: Merry Christmas

How terrible. Please convey deepest sympathies to his
family. And you are right. Hold your loved ones
close. Treasure them and the season.

Best wishes

Joe Ferguson
Portland, OR

From: Tony Harkin
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2001 9:43 PM
To: john.pirtle
Subject: Re: [928] RE: Merry Christmas

OMG JOHN! im so sorry to hear that! He had emailed me a couple of times
with questions and sad


Subject: RE: Merry Christmas
From: "Jay Gary Wellwood"
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 23:14:40 -0500
X-Message-Number: 65


I am terribly sorry to hear this.

My youngest and I just read your post - as I was muttering 'Man oh
man'...he reads the same and says 'That really bites'.

My (our) heart goes out to his family - and 'our' special family.

87 S4 Auto
(and little buddy - Josh)

From: John Bramlett
Sent: Tuesday, December 25, 2001 4:16 AM
To: John Pirtle
Subject: Re: [928] RE: Merry Christmas


That is awful news. I'm so sorry for his friends and family.

I just wanted to mention that recently my wife's cousin suffered a sudden
death after experiencing symptoms similar to what you described. I think my
wife said that the cause was some sort of wicked virus. Her cousin lived in
Canada and was about the same age as Mark Janas.

Anyway, if Marks illness continues to be a big mystery and you want me to
find out more about my wife's cousin, I'd be glad to.


John Bramlett

P.S. Merry Christmas


December 26, 2001
John Pirtle