Re: thrashed vs. pristine EA's
IMO a lot depends on how the car is run in, and how it is looked after and serviced....if its had the shit thrashed out of it when its still tight, and not regularly cared for (oil change etc) then you can have problems down the track, in saying though if its driven like granny, the rings wont mate to the bore properly and you'll never really make optimum power. you really got to find a happy median between the two (ie: trashing and taking it easy) to make sure engine is happy at all rpm.
as for 56k id say its done a fair bit of loosening up already, and wouldn expect any more out it...
and to be honest, older cars with VERY low kms are a turn off to me...driven on weekends to the shops for short distances means much more wear at startup etc and always start stopping as opposed to car thats done a few more highway kms.
but yeah, just my opinion!