2004 Volkswagen Phaeton

The Phaeton is a very perplexing car. It was established as a plan to produce a no-expense spared, world-beating luxury car – and, in many ways at the time, it was world beating. It offered similar luxury and performance to the established German standards – Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class and BMW’s 7-series, but also challenged stable-mate Audi’s A8. Yet it was available on a more Volkswagen budget – at least, in theory. That’s because if you walked into a Volkswagen dealer in the mid 2000s and wanted a basically optioned model, you’d be out about $75,000. For reference, that’s about three times what my expensive-for-the-category Passat cost in 2002. And the big problem with that was how the Phaeton looked, because a bulk of the population wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart.

But that wasn’t the point about the Phaeton. Nor was it that you could get the lighter, aluminum version of what appeared to be the same car from more upscale Audi that would arguably attract much more attention for not much more money. And it was this exact confusion that befuddled the market; why would you ever pay $75,000 for a Volkswagen? The trick came in realizing what you were getting, which actually shared little architecture with the Audi corporate partner. Park a Phaeton next to an A8 and you’d swear they were just about the same car with light badging changes, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

Although the model shared components with the D3 A8, it also shared much more architecture with other side of VAG’s portfolio – the Bentley Flying Spur and Continental. This meant a steel chassis rather than the aluminum space frame, and that meant more weight – a lot more weight. To mitigate this, Volkswagen upped the power slightly over the A8’s V8 to 335 and dropped its axle ratio to 3.65:1. The result was that the BGH equipped 4.2 liter V8 Phaeton could run with the A8 in a straight line – just. To outdo the Audi, then, Volkswagen had to up the luxury quotient in the Phaeton, and they did. Inside of these cars is a simply amazing place to be, with double-laminated glass, hectares of wood and enough leather to make a Village People audience envious. There were heated, cooled and massaging seats, navigation systems, 420 watt stereos and disappearing cabin vents. Shut the door and they’re quiet – eerily, disturbingly quiet, in a “Uh-oh, what broke?” kind of way if you’re used to the People’s Car. Remove the VW badge from the steering wheel, and you could easily be fooled into thinking you were in a Rolls Royce from the period.

But not everyone was convinced, and as a result they sold slowly in the United States. Volkswagen offered boutique colors and wheels to help set the Phaeton apart from the rest of the VW run, but it was only really in Germany that the appeal of the understated Wundercar ever sold in number. Only a few thousand were brought into the United States, this 2004 being one of the claimed 1,433 to make it the first year:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton on eBay

Continue reading

Honorable Mention Roundup

The “Honorable Mention” post from last week seemed to be a popular choice, so I’m back this week with another selection of cars we didn’t get a chance to get to. We’ve got one from each major manufacturer this time around which makes for an interesting and diverse group. Which is the one that deserved a better look this time around?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

Continue reading

2005 Volkswagen Phaeton v. 2004 Audi A8L

At first glance, you’d be excused thinking that the Volkswagen Phaeton and Audi A8 were the same car underneath. Especially when it came to the D3 chassis, the Audi and Volkswagen shared many styling cues, as well as engines and transmissions. However, the Volkswagen is actually quite different underneath – instead of the typical platform sharing that occurred between Volkswagen and Audi, VAG instead turned towards their upscale brands for the Phaeton. That’s right, underneath the Phaeton is a budget Bentley. You can tell the difference when you step inside, too – back when these were new, a Phaeton showed up at a Winter Driving School I was instructing at. I hopped in the passenger side and shut the door; the sound was a unique sound of sealing the rest of the world out. All of the sudden I swear I could hear my heart beating. It was eerily quiet, as if I had entered a sound booth. It was also eerily competent on the snow and ice in spite of the over 5,000 lb. curb weight. That’s a few hundred pounds north of the Audi A8 even in “L” guise, and it wouldn’t surprise me if 300 lbs of that difference is noise deadening. A generation on, you’re now able to get into a Phaeton or its cousin the Audi A8L for about the same price. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton on eBay

Continue reading

Baby It’s Cold Outside – 10K Friday AWD-Off

Maybe you’re lucky, and it’s sunny and warm where you’re reading this. Or, perhaps you’re stuck under a rock – or in the case of Buffalo, several feet of snow. But like it or not, winter is upon us a bit early this year, and if you are in Buffalo you probably need some sort of snow-cat to get to the local store. Hopefully, that’s not the case for most of you but I wondered what sort of all-wheel drive car you could get on a $10,000 budget. As it turns out, you might be able to get a little more than you expected – so here’s a few offerings from the different manufacturers, starting with the folks that started it all:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi A4 3.0 quattro on eBay

Continue reading

Fantastic Phaetons – 2004 and 2006 Volkswagen Phateon W12s

The Volkswagen Phaeton has been, since introduction, quite an intriguing car. Generally passed off by those out of the know as a rebadged A8, every time I see one I’m blown away that Volkswagen pulled the project off. Despite what the American enthusiasts think, the exclusive executive sedan has been very popular in Europe and specifically Germany – where it’s much more in vogue to fly a little lower on the radar. Fly low the Phaeteon does; for many, at first glance it doesn’t look much different than the B5.5 Passat, and many of the styling cues were incorporated into the B6 Passat sedan. Couple that with a general resemblance to the D2 Audi A8, and not many notice this serene Volkswagen shuttling its passengers in near silence. I say near silence, since the only noise you hear inside is the slightly slower beating of your heart and heavy breaths as you soak in the luxury. They’re disturbingly quiet inside, thanks in no small part to extra thick glass and soundproofing. Every conceivable option available in the Volkswagen catalog was thrown at these cars, including the top-spec W12 motor. Shared with the Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT and Flying Spur, the W12 is a monster of power – easily capable of propelling the very important people riding along with you quite close to 200 m.p.h. when deregulated. This is especially shocking given the Phaeteon’s weight – a staggering 500 lbs heavier than the Audi A8 you’d presume was the same car, the Volkswagen was simply in another weight class and quite different than the D2/3 chassis. Yet, despite the exotic Bentley stablemates that share many components and the D1 platform, today you can pick up one of these expensive cars that were a bit of a sales flop at a substantial discount:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 on eBay

Continue reading

White Christmas Sunday: 1991 Audi V8 Quattro – REVISIT

In the last month or so, I wrote up three different V8 quattros that were all Pearlesant White Metallic 3.6s, all in great condition. One of those cars has popped back up on Ebay with a substantially lowered Buy It Now price. At under $5,000, will this V8 Quattro make your Christmas white? I sure wouldn’t mind finding it under the tree this year!

-Carter

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday Afternoon Accessories: Audi 5000/100/200/V8 rear spoiler

Talk about rare; I know Audis pretty well and have owned quite a few, but I’ve never even heard of this Austrian rear spoiler from Foha. Perhaps one of our eagle-eyed readers can help with some history or more information? Regardless, it’s a cool, rare new old stock piece that can help finish off your Type 44 or D1 Audi with a unique look:

Year: 1984-1994
Model: 5000, 100, 200, V8
Condition: Used
Price: $399 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi Type 44 Foha Rear Spoiler on eBay

Very hard to get in the US

This is a NOS original aftermarket trunk lid spoiler from FOHA (AUSTRIA) that fits AUDI 5000 sedan. These is a original FOHA made part in high AUSTRIAN quality. The main spoiler will be installed on the top of the rear trunk and the two parts on both sides. It is original black, can be painted in every other color. It is in a great shape! No cranks and damages. Do not miss the chance to get a real unique EURO look for your car. All parts are new and in a mint condition.

What you see in the pictures, you will get! All original pictures, no relisting!

Do not miss that chance to get a very rare german part for your AUDI! Shipping and handling is $65 with airmail to the US

It’s not cheap, it won’t be easy to get on, but you’re not likely to see another – perhaps ever. Want that last detail on your 5000, 100 or 200 sedan? Here you go!

-Carter

1990 Audi V8 Quattro

Ripped straight from the “Are you kidding me?” pages comes the third low mile mint condition Pearlesant White Metallic Audi 3.6 V8 Quattro we’ve featured in a short time period. Normally it’s tough to find these cars in any condition, nevermind in excellent survivor status. But first, we had the V8 week 1990 V8 Quattro that sported some aftermarket BBS wheels and a high pricetag. That was followed by last week’s 1991 V8 Quattro, a car in great shape with a much more appealing sub-$6,000 pricetag that still remains available. Now, check the sky for lightning because here’s number three – a well preserved 1990 model:

Year: 1990
Model: V8 Quattro
Engine: 3.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 89,670 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi V8 Quattro on eBay

Well, it might be one of the handful of really good ones that are there.

I am selling my 1990 Audi V8 Quattro. This is the third one of these cars that I have owned since 1991 and by far the best example. I bought this car from a Pennsylvania specialty dealer in 2008 after searching for the right car for more than a year. The cars can be quite addictive I have found! This example had 62,000 miles on it when I bought it. I picked up the car in Pittsburgh using my company’s truck with auto transporter and took it immediately to my mechanic. A complete timing belt service was performed as well as other maintenance items that were needed to make the car as near to 100 percent as possible. My wife and I used this car for several lengthy motor trips but we have moved to an old farmhouse in our retirement and simply no longer use this car, preferring my wife’s station wagon for all our normal driving. Since the car just sits, it is time for it to be someone else’s.

I have a complete listing of all service and maintenance records performed on the car since I have had it. The list is fairly extensive and includes all work orders. In addition, I will recommend that anyone interested in the car contact my mechanic whose name I will provide and you can discuss the car directly with him. ALL work on this car has been done by a professional mechanic while in my care and as far as can be determined by the overall condition of the car, the prior two owners took meticulous care of the car as well.

The car is cosmetically and mechanically near perfect. To my knowledge there are less than two other V8 Quattros in Maine still running and I have seen one of them. This is by far the best example of the model that I have seen in ten years and I will put it up beside anyone’s car for comparison: these cars are getting very scarce but are a wonderful long distance touring car with sparkling power and sure-footedness in all weather that is simply not equalled…except by anothe Audi Quattro.

Here are some specifics: Tires are Michelin MXV’s with approximately 25,000 miles on them. The brakes are new by my mechanic, including brake lines at the time of major service. More than $4000 was spent on bringing the car to near perfect mechanical specifications.

Now, there are some things that do not work properly as of this listing. The heated seats and rear window defroster is inoperative. I seldom drive the car in winter so this has not been a problem worth tracing down, but I suspect the seats have a broken connection beneath a seat cushion which is common and can easily be repaired. I do not want to do it. The rear window defroster is a different problem and my mechanic tested the circuits and believes there may be a continuity problem in at one end of the wiring. I decided no to pursue it further during the major service and I haven’t missed the defroster since. The car was seldom driven in winter while I owned it. The airconditioning is inoperative and most likely the compressor will have to be replaced as I did a complete air conditioning service in 2007 prior to a long trip to Cape Cod at which time the air conditioning was working properly. I am willing to have the air conditioning repaired as a provision of the sale after the car is purchased, or will accept an offer price lower as a result of the air conditioning repair with the buyer’s mechanic performing the work: this is a negotiating point.

My intent is to sell the car. I do not HAVE to sell it, but I know in the next year the car will likely not see more than a couple of thousand miles at most and after all consideration, my wife and I need only one utility type vehicle and this very fine, high performance sedan is no longer needed. The car is garaged and properly protected. There are two sets of wheels for this car. The BBS wheels in some of the photos are on the car now and it will be delivered with them. There is also a set of flat faced, oem wheels which were on the car when delivered and which lost a couple of center caps in the first year. I purchased the wheels on the car now and they are near perfect as is the exterior of the car.

I offer no warranty or guarantee whatsoever. This is a used automobile. I have many photographs and will be pleased to send any specific photos to interested parties.

The car will be sold with a Bill of Sale as Maine did not issue titles to vehicles of this age at the time I bought it. I have the Pennsylvania title on which the car was sold to me, and all service records will be included with the sale.

This would be an excellent car for the person who knows what this car is, and what it is capable of. The V8 Quattro is a car that requires a certain level of maintenance which can fairly easily be accomplished by a good do it yourself-er.The days when it is fun to turn wrenches is long past for me, and all the work that I have had done on all my cars has been done by the same mechanic for more than fifteen years. If you are interested, you can speak with him and he will give you all the information about this car you wish to have.

The car must be paid for, and check cleared by bank prior to the car moving from my garage. I can arrange to have the car shipped at the buyer’s expense; can have the car delivered to a shipping point in Massachusetts or delivered to the buyer’s door, at buyer’s expense as required.

As I indicated at the top of this listing, this might be the best example of Audi’s flagship in existence and I will be pleased to discuss it with any person serious about owning it.

A word about shipping: I have used Dependable Auto Shippers several times in the past. Their nearest terminal is north of Boston. I can arrange for the car to be delivered to the terminal in Boston at the buyers expense using a flat bed auto transport company near me and which I know well, or it is possible to have the local dealer deliver to you where ever you are located if desired. Transportation will be the responsibility of the buyer and the car will once it leaves myNOT be insured driveway. And of course, payment must be received in full before the car leaves my driveway.

I have indicated I expect a deposit by Paypal within 24 hours of auction close and the balance must be paid within five days of auction close via certified or guaranteed funds. This is a RESERVE auction, but my intention is to sell the car, so bid freely if you are interested in owning what is one of the best ones in existence.

On Nov-19-13 at 05:39:26 PST, seller added the following information:

I will be posting many additional photographs today and tomorrow.

I have already been asked what my reserve is. I will allow the auction to run its course. If the highest bid is close enough to my reserve, I will make a “Second chance offer” prior to relisting. This car will sell on eBay although I wish to maximize its value. I have spent well in excess of $4,000 servicing this car since I bought it including the timing belt/major engine service, brakes, brakes lines and assorted other things necessary to make the car as near new as possible. My wife and I are approaching our seventies and it was my original intention that this would be our normal travel car and I wanted to be certain that the car would be as dependable as I could make a car that had sixty thousand miles and more on the odometer. Thus the approach to maintenance on this as well as our other vehicles, was basically front end “cost no object”. Owning and operating a vehicle is much less expensive that way, than to replace a vehicle every third year and never owning one outright.

On Nov-19-13 at 09:16:31 PST, seller added the following information:

11/19/2013: I have uploaded more exterior photographs as requested. Notice the front headlights which are shown to display the headlight/hood gap seals which I had replaced after I purchased the car. I will be posting interior photos a bit later, but for now there are photos of the instrument cluster in which you can see the current indicated mileage, plus the radio which is switched on. I show the radio because it is an OEM radio which I sourced after the OEM radio that came with the car stopped working around 70,000 miles. I am showing the radio to indicate that the car has been maintained in completely stock condition since I have had it.

It’s an impressive description of the car’s condition, with important points being the expensive timing belt and brake servicing. The air conditioning is explained as not working, but the seller is offering to service or negotiate the price point down based upon that. There are other small things, such as the seat heaters and rear defroster not working. Otherwise, the car is shown in impeccable original condition, which is certainly impressive for an Audi of this vintage. The car is shown with both the original color-coded “Aero” wheels and the 1991 and up BBS RZ option wheels, and while no mention is made of it I’m guessing both sets go with the car.

As for the price, I’m also guessing the reserve is set fairly high. There have been offers but little movement on the 1991, which has a few more miles and is missing a headlight wiper, but otherwise looks to be in similar overall shape. The other 1990, with a price which is now in the high-$6,000 range, also remains for sale. There’s a very limited market (perhaps, just me?) for these V8 quattros, and unfortunately clean models fall into the pricepoint for clean examples of the 200, S4 and S6, which more enthusiasts are interested in. I’d say the sweet-spot for this car is probably $5,000 – $6,000, and at that price it’s a lot of car and a unique piece of both Audi and German motoring history! If loving this car is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

-Carter

1991 Audi V8 Quattro

If you read my last V8 quattro post during V8 week, you’d understand the love/hate relationship I have with the V8 Quattro. It’s been nearly a decade on from parting company with my 1994 4.2 V8, and while it’s true we didn’t always have the best relationship it’s the car that I miss the most out of those I’ve owned. Every time that one comes up for sale I ponder how much it would take to get it into nice condition; and then, every once in a while, a nice one pops up! Such was the case with the 1990 I wrote up for V8 week, and while that car was probably overpriced (and is still for sale), today it’s 1991 twin has come up for sale at a more reasonable price. In period correct and perfect Pearlesant Metallic over grey Connolly leather comfort seats – pretty much the only optional extras available on the V8 – today’s example is taunting me:

Year: 1991
Model: V8 Quattro
Engine: 3.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 106,000 mi
Price: $5,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Audi V8 Quattro on eBay

Vehicle Overview
We at Windy City Motorsports are very pleased to offer for sale this super clean 1991 Audi V8 Quattro luxury sedan.

***Very Hard To Find

***3.6L V8 Powerplant

***Legendary Audi Quattro All Wheel Drive System

***Rust Free West Coast Car

***Beautiful Pearl White Exterior

***Non-Smoker Gray Leather Cabin

***Original BBS Mesh Wheels

***Eclipse Detachable Face CD Player W/Ipod & USB Inputs

***Heated Leather Seats

***Carfax Certified Vehicle!

*******Free Nationwide Shipping & Rear View Camera System Are Included In The BUY IT NOW Price!

***Facetime Or Tango Users Please Contact Us For A “Virtual Walk-Around”

***Financing Is Available For all Types Of Credit

***Inexpensive Nationwide / Worldwide Delivery Is Our Specialty!

***Rear View Mirror Mounted Back Up Camera System Shown Can Be Installed For Only $299. System Includes Night Vision Camera, Remote, AUX Input For DVD Systems & Much More.

***We sincerely appreciate your interest, and as a trusted eBay award winning seller since 1999, we hope to add you to our quickly growing family of 7,600+ satisfied customers.

Having spent many a day cleaning those original BBS wheels, seeing them in good condition is very refreshing. The BBSs were quite light and a nice upgrade from the original “Aero” wheels 1991 on to 1994. The condition of this car looks to be near perfect, and if you’re interested in a V8 Quattro that’s what you want. As with the last one, you’d want to make sure to check if there are maintenance records – specifically, the timing belt service should have been completed. I see a missing headlight wiper, but that’s not really the end of the world. The early V8s are noted for vacuum leaks and oil leaks, so you’ll want to check for those – and the automatic is fairly trusty but you’d probably want to service that, too. This would be a perfect candidate for a 5 speed swap out of a 200 20V, or go crazy and pop in a 4.2 40V motor out of an A8 and a 01E 6-speed if you want a true sleeper. In stock form, the 3.6 with the automatic is underwhelming around town but fun on the highway. $5,900 may seem like a lot for an older Audi, but finding a V8 in this condition is just about impossible – and I think this one is well worth it!

-Carter

V8 Week: 1990 Audi V8 Quattro

The Audi V8 quattro; where do I begin? Few cars that I’ve owned have cost me as much, caught fire, had the throttle stick open, had all of the window lower and sunroof open in a rain storm, were in the shop more for fixes, suffered brake failure, suffered power steering failure, and randomly filled with water. But, few cars that I’ve owned have generated as many smiles and kept me wanting more. Call it masochism if you’d like, but I really enjoyed my V8 quattro (especially in hindsight). This was the car that revolutionized the large executive sedan market and set the blueprint not only for most larger future Audis, but even those of its’ competitors. It was also (arguably, but in my mind) the best looking and last hurrah of the Type 44 platform. Headlights, hood, grill, bumpers, flares and lower sills left the V8 looking decidedly more aggressive than the 200 had been, but also more modern.

To match those looks, Audi built an all-aluminum 4-cam high revving V8, coupled to the company’s first automatic capable of working with the quattro drive train. Utilizing a multi-clutch center differential and a Torsen rear differential, the V8 was surprisingly less nose heavy than the 200 had been which resulted in out of the box better handling, especially at higher speeds. Audi was even able to utilize these cars in shockingly stock form (minus some trick cranks) to win the DTM Championship against the venerable M3s and 190E 16V Cosworths. The car underwent several changes in it’s short lifespan, gaining a manual option in the U.S. in 1991 only and new colors, climate control and greater displacement in 1992. It wasn’t enough to save the V8 from Audi’s woes in the U.S., though, and by 1994 less than 100 V8 quattros were imported, leaving it a rare site on the roads then and even more rare today. Today’s example is one of the first of the run imported, a 1990 in Audi’s ever-popular Pearlesant White:

509

Year: 1990
Model: V8 quattro
Engine: 3.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 117,938 mi
Price: $8,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi V8 Quattro at Park Chrysler Jeep

Big grins!! In these economic times, a terrific vehicle at a terrific price like this Vehicle is more important AND welcome than ever. Includes a CARFAX buyback guarantee*** All Wheel Drive* It has nice features like: Alloy Wheels, Heated Seats, Leather Seats, Sunroof… With our Best Price First, No Haggle Needed! We’d also love to see your trade, and even if you don’t buy from us, we’ll give you a no obligation bid for your car! This V8 is an AS IS Bargain at only $8,000! – See more at: http://parkchryslerjeep.com/1990-Audi-V8-Burnsville-MN/vd/16294523#sthash.mG56zs9a.dpuf

509

You could look for one of these for months or even years, and then you find one at a Jeep dealership (really?). This car looks quite clean and well cared for both outside and inside, with the Connolly option leather comfort seats showing little wear and the Pearlesant paint appearing to be original and free of major defects. The BBS wheels are upgrades from the stock 15×7.5 “aero” wheels which, correctly, would have been body color Pearlesant. Look closely in the album, and there they are in the trunk with what look like snow tires. I ran snow tires on my V8 quattro, and it was simply amazing in snow, and at a few winter driving schools absolutely blew away all of the newer Audis, including S models. These cars are really amazing and carry their weight well.

Despite this, they’re also quite complicated cars that require a healthy dose of regular and expensive maintenance. Chief among this is the timing belt service which is very expensive and required; Audi replaced many of the early 3.6 engines after mis-labeling the timing belt service at too high miles. It is possible to swap in earlier transmissions from 200 quattros; though it’s pretty complicated to do so, it has been done. The 3.6 cars are notable for having transmission issues, something Audi fixed partially with a transmission cooler on the 4.2 cars. Even so these transmission issues usually only happen with higher miles, so if this was the car for you, you’d likely have some time before needing to address it. The 3.6s are also notable for having the “UFO” floating rotors; great at stopping the heavy car from high speeds; but prone to warping in heavy stop and go commuting. Fixes for this and other common problems on the V8 are well noted by the enthusiastic community that supports them. The asking price – $8,000 – is one of the higher ask prices on a 3.6 that I’ve seen that wasn’t a manual. Though the vehicle’s condition appears to be very good, I’d wager the top value for this car is $5,000 – $6,000, and even then I’d like to see some serious service records. Still, it’s hard to find a nice V8 quattro for sale anywhere in the U.S., so if you really want to have one, this is one of your few options.

-Carter