Ex-Patriot: 1983 Audi Quattro

Ex-Patriot: 1983 Audi Quattro

The Quattro is finally getting some market recognition, as automotive collector trends are celebrating both landmark vehicles and rally stars of the 1980s. Of course, Audi’s halo vehicle combined and defined both of these attributes into one package capable of capturing imagination and launching a brand. But with only 664 originally imported to the United States and a fair bit less than that still here today, coming across examples for sale is very much harder than what you see in the Porsche, Mercedes-Benz or BMW market. As a result, it’s cause for celebration every time one pops up, and wallets full of internet cash emerge at the ready to click “Buy It Now”.

In this case, though, not so fast….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Unlike the Porsche 924, the Audi Quattro had no special editions. Outside of the homologation version of the Sport Quattro, there were no gimmicks, no limited models, and very few options. It was a take-it-or-leave-it design. You got a turbocharged inline-5 in front, a 5-speed manual gearbox in the middle, twin locking differentials center and rear, and it only came in Coupe form; no sedan, no four door, no popping rear windows, no convertible, targa or cabriolet. With a high-dollar price tag for its development, perhaps the Quattro would have been a greater market success if it had been available in more options, but the result was that they sold fairly slowly. In 1983, the model year of this particular example, Audi managed to shift only 240 of its $40,000 halo cars in the U.S.. Today, that makes them significantly more collectable than the 924, especially when they’re presented like this car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Porsche 911 SCRS Rothmans Rally Tribute

1983 Porsche 911 SCRS Rothmans Rally Tribute

This one is just for a bit of fun because I’m not sure the asking price here really makes too much sense, even if it is apparent that a ton of work went into bringing life back into this 911. But who knows? Maybe there’s a buyer out there looking for exactly this type of replica and would prefer the finished product rather than putting the work in himself. It only takes one such buyer. This was originally a 1983 Porsche 911SC Coupe that was in pretty rough shape and in need of full restoration. The seller has included a few “before” pictures and we see a 911 suffering from serious neglect. Rather than return the car to its original specifications, which probably would not have been worthwhile strictly from a financial standpoint, it was decided that a tribute car would be built instead. In this case, the build was modeled off of the Porsche 954 rally car carrying the Rothmans livery. These were designated as an SC/RS and were purpose-built racers intended to run in the FIA World Rally Championship. Like any part of Porsche’s racing history the original cars are highly coveted. For comparison with the price here, there was a 1984 SC/RS Rothmans, said to be the most original remaining example extant and with a distinguished racing history, up for auction at Gooding and Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions back in August. It didn’t sell (and I can’t recall where bidding ended), but Gooding’s low-end estimate was a cool $1.4M. Maybe the price here isn’t so bad after all!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Porsche 911 SCRS Rothmans Rally on eBay

Rally Ready: 1983 Audi Quattro

Rally Ready: 1983 Audi Quattro

The Audi Quattro was not nearly as dominant in World Rally as pretty much every article you read says it was. That may sound shocking, but in the years the Quattro “dominated” the WRC, it only won the driver’s and constructor’s championship together one time – in 1984. In 1983, Hannu Mikkola won the driver’s title in a Quattro, but the constructor win went to – wait for it – a rear-drive Lancia 037. In 1982, Audi’s design won the constructor’s championship, but again it was rear-driver Walter Röhrl in an Opel Ascona that captured the driver’s title. Those shortened, screaming, flame-belching bewinged monsters you’ve seen on numerous clips? Well, the truth is they were never very successful, as the much better balanced Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 swept the end of the Group B period up. If you want real dominance in that era, though, you need to look at the Lancia Delta Integrale, which captured every title from 1987 to 1992.

But the Quattro was evocative. The sound was memorizing. And even if the recipe was perfected by other makes later, it was Audi’s design that revolutionized the sport with unfathomable speed and aggression. So compelling was the Quattro, that long after Audi had retired from Rally and was now dominating race tracks, plenty of enthusiasts were trying to recreate the magic on their own:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

From what was arguably the least desirable Porsche product from 1985 yesterday, we move on to the most desirable Audi product from the same period. Contrary to popular belief, the Quattro did not pioneer many of the technologies it is credited with. What it did do, though, was for the first time marry turbocharging, full time all-wheel drive and a slinky coupe shape together with just enough luxury to partially justify its $40,000 price tag. For those not quick with inflation numbers, that’s just shy of $120,000 in today’s buying power – about the same as a lightly optioned 2017 RS7. What you got for that amount was surprisingly sparse; a manual sunroof, rear wash/wipe, and electric mirrors and windows – that was about it. Under the hood, the off beat inline-5 produced only 160 horsepower in U.S. trim, and toting around the best part of 3,000 lbs it was far from the performance produced by dollar-for-dollar equivalent models. You’ve often heard the expression that today’s Camry outperforms a 1980s Porsche? Well, a Kia Soul could give one of the U.S. spec Audi Quattros difficulty in a race. Coupled with a reputation for rusting and poor electrics, these expensive Audis were sold in sparse numbers and are a very rare sight today, especially with lower miles and original like this one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1972 BMW 2002tii

Motorsports Monday: 1972 BMW 2002tii

As vintage circuit competition cars have steadily ascended into the automotive Valhalla of pricing thanks to success of popular races like the Le Mans Classic, Monterey Historics, and of course the many events at Goodwood, the fallout has been to pull up related motorsports. For some time, vintage rally cars were generally considered used up, tired old hulks. But the fringe of enthusiasts that loved seeing the flatout and fearless driving attitude adopted by many a rally driver has grown to a much greater audience with new races like the Targa Newfoundland and Tasmania to name a few. While those races attract much newer and faster metal, there’s still a huge audience that loves seeing the pre-Quattro 1970s vintage rally cars. With high revving naturally aspirated motors and rear drive, this was the original ‘Formula Drift’, with constantly sideways Ford Escorts, Fiat 131 Abarths and the superhero of the 1970s WRC scene, the Lancia Stratos. But mixed in there too were some Porsche 911s, and of course, the effervescent BMW 2002:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 BMW 2002tii on eBay

Motorsports Monday: 1984 Audi Quattro WRC Tribute

Motorsports Monday: 1984 Audi Quattro WRC Tribute

In general I like to reserve the Motorsports Monday posts for actual track-flavored cars, but occasionally one comes along that is worth a look even if it’s more of a poseur than pole position. Of course calling any original Quattro a poseur isn’t particularly fair. Out of the box these cars were effectively Group A race cars with some luxury goods fit to them. But the owner of this particular Quattro took the next step in their “restoration” of this 1984 car, modifying the boxflared wonder to look like its fire-spitting WRC brethren. Does it pull it off?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

1985 Audi Quattro – REVISIT

1985 Audi Quattro – REVISIT

Rounding out our unofficial “Rare Audi Monday” is a 1985 Quattro, one of a reported 73 sold here in 1985. Back in September, this seller was looking to flip and profit from their more reasonable 2013 price of around $15,000 to a seemingly outrageous $79,950 asking price. Well, no one took the bait and proving that the Quattro isn’t the E30 M3, it’s back on the market six months later with a $25,000 price drop. Though it’s more in line with top ask on later Quattros today, it is still very steep for the market and arguably out of line with the current value, which is likely around a further $20,000 less than the new ask. But, since there are only a handful left out there, this is an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 29, 2015:

1985 BMW 325 Rally

1985 BMW 325 Rally

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Alright, folks, it’s Thursday. We’re almost to Friday, and it’s time to start thinking about weekend fun. I love taking the M5 out for a weekend cruise, but I’ve always wanted to try out rallying. It has typically seemed cost-prohibitive, as most autosports do, but today we have a kickass, fully-prepped E30 rally car that looks ripe for the picking.

From the inside out, what started as a lowly 325e has been converted to a serious race machine. The S52 swap doubles the horsepower of the original eta engine, while the suspension has been redone with ix and Bilstein parts. The interior is full rally spec, with an approved cage, seats, and a giant e-brake handle just like Ken Block. Outside, an ix-style M-Tech kit supplements the raised suspension while a FINA-tribute sticker job makes it look like the all-business machine that it is. The custom skid plate that goes back to cover the transmission both looks awesome and is extremely useful – pretty much the general theme of this dirt-tosser. There are clearly tons of regulations that I’m ill-equipped to comment on, but it sounds like the seller knows his stuff and assures us it’s ready to go racing.

It would surely be a lot to dive into and the future investments will be serious, but a no-reserve auction means you could at least get behind the wheel for a really good deal.

Click for details: 1985 BMW 325 Rally on eBay

1982 Audi Quattro

1982 Audi Quattro

The same dealer who brought us the cool 2002tii Touring and M3 convertible has another European-specification treat that they’re taunting us with. This time it’s an original Audi Quattro, bucking the trend of these cars heading back to Europe. An early 1982 example, it’s painted Alpine White like the factory rally cars were and features the early WR 2.1 liter inline-5 turbochanged motor and 6″ Ronals. Unlike U.S. spec cars, European models got the full-fat 200 horsepower, bringing performance more in line with equal priced contemporaries from Porsche. There are some other neat things to see – for example, it’s a non-sunroof example – fairly rare among a group of cars that’s already quite dear, and of course sports the better looking European bumpers with integrated headlight washers and foglights. With only 85,000 miles on the clock and in mostly original condition, does this one check the right box(flare)?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Quattro on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Considering what it takes to be called a supercar these days, it’s somewhat amazing that in the early 1980s the Audi Quattro sparked such a revolution. After all, the boxflared wonder arrived in the U.S. costing about the same as a Porsche 911 but sporting only 160 horsepower. Factor in the relatively heavy for then (though admittedly light by today’s standards) 3,000 lb curb weight, and the Quattro was anything but high performance by the standards we consider today. But a revolution in performance it was, as it allowed you to push the car hard in any condition with confidence. Recently I watched the old Motorweek clip on the Quattro; performance was about what you’d expect from the numbers presented above and is probably on par with a base Honda Civic these days. But still the reviewers raved about the performance of the luxury coupe, and though few sold on these shores they’ve always enjoyed a cult following which today is growing into a greater appreciation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

Motorsport Monday: ex-Mikkola 1982 Audi Quattro Group 4/B Rally

Motorsport Monday: ex-Mikkola 1982 Audi Quattro Group 4/B Rally

Motorsports seems to undergo a giant leap every decade or so, where rules changes or massive shifts in technological innovation immediately render the existing designs antiquated. I was thinking of this while watching Le Mans a few nights ago; only a decade after the swoopy 917s ruled the tracks of Europe, the ground effects era of the 956/962 would be ushered in. Fast forward another 10 years and they’d be effectively completely gone because of rule changes as prototypes moved towards open cockpit designs once again. Innovation was not limited to prototypes, though; everything from touring cars to Formula 1 goes through similar cycles of design and innovation, and for fans of each series there are favorite periods. For many in Formula 1, there are the evocative memories of the wingless Cosworth-DFV powered V8 missiles sliding around Spa’s course – or perhaps the flame-spitting Turbo Era and the birth of the Senna legend. For Touring Car fans, it comes down to preference, but I love watching those early to mid-1990s BTCC races, personally. And in World Rally, for many it’s the era that defined the spectacle of the WRC; the roaring Quattro and it’s complete revision of the rules of how to go off-road racing. Big budgets, legendary designers and drivers, an unconventional layout and one absolutely roaring 5-cylinder soundtrack was a recipe worthy of the notoriety the Quattro has gained:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Quattro Rally on Classic Driver

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230

Even when you consider their historical involvement in motorsports, there are some Mercedes-Benz vehicles which, on the surface, seem ill-suited to racing. Such is the case with this rally prepared 1967 230 for sale in California. The Mercedes tradition in my family began with a 1962 190C, so I have a soft spot for these W110s. The late 1960s would spell the end for the Heckflosse, or Fintail, but today, they are one of the most accessible Mercedes-Benz classics to be had.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230 at Mohr Imports, Inc.

Motorsports Monday: Audi Quattro Rally Car

Motorsports Monday: Audi Quattro Rally Car

While I’m sure we’ve all had moments of regret, I’ll share one of mine. It involves a crazy story of how close I got to a owning Quattro. Several years ago, my then brother-in-law was really into Toyota pickup trucks from the 1980s, and seemingly was buying every single one on Craigslist. He called me,quite excited, one day saying that he needed a hand picking one up not far from where I lived. As a bonus, he told me, the guy owned an “old Audi race car” that I’d like seeing. This somehow turned into me driving to my parents home to get the car trailer, then back to the guy’s home to pick up this Toyota. The wheels were locked and I had to use the tow straps as come-alongs to tow the wreck of a pickup onto the trailer. Once done, sweaty and annoyed I turned my attention to the boxy silhouette that lay behind where the truck had been. The red and brown stripes were unmistakable in their journey over the flared arches and up over the angular C-pillar; it was an Audi Quattro. And, it was in a horrible state; sitting in weeds, the composite hood was warped and full of holes; no engine lay under where it haphazardly lay. Closer inspection revealed that the flares were larger than normal, too – but it was a bit of a wreck. Proudly the owner told me how he was going to restore this car to it’s former glory as an SCCA ProRally car; I nodded in the knowing way that it was unlikely under his ownership to turn another wheel judging by the pickup I had just dragged onto my trailer. I left, shaking my head a bit that it was a car wasted.

Fast forward a few years and I got a call from my brother-in-law; he had heard from the seller of the pickup who wanted to get in touch with me about the Quattro.…

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

It’s a sigh of relief to see a market correction in classic Audi’s favor. For such a long time, Audis were simply unappreciated; but innovative designs, great looks and solid build quality mean that those who hung on for the depreciation ride are now smiling a bit more. There’s simply more appreciation for the classic Audis now then perhaps ever; even perhaps more than when they were new. That’s because back then, no one knew what they were, really – but today, the legend of Quattro has spread and thanks to the proliferation of internet video, we still get to hear the raucous barking and watch the belching flames from the turbocharged inline-5. This past weekend, I took my Coupe GT out for a ride. I grabbed my cousin and we went to look at a new car for him; a 2009 Subaru WRX. Much like a modern interpretation of the original Audis, it’s apropos that we arrived in an Audi to take a look at it. What was perhaps more striking, though, was the reaction of the Subaru crowd. We showed up to a Subaru speed shop where the WRX was to be view, and instantly once within earshot, all of the crew at the garage came out to see the approaching Audi. It was a genuine show of respect, smiles, and thumbs up from a crew you wouldn’t automatically assume would know their history. Even more shocking, though, was the resounding appreciation they showed for the old car – more than often is seen at Audi-specific events. That’s the legend and the importance of the Quattro:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay