1988 Audi 80 quattro

The Audi 80 quattro was a great replacement for the 4000 quattro in many ways. And, in many ways, it was a complete let down. It was more quiet with better interior materials and better technology. It also had more power with the 2.3 liter inline-5, but additional sound deadening and more technology all meant more weight, so the new 80 quattro felt slower than the 4000 had. That technology meant it wasn’t quite as “cool” as the 4000 had been, either – you could only lock one differential thanks to a new center Torsen unit, and then at 15 m.p.h. the rear diff would unlock electronically. BOOOO, Audi, BOOOO! How am I supposed to channel Hannu Mikkola if your electronic nannies are undoing my sick slide?

Did it matter that the second generation of quattro was probably better in most conditions for the majority of drivers? Not really. It didn’t matter that fundamentally the 80 was a better car, either. The 80 had three strikes against it before it even went on sale here. First was the price; at around $24,000 out the door with a few options, it was considerably more expensive than even the expensive 4000 quattro had been. Second was that it was no longer top fiddle; the 90 quattro was the upscale model, meaning that if you wanted body-color bumpers, for example, you needed to pony up even more for the “nicer” model. Heck the 4000 had body-color bumpers in 1985 for less money. What was Audi thinking? And to top it off, there was the whole 60 minutes fiasco.

Those factors combined to doom the B3 here, no matter how good it was. In 1988, with the release of a fresh model, Audi barely managed to outsell the antiquated 4000 quattro. The 80 and 90 quattro combined to sell just 94 more examples than the 1987 4000CS quattro had (3,023 v.…

1986 Audi 4000S

Seeing a front wheel drive Audi 4000S is like running across an old high school photo of a group of friends. You’ve stayed in touch with the high school quarterback E30; he’s more popular than ever even if you find that baffling. The class president W201 is also still in your circle; undervalued and not as appreciated, but still probably the smartest option. But the Audi 4000S was like Judd Nelson’s character in The Breakfast Club; different than the others but popular in his own way. Of course, what’s Judd Nelson been up to lately? Exactly. I have no idea, either. The Audi 4000 front drive model was the bread and butter of Audi’s sales in the 1980s, but like the rest of the lineup they’ve virtually disappeared from the landscape. Back in the 1990s, I bought one in great shape for $300 – probably the explanation for why they’re going extinct. Unfortunately, as much of an Audi fan as I am, I can’t say that I helped the cause. I bought that whole car just for the fender, and then proceeded to take it apart. I’m a bit ashamed to say so now, because looking back it was really a nice car. It was Sapphire Blue with blue velour interior and a rare-to-see 5-speed. The 4000 wouldn’t light any fires under you if you were looking for a M3, but it was actually a really solid performer overall. Almost 20 years after I bought that car, one in nearly equal shape has popped up just down the road from me. Time for redemption?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 4000S on eBay

10K Friday Poor-sche Edition: 928S4 v. 944 v. 944 Turbo v. 924 v. 944 S2 v. Boxster v. Boxster S

“Poor Man’s Porsche”; while it’s a moniker usually attached to the 924 series, the reality is these days it applies to everything outside of the 911. The surge in 911 prices has been so great, that it has also pulled other lesser alternatives to the 911 up as well – try to get into a clean 912 and you’ll be surprised by the price. Even the lowly, forgotten 914 is in the mid teens for a really clean example of a flat-4 model up towards $100,000 for original 914-6 models. So does this mean you need 6-figures to be a true Porsche enthusiast? I don’t believe that’s the case – I think there are a plethora of great options at or around $10,000, so I’ve lined up an assortment. Which do you think is most worthy of wearing the crest of Stuttgart?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 928S4 on eBay

1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro

The Audi 4000 Quattro is one of those cult cars that was too good for its own good. Why? Well, they were so good in the snow and ice that they were used – hard – and put away wet. That means today that there are precious few of the 4 year run of these cars still hanging around. Especially rare are the early 1984 models, but later models that were saved are often either red or white. Occasionally you get the grey-scale models of color in with a Graphite Metallic or Zermatt Silver, but it’s pretty infrequent that you see the three blues; Copenhagen Blue, Oceanic Blue Metallic, and Sapphire Blue Metallic. Today’s last of the run 1987 4000 arrives in that last shade, with a host of upgrades:

Year: 1987
Model: 4000CS Quattro
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 224,000 mi
Price: $2,750

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro on Craigslist

Sadly the time has finally come for me to part with my beloved 1987 Audi 4000cs quattro. This is the 5th one of these that I have owned over the years. I shipped it from Seattle 10 years ago with around 70k miles on it, now it has 224k and still going strong. Some details about the car:

kinda rare sapphire blue color with very nice gray cloth interior
very well maintained, huge stack of receipts
AC works great
has trip computer
factory wheels with snow tires

many upgrades including:
Stebro stainless cat-back exhaust (great sound and will not rust)
H&R lowering springs and Boge turbogas struts
drilled and slotted rotors, braided stainless lines, Ate super blue fluid, new rear calipers
Borbet type C 15″ wheels with great Toyo tires
E code headlights with relays

known issues:
some rust starting around the edges, solid underneath though
outer sunroof panel needs replaced (have it)
minor oil leak, as yet unknown origin
needs coolant flush (have everything to do it)
cable that switches vents to defrost not working (simple mech fix)
rear windows intermittent (likely broken wires at door jamb)
intermittent rattle in exhaust (probably loose cat internals – it has a lifetime warranty though 😉 or you can just remove the loose parts… )
minor dent in left front fender where some jack@ss “rubbed” it with his giant suv in a parking lot
crack in right headlight – sealed up and been like that for over 9 years

Here’s the big plus – this car comes with my 15 year collection of spare parts.