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Category: Double Take

Double Take: 1985 Audi 4000S

While I’m a big fan of the Audi B2 chassis, I don’t spend much time looking at or for the low man on the totem pole – the 4000S. Audi’s badging in the post-facelift B2 was odd, as there was no model below the “S” offered here – so the 4000S was the base model. Although these were the least powerful B2s on offer, in manual form they could just about keep up with the Coupe GT and 4000 quattro because they were also the lightest of the chassis offered. Power came from a 1.8 inline-4 borrowed from the GTI and GLI Volkswagens, but it was mounted longitudinally like all B2 motors. Even though they were down on power to the 5s, the inline-4 also had 20% less motor hanging out front, making them fairly nimble. Like their 5-cylinder GT brethren, you had a choice between a 5-speed manual or the venerable 3-speed automatic that appeared in everything from the Vanagon to the Porsche 944. Visually the wheels looked the same as the bigger-brother GT and quattro, but they were actually a different version of the R8 hiding smaller brakes. They were also the cheapest Audi you could buy in the 1980s. Though we often look at 4000 quattros, the reality is that about 75% or more of any given model year’s sales were front drivers. 1987 saw 9,043 out of 11,972 sold in this configuration. These appeared to be bought primarily by older women who wanted a more refined sedan but weren’t ready to buy the W201 Mercedes-Benz or E30 BMW. Much more often than their all-wheel drive counterparts, or even the GT, clean examples of the prolific 4000S pop up for sale. To prove my point, there are no less than two on offer this week!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 4000S on eBay

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GTI Double Take: Modified 1983 and 1984 Volkswagen A1s

The black A1 GTI sold for $11,500 on October 30, 2021.

While not the fastest or the prettiest car Volkswagen ever made, the GTI represents the ethos of VW’s 1980s philosophy of cheap, fun-to-drive, and eminently practical cars for consumers. As they did when new, the first generation GTI also represented a car which gave much faster cars a run for their money. True, the 90 horsepower under the hood won’t scare a supercar. But what this car lacks in straight-line performance it more than makes up for in value.

You see, over the past few years we’ve watched the fan-favorites and driver’s cars from the 1980s increasingly price themselves out of the range of most enthusiasts. The esoterics are also forged in unobtanium today, and while there was a period where you could snap up cheap 80s products in Europe and import them, they’re going away, too. Sure, the M3 and 911 led the charge, but today a clean 190E 2.3-16 or Quattro will set you back some serious bucks. And then when you do get one, you need to worry about collector insurance, expensive and hard-to-source parts and whether you bought in a bubble.

The solution is still the giant-killer GTI. Find a clean one, and you’ll have a car that can be driven at 10/10ths still today and generate plenty of smiles, yet is relatively cheap to buy and very cheap to run. You’ll get thumbs up just like the 911 driver will. Maybe even more, honestly, because when was the last time you saw an A1 cruising around? Today I have two possibilities, from wild to mild. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen “GTI” on eBay

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Double Take: 2004 BMW M3 Coupes

Phoenix Yellow Metallic could go down as the most polarizing color offered on an M3, ever. In fact, the only thing perhaps more hated than the color on this car (by some, it’s worth noting) is the optional SMG transmission offered at a substantial premium (a $2,400 option) on the E46 M3. Spoiler alert, trigger warning, notice of action – what have you – today’s duo of ’04 M3 Coupes are BOTH Phoenix Yellow Metallic and BOTH have SMG sequential manual gearboxes. Hey, I like a bit of controversy! And, since I own one just like it, I feel like I’m probably better equipped to weigh in than…say….all of the internet armchair warriors.

As for the percentage of U.S. Coupes ordered in PYM: 514 were bought out of 26,202, meaning your chance of running across one when new was only about 2%. Most of those were early examples as well; the color was phased out of the color pallet before the end of production, and along with a bunch of LCI changes that means you’re pretty unlikely to roll across a post-‘03.5 in PYM. So let’s take a look at this duo and see if either is a smart purchase:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW M3 Coupe on eBay

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TT Double TTake: 2005 Audi TT Coupe 225 quattro and 2002 TT Roadster 225 quattro

The TT Roadster sold for $8,145 and the Coupe sold for $8,100.

Currently, almost no one has time to even consider the 8N chassis Audi TT. It’s old, with the last of the first generation produced 15 years ago and its replacement – the 8J – has also fully completed a production cycle. It doesn’t have the super wiz-bang computers, million horsepower engines, or cut-your-hand-on-the-front-end styling of the new models. A fair amount lay in a state of disrepair; crashed, thrashed and trashed to a point where they’re nearly given away – quite seriously, there’s one near me for $1,500. But find a good one, and I think now is the prime time to grab a clean TT that will be a future collectable – and BaT recently has sold a few low mileage examples at or over $20,000. Today’s duo of quattros aren’t nearly as clean or low mileage, but they’re also a lot cheaper. Which would you take?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Audi TT Coupe 225 quattro on eBay

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Euro V8 Double Take: 1993 Audi V8 quattro 4.2 6-Speed and 1992 V8L quattro

So were I going to go through the effort to import a car from Germany, I’d probably be looking for an interesting ride that isn’t frequently seen here. Of course, I have a tremendous amount of love for the V8 quattro I just mentioned in my last posting, and Europe got some pretty cool options that never came here. Today I want to take a look at two unique – and very rare – D11s that are on offer in Germany. Despite being the proverbial hen’s tooth, they don’t need to break the bank, either:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi V8 quattro on Mobile.de

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