I recently wrote up a dubious Ur-Quattro with a 20v turbo swap but some significant cosmetic work needed for a shocking 17 grand. I didn’t feel great criticizing the seller so harshly, it’s not my nature, but the ad gave me all the wrong signals, supported by an overconfident asking price. I looked a little deeper over on eBay and found two reasonably-priced Audis that, with a little legwork, could provide the basis for a cheaper, less sketchy project than the $17k UrQ with more blemishes than a non-showering teenager.
First up, the base car. A 1985 Ur Quattro in impressively clean condition after a strong 205,000 miles sitting around $7.5k on eBay. It still runs well, but that can’t last too long with that amount of miles.
So once those 200k miles catch up with the UrQ, you’ve got this 1990 Quattro with only 84k miles but a bunk transmission/differential to be the donor. The seller just wants to get rid of it and has it on sale locally for $2,400. Besides the mechanical gremlins the car is in beautiful condition, and could be parted out to the owner of a less-pretty Quattro for at least the initial cost.
Throw the 20v from the ’90 into the UrQ and you’ve created one great, low-mileage Quattro swap from two that are struggling, AND with a beautiful Coupe Quattro roller to sell. You’ll have to find a good Audi guy to do that swap for you, but hopefully it will live up to the old adage about VWAG swaps being akin to playing with legos. All told you’re about $10k invested in the cars, which gives plenty of room to get the swap done before you get anywhere close to the $20k investment needed for the sketchy one posted earlier.
It’ll take some legwork, space, and time, but so would getting the red one in good shape, and you’ll have the confidence of having overseen the swap yourself.