Similar to the E30 M3 Evan recently posted, today we’ve got an UrQ that has massive potential but is hampered by some warning flags that leave me skeptical. Let’s begin through an optimistic lens: A 63k mile Quattro blew its head gasket thanks to a stuck thermostat in the mid-1990s, and was left to wallow in its injured state for over a decade (garage find!). The current seller, a Porsche/Audi shop, picked it up and swapped in a 115k-mile 20v turbo from an Audi 200 and G60 brakes. The extended rest in a garage left the interior pretty darn clean, but the exterior, maybe good from 20 feet away, needs plenty of work. This is where the skepticism starts.
My biggest problem with the ad is the amount of hyberbole (“done swaps 100 times more complicated,” “we’ll pull it out in another 10 years when it’s worth $50,000) and subjective comparison (“nicer seats than on my 70k miles 944 turbo”). Just reading it makes me feel like I’m being swindled. The poor UrQ was apparently given a tire-iron exterior treatment by the previous owner’s ex-wife, so it needs a bit of dent work and a paint job. All these issues might make one think they could get a great project Ur-Quattro for a good deal, but the seller sees things differently. He’s asking $17k, based partially on his extrapolation that it will be worth $50k in 10 years (…I don’t think so) and that 2Bennett Audimotive estimates $14,900 for a similar swap. Flags go up here for me as well as to the seller’s logic, because whereas this Audi has a stock 200 20v that once made either 162hp or 220hp, the 2Bennett conversion comes rocking 285hp. Judging by the vagueness throughout the ad, I’d say there’s a good chance it’s the 162hp 20v. Apples to oranges, my friend.
Overconfidence based on faulty estimation drags down what could be a really cool Audi. A good swap in one of my favorite cars is appetizing, but anyone willing to pay $17k for a Quattro that needs $4-5k worth of work hasn’t even glanced at the market. Anyone interested would be better off starting their own project from scratch and could have a cleaner, comparably modified car for much less than $20k.