1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

With only around 1,700 imported over 30 years ago, your odds running across an Audi Coupe Quattro any day of the week are…well, exceedingly low. With a sweet 7A 20V inline-5 under the hood, robust build quality, just enough creature comforts, and Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system underneath you, there’s a lot to like if you do find one. I took a look at a nice example back in December:

1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

It was not for the faint of heart, with bidding in the mid-teens. Today’s example is a bit more affordable, if you’re looking for one of these:

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1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

There were a lot of reasons to be skeptical about the most recent B3 Coupe Quattro I posted:

1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

In fairness, though, they were nice cars and quite competent, and though they’re not my personal favorite Audi, they have quite a few fans for a good reason. I felt we needed to resurrect our respect for the model, and wouldn’t you know that a worthy example turned up right away?

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1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

“It’s a great car, but it’s a pain in the a**.”

This is a phrase that summarizes many different makes and models, for which the owners toil countless hours over labors of love only to have a car that (effectively) only they themselves are really interested in. Sure, you might think it’s cool too, and maybe you want to drive it, or take a picture with it. But do you really want to own it?

In the case of the Audi Coupe Quattro, the answer is probably no. At least that’s true for the bulk of them. Listen, I’m a huge Audi fan. And I have owned my fair share of them, too. But easy-to-live-with they are not. We make all sorts of excuses for how wonderful they are, and certainly you can make them very fun. But the reality is that most older examples were forlorn for at least some period of time, most have lived a pretty hard life, and most will leave you cursing the “Audi Gods” with frozen bolts, NLA parts, and a complete lack of functional equipment.

Now that I’ve really sold the Audi experience, let’s take a look at today’s subject:

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1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet Boutique

This A1 sold for the best offer under $8k on November 15, 2021.

Following the launch of the revised “Clipper” bodywork on the Cabriolet in 1988, Volkswagen divided the model into three different tiers. The base spec was just “Cabriolet”; move up a notch and you got you alloy wheels and sportier front seats with the “Best Seller” model. The top of the range was the “Boutique” model we see here; these incorporated many of the details of the Wolfsburg models that came before. You got 14″ Avus (Snowflake) alloys, which if you ordered white as a body color were keyed to match and leather upholstery.

While dynamically the cars were all the same, the combination of the best colors, the leather upholstery, and the nicest alloy wheels as standard mean that the Wolfsburg and Boutique models are “the” ones to get – unless you luck out and find an Etienne Aiger. Let’s take a look at this 1990 and see if this one’s a good deal:

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1990 Audi V8 quattro

Back in January, I took a look at a really nice ‘survivor’ 1990 Audi V8 quattro:

1990 Audi V8 quattro

That car was in pretty decent condition overall, and one of the nice (and somewhat rare to see) options it had was sport seats. Today I’m back with another ’90 V8, once again in the optional and expensive Pearlescent White Metallic. This one has similar mileage, a similar lack of disclosed history, and is in generally similar condition, though it does not have the sport seats. Let’s take a look:

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE 3.4 AMG

Not that they weren’t valuable before, but it certainly seems like collectors or “want-to-be collectors” are trying to grab every little piece of pre-merger AMG stuff they can get their hands on. The thing is, no one really knows what is all out there and where they are at. Being that they were produced à la carte-style at several different AMG subsidies around the world and record keeping was rather sparse, tracking these cars is difficult at best, and the possibilities were endless in terms of how tame or how crazy you wanted to go. One car might get some bumpers and side skirts, while the one being built beside it might get widebody treatment and a 6.0-liter swap. Once they were finished, off they went to who-knows-where.

Today’s car, a 1992 300CE, is somewhere in the middle. It has the classic AMG bodykit, Monoblock wheels, and an M103 with bumped-up displacement to 3.4 liters. Sadly there is no 6.0 here, but surely it is a great looking automobile and still can be fun. This one is up for sale in central Paris of all places has a fair amount of miles, and is priced somewhat reasonably considering what we saw another 3.4 car sell for back in May.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE 3.4 AMG at L’art de l’automobile

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1990 Audi V8 quattro

From the dated underpinnings of the Type 44 chassis, Audi emerged in 1988 with an all-new 4-cam aluminum engine that could be mated to an automatic transmission. Now, to most enthusiasts that probably sounds like a bad idea. But when it came to selling car – especially expensive luxury cars – the overwhelming majority of buyers wanted the car to do most of the heavy lifting. Audi’s response was the next generation of quattro drivetrains with a series of clutches in the center differential that helped to transfer power and allowed the car to be mated to an automatic transmission. That transmission – the ZF 4HP24A – was a derivative of the 4HP24, the same automatic found in the V12-equipped BMW 750 and 850s. Like the Mercedes-Benz, Audi employed Bosch ABS and a locking rear differential. But unlike other Audis with their manual- or electronic-locking rear differential, the V8 quattro used a Torsen rear differential with helical gears which would automatically split torque in up to a 3:1 ratio to the wheel with grip. Coupled with a more rearward weight bias with the shorter V8 and the gutsy torque on offer throughout the rev range, though much of the car was borrowed from the rest of the lineup it took on an entirely different character. That was matched with new, updated bodywork outside and a wider stance with flared arches. The effect? Magical. And, complicated.

But the V8 quattro wasn’t only about its unique new form of all-wheel drive. The moniker obviously indicated there had been a change in motivation, too, and indeed the V8 launched a new all-aluminum 4 cam, 32 valve V8 displacing 3.6 liters dubbed the PT. Rated at 240 horsepower and 254 lb.ft of torque, it was the most powerful Audi for sale in the late 1980s and brought the brand to a luxury level it had previously not competed at. In the U.S., these mega-Audis were met with mixed success. The 1990 launch of the V8 resulted in reasonably good sales; Audi sold 2,823 between late 1989 and the end of 1990 which represented over 10% of their yearly sales. Values in the used market plummeted after timing belt fiascos on early cars and the general recession of the early 90s, along with the ’92 launch of the turbocharged, manual and later Avant-equipped S4/S6 twins. Today, it’s a bit of a treat to see a clean V8 quattro, and this looks to be one of the better examples out there for sale:

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Ever feel like you are having car déjà vu? If you are like me, it happens from time to time. A car that you recognize, but maybe can’t place it or isn’t sure if it was the same model. When I saw this car, a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC, it took me about 30 seconds to remember the story on it. However, the story does not get any better.

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1990 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Well, this is something different. Almost every time you see a modified Porsche, more specifically an air-cooled example, those modifications are for performance. Outside of the crazy 1980s coach builders that made some truly horrific stuff, if you were messing around wit a Porsche, it was to go faster around a race track. It makes sense, because that is what these cars are all about. There is no fun driving a Porsche slow because…well, they are’t good at that. So when today’s car popped up for sale, a 1990 C2 Cabriolet in Florida, it caught me off guard. You can probably see why.

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Euro-Spec 24k-Mile 1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60

Jealousy.

I still remember the moment as the wave of envy set over me. A struggling college student, I had tried hard to balance my love of cars with the multiple part-time jobs I fit in between classes. Ultimately, cars probably came before some things they should have, but still fell staunchly behind the realities of life. Rent. Tutition. Books. Utilites. FOOD. These necessities multiplied themselves together over the years, grasping at my meager weekly paycheck more rapidly than I could deposit it in the bank. Trips to the pump were always metered; weeks went by holding breath at every turn of the key, praying for a safe completion of circuit. And when you own a ’84 Volkswagen that sat in a driveway not running for decade rotting away before you resurrected it, often your dreams of a trouble-free commute are unrealized.

As a result of my shoestring budget, I often turned to a friend to help with mechanical work that my GTI often needed. He’d stop by my house after work and wrench for a bit, or I’d drive it by his place for a replacement part or ten. He also had a A1 – a sweet special edition Cabriolet from ’85 which he had spent years tricking out. But on one of these repair stops, he introduced me to his new toy.

It was 1998 and he had picked up a ’90 Corrado G60. He had picked it up cheap, too, as they often broke even when pretty new. Two things struck me about this car. Though it was only 6 years newer than my GTI, it might as well have been a spaceship. The two shared nothing in common outside of the badge. My pyrite-in-the-rough GTI was rusty and not so trusty. Horrible build quality meant things regularly broke, or fell off, or rusted off; often, the trifecta struck. It was a square slowly-deteriorating block of iron oxide in a rounded-off world. In comparison, the Corrado looked well-built, felt modern, was comfortable, had air conditioning and electronic items that…well, functioned, and even had paint all in one color. But the other thing that struck me was just how tired and old that Corrado already felt in 1998. I rarely buy cars that are newer than 10 years old, but this Corrado felt a lot more than that already. Perhaps that was because the VR6 model had so quickly replaced it. Or perhaps it was because I was still excited for new cars to launch in 1998. Looking back, though, my initial impressions of the Corrado G60 still hold true. But am I still jealous that I didn’t have one?

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