1983 Audi Quattro

For as long as I can remember, the Quattro community has been a tight-knit group. Unlike many other Johnny-come-lately brands, models or trim packages, the Quattro bred life-long devoted fans. To them, it was the be-all, end-all, and they have religiously kept track of every single of the 664 originally imported that they can find. Some have been lost along the way or brought back to the homeland, but the seller here – one of that devoted Quattro community – has begun to restore this one to former glory:

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1982 Audi Coupe with 36,000 Miles

Anthony Bourdain has been pretty successful with his show Parts Unknown, in addition to the many other reasons he’s been an award winning chef and writer. In that show, he’s always on the lookout for new and rarely heard of cuisine from around world. And, for the most part even though I’m not a ‘foody’, I find his presentation, travels, and quick summaries of far reaching historical periods pretty enjoyable. He is, for lack of a better comparison, the Jeremy Clarkson of food critics – at least, a bit. In one memorable-to-me episode, he set out to find this magical, amazing and hereto unheard of cocoa plant. But he wasn’t going just to taste this new and interesting food; he was going to secure rights to harvest the plant and to profit. And, frankly, he couldn’t have seemed less interested or involved in any step of the process. He complained, whined, and lackadaisically mused about the chocolate he’d later offer for $18 a bar throughout the episode, ignoring the cultural and economic aspects of the lives the people of Peru – where the bar’s magical ingredients come from. I was left feeling at the end of the episode that it was less an investigation of the process, and much more an advertisement for the overpriced consumerism he was going to attach his name to. Why wouldn’t you pay $18 for a chocolate bar – he’s Anthony Bourdain and he obviously knows more than you, so ante up!

The point of this is story that I’m left feeling that many of the inflated markets are doing just what Bourdain did; cashing in on a name and a reputation coupled with a market surge. One classic you can get into without all of the market hoopla, though, is pretty much any classic Audi outside of the Quattro – for now:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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1983 Audi Quattro

At the first Audi Club track event I went to, I excitedly hurried my 4000CS quattro through the hills of Northwest Connecticut to Lime Rock Park. The year was 1997, and while I had been heading to the track for many years this was my first foray to an Audi event. Back in ’97, old Audis were pretty uncommon – hard to fathom considering how scarce they are today. So going to an all-Audi event promised to be a special collection of audacious Audis, and I was certainly not disappointed. There were no less than ten Quattros in attendance, and may have even been more – I struggle a bit to remember, but a fair chunk of the instructor core had them and even a few students showed up with the legendary cars. It was a bit like those nature shows of Ridley Sea Turtles arriving on Mexican beaches once a year to lay eggs; a baffling display of the entire world’s population arriving in one spot at one time when for the rest of the year they’re spread around the world’s oceans. Quattros, especially large numbers of Quattros, are like that. Let’s put some figures into perspective – E30 M3s are rare, right? Sure, only around 5,000 made it to the U.S. with a pretty good amount still being sold on eBay today being driven as they should. 190E 16V owners enjoy pointing out that their cars are much more endangered, as just shy of 2,000 made the Atlantic crossing. Low residuals mean a lower percentage of those original 1,953 still are dog-legging around. E24 M6, E28 M5, E34 M5? Sure, all very low production cars. But the Quattro? 664 came here, and how many are left today is a good question. I’d estimate the number of Quattros remaining alive and in good condition to likely be less than 2/3rds of the original 664 – figure maybe 400 are still around and serviceable. Think about the last time you saw an E30 M3 cruising along down the road (it doesn’t count if you own one or were at a show)? You’re at least ten times less likely to happen across a Quattro. Finally, they’re starting to be appreciated for their special nature, but they’re certainly still critically endangered in the U.S.:

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What a Drag: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup ABD 2.1 16V

Way back in time, before the proliferation of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – indeed, before the Internet really got off its feet at all, dreams were made not with by-the-minute browser refreshes eagerly anticipating the next clever comment or picture of someone eating an avocado. If you weren’t actually traveling the automotive scene, you were totally reliant on your monthly delivery of new automobile magazines. In high school, I had at one point four different subscriptions and poured over the details of every single car that graced the pages of what was my Bible. But it was in the mid 1990s that I stumbled across a magazine that really spoke to me much more than the BMW-loving Car and Driver or the fairly vanilla Automobile; I found a copy of European Car. It was a complete revelation to me, to see the cars that not only I dreamt about but could actually afford parts for. Nearly as good, if not perhaps better, than the feature articles were the advertisements. The “Dr. Feelgood”s of the European tuner scene, companies like Techtonics Tuning and Total Audi Performance spoke to my specific needs in ways that the mainstream magazines couldn’t. And within those advertisements, one particular company became something of a legend among a small group of friends who all shared the enthusiasm for Volkswagens. That company was AutoBahn Designs, better known as ABD Racing – and what they had created was an absolute monster. In the days before the ubiquitous VR-swap for VWs, dropping a 16V into the nose of your car was about as hot as you could get. But ABD took that recipe to the next level with a custom-built 2.1 16V with massive compression and side-draft carburetors. But it was really what they put it in that set them apart, as ABD chose a Caddy for the massive build. The result, stripped out, painted up and dominating the import drag scene, still gives me goose bumps when I see it all these years later:

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1982 Audi Quattro

The same dealer who brought us the cool 2002tii Touring and M3 convertible has another European-specification treat that they’re taunting us with. This time it’s an original Audi Quattro, bucking the trend of these cars heading back to Europe. An early 1982 example, it’s painted Alpine White like the factory rally cars were and features the early WR 2.1 liter inline-5 turbochanged motor and 6″ Ronals. Unlike U.S. spec cars, European models got the full-fat 200 horsepower, bringing performance more in line with equal priced contemporaries from Porsche. There are some other neat things to see – for example, it’s a non-sunroof example – fairly rare among a group of cars that’s already quite dear, and of course sports the better looking European bumpers with integrated headlight washers and foglights. With only 85,000 miles on the clock and in mostly original condition, does this one check the right box(flare)?

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1983 Audi Quattro

Trying to convince people that the Quattro was the most influential and important car developed in the 1980s is akin to attempting to argue that Scottie Pippin was the all-around best player on the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Sure, you could back up your premise with plenty of facts, testimonials and opinion pieces that “Pip” was a better all-arounder than some other more famous players. But in the mind of nearly all enthusiasts and most non-enthusiasts alike, the image of Michael Jordan winning everything trump any argument a Pippin fan can generate. It’s therefore up to the small group of enthusiasts who understand the significance of the Quattro to support the dwindling supply of road-worthy examples – not an easy thing to do these days, given the even more scarce amount of spare parts:

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1983 Audi Quattro

It’s a sigh of relief to see a market correction in classic Audi’s favor. For such a long time, Audis were simply unappreciated; but innovative designs, great looks and solid build quality mean that those who hung on for the depreciation ride are now smiling a bit more. There’s simply more appreciation for the classic Audis now then perhaps ever; even perhaps more than when they were new. That’s because back then, no one knew what they were, really – but today, the legend of Quattro has spread and thanks to the proliferation of internet video, we still get to hear the raucous barking and watch the belching flames from the turbocharged inline-5. This past weekend, I took my Coupe GT out for a ride. I grabbed my cousin and we went to look at a new car for him; a 2009 Subaru WRX. Much like a modern interpretation of the original Audis, it’s apropos that we arrived in an Audi to take a look at it. What was perhaps more striking, though, was the reaction of the Subaru crowd. We showed up to a Subaru speed shop where the WRX was to be view, and instantly once within earshot, all of the crew at the garage came out to see the approaching Audi. It was a genuine show of respect, smiles, and thumbs up from a crew you wouldn’t automatically assume would know their history. Even more shocking, though, was the resounding appreciation they showed for the old car – more than often is seen at Audi-specific events. That’s the legend and the importance of the Quattro:

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1982 Audi Coupe GT with 57,000 Miles

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a big fan of the Audi Coupe GT; obviously, it helps that I own one that I’ve had for a few decades now. They’re stellar and underrated cars, forgotten by German car enthusiasts at large they remain one of the best unsung grand touring cars of the 1980s. While not the fastest or flashiest car out there, the GT provided a good amount of luxury and isolation, but brought with it a good dose of sport to back up the DNA links to motorsport and its big-brother Quattro. The GT was a car that gave you 80% of the performance of the turbocharged model for half the price. It also, in my mind, looked great too – while we all love boxflares, like the non-M3 E30s the GT had a charm of its own. The great angular yet curved C-pillar was the best design feature in my mind and still looks great today. For a car that shared a majority of its components with the 4000 model, the GT was remarkably different in character. However, as they were generally forgotten it is exceedingly difficult to find good examples of the B2 Coupes in general, and especially the first run of the cars. Distinctive with their DOT-spec diving board bumpers and quad-headlight setup with flat grill, these GTs have a loyal following – and one of the best examples from what was clearly a loving home is up for sale today:

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1983 Audi Quattro

Well, he’s at it again; the same seller as the 1984 Audi 4000S quattro in Laguna Seca Blue and earlier 1990 Coupe Quattro in Ginster Yellow is now selling his 1983 Quattro. These cars have been pretty rapidly appreciating, pulled upwards by the popularity of the E30 M3 and resurgence of Audi’s campaign to recognize that it made cars before the A4. Undoubtedly, this Quattro is much more valuable than the last two offerings from this seller – but is it the one to buy? The last few examples that we’ve seen have had some rare but polarizing modifications that arguably hurt more than helped the value of the cars for sale – is this legend the same?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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