1995 Audi RS2 Avant

In the high performance, exclusive world of Audi’s RS models, most enthusiasts believe they never got it quite as right as they did with the original model. Sure, the RS4s, RS6s, RS5s and TTRSs are impressive, fast and luxurious. They’ll all decimate the roads on the way to your destination, with little regard for supposedly faster marque’s badges. But there was something that was extra special and just a bit more magical about the original RS2; the first of the super wagons, the splashes of red and RS blue were like a poison dart frog – a warning to the rest of the big boys that this little wagon meant business. Packed with a special 311 horsepower Porsche-messaged version of the venerable 20 valve turbocharged inline-5, the RS2 was very special indeed. Power made it to the ground through all four wheels mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with Brembo brakes and Porsche wheels; the small chassis Audi could break 5 seconds in a 0-60 sprint and was good for over 160 m.p.h. making it one of the fastest road cars in the 1990s. About 3,000 of these cars were made, making them not quite as rare as one would expect given how infrequently we see them for sale – but there’s a stunning low mile example today on VW Vortex:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Audi RS2 Avant on VW Vortex

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1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi Variant

In the realm of desirable German cars, the Volkswagen Passat scores remarkably low – undermining what a great car it truly is. There have been a few generations now, some based upon Audis and some based upon modified Golf platforms. Each platform has it’s own stars; the B2 saw the Audi Quattro-based GL5 Synro. For B3 fans, the 16V G60 Syncro Variant turned things up a notch, even if it wasn’t available in the U.S.. And the B5.5 saw the development version of the “W” engine platform, with one of the most highly sought after Passats in the form of the W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed manual. But while the B4 had no such enthusiast notables, there were two very competent versions of the mid-90s Passats available. First was the sporty VR6 model, especially desirable in Variant form since we didn’t receive the 4-door GTi or Golf Variant on these shores. But for the budget-minded mega-milers, one of the true hidden gems of the water-cooled community was produced – the TDi Variant. Available only for a short time and in limited numbers, these cars are easily capable of a Prius-crushing 50 m.p.g. and have room for the family. Like many of the Audi/Volkswagen products, they have a loyal community that follows them and enthusiastically cares for them, no matter how many miles pop up. Recently we saw one of these TDi Variants top $13,000 in similar condition – about as strong as money gets for any of the pre-2000 watercooled Volkswagen products outside of the camper vans:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi Variant on eBay

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Double Take: Dueling Volkswagen B4 TDi Passats

As enthusiasts cars go, the words “TDi” and “Passat” don’t generally generate a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Of course, that belies the entire subculture of Volkswagen enthusiasts that are diesel obsessed; but even amongst them the Passat TDi is rarely the first car they’d choose. Perhaps the exception to that is the wagon version of the B4, which offered smart looks and unbelievable fuel mileage. However, we looked at one on our Facebook fanpage, and people baulked as the price approached $15,000 on a high mile, 20 year old Passat diesel. So what’s here today then? Well, if you need a smart commuter, want to get 50 miles a gallon with a bit of sleeper style, the Passat sedan offers arguably better build quality than the Mk.2 and Mk.3 Jetta diesels did and can be had for a more reasonable budget. Today, there are two nearly identical mileage B4 TDis available on Ebay – let’s start with the older one:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi on eBay

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1993 Audi 90CS Quattro – REVISIT

You ever see a unique car and think “I’ve seen that one before…”. Well, in this case, you’re not seeing things. This 1993 Audi 90CS Quattro has graced these pages a few times, making me wonder a bit what the issue is. First Paul wrote it up in April, 2013 for 8,900 with 97,000 miles. It reappeared in September with 89,497 miles, new wheels, a different description from a different seller, and failed to sell twice. Now back up with a third seller with a different description, a few less miles at 89,355 and the original listing photos, asking price and wheels, color me confused. Still, it’s a nice example that looks to have a lot of potential even if it’s clearly a bit overpriced:

THE BELOW POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON OUR SITE September 1, 2013 and April 13,2013:

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1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

Last week I wrote up a clean Euro-modded 1991 Coupe Quattro, suggesting that one with a strong ownership history and the right mods was a good buy. Today, I’ve got an even stronger example and even though it doesn’t share the same desirable Euro goodies, it’s certainly the one I would choose of the two. There are several reasons for this, but first has to be the color – this car was special ordered in Glacier Blue with navy blue leather. While that may not be to everyone’s taste, I think this example is simply stunning. With a strong ownership and maintenance history, this car looks like one of the best examples we’ve seen lately:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro on Ebay

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Afternoon Accessories: OZ Racing 17×8 Magnesium wheels

I still remember well the first time I got to hold a magnesium wheel – I was at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, and a bit of a joking and free-loving owner of a Pantera literally threw one – complete with steam-roller tire – towards me with the tagline “Here, catch!”. Grimacing in the impending pain I was about to experience as this dishwasher-box sized wheel lobbed at me came closer, I reached out and caught it, fearful that I would be on the hook for the wheel’s cost when I dropped it even though this joker wouldn’t be by my hospital bed for the multi-week recovery from my collapsed lungs and broken ribs. To my shock, I caught the wheel, and my tensed muscles experienced nearly no shock. It was comical how light the wheel was; something I wouldn’t experience again until I picked up a Formula One Ferrari wheel years later. Today, there is a set of ultra-rare OZ Racing wheels on Ebay for a very reasonable price:

Year: 1993
Model: Tarmac Rally
Diameter: 17″
Width: 8″
Bolt Pattern: 4×108
Offset: Not Listed
Condition: Used
Tires: Not Included
Price: $1,155 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: OZ Racing Magnesium wheels on eBay

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Wagon Week: 1993 and 1994 Audi S2 Avants

I recently wrote up a few quattro GmbH specials that didn’t come to the U.S.. While over the past few years Audi enthusiasts here have spent countless hours and dollars recreating one of those cars, the RS4, from U.S. spec S4 sedans and avants. But rewind a decade and it was this car that many were trying to reproduce – the Audi S2. As crashed or heavily used 200 20V and S4s came up for sale, the reality of creating a S2 on U.S. shores became a possibility. Most utilized the popular Coupe Quattro chassis; a few enterprising individuals built S2 sedans – rare even in Europe. But despite being one of the most popular wagons of all time, the S2 Avant was seldom chosen because the small wagon was never brought to the U.S., meaning you’d have to not only import the chassis but then convert it. Of course, an easier way would just be to buy a whole factory S2, a possibility now that prices have dropped though we’re still a few years from these being legal on our shores. Today I have two examples to dream about:

Year: 1994
Model: S2
Engine: 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 225,000 km (139,808 mi)
Price: E. 5,499 ($7,591.37 today)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Audi S2 on eBay

Vehicle description:
Dual airbag model
Carbon inlays
No TUV
Missing front bumper
OK tires – they were replaced 3/2012 and can still be driven a season
Service book available
More information only via phone
E-mails will not be answered
Price firm
No trades
No payment by installments possible.
The vehicle will be completed in the next few days so the price will go up.

There’s a lot to like about this S2; Europa Blue Mica is one of the prettiest colors of this generation of Audi, the Avus alloys are perfectly suited to the design, and it has quattro-script cloth seats. Unfortunately, it’s missing the front bumper, but as many choose to pursue the RS2 look this isn’t something that can’t be easily overcome. Personally I’d go for the original bumper as I prefer the slightly more square look of the S2, and since they’re shared with a few models they can be had reasonably easily with some searching. At $7,500 it’s pretty appropriately priced and looks good – the seller indicates that if the car is fixed the price will go up, which would probably make it fall into line with this Black 1993:

If you’re not a fan of cloth or the Avus alloys, this black 1993 has the earlier 5 spoke Ronal alloys which look a bit more old-school than the Avus wheels. With grey leather, the same mileage as the blue car but no damage this car seems like a reasonable deal:

Year: 1993
Model: S2
Engine: 2.2 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 225,000km (139,808 mi)
Price: E. 6,800 ($9,387.40 today)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Audi S2 Avant on eBay

Vehicle description:
Rare Audi S2 Avant ABY, all wheel drive, 230HP, 5 cylinder turbo engine, full leather interior, alloy wheels, automatic climate control, heated seats, fully original condition, power windows, power steering, fog lights, Full Service, no issues, more information on the phone, open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:00, Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:00 or by appointment, inspection / test drive by appointment only

For the price, either of these cars is pretty reasonable. They fall into line with similar condition S6 Avants in the U.S., and anyone who has gone through the S2 conversion would agree that the entry price on these cars is probably well worth not going through the conversion headache and expense. In a few short years these cars will be prime for importation and likely initially be a touch cheaper, though I have a feeling that there will be a ripe market importing good examples for a premium. For some, there won’t be any replacing the original! I’d still choose a S6 plus Avant over these first, but these small wagons sure are neat!

-Carter

1997 Volkswagen Passat GLX Estate

With Volkswagen’s recent sales success, it’s hard to think back to the 1990s and the struggles the manufacturer went through. At one point, the company was considering pulling out of the US market due to dismal sales running up to the early 1990s. Volkswagen averted crisis and saw it through, ramping up the release of several new models at the end of the decade which saw a resurgence in sales success that the company had not seen since the 1960s.

In 1997, as a new Passat was being prepared, this marked the end of the line for the B4 Passat, which went relatively unloved amongst consumers in the market for a mid-sized car. That was unfortunate, because the Passat offered German engineering at a low price and came equipped with two rather unique engines for the US market, a 1.9 liter TDI diesel, or this car’s 2.8 liter narrow angle VR6. This Passat GLX for sale in New York is one of the lowest mileage B4s I’ve seen over the last couple of months.

1997 Volkswagen Passat GLX Estate on eBay

1997 Volkswagen Passat GLX. Super Clean inside and out. Only 59k original miles. You have to come see, it is in really amazing condition. Garage kept, non-smoker. The options include: automatic, leather interior, moonroof, factory alloy wheels, factory AM/FM stereo, ice cold A/C, front and side airbags, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, ABS brakes, runs and drives as nice as it looks. This is truly an incredible find.

For under $5,000, I wouldn’t hesitate taking a flyer on this five door, even if the B4’s reputation for reliability is less than stellar. The only thing that leaves me wanting for more is, of course, the gearbox. The sweet VR6 deserves the one extra gear and level of involvement a third pedal would bring.

-Paul