1983 Audi Quattro

Despite my general love of all-things-Audi, even I have a hard time coming up with good condition examples of the marque from the early 1980s. For U.S. fans, there just isn’t a plethora to choose from. For example, when you search eBay for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or BMW models and sort by age, you’ll find usually several pages of examples before you get to the 1980s, where inevitably there will be a flood of models. When you switch to Audi, you’ll find three cars – and this is a good week. Fortunately for Audi fans, one of those three cars is the daddy – an original Audi Quattro. Few of these quite expensive turbocharged all-wheel drive Coupes made it to the U.S., and even fewer remain today; as I mentioned in the Coupe Week 1983 Quattro post. There was an excellent example of a low mile Quattro that had been repatriated to Europe, a trend which seems increasingly popular for the model which has more respect in the Fatherland than amongst U.S. enthusiasts. In fact, recently on our Facebook page one of the Quattros I posted prompted an enthusiasts to remark that the boxflared-fenders were reminiscent of the E30 M3 – without any acknowledgement that the Audi came on the scene well before the DTM star. So here’s your opportunity, Audi faithful, to keep one of the better examples of the limited-run Quattro on U.S. shores with this excellent 1983 Mars Red example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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1985 Audi Coupe GT

To me, the Audi Coupe GT is probably the most unappreciated German car of the 1980s. That crown could really be shared by many Audis that suffered the stigma of poor reputation left over from the 1970s problems and the late 1980s scandals coupled with mid-80s Volkswagen-era build quality, which admittedly wasn’t the best. Although the Audi products were generally engineered to a higher standard than most of their VAG counterparts, the company connection in the public’s mind leaves a scarlet letter on the Audi nameplate. Even though compared to contemporaries the Audi Coupe GT fared well in testing, the general attitude towards the model is that it was an underpowered, overpriced and heavy Scirocco. But those that know the model share the joy of a hidden secret; a fine handling GT, a composed tourer on the highway that is equally at home being flung around twisty backroads, a trusted companion with startling longevity that never failed to bring smiles on a regular basis. If you like the Audi Coupe GT, you probably like doing things a bit differently. And to pay nearly $7,000 for a nice condition one, you’d have to really want it and nothing else – but the chance to stand apart may be worth the price of entry:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

For today’s edition of Wednesday wheels, I decided to focus on something close to home – the much unloved 4×108 bolt pattern found on the B2, B3 and B4 Audi. Additionally, I tried to get a theme going of multi-spoke “turbine” wheels. So to start it off, I have a set of the original – the Ronal R8 wheels found of many Audi models. These were either from a C2 (Type 43) 5000 or a Quattro, but either way they’re unloved, unappreciated and cheap. Then we have one of the best replicas of the original Ronal R8 for Audis – Team Dynamics Pro Race wheels. Most sets seem to be about iPad money but they’ve got a good reputation as being strong and reasonably light as well as affordable. They’re on my list of wheels I’d love to have for the track. Following up are a set of ATS wheels that are a rare sight; unfortunately, they’re dual bolt pattern and I don’t like that look, but they’re reasonably priced and in good condition. A set of TSW Imolas follows, also not my favorite design but they’re not bad looking wheels and work well on the Audis for look. Lastly, I have a set of B4 Speedline wheels. Generally, when you say Speedline and Audi, thoughts immediately go to the Coupe Quattro wheels, but these 15×7 wheels adorned many B4 models. My favorites are still the originals – those R8s would look good just hanging in the garage, but the Team Dynamics is a close second. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Ronal R8 15×6, 5×112 Wheels on eBay

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Afternoon Accessories: Audi Dealer Goodies

It’s always nice to spend a few minutes perusing old dealer brochures. Manufacturers spend countless millions on marketing, after all, and we should appreciate their efforts. Today I’ve rounded up some of the dealer goodies that Audi has given out – representing some milestones in the company’s history, no less. There’s the memorable poster celebrating the R8 win of the North American Endurance Championship (remember back when this was a new concept for Audi?), and the dominant RS6s run in the SCCA World Challenge. Then there’s a cool schematic showing the dimensions on the S4. I have a similar one for the Quattro and I love to look at it! Speaking of, there’s also a dealer brochure with a RR 20V Quattro fold out – what a pretty car. And let’s not forget the new – and wildly popular – turn Audi took when it launched the TT. All in all, some neat historic memories this afternoon! What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi RS6 SCCA World Challenge Poster on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday Turbo Quattro Coupes: 2004 TT 3.2 quattro HPA Turbo and 2009 R8 4.2 Heffner Twin Turbo

When they launched the original Quattro, Audi redefined how performance could be packaged. With supercar performance but day to day practicality, the Quattro established a niche that made Audi unique amongst not only German manufacturers, but indeed the automotive world. Since then, however, the idea of all-wheel drive and turbocharged platforms have spread not only to sister companies Porsche and Volkswagen, but indeed to Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Opel and even outside Germany to Japan. So Audi once again redefined its packaging; in the case of the TT, they brought expensive styling to the masses, and in the case of the R8, they brought supercar performance and packaging to a 911 budget. But it’s not just Audi that has raised its game; tuning firms are held to much higher standards then they were in the 1980s. Go back and look at some early Callaway turbo setups, for example, and you’ll see what was cutting edge in the 1980s – levels of fit and finish that just aren’t acceptable today, along with driving characteristics not suitable to most owners. Computerized engine management has transformed what is possible in the tuning world to the point where today’s packages often retain OEM-levels of driveability with otherworldly performance on tap. Two great examples of this can be found in HPA’s turbocharged Audi TT and Heffner’s twin-turbocharged Audi R8:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Audi TT 3.2 quattro HPA Turbo on eBay

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Double Take: Modded or Stock 1983 Audi Quattros

For some time, the Quattro remained an undercover legend amongst enthusiasts. Saddled with an unfair reputation from media hype and enthusiasts’ misconceptions, the Quattro was remarkably affordable until very recently – especially so when you consider the ascension of other ’80s icons. But Audi’s acknowledgement that they built cars prior to the A4, coupled with some star power from the British show Ashes to Ashes and universal acknowledgement of the car’s impressive stature in the halls of automotive history mean that it’s still a star on the rise – especially in Europe, where the car is seriously coveted. Americans are just catching on in the grand scheme of things – and their delay means that many of these turbocharged all-wheel drive wonders have gone the way of the Dodo. It’s not as if there were many to choose from initially, with only around 11,500 of them produced and a majority of those remained in Europe. The U.S. only saw a few years of importation; a reported total of 664 made it here – and though they’ve maintained a devoted fan following since they were pulled from these shores in 1986, it’s nevertheless been difficult to find good examples of these cars today. They’ve become regarded as quite cool; the mystique of the turbocharged, box-flared World Rally Championship car for the road – the original Quattro is unsurpassed in the realm of cool Audis. Today, we’ll look at a mild and modded example and see which is the one to grab:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on Craigslist

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Broken Arrows: 1984 Audi Coupe GT and 1993 Audi S4 quattro

It goes without saying that not every older German car is perfect, and that leaves a large amount of cars that are a bit of a “project”. Depending on your tolerance and your desire for a particular model, that level of project can vary greatly from a car that has some minor needs to a complete rebuild from scratch. Today I have two “broken” Silver Arrows from different generations – each with a devoted following and somewhat rare to see these days. Both could function as daily drivers with some work if you’re game. Let’s start with the Coupe GT:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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Modern Classic? 2011 Audi R8 V10 Spyder

When judging future collectables, it’s sometimes hard to predict what will be a classic and what won’t. But, it’s a safe bet that halo cars in general will remain the most valuable. Audi re-introduced and re-imagined itself to the world with the introduction of its first halo car, the Quattro. Almost 30 years later, Audi once again re-imagined itself, thanks to acquisitions such as Lamborghini. Whereas the original moved turbocharging and all-wheel drive to the masses, the R8 instead took supercars to a new tier. A celebration of their many wins at Le Mans by the race car of the same designation, the R8 was initially powered by the spectacular 4.2 FSi V8 from the RS4. Later Audi developed its own version of the 5.2 V10 whose sound channeled the original Quattro, and the final development was the introduction of the Spyder model. With slightly revised bodywork – including the removal of the polarizing “blade” the coupe has – the R8 V10 Spyder is a compelling alternative to the 911 Turbo Cabriolet and truly offers supercar-level performance at a relatively budget price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Audi R8 Spyder on eBay

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1976 Volkswagen Rabbit Swallowtail Callaway Turbo

A few weeks ago, I wrote up a low-mile 1977 Rabbit that, while it was very pretty, lacked some originality because of a motor swap to a diesel unit. Today, we have another survivor Rabbit with lower miles. This one is still on it’s original paint, too – though not as striking as the green from the 1977, this one year earlier 70s appropriate brown still looks pretty impressive. This past weekend a few of us from GCFSB headed over to a Volkswagen show, and I have to say I feel like I’ve lost touch with the VW crowd completely. Air bags, ridiculously large wheels and matte paint were all the rage – and there we were with a clean modified A1, my Audi GT, a BMW 325is returned to OEM specs. We were fish out of water, but had a good time looking over each other’s cars again, marveling at new scene and where we lost touch. But this VW is right up our alley; with some tasteful modifications, a neat Callaway Turbo swap and original paint, this is the type of car I’d walk towards at a show:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

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1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro

The less glamorous version of what was a fantastic chassis and engine combination, the Audi 4000 quattro brought rally-bred performance to the masses. You really could think of it as the original “WRX” because while the big-brother Quattro that stole all of the headlines in its day is currently a reasonably good value compared to some of its contemporaries, when they were new the turbocharged, box-flared brother was simply out of reach of most enthusiasts. Original sticker price of the Quattro put it around the same price as a well-equipped Porsche 911; equivalent today to a base model R8. It was therefore very exciting to see a nearly identical drivetrain layout passed down to the more pedestrian sedan version, complete with a similar-sounding inline-5 and locking differentials. You got all of this in a slick-looking 4-door package for around $20,000 – not cheap, mind you, but half the price of the Quattro. For many fans of the Quattro package, it proved to be legendary in its own right:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS Quattro on eBay

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