Motorsports Monday: 1988 Audi 200 quattro Trans Am

One of the things I love the most about Audi is that for some time they liked to do things differently. Now, if you’re Porsche and you’re able to build a reputation around that insistence to do things differently through racing, then you can be a successful company. As such, the closely linked cousin Audi was taken racing by some of the same team from Porsche. The first big attempt in the 1980s was the push to win the World Rally Championship with their new Quattro model. Highlighting turbocharged technology coupled with a semi-revolutionary all-wheel drive system, the Quattro was a positive sensation until the mid-1980s and the death of Group B. Audi then took on Group A with the non-turbo Coupe quattro briefly, and also enjoyed some unlikely success rallying with their 200 sedan. But even success in World Rally Championship events wasn’t enough of a reputation boost for what lay ahead of Audi next, as 60 Minutes highhandedly nearly took the company right out of the marketplace. In order to rebuild the reputation of the company in the U.S., Quattro guru Jo Hoppen convinced Audi to go racing in the SCCA Trans-Am series. Headlining that series were tube-frame V8 behemoths that outwardly laughed as a production based luxury sedan with a measly 2.1 turbocharged inline-5 hanging way out the front pulled up to grid. It turned out they didn’t laugh too long:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Audi 200 quattro Trans Am at Auto Collections

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1986 Porsche 944 GTR

Let me get this out of the way first – the asking price of this 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo is $120,000. There, I said it. If you’re still reading, you’re either intrigued or horrified. In either case, the next set of numbers is equally staggering – 650 hp and 2300 lbs. Still reading? How about this – they only made seven of them. You thought the 962 was rare? Nope, they made over 90 of those. The 917? Wrong again, with somewhere around 65 of those made. Allow me to introduce what many consider to be the ultimate front engine Porsche – the 944 GTR.

A little background history – the 944 evolved through the racing program of the 924 – and specifically, the 924 Carrera GT, GTS, and GTR. In the early 1980s, these cars dominated their classes in IMSA racing. In 1981, Porsche Motorsports built a highly evolved version of the 924 GTR called the 924GTP or 944GTP Le Mans, which finished 7th overall at Le Mans sporting a newly developed 2.5 liter motor which would be, in part, the basis for the road going 944. At the same time, the U.S. based Fabcar run by Dave Klym had modified some winning Porsches for Paul Miller and Bob Akin. Al Holbert, who was head of Porsche Motorsports North America, contracted Klym to make a new evolution of the 944 which would be called the 944 GTR. Below is a development photo from Fabcar and not the actual car listed:

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Unlike its predecessors, the 944 GTR was a tube frame race car, meaning it had no connection to the road car. Brakes and wheels from a 962 were fitted, and the 944 GTR received a specially developed all aluminum 2.5 liter turbo under its silhouette body. The early 2.0 and 2.5 liter turbos had developed between 250 and 450 horsepower; the new unit in the GTR developed between 525 to 650 hp. Here is a photo, again from Fabcar, of the development motor:

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A veritable who’s who of Porsche motorsports history worked on these cars, including McLaren and Andial. Slated to race in both the SCCA Trans Am series and IMSA GTO, the GTR achieved moderate success but ultimately fell victim to bad timing and a lack of funding following the death of Holbert. Despite this, they were the fastest front engine Porsches ever raced. The cars were sold off to private parties, which is how this one comes up for sale today:

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Year: 1986
Model: 944 GTR
Engine: 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: Miles unknown
Price: 120,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Porsche 944 GTR on eBay

1986 Porsche 944 GTR turbo race car chassis # 2 of only seven built for trans am at Fabcar. 650 hp engine full tube frame with Hewland 5 speed gearbox.This car is race ready to race in PCA, HSR and SVRA. 3 sets BBS wheels and spares package. 770-596-4844

The listing is lacking many details that would be really helpful in a purchase of this magnitude. Many of these cars were modified after their initial launch so it’s difficult to say if it retains the original – and very valuable – all aluminum engine, or what race history it has had. It also seems to sport a different nose than the original cars had, hinting at some body damage. Obviously, a thorough pre-purchase inspection by a knowledgeable race shop would be a must if you were serious about buying it.

In terms of value, Carrera GTS and GTR values are typically at or above this level, and the purchase price is a fraction of what it cost to develop these cars originally, but judging race car values depends in large amount on the race history and condition. Running this car on track – where it deserves to be – would certainly be an expensive proposition, but I would estimate running costs to be roughly on par with a 996 or 997 GT3 Cup Car, for example. That’s rarefied air for sure, but you would own a really unique piece of automotive history that would be as welcome at a Porsche Club car show as it would be at historical races.

-Carter

1977 Volkswagen Scirocco With Trans Am Body Kit For Sale

Tip of the hat to Wojciech for the heads up on this Rocco.  Stock 1977 VW Scirocco with a Trans Am Body Kit and 18k miles.  Back in the day VW produced two factory race cars known as #43 and #44.  #43 was wrecked and I believe #44 is somewhere, just not in St Louis.

1977 VW Scirocco W/ Trans Am Kit:

From the seller –

“1977 Volkswagen Scirocco with 18,927 original miles with a full six digit odometer. $3900 obo.

I am moving and can’t keep my toy anymore.

Trans Am Body Kit. The body kit was professionally installed. I still have the original floor mats that will go with the car.
New tires, new plugs, new plug wires, new distributor, new distributor cap, and rotor, new alternator. All filters have been changed.
There is a chin spoiler that I removed because it hangs to close to the ground for road driving. The chin spoiler will come with the car. There is no rust anywhere on the car.
The tint on the back windows is peeling a bit at the corners and some of the weather stripping could be replaced. The driver’s seat has a few tears.

I have the current title, receipts for all work performed,original bill of sale, build sheet, and some other documentation that all comes with the car.”

The story here should be the mileage and not the body kit.  Back in 2009 a low mileage ’77 Rocco eerily similar to this changed hands for close to $8k.  That car was touted as one of the few remaining factory race cars which of course it was not.  I sure hope this was not it.

Regardless I am a bit torn on what one would do with this.  Restore as is knowing you have a low mileage Rocco with no racing lineage, just a questionable body kit.  Or remove the Trans Am cladding and take her back to stock.  I lean toward the latter.

Either way at $3.9k I think there is some value here for the right person.

~Aaron.

1981 Porsche 928 Strosek Widebody, Low mileage 928, & Audi 200 Trans Am

I see a good deal of 928s for sale, there are two reasons for this. One, Porsche made them for nearly two decades and two, because I look for Audi S4s so every time I search for S4 I come across Audis and Porsches. Because there are so many in the market picking one up is not very hard. $10k will get you a plenty nice one. Just remember that, while they looked fairly similar over that long run, the options changed over the years. Flavors of engines included 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, and 5.4, liter V8s.
Transmissions could be had in 3 and 4 speed auto or 5 speed manual.

A early 80s twenty thousand dollar 928 would normally have even fewer miles on it then the 46,000 on this machine. This one has reason to be an exception. It appears to have a super clean body kit, custom interior work, and performance engine tuning including cams and headers. Not to mention the seller says he’ll throw in $15,000 worth of extra goodies like a GPS nav, to tune up, detailing and more. Seems reasonable to me.

If 46,000 miles is a bit too high for you why not make an offer on this 1,484 mile 1978. Offered at $35,000 (reserve not met), this can only be for a collector. Great interior and even has the original window sticker. Knowing that every time you drove the car you’d be decreasing its value is tough. Just keeping the car garage bound when this 911 beater should be out roaming the back country is sad. As the slogan, picked up from another car club, goes, Garages Kill. Letting a car sit is not good for it and once parts start to deteriorate and have to be replaced you’ve lost the originality and not been able to enjoy driving the car, lose-lose. On the other hand it is nice to be able to show such an original vehicle.

1989 Audi Quattro 200 Trans-Am ex Hurley Haywood

Finally just to mix it up a bit this is the car that Hurley Hawyood used during the run to the Trans-Am Championship. The early Audi Quattro racers were pretty much bad ass in every form of racing they entered, hill climb, rally, trans am, etc. This one comes several years after the monster 600 horse power Group B Quattro S1, but clearly shares the blood lines and technology. The unique turbo charged inline 5 in this vehicle likely isn’t as powerful as the Group B car, but should certainly be bumping out over 500 ponies at full boost. The price is on request, probably somewhere north of a few dozen well used A4s. This would make a great SVRA or SCCA entry. For now it sits as a show piece at a casino.

I wasn’t able to confirm this from the dealer, but someone tells me this car may have just sold after being for sale for over a year at $450,000.

~Evan