Roll the Dice: 1983 Audi Quattro

Update 11/17/19: This Quattro sold for $18,600

Though the basis for what made the Quattro legendary; inspired racey styling, boxflares, turbocharging and all-wheel drive with a near-luxury interior seems almost trite, the Quattro really was a revolution in design. Some ten times more dear than an E30 M3, in recent years the Audi has gained a lot more respect in the marketplace. There are those that say you can’t really compare the Quattro to the M3, or even the 911 – though the pricing was quite similar. But isn’t that the point? In period, the other car you could have bought for the same money was a basic 911. And the market spoke: in 1983, Audi sold some 240 Quattros in the U.S.. Porsche, on the other hand, traded 5,707 911SCs between the Coupe, Targa and new Cabriolet models. There was basically no market overlap with the other two major contenders – the 944 Turbo and the M3. Both those cars, and the 911, were finished to a higher level of quality with better components, arguably, but the real difference was the type of owner who bought the Quattro versus the 911. These cars were built to be used and abused, and many were.

With only 664 brought here in total, and just 240 from the first model year, you’re going to have a pretty hard time finding one for sale at any given time – unlike the other three cars mentioned. That’s why it’s worth taking a look at one of the earliest U.S. chassis, even if it does come with a long list of needs. But that strong potential of heavy needs isn’t slowing bids down…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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1984 Audi Quattro

We don’t often get to look at 1984 Quattros, and that’s for a good reason. While Quattros are rare stateside full-stop with only 664 brought here originally, just 10% – 65 – were ’84 model year cars. Like ’85, ’84 was a transition year as the newer dashboard, 8″ Ronals and a few other minor changes crept into production. LY5Y Amazon Blue Metallic was offered alongside the Helios Blue Metallic in 1983, but for 1984 it became the sole dark blue offered. It’s a very pretty color, and is here coupled were with some nice and common upgrades to the early cars. Most obvious are the addition of European H1/H4 sloped headlights and grill, which give the Quattro a more updated and aerodynamic look. More subtle is the tucking of the impact bumpers which combined with the headlights give a more Euro feel to this example:

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1984 Audi Quattro

Okay, the third blue Audi in a row and so far I’ve been batting out in terms of cars I’d put in my ultimate garage. While the Audi TT would be on the list, the 180 version wouldn’t be my first choice, and though I wouldn’t kick the S4 out of my bed, I’d opt for a Avant version first. So how about my favorite chassis?

I’ve owned something like 8 or 9 Audi B2s, and though I came very close to owning a Quattro once, my history doesn’t include the illustrious leader of the pack. But a Quattro would very certainly be on my list of ultimate Audis. Which one would I want? Well, if money were no object, I’d probably choose a RR 20V first. The last of the run produced right through the 1991 model year, they were also arguably the best of the breed too; more refined than early models and sporting the 3B 2.2 liter 20V engine we saw in the 200 20V. While 20V conversions are popular, this one was factory. Here’s a link to a nice ’89 that’s for sale for a bit over $100,000.

More affordable are the cars that actually came to the U.S.. It’s a bit of a chuckle, though, as only a few years ago you could pick up a really nice example for well under $20,000. Today, those same cars are trading between $40,000 and $60,000 depending on condition. Here’s a very nice ’84 that comes in right at the middle of that range (and half the amount of the lustful RR) – so how does it stack up?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

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1983 Audi Quattro

It’s strange to follow up Rob’s ostentatious 911R with a 1983 Audi Quattro and remember that, at one point, they were competitors in the marketplace. Though the basis for what made the Quattro legendary; inspired racey styling, boxflares, turbocharging and all-wheel drive with a near-luxury interior seems almost trite, the Quattro really was a revolution in design. Some ten times more dear than an E30 M3, in recent years the Audi has gained a lot more respect in the marketplace. There are those that say you can’t really compare the Quattro to the M3, or even the 911 – though the pricing was quite similar. But isn’t that the point? In period, the other car you could have bought for the same money was a basic 911. And the market spoke: in 1983, Audi sold some 240 Quattros in the U.S.. Porsche, on the other hand, traded 5,707 911SCs between the Coupe, Targa and new Cabriolet models. There was basically no market overlap with the other two major contenders – the 944 Turbo and the M3. Both those cars, and the 911, were finished to a higher level of quality with better components, arguably, but the real difference was the type of owner who bought the Quattro versus the 911. These cars were built to be used and abused, and many were.

But the difference in value has started to be erased because of the scarcity of the Audi in today’s market and a focus on being a bit different. I wonder, in all honest, if the 60 Minutes scandal had never occurred what the result on values of these cars might have been. Today, finding lower mile, clean and original examples like this Gobi Beige Metallic example might be a lot more commonplace:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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Rally Ready: 1983 Audi Quattro

The Audi Quattro was not nearly as dominant in World Rally as pretty much every article you read says it was. That may sound shocking, but in the years the Quattro “dominated” the WRC, it only won the driver’s and constructor’s championship together one time – in 1984. In 1983, Hannu Mikkola won the driver’s title in a Quattro, but the constructor win went to – wait for it – a rear-drive Lancia 037. In 1982, Audi’s design won the constructor’s championship, but again it was rear-driver Walter Röhrl in an Opel Ascona that captured the driver’s title. Those shortened, screaming, flame-belching bewinged monsters you’ve seen on numerous clips? Well, the truth is they were never very successful, as the much better balanced Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 swept the end of the Group B period up. If you want real dominance in that era, though, you need to look at the Lancia Delta Integrale, which captured every title from 1987 to 1992.

But the Quattro was evocative. The sound was memorizing. And even if the recipe was perfected by other makes later, it was Audi’s design that revolutionized the sport with unfathomable speed and aggression. So compelling was the Quattro, that long after Audi had retired from Rally and was now dominating race tracks, plenty of enthusiasts were trying to recreate the magic on their own:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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1984 Audi 80 quattro Widebody

You’re not going to buy this car. Let’s be honest, even if you wanted to spend a lot on a wildly modified Audi 4000, it’s on the wrong side of the pond. And then there’s the definition of “a lot” – in this case, the best part of $60,000. Crazy, right? Well, not so fast – arguably, this is one of the most famous and best executed modified Audi 80s in the world. But not only does it look racy; the looks are backed up by a 2.5 20 valve inline-5 turbocharged motor running a host of upgrades through a custom application V8 quattro 6-speed. The result? Going on 800 horsepower! Ridiculous for a standard 80 perhaps, but under the grafted Quattro flares and WRC OZ Rally wheels lie a host of RS2 and Group B works suspension upgrades. Compared to what’s under the hood, if anything the exterior suddenly seems quite sedate:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi 80 quattro on Finn.no

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1984 Audi Quattro

To me, it’s pretty amazing that the Quattro hasn’t really received the attention of the E30 M3. The Quattro beat the M3 to the market by 6 years with its squared, chunky boxflare stance. It was all-wheel drive, turbocharged and cutting edge. It revolutionized the World Rally Championship and firmly cemented Audi in the halls of motorsports and enthusiasts minds. The offbeat 5-cylinder hanging in front of the wheels seemed an odd choice, but Audi has returned with an updated version of that power plant in some of its newer models, and the sound and performance is no less memorable than it was in the original. Indeed, in terms of what a single car did for a brand, the Quattro was much more influential for Audi than the E30 M3 was for BMW in my mind. Yet today, if you want to get a great condition E30 M3 with under 100,000 miles you’re looking at over $50,000 to play; if you want to get into the original Quattro, nice examples can be had for half that amount:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Quattro on eBay

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Heap of the Week: 1985 Audi Quattro

It’s taken a while, but the Audi Quattro has fairly recently achieved its rightful place amongst some of the greats in motoring enthusiasts’ minds. Part of that, no doubt, has been assisted by surging Audi sales, coupled with a recent ad campaign that has finally acknowledged that Audi built cars in the 1980s. Long considered complex, underpowered in stock U.S. form, and quirky (generally in a bad, electrics having their own mind way), values of these ground-breaking turbocharged all-wheel drive coupes have been steadily on the rise, to the point where buying one that needs some work and refreshing it is no longer an act of hare-kari. This is especially true of the rarest in the U.S. version of the already quite rare Quattro – the 1985 model. Sporting a revised grill and headlight bezels to match the 4000 and GT models’ new sloped design, the 1985 also brought the 8″ Ronals finally to U.S. shores and the car also received the updated dashboard. We last saw a 1985 Audi Quattro sell in the mid-teens, frankly a quite good deal, but this car is on offer and in need of reassembly:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro on Audifans.com

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1983 Audi Quattro

Plenty has been said on this page and others about the now legendary status of the original Quattro, so if you’re looking for a history lesson it won’t be here. However, what the quattro does represent is great collector value in comparison to contemporary 911s and slightly later E30 M3s; a unique car with plenty of character that took the automotive world on a different path. Quattro values have been steadily increasing over the past several years, and while they are hard to find on these shores in good condition for sale they do come up from time to time. The last 1983 Quattro we featured had lost some of its originality in favor of driveability; today’s car retains some of that originality and shows well in Tornado Red:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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1984 Audi Quattro 20V – REVISIT

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Back in August, Paul wrote up a well sorted 1984 Audi Quattro with an impressive 400hp 20V Turbo swap. Though the car looks just about perfect and values of these have risen sharply over the past few years, this car remains available and popped back up on Kijiji.Ca for $30,000. While that may sound like a lot of money for a Quattro, with the collector status of these cars pretty firmly cemented and clean examples pushing into the high teens without the serious engine build and details of this car, it may just be a great deal for the right buyer! If we were going to build a great Quattro driver and show car, this is how we’d do it. You certainly would have a difficult time replicating this car’s condition for the asking price and it’ll pretty soundly thrash that $30,000 E30 M3 you’ve had your eye on…

-Carter

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