Now that we are empty-nesters – it’s been two whole days since the second and last old BMW went away – I’ve been pondering the next garage denizen. I’ve been doing the BMW thing for over 15 years and while that storied marque will always be my first love, I’m looking for an affair. A tryst. Something new to dabble in. The embodiment of this blog in my ability to look at something and say…
For this round I’d like to bring your attention to the 1990-91 Audi Coupe quattro (QC for short). I remember not loving these when they debuted, thinking the styling was awkward and the performance was, well, sub-BMW. Twenty years later, I find myself drawn to the proto-jellybean coupe aesthetic, the classic interior design covered in leather and wood, and the go-anywhere spirit of quattro.
Period Audi features included a locking rear differential, a cold weather package with tushy warmers and headlight washers, and a button to disable the antilock brakes. The 20-valve inline-5 could be scratchy, but made some amount of power and decent midrange torque. Unlike today’s German cars, QCs actually came in interesting colors. Automatic transmission? Shut up and use all your limbs.
This 1990 in Lago Blue is thin on information. Nice that it’s been “pretty dependable” and has “no major problems” but some level of specificity would be appreciated. I suppose “cared for well” affords a certain level of comfort. I’d want more information before I parted with my $3000.00. Moving on.
Ginster Yellow. It almost sounds vulgar. This example is certainly rough around the edges, with chips and dents and some loose trim. Lots of mechanical work has been done, including a new clutch, several wheel bearings, and a timing belt service. There are performance upgrades installed and a pile of extra parts. Although it needs an alignment (which probably also means it needs the rusty tie rods replaced) and a window regulator, it seems a deal at $2200.00. And it’s yellow!
This pretty, adult-owned Titanium Gray example certainly looks classic with a slight ride height drop and clean cosmetics. Light on information, the seller claims no abuse and good maintenance, though it needs a muffler. $4995.00? I’d need to see it in person. However, if it’s as nice as it sounds and looks in the (goofy) photos, I’d overlook the fact it’s not really a color.
This Tornado Red 1991 is stunning, though I’m still torn on the hood and headlight upgrade, which is apparently pretty popular on these cars. The other mods on the car are numerous – suspension, 5-lug hubs and wheels, brakes, front bumper, engine and exhaust. It’s all tasteful, and stuff you’d probably want to do anyway, minus the Sparco steering wheel.
The interior looks very good, but not great. The body is gorgeous, as is under the hood. $7000.00 has to be all the money for a QC with the stock 20-valve engine (turbo conversions hit five figures). What price a “done” car?
I’m going to keep an eye out for one in my neck of the woods. Who knows? I may drive it and hate it. But I’ve never hated any Audi from the driver’s seat.