Das Restomod: 1975 Audi Fox

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

As a long time Audi fan and owner, I realize that there may not be many readers here who are also Audi fans and/or owners. But, I couldn’t pass up this 1975 Audi Fox, it’s just too interesting. This shiny restomod project is located in Beaverton, Oregon and it can be found on eBay with surprisingly high bids bringing it up to $5,600 so far with four days left on the auction. Even at that price, the reserve isn’t met. You’ll see why once you dig into the photos and the story on this Foxy B1.

As you can see, this car is a project waiting to be finished, but from what work has been done it looks like it has been either a labor of love or a labor of a big checkbook. It has been an ongoing project car at a shop since 2003 and it looks like it’s soooooooo close to being finished, but some hurdle must have stopped them from taking the time and money to finish it up. How many have been in that position with a project car? I thought so. I’m sitting there right now with an oddball mini bike that I have all torn apart in our garage in the middle of a restoration but then I ran into trouble with a couple of parts. I can not imagine doing a nut-and-bolt restoration on a car, a mini bike is challenging enough for me!

The amount and quality of restoration and modification work that has been done so far is fun to see. We don’t normally see these B1 (1972-1978) Audi 80s, or for North America, the Audi Fox, being in this condition. Most of them that I have seen are a bit rusty if not a lot rusty and somewhat used up and forgotten about. Someone threw down a suitcase full of $100 bills to get this one to where it is now. The design is crisp and clean with a big greenhouse – all the better to see you with, my dear.. Wait, that was a wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, not a fox. I would lose the wheels instantly, even if I had to put it up on blocks, but that’s just me. I’m not a chrome wheel fan at all, in case anyone was making a list of potential birthday presents.. (cough) Maybe in 2003, when they started this project, big chrome wheels were more in fashion than they are now.

The seemingly high-quality restoration continues on the interior, too. This is going to be one good-looking place to spend some time in once it’s finished. The seats look uber-comfy if not a match for the originals – they’re from a VW Scirocco. Of course, you already know that this build is on the restomod side of things rather than an original-spec restoration. The trunk appears to be as crisp as a Leibniz whole wheat biscuit, and relocating the battery to the rear is often times a good way to even things out a bit, weight-distribution-wise. This “car was media blasted and had extensive rust repair to the roof, trunk and quarter panels” and it was “painted in 2003 using Honda S2000 silver, very close to Porsche GT Silver.”

This is not the original engine for this car, either, it’s “an AEB from a 97-99 A4 or Passat. When acquired for the build it was claimed to have under 20k miles. The engine is essentially just sitting in there, it needs mounts fabricated and the following. Intercooler, radiator, downpipe/exhaust fabrication and plumbing.” So, there’s some work for the next owner. Maybe that’s what stalled this 14-year long project? Or, was it the transmission, which “is the original four speed. It has a new or lightened flywheel and either Stage IV Clutchmasters or a Clutchnet clutch kit. Currently the transmission is just in place, no mounts are fabbed its not a final install.” Do you think you have the skills to fab and finish this foxy restomod? Are there any current or former Audi Fox/80 owners out there?

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Comments

  1. Brakeservo

    I owned a 100LS “back in the day” so I think you could have been an owner or a fan, but not likely both!

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  2. DG

    Man, an Audi Fox, i can’t remember when I last saw one on the road. My childhood in the 70s/80s? I’m in agreement with you on those wheels so many good VAG rims to choose from. I’m surprised they were going to stick with the 4 speed. And a modern Audi 4 cyl. Would be very tempting to put an I5 in there or a VR6 mated to a 5 or 6 speed.

    1+
  3. rdc

    We had the sister car, a 74 VW dasher Automatic with AC. Worst car I ever owned for multiple reasons.

    3+
  4. Dean maxey

    First time seeing one of those it’s beautiful…

    1+
  5. Mr. TKD

    I don’t know what it’ll cost to finish, but I’d put at least a five-speed in it.

    The chrome wheels don’t bother me, but I would eventually find some BBS RS wheels.

    I’d like to see a magazine feature on it when it’s completed.

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  6. Dan

    I think they botched it by getting the cosmetics done first. Any welding or cutting to make this thing work is likely to damage that nice paint.

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  7. Horse Radish

    While I usually am skeptical of all restomods this a one of few examples where it will work, even financially.
    Audi put out some good looking cars over time, but ANY modification is an improvement on ANY Audi !

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  8. BiggYinn

    Won an audi 80 from this period is rare ….most are junk by now infact last one of mid 70s vintage i saw was in a junkyard …. a VW VR6 or audio 5 cylinder would have been a better idea…actually any power unit with a modern 5 or 6 speed gearbox

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  9. Mountainwoodie

    My roommate in college had this exact car in blue around 1975………looked pretty good back then. We drove the hell out of it………dont see many around now though. Curious choice for a restomod.

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  10. jdjonesdr

    All things considered, that’s a nice looking car. Has sort of that “Fiat Brava” sort of vibe and look that I like.

    Whoever is doing the work knows what they’re doing.

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  11. healeydays

    My father had a Audi Fox and I can still remember the stories. I was in the army back then and called home one Sunday. My mother told me my brother Dave and my dad were under the car replacing the oil pan. I thought this was strange, cause my dad didn’t know a wrench from a screwdriver.

    Later I talked to my brother and got the story. He and a couple friends were out with the Audi the night before, and were going thru a windy stretch of road when all of a sudden police lights came on behind them. Being a bunch a teenagers they didn’t want to get pulled over, so they talked my brother into out running the police. He got away with it, but as he hit the highway, he hit something causing him to puncture the oil pan.

    To this day, his friends still talk about it.

    2+
  12. Brakeservo

    I have to comment on the original write-up – “it can be found on eBay with surprisingly high bids bringing it up to $5,600 so far with four days left on the auction. Even at that price, the reserve isn’t met.” I maintain that whenever you see high bids long before the end of the auction and it’s a “Reserve not Met” situation you can be fairly confident that not a single serious bid by someone that actually wants to buy the car has been entered! In most cases, it’s that famous bidder, Mr. S.Hill at work!

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  13. Marc D

    All I can say is “wow”, my first import was a 78 Audi Fox, despite its quirks it was a labor of love, I learned quickly on how to fix it, but boy was it fun to drive and got 28+ mpg doing it. I have always wanted to find one, 75 would be it, no smog, 16v or 1.8 gti motor with a 5 speed would be fun. This car listed is nice, but the sunroof is a negative, Audi only used its design in 2dr. cars, the sedan and wagon use the VW standard one found in the Rabbit to the MK2 and Audi 4000. yes, parts are very hard to find for it.

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  14. AMXSTEVE

    Love the baby cragers on this car. Chrome is the best choice for any car and make the rest stand out. This is cool but I have better choices to spend 6k on.

    1+
  15. ACZ

    Das runaway cruise control

    1+
  16. Rustytech

    I’m with you Scotty. The early Audi was one of my favorite cars, especially the 4000 and 4000 Quatro. With a 5 speed they were a fun car on the country roads where I grew up. I’d like to have one today, but their impossible to find in decent shape today. This car has possibilities.

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  17. Duff
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  18. Dean

    My Mom had a ’79 Fox GTI which was essentially a stripe job on a regular Fox, but it had comfy recaroesque sport seats covered in an attractive corduroy fabric. Supposedly the suspension was tighter than a regular Fox, and it had five (including the spare) BBS baskeweave wheels.

    Managed to peg the speedometer a number of times. Overall a great car that had no real mechanical faults.

    If someone wants a Fox project I found this one on CL yesterday https://portland.craigslist.org/grg/cto/d/1979-audi-fox/6323897511.html

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  19. STEVE deJesus

    Audi made some real s boxes back then and the Fox was one of them. What ever would possess someone to spend this amount of money on a car like this is a mystery for the ages.

    1+
    • rdc

      I agree with you. My 74 Dasher with a carb never ran right. Cold starts were terrible. Would die every time put in gear until warm. Very noisy (engine noise) at interstate speeds. Worst new car I ever purchased. It was also yellow.

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  20. audifan

    I’m not a fan of restomods. This one is one of the dumbest I have ever seen. What a tremendous waste.
    Contrary to some peoples believe, old Audis can be pretty reliable if properly maintained. Both of my 1980 5000s are.

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    • Brakeservo

      Yes, I believe old Audis, just like old Fiats, Jensen-Healeys and even Yugos can be “pretty reliable” today, simply because to have survived for so long, some previous owner(s) has(have) fixed all the problems. Another factor at work could be, if a company makes enough of a certain car or model, every so often they screw up and produce a good one out of the vast total amount built!

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    • steve jesus

      The 5000sn and 4000s did get more reliable but the Fox and 100s were not. I was a tech at an Audi dealership from 80 to 86. It’s remarkable how far Audi has come since the seventies, from producing junk to world class cars in a short period of time is impressive.

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  21. Tommy D

    Those wheels are polished aluminum, not chrome…

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  22. Tommy D

    My 1st Audi experience was a rusty fox I bought in the early 80’s…after driving big rusty american cars for years, the audi was amazing! Rack and pinion steering, handling, ride, and the front wheel drive plowed thru the snow. never had any real trouble with it, and it changed everything I believed about cars forever.

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