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Eighties Performance Icon: 1983 Audi Quattro

There are performance cars from the 1980s that are essentially poster children for the era: the BMW M3, Mercedes Cosworth, Porsche 911, and others. But the Audi Quattro is right up there, and the only reason it’s not at the tip of our tongues is because of how rare it is. Production was extremely limited when new, and they rarely pop up for sale today – especially in the proper four-wheel-drive guise like this one listed here on eBay with bidding over $16,000 and the reserve unmet. Between the excellent colors and thoughtful OEM upgrades, this rare turbocharged coupe deserves a very fair price.

The Audi Coupe is most commonly seen on craigslist and other sites with a naturally aspirated five-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. The bodies look quite similar, with a major difference being the box flares the front and rear fenders are adorned with on the Quattro models. These days, the lesser version still pops up in salvage yards where rust is less likely to remove a car from daily use than an unfortunate fender bender, which is a testament to the durability of the company’s five-cylinder engine. It goes without saying performance increased dramatically with the version seen here, hence its significantly higher values and collectibility.

The interiors were driver-focused affairs, with deeply bolstered leather bucket seats and auxiliary gauges that you can see parked to the right of the cluster. The Quattros were also loaded with ground-breaking technology for the era, particularly as it related to the trick all-wheel-drive system. This is a blessing and a curse, as owning one will require some additional upkeep to ensure the whizbang-for-the-80s driver controls remain functioning as intended, as much of a Quattro’s value is wrapped up in the drivetrain performing as designed and delivering the fierce traction the car was known for.

The seller’s car presents well, with clean details throughout. Underhood looks fantastic, and the seller notes the turbocharged five-cylinder benefits from a top-end rebuild completed less than 1,000 miles ago. Strangely, one of the more standard maintenance items – a valve adjustment – is left unfinished, and the seller doesn’t seem inclined to completing this task before the sale. Some rust bubbles are visible in the lower sill areas, and it will need attention at some point. The interior is fantastic and the European-spec lighting is a nice upgrade. Overall, a highly collectible car right in that sweet spot of having some minor needs that the next owner can sort to bring it closer to perfection.


  1. Robert Thomas

    Brings back memories of the monstrous Group B rally cars.

    Like 1
  2. Car Nut Tacoma

    I remember when Audi produced cars like this. At the time, I didn’t find them attractive, at least not compared to Volkswagen, but today, I find them way more attractive to look at than anything being offered today.

    Like 5
  3. alphasud Member

    I worked at a VW/ Audi shop in the late 80’s and we had a doctor who used one as his daily. The Quattro drivetrain is very robust so if it shifts through the gears without the crunchies and the diffs are quiet you should be fine. The only repairs we did besides the clutch and it’s hydraulics was vacuum problems to the locking diffs. Engines are real stout but be aware of the lack of a water cooled turbo. Synthetic oil and allowing the turbo to cool before shutting off the engine is a must for longevity. You can retrofit a water cooled unit that became available in 86 on the 5000 turbos. Parts cost for these were really high due to the low production numbers and may not be available anymore. Also the owner probably did not have the tools and the valve shim kit needed to perform the adjustment. Fairly easy if you have them. Same tools and shims as all the other VW engines at the time.

    Like 7
  4. JCA Member

    Nice car. I had a few 80’s audis. The 5 cylinder turbo was the one I always wished I had. They make an unmistakable exhaust note that really has grown on more and more over the years. This would be a great car to own and enjoy.

    Like 3
    • Robert Thomas

      The exhaust note of the 5 cyl is awesome. YouTube a test of the recent TT RS and the characteristic sound is still there.

      Like 2
  5. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Can it be winter already and can the sum of my bank account be bigger so I could exercise this car properly in the snow

  6. Robert Davies

    Got my wife a 1984 4000S Quattro new in Lafayette,LA We loved that car, but after 11years it was time to give her to our youngest daughter, who after 4 years with her, got into a fender bender to which we retired her.

  7. Stilbo

    Of all the cars I’ve owned over my 65 years my identical Quattro is second only to my 1970 Mach 1.
    I ordered mine at the Chicago Auto Show, 1983.
    My favorite antic in it was running away at speed from a doofus in a new Corvette who just had to chase me for nearly an hour during a SW Michigan lake effect blizzard…
    A few years later my wife ordered a 1986 Quattro 5000 after seeing this Quattro climb a Finland ski jump on a commercial in Germany….
    The cable and underbody bracket were only to catch the car if it slid backwards, which it never did…
    Wish I had the room and wallet for this one.

  8. Stilbo

    The 1986 ski jump commercial

    Like 1
  9. chrlsful

    friend had one, a wagon, he bought at the shop he worked at. Kept it well past Y2K. Nice square lines of the ’80s, 4WD or AWD…all ways something wrong w/it. I believe the co (and many europeans) are the same today. Not for the usa drivers. They like the Japanese as they’re ‘set it and forget it”, no real maintenance, tinkering, etc~

  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at $19,900 with Reserve Not Met.

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