Thursday, November 17, 2016

Are you John Buffum?: 1983 Audi quattro

In the beginning there was one quattro.  Not A-blah, blah Quattro, not Q-blah, blah Quattro, but just quattro.  And it was a game changer both for Audi and for the sport of rallying.  Factory rally cars are few and far between, but your next best alternative on your quest to be the next Buffum are the few road cars converted over to stage rally duty.  Find this 1983 Audi quattro for sale in Freeland, MI on eBay with bidding to $25,700 and reserve not met.  Tip from jim garfield.

Unlike the factory rally rally cars, this quattro is powered by the 2.1L 5 cylinder 10 valve engine (factory cars were 20 valve with the heads made of ground unicorn).  When the seller bought the car it had a cracked head and blown turbo, so it has been rebuilt with a modified large port head, custom ground cam, 034 electronic fool injection and an oil and water cooled Garrett GT28RS turbo with large intercooler and straight dump pipe for the wastegate.  No word on horsepower, but the early factory rally cars produced around 300 hp, so I'd figure this car would be in that neighborhood. With a straight exhaust and race muffler, the car gives that classic Audi 5 cylinder rally car sound and shoots fire out of the exhaust and dump pipes.  Worth the price alone in my book.

Inside there is a fire supression system, additional gagues, Dymo labeled switches, rally computer and custom door pockets similar to the works cars.  The dash is still the original street car dash, but included with the spares is a replica aluminium dash like the factory rally cars.

On the trunk an auxiliary spoiler mounted oil cooler has been fitted but has not been plumbed in.  The works cars ran these starting in 1982.

This car started life as a road going car and was stripped to a bare shell and rebuilt with an SCCA Pro-Rally spec cage along with numerous areas of reinforcement and skid plating.  It was owned and campaigned by the late Jim Warren in Open Class in 1999 and 2000, before going into storage until 2010.  It's the closest you can get to a works car without spending a large six figure sum.

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Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent and unofficial U.S. stage rally historian.


  1. Heads made of ground unicorn...

    That brought me to tears, Gianni.

  2. All factory quattro rally cars were 10 valve. Only the Sport quattro and S1 had 20v engines.

    1. I'm pretty sure the A2 in '83 was 20v. You might be right about the A1 and Group 4 cars.

    2. Nope. First 20v appeared in the Sport in '84. All standard wheelbase rally cars (including A1 and A2 variants) were 10v. No standard wheelbase car got a 20v from the factory until the road going production model in 1989.


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