The Audi Quattro is the car that brought four-wheel drive into the motoring mainstream. Introduced in 1980, the Quattro was based on the Coupé’s similar bodyshell, but used a different floor pan to accommodate its four-wheel-drive transmission and independent rear suspension. The engine was a development of the five-cylinder, 2.1-liter, single-overhead-camshaft unit first seen in the 200 saloon. Equipped with a KKK turbocharger, it produced 200 hp in road trim with considerably more being available in competition tune.
Fast and sure-footed on the road, the Quattro excelled in international rallying, winning the Manufacturers’ Championship for Audi in 1982 and 1984 and the Drivers’ Championship in ’83 and ’84, but its legacy would be the demonstration of four-wheel drive’s advantages for passenger cars. Since then, Audi has gone on to apply its Quattro 4WD system to many other models but only the original version is spelled with a capital ‘Q’.
This particular car is the first Audi Quattro brought into Great Britain by Volkswagen/Audi Group (UK) and was used as a press test and demonstrator car before being assigned to David Sutton Motorsport’s official Audi Rally Team. Sutton converted it to rally specification for use as the team’s back-up and reconnaissance car. While the German-built rally Quattros used Matta roll cages, a full roll cage was built into this one. Special BBS rally wheels were also part of the comprehensive conversion. This Quattro was used primarily as a practice car, being assigned to the North American Champion John Buffum as official practice car for the Acropolis Rally in Greece, and then to Hannu Mikkola in preparation for the Manx Rally.
In 1985 Sutton sold this car to the Madeiran rally driver Jose Barros, who then used it as a private entry in international events.
The car was later rebuilt by Ripponden Garages’ Colin Parkinson, a former rally crew chief. It has taken part in the ‘Beaujolais Run – A Race for Wine’ with Radio 1, and is featured in Graham Robson’s book ‘Audi Quattro’ and ‘Audi Quattro the Development and Competition History’ by Jeremy Walton. It also appears in the DVD “The World’s Greatest Rally Cars” presented by Tony Mason and produced by Duke Video in 2000.
The current vendor purchased the car at Brooks’ Earls Court Sale in October 1995.
‘BRP 223X’ now has an engine built by the recognized Audi specialist Dialynx of Swindon. Since then the car has competed in the 2009 Trackrod Rally and two Welsh rallies in 2010, and was used for demonstrations at the British Rally Shows at Chatsworth in 2010 and Cornbury Park in 2011.
Earlier this year, the Quattro was returned to its 1981 body specification, using the original parts that had been kept and was prepared for the MoT test by rallying specialist Francis Tuthill, being refitted with its straight-through exhaust and correct headlamps and spotlights. The engine has been remapped appropriately by Dialynx and develops 300 horsepower. Offered with the car is a set of wheels shod with ‘gravel’ tires and another additional set with tarmac competition tires, a later grille and lights with a larger rear spoiler, a tailored cover, and the silenced exhaust and turbocharger restrictor (required to comply with current MSA rules).
An original survivor from one of international rallying’s most evocative periods, this ‘turnkey’ Quattro is offered with MoT to April 2017, a V5C registration document, and its MSA Competition Car Logbook.
This Quattro went up for bid at the Bonham’s auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 24th, 2016. See what it sold for.
From Winding Road