One of the biggest potential risks of buying a project car is the bodywork. Chasing rust can become a full-time job, and even when you think you have tracked it all down and cut it all out, it can still rear its unwelcome, ugly head. This can be double frustrating if it does so after you have applied paint. If it breaks through the primer, that’s not the end of the world. You can go back and sort it out again. But paint, well, that could be a very expensive thing indeed.
There is a reason for good bodywork being so expensive. It’s labour intensive, it takes a serious level of skill to master, and it’s something that needs to be nothing short of perfect. Yeah, you can touch in bits while the car is in your garage, you might even get away with painting a panel or two with rattle cans. But it’s never going to be… proper. What you need, really, is a car on which the bodywork has already been addressed. Something that looks ace, but now needs to be pushed over the final line of assembly and so on. Something, say, like this Audi Quattro.
What is it?
What we have here is a now 20-valve (not 10) Audi Quattro Ur. Ur, in case you’re wondering, is German for original, first of its kind. Every Audi out there is Quattro these days, but this is genesis, ground-zero for a still ongoing love affair with all-wheel drive. At first, the critics sneered at the notion. Sure, Ferguson had a go with the Jensen FF, but really, all-wheel drive was for farm vehicles and trucks. Except it wasn’t. It was a formidable force when fitted to a road car, which in turn meant that through the magic of homologation, it could fit it to its rally cars. The critics stopped their sneers when Audi won, well, pretty much everything.
It wasn’t just the all-wheel-drive that did it though. The turbocharged five-cylinder engine helped matters. Initially, it was offered as a 10-valve, two per-cylinder. Later though, engineers worked in another ten, bringing us the more powerful 20-valve model, which is what we have here of sorts. This car, being an ’84, would have started life as a 10-valve, but has since been upgraded. It was powerful, it boasted exceptional road-holding capabilities and it was bloody fast. Plus, in the most ‘80s way possible, it looked excellent with its sharp lines, box-flared arches and big rear spoiler. It was, and still is, the definitive rally car for the road.
Why is it a project?
This 1984 model has a somewhat interesting history. The vendor states that it has in fact been with Leeds College for some twelve years where it was left to the mercy of the auto engineering department. Here, the car was slowly but surely stripped down. The body has been completely restored and is now totally rust free. It also wears a fresh, glossy coat of paint. However, that’s about as far as the restoration has got. Now, in kit form, the car has been released from the college back to the owner.
It looks like the college students have done an exceptional job on the body, no doubt spurred on by the fact they were working on something interesting and not a Nissan Micra. The paint looks excellent, and while the car is indeed disassembled, it seems to have been done with some care and consideration – it’s not just been pulled apart.
The vendor states that everything is there, though the odd screw and bracket might be absent. A new windscreen is the only big thing it needs, as the original was presumably damaged when removed or in storage. Oh, and the brakes. It needs new ones, as the Hi-Spec four-pots that were there way back when are now, you know, not. But that’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things.
The current owner, who wasn’t expecting the call from the college, is now in two minds. Sell it to one of you lovely folk, or if it doesn’t sell, he’ll make space and time for it and build it back into a car himself. This is a good thing to say, as it goes to show just how viable this project is. And all without needing to content with rust, filler, welding or paint. This could be a very easy restoration for the right person.
Five things to look for:
The car comes with all the parts needed apparently, but even so, this has been stripped and stored away over a period of twelve years. It would be remiss of you to not have a look through what’s there just to be safe.
2) Interior Trim
The right trim for these cars is becoming very hard to find indeed, so you need to have a good look at what’s there. The seats look like they need some love, but as long as the frames are good, you can sort them.
Everything seems to be there, and while the car isn’t currently running, there is no reason to not check everything over. Does the engine turn, for starters? It’s not fired for a long time, so worth checking.
Again, the vendor states that everything is there. However, do have a close look for the trim. This is incredibly hard to find in 2021, and costly when you do. Side vents, door handles, window trims – check for it all.
The vendor states the V5 is present, but what else? There is surely an interesting story behind this Ur Quattro and what’s been done to it over the course of its life. Well worth digging into, if just for your own enjoyment!
What should you do with it?
These Quattro Audis are getting thin on the ground these days, so really, the only way to go is back to as close to standard as possible. Furthermore, with the bodywork having already been done to an apparent high standard, it would be a shame to take it down the race or rally route. Instead, build it back up and in the process, build a car that has some serious presence on the roads. You could easily set about building this into something to wow people at shows, or you could just bolt it back together and build something that simply, and quite rightly, wows you.