This One-of-Two Audi Quattro Prototype Is Heading to Auction
The car is believed to make up half of the right-hand drive Quattro prototypes built in 1982.
An early prototype for the Audi Quattro's right-hand drive version has surfaced for sale, leaving rare Euro and rally enthusiasts searching their couches for pennies in what will undoubtedly be a high-dollar deal.
The Quattro helped establish Audi's modern reputation for agile all-wheel-drive vehicles with its performance in the World Rally Championship in the early and mid-1980s. Between its unique AWD system, turbocharged inline-five engine, and the inherent rally success they brought, the Quattro's demand in rally-obsessed Britain caught Audi off guard; it had no plans to mass-produce the car for the British market. Such was the Audi fever in the United Kingdom that Brits were even buying left-hand-drive Quattros, proving to Audi the value of building an RHD model.
Audi soon brought the RHD Quattro to market, with almost all such cars built as 1983 or later models, of the "D-chassis," with twin headlights. Two early prototypes, however, were built on 1982 "C-chassis" cars, which had quad headlights and differing brakes and suspension. Only these two of a batch of 12 early 1982 cars were built with RHD, making them the first of their kind. One of these early RHD Quattros will be auctioned off by Auto Classics.
This car was built in June of 1982 and first registered in the U.K. on Aug. 1, 1982, and it is believed to be the first Quattro ever sold with RHD in the country. It eventually transferred ownership in 1997 to someone who plopped the car into storage for almost two decades, never even firing the car up. The current owner acquired it in 2016 and has since spent at least £15,179 (around $20,000) restoring the car both aesthetically with new factory-color paint and a mechanical refresh. Now headed to auction, it's expected to recoup that and then some with a predicted hammer price of £50,000-60,000 ($66,000-79,000).
Its sister car—built five serial numbers later—lives in Scotland. Maybe it too will one day surface so a new generation can relive the legacy of the Quattro.