I’m going to be honest with you readers, I have fallen very far behind with my #TwelveOfTwenty16 project. There are a variety of reasons that contributed to this but the main factor was balancing my day job, the paying part of my photography business and day to day life! This free side line project unfortunately had to take a back seat! Now things are starting to settle down, we are in November and Christmas is just around the corner, thing seem to have settled down so I can start where I left off!
Instalment number five of this project is actually a car that I have seen personally develop from a simple advert on a laptop screen, to being a working, fully restored example of a rare old gem. This is my friend Chris Hoyle’s story and his 1984 Audi 80 Quattro.
I guess I first became interested in cars as a child, as with most car fanatics. It will undoubtedly have something to do with my dad and my grandfathers on both sides of the family. Back then, you had to get your hands dirty of a Saturday morning to keep your car on the road, and I can recall passing tools way before I had my stabilisers taken off! My grandad was a mechanic by trade and always had escorts, sierras and my favourite car of his – a b2 Audi 80. My Grandpa liked his mk2 Triumph 2500s and I always remember he had one to drive and one for spares! As a whipper snapper I had model cars on the shelf in my bedroom and as a teenager was more interested in passing my driving test than anything else.
My car history started with a humble Peugeot 106 1.5D Aztec, it was one of those fancy run out base models with metallic paint and stickers. I loved it, it was freedom and independence. I worked at Halfords part time alongside sixth form and my wages always went to car parts. Stereo, speakers, alloys – all the bits you throw at a first car, I bought.
My car taste matured as I did, and I then switched to German cars – influenced again by my dad who’d always had something VW or Audi – his first being the aforementioned super reliable b2 Audi 80 – that he bought from my Grandad. I had a few mk4 golfs and few Audi S4s when the insurance became cheaper but always wanted a B2 80.
I bought my first “classic” Audi in 2010 – I was working on a survey down in Porthmadog at the time and remember spotting a rare looking Audi on a garage forecourt, I had to turn around and check it out. I asked the lady in the garage if I could have a closer look at the Audi outside – she handed me a flip key and said sure, help yourself. I had to then explain I meant the Audi 80 quattro, not the A3 parked nearby! She said her son sold his own retro cars on the forecourt (alongside it was a mk2 golf GTI and a Jetta GTI 16V) and that I’d need to speak to him about the details. I returned to the garage on the weekend and drove the car – a 1984 80 quattro, in amazon blue. I knew I had to have it and once I got my finances in order, brought the car home later that week! I was immediately hooked on the 10v 5 cylinder soundtrack, which sounded even better played through the custom stainless system the car had. Just weeks later we were hit with freak snow storms… and I was out every night using the quattro system to its full capability!
I had no idea that the value of these cars would appreciate so much and after just 5 months, I sold the car at no profit in order to track prepare my other car – an S1 106 Rallye. The 106 Rallye was a hilarious car, close ratio gearbox, 800kg, nimble handling and a super revvy 1.3 8V producing 100bhp at 7,200rpm! Despite the smiles per gallon of the 106, I always had a hankering for another quattro car.
I had a few B5 S4s, an Audi 200 turbo quattro and a b2 Coupe quattro, but they just didn’t quite cut it for me. The 4-door, small bumper quirky design of the 80 quattro had greater appeal and I trawled classifieds for months before another emerged.
The owner of the 80 quattro I came across in 2012 was the editor of some well-known VW/Audi magazines and had had the car since the early 90s. He had intended to make a fast road/track car out of the 80 but was too busy to finish it. The car had been stored in his garage since the late 90s. It ticked most of the boxes for me, it was reasonably priced, had some nice OEM upgrades and a TSR engine. Weeks then months of emails being exchanged and we agreed a date for me to collect the car. We had to assemble the rear suspension to get the car rolling as it had been on axle stands for a long time – what we expected to be a quick pick up turned into 6 hours of spannering to get the car rolling and on to the flatbed! In total the round trip took 20 hours and really tested the three of us who went to collect the car.
Over the next few months, I collected the missing parts and tried to piece the 80 quattro back together, during this time the car had the fuel system almost entirely replaced, new brakes (calipers, flexis, master cylinder and bias valve) and a replacement 2nd hand 10v engine as the TSR engine was sadly rusted in one of the bores. 12 months after the purchase, I had an MoT on the 80 – a huge milestone for me, as now I had a running restoration. Shortly after, it spent 3 months at a bodyshop where some metalwork was replaced, the car was fully resprayed in the original alpine white and partially undersealed. I got the car back on new years’ eve and a new chapter was started – the rebuild and rebirth of my 80 quattro. I spent the months following slowly rebuilding the car, repairing or restoring any piece of trim as I went to ensure I was doing a quality job. By the time the next MoT was due, the car was complete and I was using it on weekends.
Modifications so far include a stainless exhaust system with just one silencer, 40mm H&R springs, Bilstein B6 shocks, Aluminium subframe bushes, Polyurethane wishbone bushes, S2 rear subframe, struts and larger 280mm twin piston brakes from a 1987 ur quattro, now making the bolt pattern 5×112. The geometry setup makes for a firm ride and sharp, responsive turn-in, with less of the classic Audi understeer. Also fitted are some super rare 15×7 Ronal R8 alloy wheels, 5×112 fitment with Michelin PS3 195/50 R15 tyres.
The plans for the future of the car will more than likely see an Audi S2 ABY engine fitted – I bought this some years ago and I really should make use of it. This is the 2.2 20v 5 cylinder turbo engine, in standard form producing 230bhp.
I don’t think any sum offered would currently buy this car. I’ve spent hours meticulously building the car and they are extremely rare – even more so than its big brother, the ur quattro. To me it’s the ultimate performance saloon, a powerful 5 pot up front, 4 door practicality and 4 wheel drive. I’ve always said I’d only sell it under an unexpected sudden change of circumstances, or to make way for a mk2 escort RS2000 Cutsom – but for now it’s staying.