RHD Quattro Prototype Headed to Auction
Slideshow: The quattro system has long been known for its superb all-wheel-drive capabilities. But did you know that its roots first began with prototype vehicles driven in the World Rally Championship in the early and mid-1980s? It was here that the performance technology was fine-tuned. Most of the early vehicles have been discarded, but an early prototype recently surfaced and due to the incredible interest surrounding this rare find, the car is now being put up for auction.
What brought the Audi Quattro to market?
Audi spent much of the 1980s perfecting its quattro all-wheel-drive technology in various World Rally Championships. Between the car’s AWD system and turbocharged inline-five engine, the company saw a lot of success with the vehicle. And with the Quattro's winnings came a sudden demand for the car to be brought to market in rally-obsessed Britain. This caught Audi off-guard – the company never intended to bring it to the British market. But the demand for Audi Quattros was so high in the United Kingdom that Brits were even buying left-hand-drive models, thus proving to Audi the value of building an RHD model.
What’s so special about this RHD Quattro going to auction?
When Audi brought its RHD Quattro to market in 1983, the car sat on the "D-chassis" with twin headlights. But there were two early prototypes built on 1982 "C-chassis" cars. These vehicles featured quad headlights and differing brakes and suspension. Now, only two of a batch of 12 early 1982 cars were ever built with RHD, making them the first (and only) of their kind. And it is one of these early RHD Quattros that will be auctioned off by Auto Classics.
History behind the RHD Quattro heading to auction
The RHD Quattro was built in June of 1982 and first registered in the U.K. on Aug. 1, 1982. It’s widely understood to be the first Quattro ever sold with RHD in the country. Eventually, the car transferred ownership in 1997 to someone who put it into storage for almost two decades, never even powering on the car. Its current owner acquired it in 2016 and has since spent around $20,000 restoring the car both aesthetically with new factory-color paint and a mechanical refresh.
What about the other RHD Quattro?
Believe it or not, it does still exist. The car was built five serial numbers later and now lives in Scotland. As to when it’ll ever surface again, time will tell. But if this one version going to auction does well, it might be sooner rather than later that we see the other units pop up as well.
Expected auction price
As the RHD Quattro goes to auction, its owner is expecting to make up the money he’s invested thus far (and then some). Right now, the expected auction price will fall somewhere between $66,000-79,000 for this piece of modern automotive history.
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