Slideshow: This 1988 Ur-quattro Never Lost a Step
Driving an immaculate, 54k mile '80s Quattro across Europe? Sounds like a dream vacation to us!
Some Guys Have All the Luck
Some guys, as they say, have all the luck. And after scoping out the recent adventures of Speedhunter's Paddy McGrath, we can't think of a luckier guy on the planet. It would be enough to simply participate in the wonder that is Worthersee, a great road trip across Europe. But when you do it in a truly special machine like this immaculate 1988 Audi quattro, you've officially pegged our jealous meter.
Plans Go Awry
Worthersee attracts tens of thousands of enthusiasts within the VW scene to the gorgeous confines of Europe's finest attractions. But with McGrath's personal GTI not quite ready for the (just shy of) 2,500-mile journey, it left the journalist seeking alternative transportation. And that's where a gentleman by the name of Dr. Roven Mohr comes in.
Simply picking up some boring rental car or even a press car just wasn't in the cards for this trip. After all, that's what pretty much every other non-local does. So shockingly enough, Audi (specifically Audi Tradition) agreed to allow McGrath to drive one of the finest old-school machines in their arsenal.
Take It Easy
Not only did Audi show up at the Munich airport with a 54k original mile '88 quattro, but also a brand new RS3 to tag along. The only caveat? Audi asked him to please not over-rev the car and to use some sense, which is both a shame yet totally understandable. The last thing any self-respecting car guy wants to do is wrap a precious machine like this around a tree!
Playing Keep Up
Ironically enough, McCarthy had to drive hard enough to keep up with the RS3, which wasn't taking things so easy. Mostly because that was his only method of navigation. Which obviously meant a lot of hair-raising, high-speed cornering in a car with limits quite a bit lower than the modern Audi.
Pleasure to Drive
But otherwise, the old school quattro more than asserted itself. McCarthy reported that the car was "a pleasure to drive." He opted to eschew the radio in favor of "the gentle hum of the inline-five." McCarthy also called the steering a "joy" and the brake pedal feel "second to none."
Like a Vault
You might, at the very least, expect a 30-year-old car like this one to have some sort of rattles and squeaks. But the old quattro was as solid as a bank vault. Part of that, of course, is due to the car's low mileage. But it's still impressive, nonetheless.
Doing It Right
Audi has always done interiors right, and this '88 quattro is no exception. McCarthy calls the car's threads "pure '80s brilliance," full of basic yet elegant parts. The simple, solid, and useful kit was the theme back in these times. And it just worked.
It Isn't All Fun and Games
And sure enough, the trip went without a hitch. The fun stopped once the Audi duo crossed into Austria, where speed limits are strictly enforced. But with a 4 pm photo shoot on the schedule, the group was able to make it just in the nick of time. Except instead of some pretty lakeside, the photo shoot took place in a dark underground garage.
Today Was a Good Day
But that's honestly the perfect ending for a unique dream trip like this. After all, how often does anyone phone Audi and ask for a vintage car loaner and actually get granted one? Now if you'll excuse us, we're going to make some phone calls and get back to you with an answer to that question!
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