September Sale 2018

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1982 Audi Quattro Coupe - Pre-production prototype

Lot No.: 336

Registration: TOC 658Y
Chassis Number: 85CA901328
Engine Number: WR003037
Number of cylinders: 2
CC: 2200
Year of Manufacture: 1982
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 50,000 - 60,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • A very early pre-production prototype - likely to be the first UK right-hand drive Quattro
  • The Quattro Experience. An intoxicating combination of turbo power and four-wheel drive 
  • Mechanically recommissioned in 2016 and a full respray in 2017 costing in excess of £11,000
  • Supplied with its original registration 'TOC 658Y' and will be MoT'd prior to the sale
  •  Thought to be one of only two right-hand drive pre-production Quattros remaining

Audi's Quattro is a legend that re-wrote the form book in International Rallying, as well as causing rival manufacturers to rethink their offerings and was, quite literally, a trailblazer. However, it may never have happened as the model was never meant to go into full production, being the homologation car for Audi in Group 4. 

The assembly line was set up in Hall N2, not part of the main factory, with just 24 staff working 5 days a week. In fact, there were twice as many staff in the Audi Sport team than there were building the road cars at the time. The resulting model was launched with great excitement at the 1980 Geneva Salon and then released to European customers later the same year. It was initially powered a 2144cc in-line, five-cylinder, 10-valve SOHC unit with turbocharger and intercooler. This was the first time the mass car market had been introduced to the intoxicating combination of turbo power and four-wheel drive, and the results were spectacular. 

When production started for the ‘81 ‘B’ chassis model year, Audi totally underestimated the demand for Quattro road cars, particularly at twice the price of an Audi Coupe. As a result of this, the Quattro was to be built in left-hand drive configuration only but the public quickly took to the car, especially from the U.K. even in left-hand drive.

Audi was eventually persuaded by the U.K. importer to consider extending production and building right-hand drive models. As this was never planned, 12 prototype pre-production cars were built with features unique to the early ‘C’ chassis cars; quad headlamps, and different suspension and brakes. The production right-hand drive cars were launched as ‘83 model ‘D’ chassis numbers without these items.

We are pleased to offer this right-hand drive pre-production prototype, chassis ending #1328, built in June 1982 and first registered on 1st August ’82, making it highly likely to be the first factory supplied right-hand drive UK car. Finished in Diamond Silver and supplied through Smithfield of Digbeth, Birmingham, is it thought to be one of just two of these ‘C’ chassis cars remaining, the other being chassis ending #1333 which lives in Scotland.

The previous owner acquired the car in 1997 but did not ‘fire up the Quattro’ and it sat in storage for the next 20 years until our lucky vendor managed to purchase it from him in August 2016. It was then sent to marque specialist 'Quattro-tech' for extensive recommissioning work which included; a major service including a new cambelt, new starter motor and water pump, front callipers, discs and pads, new suspension top mounts, and a fuel pump. An invoice for this work is included in the file totalling £2,862. In February 2017 a new stainless steel exhaust system was fitted at the Quattro Workshop amounting to £717. To improve its aesthetic look and bring it back to its former glory, a new rear apron was purchased directly from Audi Tradition and the car was fully stripped back to bare metal and resprayed in its original colour. The resulting invoice for this work totals more than £11,600. 

Now in splendid condition, the car was featured on the Quattro Owners Club stand at the London Classic Car Show in 2018, which was only its second time in public for 20 years. It was also magazine featured in 1991 in an article about the early right-hand drive Quattro’s.

Now showing 71,853 miles on the odometer, the history file includes the most recent invoices whilst in our vendors care, full photographic records of the respray, some old MoTs and an Instruction Manual. Supplied with a UK V5c for its original registration ‘TOC 658Y’, it be will MoT’d prior to the sale.  Rarely do opportunities such as this present themselves and this early pre-production Quattro is now ready to start the next chapter of its life.