Barn again: 1983 Audi Quattro given a new chance at life

The original Audi Quattro has a cult following on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet this example was somehow left alone and untouched for two decades.

Discovered in Seattle, Washington, this classic coupe was clearly in need of some attention. 

Following a successful sale on the Bring a Trailer auction website, this barn-find Quattro is now heading off for a new life on the road.

Barn Find 1983 Audi Ur Quattro

Whilst the term ‘barn find’ may be used a lot, this Quattro was genuinely located in a farm building. The previous owner had stored the Audi in a barn that also housed his flock of sheep!

The Pacific Northwest region of the United States has become a prime hunting ground for car collectors. A milder climate is said to help preserve classic vehicles, especially for those kept inside a garage. Or barn.

It means that beneath 22-years of dirt and grime, the Quattro was found to be relatively well preserved. With just 664 Ur-Quattros estimated to have been sold in the United States, this was clearly a car worth restoring. 

That the Quattro came to rest in Washington state seems almost serendipitous. The 1986 Olympus Rally was held in the region, and would be the last WRC event to allow Group B cars to compete.

Barn Find 1983 Audi Ur Quattro

North American versions of the Ur-Quattro had a number of notable differences from their European counterparts. Chunkier impact-absorbing bumpers were the biggest change, along with the standard fitment of air conditioning and leather seats. 

Beneath the bonnet is the 2.1-litre version of Audi’s five-cylinder turbocharged engine. Lower boost pressure, and emissions tweaks, meant North American models had only 160hp, compared to the 200hp found in European versions. 

Yet the showpiece Quattro four-wheel drive system, complete with locking centre and rear differentials, was left untouched. 

The extra traction offered would likely have been useful in chilly Washington state winters, although this particular car began life in California. It later moved further north to Idaho, before eventually taking up residence near Seattle.

Barn Find 1983 Audi Ur Quattro

The seller of the Quattro performed some minor mechanical restoration after recovering it from the barn. This included a full service of the engine and transmission, plus the replacement of the ignition system. A new performance stainless steel exhaust was also fitted. 

On the inside, the brown leather seats have some cracks and marks, but were left untouched. The dashboard has an aftermarket ABT gauge pod, and has around 130,000 mile on the odometer. 

Beneath the grime, the outside of the Quattro has a number of small dents and rust spots. Given the age of the car this seems reasonable, and would probably be described as ‘patina’ on older vehicles.

Barn Find 1983 Audi Ur Quattro

A set of silver Fuchs 15-inch alloy wheels were added by the seller, and are complemented by the Eibach suspension springs. A larger Treser three-piece rear spoiler had been fitted before, but an original version was also included. 

The auction on Bring a Trailer saw plenty of bids made, along with numerous comments from fans and enthusiasts. A final sale price of $22,500 (£17,400) appears something of a bargain for a usable, and desirable, cult classic. 

We just hope the new owner will have the chance to make use of that famed Quattro ability this winter.


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