It’s easy to write off most German cars as overblown luxury barges that, if cheap enough, are worrisome enough to avoid at all costs. Certainly, I’ve seen many GIs in my day who absolutely had to have a BMW 3-series because it was their “it” car, just to have some of the most serious cases of buyer’s remorse when certain items went belly-up on them and they realized that to play BMW games, you had to pay BMW prices. Small wonder why so many Bavarian burners got turned into drift missiles now, is it?
At least BMWs have an aftermarket and a cult following. Early 1990s Audi products might as well have had the Scarlet Letter spray-painted on the hood. Forget Toyota, this was the origin of the term “unintended acceleration”, when the Audi 5000 entered the press’s eye as the demonically possessed vehicle. Nevermind that there was no tangible link to the 5000 that did have the problem, nevermind that the V8 was an upmarket model that was the flagship and the torch-bearer….Audi just couldn’t seem to get much love in the States thanks to the problem and it took some time for the company to get back some of the public’s trust.
Now, when Forum member “andy30thz” sent me the link to this 1991 Audi V8, he recommended that it be ran as a winter beater. Seeing how we only have a few more days to go until the Spring Equinox hits, that probably isn’t going to help sell the car any unless you are hell-bent on building an ice racer. Instead, let’s look at the overall use of this former luxo-barge. Let’s start with the good: 3.6L 32-valve DOHC V8, the 01E five-speed manual transmission, and Torsen limited-slip differentials in the center and rear axle. It’s four-wheel-drive, has fresh brake lines, a fresh fuel pump, a Megasquirt ECU running the injectors that is working in conjunction with the OEM Motronic unit that directs timing. It’s registered, road-drivable, and will pamper your sorry hide with all of the luxuries (minus the stereo, which is available but is not installed at the moment.)
The bad is on display: the driver’s side front isn’t pretty in the least around the headlight assembly, the flesh-colored paint is one of the worst visuals we’ve seen in a bit of time and you are buying into a German executive saloon that’s pushing pretty close to thirty years old. Maybe it’s just us, but all we’re hearing is “Audi V8 and Quattro”. Rally car? Track-day special? Something batshit crazy to mess with for the Europhile that still loves to have a tire-shredding time? For $3,500, we’d say buy it, clean up the rough edges, give the exhaust any bass that it needs and for the love of everything holy, paint it any other color…hot rod black if you must.