1981 AUDI QUATTRO
Registration Number: WNV 77W
Chassis Number: WAUZZZ85ZBA900504
- Very early LHD Volkswagen Audi Group UK import
- Four registered owners from new
- Original service documentation
To find the origins of the quattro (note the discreet lower case q), one must place themselves in the Audi R&D team in the winter of 1976‑77. A group of Audi engineers conducted test drives of new proposed models in the deep snow in Sweden. An Audi Iltis came along to offer a comparison, the Iltis being Audi’s basic military offering, an all-terrain vehicle with a lowly 75bhp. The iltis easily skipped the more powerful Audis on the Swedish slopes, thereby raising an eyebrow or two amongst the development team.
Audi’s quattro technology was based on a hollow shaft through which power flowed in two directions, sending half of the power along the propshaft to the rear axle, whilst transferring the other half to the front axle’s differential. This hollow shaft produced a light, compact four-wheel-drive system, without the need for a heavy transfer case or second propshaft. This made the quattro concept suitable for sporty automobiles, and high-volume production.
Pre-production ur-quattros were in development as early as 1978, with this revolutionary design being launched to the world at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4, 1980. UK orders started from March 1981, all in left-hand drive, and with four individual headlights instead of the two larger ones seen on later cars. Right-hand drive production started in October 1982, with Audi’s four-seater costing Range Rover kind of money. Originally planned for only low-volume production, high demand led to the Ur‑quattro being produced and developed further until finally bowing out in 1991.
Imported at the start of 1981, assigned with a Northamptonshire number as was often the way for vehicles imported via V.A.G. in Milton Keynes, this very early LHD Audi Quattro was first registered to Jack Barclay European of London on 3rd March 1981, finished in Diamond Silver Metallic with a Dark Brown striped velour interior.
Presumably originally a dealer demonstrator, the Audi changed hands from Jack Barclay to a Mr. Carter in February 1982, then to a Mr. Chapman later the same year, and finally to its last registered keeper, Mr. Howard, from February 1992. Servicing and maintenance bills run to the late 1990s, after which we presume the Audi has been stored awaiting restoration.
Looking through the original Audi service book pack, we can see the quattro was serviced pre-delivery on 9th March 1981, again at 4,753 miles only two months later, and through to the mid 1980s. Later servicing appears to have been taken care of by either Quattro specialists such as Quatro Sports, or by local garages. Aside from servicing work, there is an invoice in the file for a rebuild of the Quattro’s cylinder head, and fitting of a new clutch. Although since having been stored for many years, recently our vendor cleaned the fuel system, a new fuel pump was fitted, and the car started immediately and settled to a steady idle, and was able to be moved around the confines of the owner’s premises.
The Quattro now shows 103,000 miles on odometer.
Offered as a full restoration project, this very early and extremely rare example is complete with original service books, older service bills and MoT certificates, original Pioneer radio/cassette, current V5C and older registration documents.