We keep thinking the cool barn finds have been found already, but they just keep coming. The latest automotive artifact unearthed that caught our attention is this incredible 1982 Audi Quattro barn find recently unearthed after 30 years in an English barn. The owner locked it away over 30 years ago for some unknown reason until its recent discovery. The Audi Quattro barn find is currently listed for auction.
Audi Quattro barn find
We still don’t know much about the mystery Audi Quattro barn find seen here, but thanks to a TV presenter and barn find sleuth, Jonny Smith, from the Late Brake Show, the car was unearthed from its tin shed tomb and is now heading for a better life.
It seems likely that if Smith hadn’t found this exceedingly cool and rare 80s rally car, then it would have remained locked away for longer.
Smith’s YouTube show dramatically showed us the moment most car nerds dream about; opening up a crusty, locked garage door to find the beautiful, dust-incrusted paint of a European sports car. It simply doesn’t get better than this.
What is so special about the Audi Quattro?
Among many other words you could use to describe the first-gen Audi Quattro, one of the most appropriate is “revolutionary.” The Quattro had several strange, interesting, and ground-braking features that would instantly upend the rally racing world.
According to Silodrome, the Quattro’s interesting turbocharged Audi five-cylinder engine and the advanced all-wheel drive system gave the Audi command over any road surface: mud, ice, snow, pavement, dirt, gravel, and anything else that four wheels can tread. The realization that rocketed the Quattro into the stratosphere was that power wasn’t the key to speed; traction is.
This multi-surface domination directly translated to the overwhelming success of the model in rally racing. The Audi Quattro hit the scene with its turbocharged five-cylinder making 200 hp. While that might not seem like much, offroad, it’s plenty. Even though some competitors had more powerful cars, the Quattro’s legendary AWD kept each of the four wheels pulling the car faster by maintaining traction longer and hooking back up sooner.
It’s all in the name
The Audi Quattro might seem more Scandinavian than German, given its rally prowess. However, once you learn how the Germans named the Audi rally car, that all changes. In a cartoonish display of German practicality, the Quattro is often called the Ur-Quattro in Germany. According to Silodrome, the “Ur-” prefix translates to “primordial” or “original.” And, of course, “Quattro” is Italian for “four.” The “original four” is the most German name for a rally car I can imagine.
Are Audi Quattros rare?
In order for rally cars to compete, the OEM must make a certain amount of (often) tuned down, street-legal homologations. This is what we see stashed in this barn. Because Audi only cared to make enough to qualify for racing, Audi only made 11,452 units between 1980 and 1991. Given the off-road nature of the car, many got thrashed, rusted, or obliterated by trying to impersonate the Quattros seen on TV.
This makes this Audi Quattro barn find a special car indeed. It appears largely, if not totally original, and in decent shape, considering the circumstances. Barn finds like this are what keep us coming back for more.
If you are interested in buying or just looking at the Audi Quattro barn find more, check out the auction listing at the Car & Classics site.