The fact that today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Audi is a manual is important, not just because we like manuals, but because its driving dynamics are appreciably different from the auto version. Let’s see if its price has you shouting vive le différence!

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They say time heals all wounds, but perhaps in the case of the Chevy Vega the bruise just runs too deep. That seemed to be the case with last Friday’s 1974 Rally Vega which fell in a 58% Crack Pipe loss despite its amazingly “ice cold” A/C. Based on the comments however, it was in fact the interest in owning a Vega that approached absolute zero.

The Vega earned its crap reputation fairly and squarely, the issues with rust and failed aluminum engines having been well documented over time. In complete contrast, the reputation of Audi was once sullied by a single, poorly conceived and researched, segment of the CBS news program, 60 Minutes.

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The issue of course was unintended acceleration, a problem that we today know to only affect Toyotas with migrating floor mats. 60 Minutes’ 1986 hack job implied that Audis tended to mysteriously barrel off out of control like a kidnapping victim seeing his chance. Sales tanked as a result, and that nearly caused Volkswagen to pull their up-market brand from the U.S. entirely.

That would have been not just a shame, but a damn shame because we would have then been denied cars like this 2008 Audi S4 Cabriolet, which offers gobs of acceleration, all of it intentional.

The S4 is of course based on the A4, in this case the B7 platform. These however were packed to the gills with the 4.2-litre, 40-valve V8. And yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know these engines can be ticking time bombs if not properly (read expensively) maintained.

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That finicky V8 is placed longitudinally over the front wheels and sends its 340-horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through Audi’s vaunted Quattro system. This one happens to be a six-speed stick—a fairly rare option and one that makes an important difference in how the power gets to those four wheels.

If the original purchaser of this S4 had opted for the six-speed Tiptronic box instead of the one that makes you do more of the work, they would have had to contend with a 50/50 torque split between front and rear axles. In the manual-equipped cars that’s changed to a more entertaining 40/60. Let’s see, romper-stomper V8; manual gearbox; and a rear-biased torque split… How do you say pony car in German?

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This pony is black on black on black and has done 111,000 miles to date. The seller says he’s putting it on the market due to an impending addition to the family, and even includes what appears to be a bun-in-the-oven better half in one of the ad’s pics. I say “appears” because I’ve learned to never assume a woman is pregnant unless she’s crowning and people are yelling at her to push. Even then I’m cautious.

The seller sys that the car is in excellent shape both mechanically and aesthetically, and is up to date with its maintenance schedule. There does seem to be some wear noticeable on the driver’s seat, but otherwise the car appears pretty tight with no curbing evident on the alloys or any major boogers in the bodywork. Audi prefers cloth tops over origami metal—god bless ‘em—and the three-layer cap on this S4 seems to still be in fine shape as well.

The car’s not just a performer either, it’s built for both comfort and speed. According to the original window sticker, which the owner has nicely saved, it arrived into this world with just three options: Nav, parking radar, and carbon fiber trim for the interior.

It also came with $1,700 in gas guzzler tax. Yeah, it’s going to like to drink the good stuff so pray it stays relatively cheap.

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This car however, was never cheap. That Monroney sticker says the original MSRP was an eye-watering $64,575. Holy crap, that’s a lot of titties and beer, and that’s before the tax and license had been piled on.

The present asking price on the car is $13,500. That’s about an 80% drop over nine years and brings the car into WTF consideration territory. The title is clean, and the registration is up to date too. That’s probably a minor consideration on a car that will probably require fairly substantial investment ongoing, it’s just the nature of the beast.

Okay though, this guy’s wife is about to drop a kid and he needs to get this Audi out of the driveway before that happens. We need to help him by determining if that $13,500 is a fair price for this drop-top hot Audi.

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What do you think, does that seem like a price that should have buyers intentionally accelerating to scoop it up? Or, should 60 Minutes look into this one too?

You decide!

San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!

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