Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Audi has the weirdest disc brakes you’ve ever seen. Let’s see if this rare Quattro wagon’s price also has what it takes to put the clamps on your wallet.
Have you ever thought about something that is “past its prime?” Maybe it’s that questionable quart of milk at the back of the fridge. Are you going to sniff it or just leave it there for somebody else to deal with? It’s a conundrum. Past its prime is also an apt way to describe yesterday’s 1987 Plymouth Gran Fury .
Now, I don’t mean that specific car, mind you. It was in terrific shape for what it represented. The issue was with the model in general, a ‘70s hold over that, by the time our candidate ’87 was built was living on borrowed time.
That made it a mediocre car in many ways and condition aside, that influenced the opinion on its $5,450 price. In the end, 57 percent of you voted with your heart giving the Plymouth a rock solid Nice Price win. But for the grace of god go I, right?
About the same time the Gran Fury was fading from the public consciousness another auto manufacturer—Audi—was considering leaving the U.S. market too. The Volkswagen luxury brand had been heavily wounded by a misguided 60 Minutes news exposé in 1986, one that implied their cars to be unsafe. After that, sales went into a tail spin resulting in Volkswagen seriously considered pulling the plug.
It’s a good thing they didn’t. If they had we would have been denied such cool cars as this 1991 Audi 200 20V Avant Quattro.
Now, I’m just going to come out and say that I want this Audi 200 Avant like nobody’s business, so I’m a little biased here. This is a rare beast as fewer than 150 200 Avants made it to U.S. shores. There’s probably a good deal fewer still left on the road. That’s too bad as it’s a crackling bit of kit.
Under the long hood of the 200 sits Audi’s 20-valve 3B engine. That’s an inline five which, if you’re good at math, will prove to have 4 valves per pot. The 2.2-litre mill was good for 217 horsepower, a number that may not seem impressive today, but was comparable to what the Mustang GT of the era was putting out. Behind the the hot-to-trot five sat Audi’s five speed stick and a Gen-2 Quattro AWD system with locking center diff.
It’s the brakes however, that are this Audi’s real conversation starter. The fronts are discs, but not your typical externally-clamped units. No, they are comprised of donut-shaped rotors, mounted to a flying saucer that is in turn bolted to the hub. An inverted caliper clamps the rotor from the inside. Yep, FREE-KAY!
Why would Audi do this? Well, this was back before the heyday of DUBS and to provide adequate stopping force, Audi needed to fit bigger brakes inside their standard wheels and arches. The resultant inverted “UFO” brakes provided greater swept area but still fit within a standard 15-inch wheel.
Those wheels here are BBS baskets and the UFOs behind them are claimed in the ad to be new. Also newish are the Michelins that wrap around them. The wheels do show some war wounds.
The rest of the 158,000 mile Avant looks comparable. Based on the pics in the ad and on the seller’s Imgur page it presents as clean and without major fault. There are a couple of disappointing dings on the back, beneath the full-width tail light panel, but they’re not too bad.
The silver paint still holds its shine and the headlamps are free from any major miasma.
The interior continues the same theme, with sport bucket seats wrapped in serviceable leather and some of the nicest wood trim you’re likely to find. Cadillac seat controls and HVAC are fun additions, and yes they are factory. Perhaps the only majorly glaring element here is a silver-faced head unit in the dash. A nice Grundig or Blaupunkt would be a good upgrade.
The seller says the car is “in great shape.” The engine bay seems to bear this description out, although there is an aftermarket intake hose in there and the plastic cap covering the plug well has gone missing. The rest looks factory and laudably tidy. No word on when the timing belt was done last, but in this generation of big Audi you at least don’t have to take off the entire nose to tackle the job.
The asking price is $6,200 and as I noted, if it were within driving distance to me, I’d be asking my wife if we could add it to our collection. She’d say no, of course. After all, we already own a silver Audi Avant, albeit not one as rare or desirable as this one.
What you need to decide is whether or not anyone else should follow my wife’s lead. What do you think, is this 200 worth that $6,200? Or, is this an avant with a price that puts you on guard?
H/T to MattDeZ for the hookup!
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