Two years before VW rocked U.S. hot hatchlings with their GTI, sister brand Audi was applying the moniker to their three-box fox. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe GTI is totally foxy, but does it come with a price that will make you think it’s a dog?
In Greek mythology the Sirens were beautiful songstresses who would lure travelers to their watery graves. When the Romans usurped the Greeks’ position as the big dogs of the ancient world, they incorporated a lot of Greek culture and lore into their own, including that of the siren song, which in Italy eventually became Alfa Romeo.
Perhaps not so lovely to look at, but still portending possible doom, yesterday’s 1988 Alfa Milano proved to be beautiful music to the ears of 67% of you- or at least its price had you tapping your toes and humming along.
Today we’re going to have you humming a different tune as we’re going BACK to Germany for a Fox hunt.
Daimler Benz purchased controlling share of Auto Union in 1959 with the intent of positioning the marque as an entry-level brand to complement Mercedes. The cost of upgrading the former DKW 2-stroke model range to more refined 4-stokes was costly however, and in 1964 Daimler sold the rights to the name, as well as their Ingolstadt factory to Volkswagen, who was eager to tap into the company’s experience with water-cooled engines, and front wheel drive.
In 1969 VW merged Auto Union with another company they had swallowed whole, NSU, creating the German equivalent of Buick with Audi NSU Auto-Union AG. The first of Audi-branded products, the 100, still evidenced its past Daimler influence, however the next model, and the subject of today’s consideration, was far more NSU than Auto Union.
The progenitor of the Audi 80 was the VW nee NSU K70 model, which along with the larger Audi 100 established the longitudinal engine overhanging the driven front wheels in the way Gerard Depardieu’s schnoz shades his wine hole.
The U.S. never got the K70, Volkswagen instead sending us the ass-engined 411 and 412 models. those were supplanted here by the fastback bodied Dasher, which at the time was the biggest car VW sold in America. Contrastingly, the Dasher’s three box near twin the Audi Fox was the smaller of the four ring marque’s American offerings.
The Fox is notable on several fronts - it’s claimed to have been the first production automobile designed on a computer (Don’t know about that), and it’s also the first VW/Audi model marketed in the U.S. as a GTI.
This 1979 Fox GTI is claimed to have been sleeping for the past seven years. That seclusion was probably the result of the shame the car felt at its asstastically doucheriffic aftermarket interior additions. Fortunately the seller notes that the car comes with the right steering wheel and the shifter and pedal covers are easily banished to the trash.
The three-spoke sport wheel was one of the GTI’s differentiating features, along with more aggressively bolstered sport seats, side stripes, and plastic wheel covers that offered the appearance of alloys over disc brakes.
Mechanically the GTI wasn’t all that different from the regular Fox, sharing the same 1,588-cc 79-horse four and four speed stick. This one is a little more foxy, as it’s claimed to have a 1.8, 100-horse version of the EA827 from an ‘83 VW GTI, and five cogs in the transaxle.
The ad notes that the car does start, But can’t keep its home fires lit so it will require some Sherlocking of the usual suspects - fuel, spark, compression, and timing. Other than that it looks to be in pretty good shape, apparently not being a tinworm condo as is usually the case with these cars, although a beachhead has been established on the front fender.
It’s remarkable just how well the design of the Fox has aged, its angular lines and airy greenhouse having stood the test of time. It’s also remarkable just how light and roomy these cars are, with a factory spec’d weight only a hair over a ton, the cars were reasonably spritely even with only 79 ponies.
You’d kind of have to be a real VAG-hag to get super excited about a Fox GTI project car like this, but it’s still pretty cool to find one in this good of shape. The question of course is how much is an old Audi like this really worth? The seller of this car has already dropped his asking from $2,500 to its current $1,800 price, and while it’s getting some traction on sites like the VWVortex and VWDasher.com, it’s still not selling.
What do you think, is this 1979 Fox GTI right-priced at that $1,800? Or, for that much, should this Audi simply say adieu?
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