How Rebuilding A 650-HP Audi Quattro Coupe Helped This Veteran Cope With PTSD

Illustration for article titled How Rebuilding A 650-HP Audi Quattro Coupe Helped This Veteran Cope With PTSD

While we all know that a project car is a source of peace and comfort for many, it can also be a salve for PTSD. Especially if it’s a 1991 Audi Coupe Quattro turned up to 650 horses.


Nathan Scott was a medevac pilot in the military. His unit was responsible for picking up the wounded. “The military pushed me into realms I was very uncomfortable with,” he said. “Getting shot at is an unnatural feeling. When somebody is hell-bent on trying to kill you, and you’re out there trying to save people’s lives… it changes your life… it changed my aspect on life.”

In an email, an Integrated Engineering (and Audi and Volkswagen tuner) spokesman told Jalopnik that Scott was a longtime Audi enthusiast and had a B5 S4 when he was stationed in Germany, which he brought back the United States after leaving active duty in 2010.

Scott decided that he wanted a five-cylinder Audi and found a 1991 Audi Coupe Quattro, which he traded the S4 in for when returned home.

Unfortunately, he also found that he was suffering from severe PTSD. The car became a blessing. “The car enabled me to focus on something internally,” he said.

The car required a full rebuild, which is exactly the project that Scott needed in his life. He needed something that he could throw himself into, something that would soothe and calm him and help with the PTSD he was suffering.

Scott’s Audi makes 650 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque—which sounds like more than enough for ripping through space-time. Integrated Engineering helped him with the parts and he bought new pistons and rods. Driving it is indescribable.


You can read more about Scott’s story on the Integrated Engineering blog and check out the video. It’s kind of an advertisement for them, but who cares, it’s still a great story.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.



I’m glad to hear stories like this. I’ve been trying to pursue a similar goal (fixing/restoring a car) in the hopes it’d help me with my depression, though sadly life has gotten in the way.

Getting help is always very important but also having a worthwhile hobby, especially a creative one, can really help with this sort of thing. It can be a great form of escape and can lead to better experiences and learning new skills to build confidence.