Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Audi 200 Avant is propane powered, just like a fancy BBQ. The question is, will its price have you saying now we're cooking with gas?
Thar' she blows! Yes, yesterday's 1992 Buick Roadmaster Estate was a bit of a white whale, but that's not to say its 85% Nice Price win was a total fluke. The people who tend to love those old boats the most are the those who grew up rolling around in the back of one of these,rather than behind the wheel and anemic engine.
If however, you'd prefer a wagon that's not quite Nimitz-class in size, then maybe something like today's 1990 Audi 200 Quattro Avant would be more your cup of tea. That is, if you could find another 1990 Audi 200 Avant that was… propane powered. Duh-duh-duuuuuuuh.
Propane is a three-carbon alkane that's a byproduct of natural gas (no, not yours) and petroleum refining. Colorless and odorless it's used for cooking, heating, and blowing up Philly food trucks. In the case of this Audi, it's also used for making funtime in an internal combustion engine.
The Chicago-located seller of this converted VAG Wag emailed me and asked that it make an appearance on NPOCP as he was; (A) Interested in seeing what you all thought of his work and pricing acumen, and; (B) looking to drum up interest in his propane conversion business.
Well, let's have a look at this propane'd wagon to see if it should sell for his asking, and if its gas-passer builder should be set loose on any other rides.
The 200, as you will recall, was a 100 that was twice as good. Well, no, but it was still pretty good. Factory specs for this 200 Quattro were a 162-horse SOHC 2.2-litre inline five with turbo, a 5-speed stick, and full-time AWD via Audi's brand-defining Quattro system.
Now, as we noted, this one has been converted to run on propane which only manages to pack about 73% of the energy as does a comparable volume of gasoline. That means this car, all other things being equal, which they're not, should manage about 118 ponies.
Less power is bad, right? So why go the propane route? Well, for one thing it's typically cheaper than regular unleaded, and for another you can gas up at your friendly ;cal neighborhood U-Haul. Hell, there's probably be a pack of day laborers there to help you out too.
The ad says that the Audi was chosen for the propane conversion because its FI system is mechanical and not run by the car's computer. Yeah, I'm not so sure about that either. The ad also says that the computer has been messed with to allow the turbo to achieve 19 pounds of boost. That will return some of those lost ponies to the corral, but at the cost of the engine's long term prospects.
The gas is held in an under-floor 16 gallon tank and Pete, the seller, says it gets between 250 and 300 miles on a tank. He's been using it as a daily driver for a couple of years, but now wants to sell the car and move on to another project.
The 200 Avant is a pretty rare bird to begin with, there having been only about 6,000 ever built. This one lacks the model-specific rectangular headlights, instead rocking Euro 100 units. Those sit above a bumper that's angled like a happy drunk's smile, and they bookend a grille that has seen better says.
There's no word on any rust on the car, and there's none visible in the pics, so perhaps that's a bullet that's been dodged. Pete wants $2,800 for his car, propane powered and all. What do you think, should he get that? Or, is that price a propane in the ass?
H/T to Pete (the owner) for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.