1986 Audi Sport Quattro
The most exciting and collectible Audi of all time
Extremely well-preserved and maintained example
One of only 10 examples made for the U.S. market – one of 164 street examples worldwide
Extensive mechanical servicing and concours preparation performed by Canepa
300+ horsepower, 240lb/ft+ of torque from its 2.1-liter turbocharged engine
Brought to the U.S. to promote Pikes Peak in 1986, then federalized for U.S. road use
Audi’s famous homologation street car for Group B racing
In 1982, the World Rally Championship introduced Group B racing, allowing manufacturers to create modified sports cars to enter the worldwide rally circuit. The most famous, Group B attributed to sparking the creation of some of the most powerful and fastest rally cars ever built, with some cars seemingly defying physics and producing power levels into the stratosphere. Group B also required that at least 200 road going units, or homologation cars, to be produced in order for that model to participate in rallying. When Audi introduced the Sport Quattro, it changed the rally landscape forever.
This exceptional example was produced at the Audi factory on June 19th, 1985. This is one of the rarest versions of the road-going Sport Quattros, as it is one of the original 10 examples destined for the U.S. market out of all 164 street cars delivered of the total of 214 cars produced. These 10 cars were imported and federalized by the Porsche/Audi factory. Ten Sport Quattros were brought over to the 1986 Pikes Peak Hill Climb to promote the Sport Quattros. Audi looked for high-profile individuals in order to sell the cars here in the U.S. Once the hill climb race was over, the 10 cars were federalized to meet U.S. specifications and then sold to individuals that Audi deemed special enough to own the Group B homologation car. The first owner of this car kept it close to two years and had the car serviced at the same dealership in Dublin, Ohio, with its last noted service in the owner’s manual showing 15,881 miles.
The car would go into hiding for almost 16 years, making its return to the public at The Auto Collection in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2004, showing only 19,000 miles according to prior sources. In October of 2004, Gary Gaska, a longtime resident of Oregon, purchased the car and made it a part of his small car collection. His collection, while small, consisted of two cars that he enjoyed and took care of with the utmost enthusiasm and respect. The Sport Quattro was his pride and joy, keeping it stored indoors during his ownership as evidence of how well preserved this car is today.
In 2012 Gary was attending the Pebble Beach Concours and was spotted by someone, eventually asking if he could buy the car from him. The Sport Quattro was not for sale, but the same person kept pursuing Gary, checking in on him and the car and waiting for the right moment. Finally, after months of talking, Gary was convinced and paired with an offer he couldn’t refuse, and the determined individual became the third owner of this Sport Quattro.
The search for this Sport Quattro by the current owner was not done quickly by any means. He went far out of his way looking for a perfect example that was extremely original and unmolested, an extremely rare state for Sport Quattros. After finding and examining 5 different examples of Sport Quattros, he determined that this was the finest example that he had ever seen. Well cared for, extremely original and in excellent condition, it checked all the boxes for what he considered the perfect Sport Quattro. After he acquired the car, he had the car evaluated to see what work might be needed. He had the fluids changed and minimal work was needed to start driving the car often and drove it for a few years. After being in his collection for some time, he decided that a visit to Canepa was in the Sport Quattro’s next major step for the ultimate mechanical refresh and preservation restoration.
When the Audi arrived at Canepa, he worked closely with Bruce Canepa to ensure that the vision he had was correctly conveyed. The priority was to keep everything as original as possible, from surfaces to parts to even the smallest finishes. With that in mind, the project began and would turn this Sport Quattro from a great example into perhaps one the finest in existence today.
The Quattro was first given a comprehensive and lengthy mechanical inspection, checking and testing each system ensuring that it was operating in the way the Audi factory would have intended. During the federalization process, some extra components were added to the car to ensure that the car passed emissions. This “piggyback” system was not allowing the Audi to reach its full potential and was promptly removed, with the intent to return the car back to original specifications. During mechanical inspection, it was decided to remove the engine from the car and give the inline-5 turbocharged engine a full rebuild with new parts to boost power a bit. This lengthy process involved new pistons, a very slight overbore, along with a full rebuild the entire engine that yielded a Sport Quattro engine full of power and eager to rev.
With the engine out of the car, Canepa took the opportunity to give the Sport Quattro an extremely detailed and sympathetic concours preparation and detailing inside and out. After spending over 3 days removing every single bit of grime from underneath the car, all of the original factory Audi finishes were revealed. Original plating, paint finishes and hardware gleamed with a shine that only comes from original factory spec coatings and finishes. This only added to the fact of how well taken care of this car was with 33,200 miles at the time. Everything else on the car was detailed with the same attention to detail. The all-original interior was delicately cleaned in order to preserve the factory materials, and the exterior paint was polished to such a perfect finish that it may have been better than when it left the factory in 1985. The spare wheel and tire were cleaned, noting that the tire on the wheel was original and had never been removed from the rim. With the entire car now perfectly detailed, the freshly-rebuilt engine was mated back to the car and assembled together. With everything finished and buttoned up, it was given a proper testing which included a trip to Canepa’s dyno. With Canepa’s work completed to the tune of over $140,000, the mechanically perfect and cosmetically concours-detailed Sport Quattro was now ready to be enjoyed by its owner.
Enjoying the Sport Quattro was an easy task for the collector, citing that after the work Canepa had done that it was running the best it had ever has. He drove the car close to 1,000 miles over a year and enjoying the fruits of the labor put into the car, before making the hard decision of letting it leave his collection. Becoming more involved with his vintage Porsche collection with more cars on the way, the Audi Sport Quattro was the outlier in his collection and knew that a Group B collector would enjoy this car in their collection.
Now offered at Canepa, this properly sorted 1985 Audi Sport Quattro is a true piece of legend. Being one of the original 10 cars imported to the U.S. market, with only 3 owners and having a comprehensive mechanical overhaul and cosmetic refreshing, it is the cream of the crop of Sport Quattros. Able to be enjoyed in the way that it was meant to be, this Sport Quattro will reward its next owner in its pure driving experience, direct lineage to Group B rallying, while knowing that this is possibly the finest example in existence today.
About the Sport Quattro:
As a massive manufacturer, Audi has no issue with producing the required 200 street-legal examples in order to participate. Audi would eventually end up producing 214 examples for the road, making them one of the most collectible and most exciting Audis of all time. With its 2.1-liter inline-5 turbocharged engine, 5-speed manual transmission and Audi’s own Quattro all-wheel-drive system, the car was a performance sensation on and off the road. The road car was capable of a 4.9-second 0-60 time, a quick time even in modern times. One of the most obvious identifiers is the shorter wheel base, designed for better turn in during rallying, along with the larger boxed fender flares and front headlights. With its design responsible for countless rally wins, the Audi Sport Quattro is by far the most famous Group B rally racer.
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