1991 Audi 200 Quattro Avant: Heartbreaker

1991 Audi 200 Quattro Avant

Every now and again, I like to stick my head into the auction site Copart for some hidden gems. Mostly, you expect to find a car or two that may be appealing on some level, but overall, you can understand how it ended up on a salvage auction site. Then, there are cars that have no right languishing in a salvage yard, even with some modest damage. At Barn Finds, we were left scratching our heads over a seemingly-clean Buick Grand National that looked mere inches away from being a daily driver; well, this next one made me wince even more: a 1991 Audi 200 Quattro turbo wagon that’s been poked in the rear and slapped with a salvage title. Will this rare beast survive the scrap heap?

1991 Audi 200 Quattro Avant Engine

You don’t need to venture too deep into Google to see the level of praise heaped on this bullet train of a wagon. It’s 1 of 200 ever imported and they were only ever sold with the 5-speed manual. It’s got all the credentials of a gearhead’s ultimate chariot: three pedals; a 20V, inline-5 cylinder turbocharged engine; the rareness of a wagon variant; and Quattro all-wheel drive. It’s the ultimate anything – track support vehicle, winter-capable hauler, country club chariot, and even HPDE-friendly if you’re so inclined to track the thing. With push-button ABS and a manually-locking rear diff, the Avant packed the features we still lust over in budget supercars like the WRX STI, except in a far more exclusive package.

1991 Audi 200 Quattro Avant Damage

So, it is just the features list that makes me sad for this Audi’s status? No, not at all. It’s an extremely hard car to find in any condition. With 200 made, you can be sure even fewer exist today. Given their popularity in snowy climates, one can only imagine how many have succumbed to rust, and due to the mechanical complexity, I’m guessing more than a few have ended up languishing next to a mechanic’s shop or given to the local charity. This particular example looks like it was absolutely loved before getting punted in the rear: pristine bodywork, clean interior with strong leather and wood accents, a stain-free engine bay; upgraded European lighting and tasteful aftermarket Borbet wheels.  Even more shocking is that the owner didn’t buy it back, given most of these cars reside in the hands of enthusiasts.

Audi 200 Quattro Avant

With 217 bhp on tap, the 200 could hit 60 in the sub-7 second range. The quarter mile was eclipsed shortly thereafter, all while the driver was cosseted in heated leather seats. With a top speed of somewhere around 150, the 200 was well-suited for highway duty. But maintenance costs, particularly finicky electrics and the clever-but-expensive UFO brakes, limited their chances at living on for generations like the ubiquitous Mercedes W123 and the few on the road today are owned by a select group willing to endure the expense of living with an older luxury vehicle. If we have any bodywork experts reading, I’d love to hear your opinion on whether this rare variant can be repaired or if it’s destined for parting out. There’s already a few bids registered – fingers crossed it returns to the road.


  1. Jason

    Looks good! Frame damage?

  2. jim s

    this is not a body on frame car, but unless there something unsafe about the damage i would drive as is. however i think it is being bid up for its parts.

  3. Jeff Lavery

    Probably will be sold for parts but I’m hopeful someone watching is looking to rebuild it.

  4. Alan (Michigan)

    Rebuild what?
    Sure, someone could repair that rear fender, and whatever else got crinkled a little, but that would not be immediately necessary, would it? I say, buy it, make sure nothing is flopping around/unsafe, and Drive It!
    Over at BF, all I read is “patina this, patina that”… I say that a “Screeee…..Crunch….. Owie” as minor as what I see here equates to “Instant Custom Bodywork Driver Patina”

    200? Really? That alone makes this otherwise clean looking example too desirable to preserve than to part out. Leave that for the rust buckets or the really wrecked. Yea, I am surprised that the owner did not buy it back too. That says something?

  5. Tirefriar

    The right 1/4 is pushed in pretty good. Look at the right rear door gap – how it closed up. I’m pretty certain that additional damage to rear body panel and floor have occurred. Yes, it will need a frame or more correctly, structural repairs. To do it right, the car should go on the jig bench or at least a frame machine. It’s more damage than appears. Too bad, this is perhaps one of my favorite Audi models of all time, especially being a stick.

    • Jeff Lavery

      Agreed – I hadn’t noticed the door before but can now see it. Serious work required, which is why the previous owner likely threw in the towel. Still – such a freaking shame!

  6. wespeed3

    it’s twin is on Bozeman Mt.- craigslist right now…

    • Jason


      • Jeff Lavery

        I was wondering the same thing!

  7. David Guerra

    Did you buy this rare avant? Too bad I’m so far away to consider traveling to purchase this Avant but I would do it if I find a local ad.


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