Old-school rally legends under the hammer

17 March, 2015

Over three decades on from its release, the Audi Quattro is a cult icon for some, and is fondly remembered by many. Why? The Ur-Quattro (‘original’ Quattro) helped four-wheel drive gain traction (sorry) in the mainstream motoring market, and enjoyed considerable success in international motorsport.

Though it shared much of its bodywork and componentry with the Audi 80 coupe, it departed tradition with a four-wheel-drive system and independent-rear-suspension system. The engines offered throughout the Quattro’s life were all turbocharged, in-line five-cylinders, though the original was a single overhead cam (SOHC) in-line five with intercooled turbo, producing 200hp.

The car was a hit with both customers and racers, and won Audi the Manufacturers’ Championship in 1982 and 1984, and the Drivers’ Championship in 1983 and 1984. Audi’s 1983 World Drivers’ Championship was taken out by Hannu Mikkola, in a Group B Quattro, which he had also used in the 1982 Monte Carlo Rally, where he placed second, and the Swedish Rally, where he finished 16th.

This very car has been restored and is now up for auction at Bonhams’ inaugural Members Meeting Sale on March 21, along with a 1985 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupe — understood to be one of the six original cars delivered to the UK. Both cars have estimated values of over £220,000, befitting their status of rallying royalty.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.