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Old-School 4000 Quattro, Part 1

posted by on 11 February 2011 in Project

Anyone who reads kilometer regularly has no doubt noticed one name pops up frequently on the by-line of most of our Audi articles — George Achorn. Now, we’re all dyed-in-the-wool Euro enthusiasts here, but George is our own in-house Audi savant. He loves them deeply, which is even more evident in his commitment to running, kilometer’s sister site dedicated to Audi enthusiasts that he founded nearly seven years ago. And what would an Audi enthusiast site be without a project car?

Several years back, before family priorities refocused his spare time, George picked up a 1984 4000 S quattro in the hopes of building an homage to the dream car of his youth. At 250 bucks, how could he go wrong? He dug in immediately, stripping the car’s trim in preparation for a future paintjob, which would be the foundation for a whole host of cosmetic and performance upgrades that would surely follow in short order. Ah, the optimism of a new project.

In his own words, George says, “I began to amass a horde of cool parts in order to complete the build. Euro lights and both BBS and Kamei chin spoilers were sourced from eBay Germany. Recaro seats much like those in the Sport quattro were picked up from a Long Island Porsche owner who’d listed them on eBay. An Audi Sport steering wheel from a 20-valve Ur quattro was nabbed out of the UK. A set of Fuchs rally wheels popped up on and I grabbed them right away. I even picked up a drivable beater of a ’91 200 quattro 20-valve as a likely engine donor.”

Just as all the parts were rolling in, a baby girl came along and changed everything. The partially disassembled 4000 was quietly pushed to the corner of the garage, along with all the goodies that would eventually make it cool again. Discussions about the project would come up from time to time, but it was largely starting to look like a pipedream. At one point last fall he even listed it for sale, and it was the conversations he had with prospective buyers that prompted a bad case of seller’s remorse. In the end, he pulled the ad and decided it was time to get serious about building the car he’d been envisioning for the last five or six years.

Life has settled down a bit, even with two daughters, and George’s rekindled desire to build an ‘80s-fabulous quattro is red-hot right now. He recently sourced a few of the key bits he was lacking, including the hard-to-get Euro-spec bumpers that the Giugiaro-designed body so desperately deserves. The plans are to build a largely period-correct tuner car, with what George likes to call an “OEM+” treatment. The upgrade list will include a five-bolt wheel conversion to mount the Fuchs rally wheels, a big brake upgrade from the VW/Audi factory parts bin, a more aggressive aftermarket suspension, European bumpers and lights, one of the two aftermarket chin spoilers, the Audi Sport steering wheel, and the Recaros retrimmed in brown leather.

We’re eager to see where this goes, if only so we can stop giving the G-man grief about his aging project. We have his assurances that the next installment will come along soon — like within the next five or six years for sure.

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