Audi-badged cars haven’t shown up frequently at classic car auctions. Occasionally, you’ll see examples of the rare and very pretty 100 Coupé but older collectors still see pre-war Horchs and Auto Unions as the definitive collectible Audis. This is changing as the kids who were 13 or so in the early ’80s—and worshipped at the altar of the all-conquering Sport Quattro— are starting to hit their stride in terms of time and disposable income. It all bodes extremely well for the collectability of rare and high-performance Audis from the 1980s on. Here are some of the biggest Audi sales at auction recently (including only one pre-war car):
2001 Audi R8 Le Mans Spyder
$1,038,517 at RM Auctions Monterey, California, USA August 2012
Le Mans prototypes from this era are rarely seen on the market. This particular car was the Joest Racing car that placed first at Jarama in 2001 driven by the legendary Tom Kristensen and co-driver Rinaldo Capello. It placed seventh at Le Mans in 2002. This twin-turbo 610-hp V-8 monster would be just the thing at the next Festival of Speed.
1984 Audi Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupé
$401,500 at RM Auctions Phoenix, Arizona, California, USA January 2015
What a difference a year and a half makes in the market for this very special rally homologation special. Admittedly, the example that RM sold in January was nicer than the Bonhams car from the summer of 2013 (see below), but still, there has been some market movement at work in the interim. It’s a huge sum of money for a 1980s Audi, but Sport Quattros are special and this will no doubt seem like a fantastic investment for the buyer in the near future.
1937 Audi 225 Spezial Cabriolet
$227,947.50 at RM London, September, 2008
This was a nice example of the rarely seen 225 Front series. Interesting and technically advanced cars with front wheel-drive, they were quite pretty and with a 2.2-litre straight six, nearly capably of maintaining motorway speeds today. Few comparable cars have sold since this one, but the number today is undoubtedly in excess of what it was in 2008.
1985 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupé
$191,873 at Bonhams Goodwood, Chichester, September 2013
The Sport Quattro SWB coupé is likely the iconic post-war Audi. The lightweight, short-wheelbase version of the legendary Ur Quattro developed a reported 306 hp and was a shatteringly fast and sure-footed weapons-grade rallye car. Most of what you need to know about the Quattro Sport can be summed up as follows: Michèle Mouton, Walter Röhl and Pikes Peak. The price paid was a hefty one to be sure, but as the children of the 1980s inherit the classic car hobby, cars like this will become the D-types of the era. This will seem like a comically cheap price one day in the relatively near future. If a six-figure purchase isn’t possible for you, scoop up a regular LWB Ur Quattro now while you still can.
2009 Audi R8
$105,029.92 at Gooding and Company Scottsdale, Arizona, USA January, 2011
It’s not often that a car still in production shows up for sale at a posh American catalog sale. But the continued desirability and difficulty obtaining what Jacky Ickx has called the best-handling road car on the planet meant that this Walter de Silva-designed beauty didn’t look at all out of place among the Maserati Ghiblis and Ferrari California Spiders at this sale. The R8 is one of those special cars that is destined to depreciate little and will likely be recognized as an instant classic the day the last one leaves Neckarsulm.