Itís fairly well known on PH that I have a fondness for older cars, and while the RS4, RS6 and other later RS models certainly impress me, it is this frankly ridiculous version of the Audi 80 that is my all-time favourite. I remember reading features in magazines saying that it was an absolute hooligan - a Labrador-carrying Porsche beater. Autocar even reported that it was faster to 30mph than a McLaren F1.
That was about to change as in the space of a few hours, I had decided to buy the car on display at the show. I hadnít driven it, I hadnít researched the market and I didnít know how much it would cost to insure. But after a sleepless night thinking about it, I waited on the Parva stand until owner Chris arrived and gave him £500 deposit with the words Ďtake this before I change my mindí. And that was that. A small amount of negotiating later and I bought the car for £16,250. Now, Iím under no illusion that this is at the top end of the price bracket, but this is no ordinary RS2.
Insurance is reasonable at £650 through Adrian Flux with a 5,000 mile PA restriction. Some may consider a limited mileage policy a bad idea but when you consider that I am a 35-year-old living in London with zero no claims bonus and the Audi is insurance group 20 it made sense, and I can always extend it if needed.
After the paperwork was completed, I was on my way with a 120 mile journey home ahead of me. The car was so tight and solid with barely a creak coming from the interior as I drove towards the motorway, I couldnít stop myself from saying Ďthey donít make them like this anymoreí. The gearbox has the precise clunkiness of most Audis from this period and the steering is absolutely wonderful, but one thing was worrying me. Why couldnít I warm up? It was them I realised that I was absolutely charged with adrenalin and my legs were shaking with excitement and nothing to do with the heater. How often can you say that about a new car?
So with some trepidation and plenty of heat in the engine I floored the accelerator, firstly in 5th gear. After 3500rpm it literally hunkered down and shot off with the most glorious five-cylinder soundtrack. I had gone from 80 to 120 in no time at all, and far from starting to run out of puff, it was still pulling as strongly as it had done from 80.
It made me laugh out loud and I was in the car on my own at the time. In fact I think I said a few swear words too. So what would happen if I slowed down and did the same in third and fourth? You can guess the rest, but lets just say I was thankful I was on a private road :wink:
Iíll continue to write about my life with N1 AGM, and as I am a normal guy who will have to juggle running and maintenance costs to keep this car in the same fine fettle lavished on it by the previous owners. I certainly donít have a bottomless pot of cash at my disposal so life with a Porsche fettled, 300+bhp, 4wd Audi could prove interesting, not least to my bank manager.
Coming home the other night in my old 190E, I noticed a note on the windscreen and feared the worst. Had someone crashed into it? Fortunately not, it was a neighbour who wanted to buy it. He wants first refusal on it if I ever sell it. If things get too expensive at least I have a contingency plan, and it's nice to know that others appreciate my choice of car.
Speaking of the 190E, after spending £700 on a car I bought for £650 I now have a perfect little Benz. I was going to sell it, but instead i've decided to keep it alongside the RS2 to use for running about in to save using the Audi all of the time. In fact, I can see it fitting into my life for a long while yet, it's a cracking little thing.