Ah yes, a left field choice this week, the Audi A2. Very few of these aluminium-bodied futuremobiles have been sucked into our £1,500-or-less Shed of the Week black hole. In fact there have been just two in the last decade, a 2002 1.4 petrol in 2014 and a 2001 1.4 diesel in 2016.
Today, with the inflationary effects of world events, the half-decent three-figure A2 is as distant as ever. Even when you cast your gaze beyond PH Classifieds, MOT'd A2s very rarely appear for less than £1,000. The ones that do are almost always Cat C or N. £1,500 seems to have become the default entry price for examples that you wouldn’t mind being seen dead in. Some are being advertised for £3,500 and more. Anything that might conceivably sell for less than the proverbial bag of sand doesn’t, because it has been written off.
As proof of sorts, let’s examine the fates of those other two Shed of the Week A2s. The 2002 petrol one from SOTW in 2014 disappeared from UK roads sometime after its final MOT test in 2016, by which point it had done a creditable 177,000 miles. The 2001 diesel A2 from 2016 vanished sometime in the year after September 2019, when it passed its last MOT test with just over 141,000 miles covered.
Of course there is a third option, which is that happy A2 owners aren't selling them. This is quite possible. Shed himself ran a very early 1.4 diesel A2 for a while. Overall he liked it for its differentness, its economy and its unusual spaciousness for the footprint. It was surprisingly able on faster roads too, attracting a speeding fine on the A303 when Shed thought he was simply bumbling along at the NSL. Turns out he wasn't.
The only A2 features he wasn't so keen on were the leg pains he suffered while driving, and the single arm windscreen wiper. The leg thing first. This was to do with the A2’s unusual spaciousness. Shed always called his A2 the 'tin louse'. The height seemed out of proportion to the length somehow. The verticality of its interior space gave it the ability to accommodate five big lads. Only if they all sat to attention, mind. You had to sit bolt upright in an A2.
At knocking on for six feet Shed is only middlingly tall, but it was physically impossible for him to straighten out his knee joints while behind the wheel. He remembers being maddened by the need to stop every half an hour or so for leg-straightening breaks in order to get the circulation back into his lower extremities. We can’t tell you any more on this because Shed is minded to preemptively sue Audi for any long term leg damage that might affect him in later life.
Wipers aren't something you often see mentioned as a point of ongoing aggravation on any car, but the A2 wasn't just any car. Pre-2003 models like Shed's had what in A2 circles is generally called a 'hook' arm. 2003-on cars like our shed went to a 'floppy' or aero design. Shed doesn't know or care about any of this. All he knows is that whenever he stopped in the rain the wiper used to hit the A-pillar hard enough to make the whole car shake. He never got used to it.
Anyway, getting round to this week’s shed, a well-specced 1.4 SE, she presents nicely as car dealers used to say. Some blackness has been chipped off the rear window spoilerette but the main blue paint still looks fresh and there are no obvious bodywork flaws. You can’t say the same about the hard touchpoints in the cabin, most of which are pretty heavily scarred, suggesting that previous owners may have included people who were heavily into rings, like Bobby George or Johhny Depp.
As we speak in June, the car has done 139,000 miles, which is what it had done at the date of its MOT in February. The suggestion there being that the last owner got bored of it, or of life itself. Whatever, the vendor is offering a fresh ticket on sale to go with the service history and, to quote from the ad, the ‘perfect’ engine, suspension and gearbox. A bold claim. Shed remembers making a similar mistake many years ago when hard-selling a Ford Cortina to the only villager who turned out to be brave enough to stand up to him. Even now, forty-odd years later, Shed is still having the cross the road to avoid him.
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