Well, I have been over on the Scirocco forums here at VW Vortex for about a year but have always had love for the 4000 in my heart. I have previously owned a 1984 Coupe GT, 1986 Coupe GT and 1984 4000 S Quattro.
Now I am the proud owner of a 1980 Audi 4000 2Door Sedan. (PICTURES at www.sbfiles.com/audi4000)
The story starts with a Craigslist search about 2 weeks ago. I stumbled upon a listing that referenced an Estate Auction that had an old Audi in it. Further research led me to the AuctionZip listing and a couple of really bad photos. You know, the kind that are just enough to peak your interest but not enough to show squat.
Being a commercial auctioneer and liquidator by profession, I called the auctioneer directly, for more details. It was part of an estate that started in 2008 when granny passed away. I don’t know the details as to why it took until 2011 to have the auction but suffice to say it did. I found out that the Audi was considered to NOT be the prize but instead they pinned all their hopes on the 1991 BMW 325i with 47K miles. I found out that the cars were last driven in 2003 and hadn’t been driven since grandpa had passed away. This was also confirmed by the registrations expiring in 2004. I worked some angles and was able to get a chance to look at the cars and more specifically the Audi, the weekend before the auction.
It was a brisk September morning in the south end of Zanesville, OH and at 8:30AM the garage door went up. It was a single wide but double deep garage and the Audi was stuck in the front and jammed up tight by the BMW. This appeared to be common place by the scuffs on the Audi rear bumper that lined up to the BMW license plate. The Warranty Booklet showed it was a local car that was sold in Zanesville, OH at McHugh VW. That is the dealership where I nearly had a cot in the parts department because I was in there so much during my High School years with my first car, a 1977 Anconia Blue Scirocco turned Tornado Red and somewhere around 200K miles.
After viewing everything but under the hood, because it was in the front of the garage with an over shelf, flat tires and no good way to open the hood, I satisfied myself that it was indeed a one owner car with only 11,305 miles on the clock. The warranty manual and the registrations in the glove box matched as well as a gas station oil change sticker in the driver’s door jam that said the oil was last changed in 1989 with 7900miles on the odometer. I was also assured by the auctioneer that the title provenance passed muster as well. This was later confirmed when I got the title in hand.
Auction day came and I was joined by some friends. Kevin Morrissette from the Columbus Audi Get Togethers (moral support and help if needed), Jeff Melzer from 37 Auto Sales (a good friend and he wanted to buy the BMW) and my favorite independent mechanic Jim Black of Black’s Automotive in Zanesville, OH (I think he wanted a heads up of what might end up at his shop if I got into something I couldn’t wrench myself and he his the author of my favorite car repair quote “A man made it so a man can fix it, as long as he has the right tools and service information.” He has never been afraid of anything foreign or domestic that I take to him and I have taken him so odd stuff over the years.)
The car had been dragged out of the garage by a wrecker because the right rear wheel was locked up. They did wash the cars off with a garden hose and even Armor All’d the tires. This was then the source of my brother’s Facebook post “You know you’re from Zanesville when you Armor All flat tires.”
The auction started with the Audi as the first item. It turned into a d*ck measuring contest with the “Mean Old Bastard”, I WON! This has become my pet name for the guy who ran me up on the bid. All others dropped out by $800 but this guy pushed and pushed until it took $2500 to win. I truly do not believe he had an interest in the car and barely knew what it was but it was his entertainment to mess with people at auctions. Many of the other attendees knew him and grumbled about his presence. There seemed to be a severe lack of positive things to be said about him by the locals. At least I was told that he had the cash to back up his mouth because quite frankly he looked more like a homeless guy than a capable car buyer. I did the bidding and my buddy Jeff ended up with the BMW, so it was a clean sweep for us, though I feel confident I softened up the “Mean Old Bastard” on the Audi because he dropped out of the bidding way earlier, on the BMW with a much higher book value.
With the auction won and the car towed to my father’s garage, where I have my tools, lift and workspace, the real work has just begun.
I went back the next night after the auction and started inspecting and ended up doing more cleaning than anything. I cleaned the windows and detailed the interior as well as started my under the hood inspections. I found where “Mickey & Minnie” had been camping out in the fresh air fan box and likely raised a brood or two of “cheese eatin’ little bastards”. Remarkably the mice did not chew wiring nor enter the cabin of the car. I think it was because all of the vents were closed. Lucky Me!
This weekend I was able to dedicate two half days and managed to remove the stuck brake drum, determine that the cooling system leaked off from a gasket problem around the coolant neck on the head and from around the water pump, replaced the thermostat and O-ring, made sure the motor was free by turning over by hand, changed the oil, investigated the fluidless brake system and did more cleaning. I also drained the fuel tank, hooked up a battery and tried to start the car. I quickly found I had spark, the engine built oil pressure but no fuel delivery. The fuel pump has seized up…
Monday I ordered parts like a drunken sailor from several sources. I hope to get it started this coming weekend as well as work on the brakes.
The brakes are pretty amazing. Even though I don’t trust the rubber components and will be rebuilding calipers, replacing wheel cylinders and master cylinder, it is still way cool that the original pads, rotors, drums and shoes are near perfect with no discernable wear.
I am going to clean up, paint and reuse anything I can vs. replacements. I want to keep it original vs. building a hot sleeper race car. I do have some mild changes in mind that won’t compromise the integrity of the car, like wheels and tires and a NOS Nardi Mahogany steering wheel.
I have my pictures organized by timeline and they can be found at:
Check back for more updates as I get his survivor back on the road.