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Re: To get/not to get: Audi 90 Quattro

>Yesterday I test drove a 1988 Audi 90 Quattro(four door) and I
>have a few questions. I would be interested in any of your 
>comments/experiences (I currently own a 85 Coupe GT).

I went from a 87 GT to a new Coupe Quattro.
The first thing I noticed was the difference in performance,
the GT is a much lighter car, and tends to go faster off
the line, but my new car has more muscle in the high-end
(it has 4 valves per cylinder, however).

>The car had 110k km, leather interior, lots of chip damage to the front,
>cracked headlight and a leaking/rusty A/C condenser.

Sounds like when the warrenty ran out (3year / 50K mi [80k KM]), 
this person decided to "let it run to the ground and sell"
instead of getting things fixed. 

I would be careful about this car. If you're buying from an Audi dealer, 
they will provide a warrenty (in the US they do this) for 6 months/ 
6,000 miles (9,600 KM). If you're buying from a non-Audi dealer or
private seller, be extra careful... unlike an Audi dealer, they will
not care if you're happy or not after the sale.

>The test drive was ok, the ABS worked fine and the engine revved
>freely. When exceeding 100km/h it was quite noisy (engine/wind noise)
>and it seemed to vibrate slightly (but not in the steering 
>wheel) it had winter tires. 

Could need a wheel balance/rotation. What are the condition of
the "summer tires"??? Do you need to replace them? If so,
subtract the cost of 4 new tires to the asking price!

>The suspension was worn, with excessive dive
>and sway also made a clunking sound when abruptly pressing and quickly
>releasing the gas pedal(worn struts??). Could the vibration be caused by the 
>worn suspension? I hear its quite expensive to change the shocks on these four
>wheel drive cars. How much?

I don't know, but I assume a LOT more than compare to your GT!
Find out via a local Audi dealer and subtract this off the asking
price also!

>The engine looked like a modern version of my 85 coupe engine.
<It seemed to have less torque than my car, but would rev higher/cleaner.
>Is there any difference in the two engines? Does it make more power?

You have a 110hp 5cyl, correct? I believe the 1988 90 Q has the
same engine as my old "special ed" 87 GT: 130 hp.
As you said, it has less torque, but revs higher.
Overall, it will feel slower due to the increased weight of
the car (vs. your GT).

>He was asking 13,000 CAD(inc. tax), is this a fair price?

That's $11,000 US, correct?
That's a fair price IF the car was in GOOD condition.
A new 1992 90 Q w/leather goes for approx $25,000 US
(give or take). Over 3-4 years, the car should be about
40-50% of it's original value, so the seller is in the ball park.

However, from what you describe, the car sounds far less than "good".

Ask for the service records and look them over carefully.
See if the seller performed the scheduled maintenance.
Also see if there was a history of problems with any
one particular part (ex. the power windows kept failing).
If the seller "lost" his records, or if you see a lot of
problems outside of the norm, walk away.

If all seems o.k., I would offer $9,000 US (10,500 CAD).
Tell the seller that 4 new summer tires, a wheel balance/rotation,
and a strut/shock job, plus the paint chips, cracked headlight
($150 US to replace), and A/C repair will cost a lot,
and since you didn't do the damage, you shouldn't have to pay
for it.  If the seller tells you it's "normal wear and tear",
tell the person that this car has A LOT of "wear and tear" 
for only 3+ years (my previous 4 year old GT had some chips and 
needed a 60,000 mile maintenance check, that's it). 
Tell the seller that's your offer, period. If the seller does not 
come down in the price, walk away. You can always find another 
quattro, but the seller may not be able to find another serious 
buyer, especially these days!

Good Luck!

	- dave t.