[urq] First URQ in the USA

Peter audionly at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 19:34:28 PST 2008


I had lunch today with Carl Behrer. For those of you not familiar with him
he was the service manager of Prestige Porsche Audi in Denver, Colorado for
over 30 years but more importantly he was the liaison between the "Mother
ship" and the U.S. He has some incredible stories about Audi which he has
shared over the years but today he told me the story of the infancy of the
URQ. He indicated that it all began in the '70's when Volkswagen was
building a military jeep for Germany called the Europa. It contained the
early version of the quattro system. Then it was decided in 1979 to try and
put the quattro system into a regular automobile platform. Carl showed me
pictures from Germany(which at the time he took them were considered top
secret) taken of the underneath view of the first quattro system. It doesn't
look that much different than the first quattro's. Then, in late 1980; they
shipped him the first URQ (Red in color) in the United States for him to
test.  It was intercepted by the president of Audi USA who let his kids
off-road it in the hills around Michigan. Audi AG was furious and told Carl
to go to Michigan and pick it up. My understanding is that it was pretty
beat up by the time they got it and had to do a lot of work on it. At the
time, the city of Breckenridge, Colorado had their police drive Audi 4000's.
They were having trouble with one and they asked Carl to come up from Denver
to take a look at it. He took the URQ when he went.  I don't know how
familiar you are with the town of Breckenridge; but in the late '70s and
early '80s it was struggling both as a town and a ski resort but they did
have skiers. I can remember skiing there during that period and I would say
on the weekends there were at least 2-3000 people on the mountain and I
would guess at least 1000 during the week. OK, your asking why am I telling
you this? Well, Carl saw the mountain slope and decided to see if the
URQ could conquer it!!  B.S. you say?  I would say the same thing but I saw
pictures today proving it true and there are skiers on the mountain to boot.
He was escorted off the mountain by the Breckenridge police; but he said
they were just laughing at/with him. Today, he would be put in jail for that
antic. He says he has the negatives of all these amazing Audi/Porsche
pictures he showed me today. As soon as I get them I will post for your
enjoyment if you would like.


Peter Coulter
obsessive URQ collector

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