Auto NewsIt’s a German modern classic for Wheeler Dealers

It’s a German modern classic for Wheeler Dealers

An Audi Coupe gets some modern updates from Mike and Elvis

A low mileage, one-owner Audi Coupe was the perfect starting point for a Wheeler Dealers project that would involve some clever modifications.

Mike Brewer reckoned that his latest find was the perfect modern classic, and there were plans to carry out a few improvements for modern motoring. The best part was that the 1989 Audi Coupe had covered just 66,000 miles in the hands of its original owner. There was just the matter of a failed MOT, though…

Barry wanted £4700 for the car, and while it was in very sound and original condition the inoperative brake servo was a worry, and a few other jobs needed tackling such as refurbishing the alloy wheels. Still, with a deal done for £3500 it was soon on a trailer and heading back to the workshop.

Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley wasn’t too concerned about the brake problem, and despite worries over sourcing this rare part Mike found a new servo in Lithuania. It cost just £34 including delivery and it was soon fitted and working perfectly. With the wheels removed so Mike could arrange a clever modification, the ace mechanic could get on with the next stage of the project.

The plan was to embrace Audi’s ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ (or Progress through Technology) philosophy and improve performance and efficiency with a new, electronically-controlled fuel-injection system. The kit cost £880 and Elvis got started on fitting the various sensors.

Locating an oxygen sensor in the exhaust system was the first job, and that was followed by a new coolant temperature sensor, an air temperature sensor, and a device for measuring the throttle position. The new ECU was hidden away in the passenger footwell, and once it had been remapped the five-cylinder engine was performing at its best. The finishing touch was a fill-up with modern 5w-40 fully synthetic oil that would improve lubrication at low temperatures.


In the meantime, Mike headed off to see the experts at Voodoo Motorsport to have the alloy wheels modified. Not only would the process turn them into proper split-rims, but it would enlarge the diameter from 15-inches to 16-inches so modern and more efficient low-profile tyres could be fitted. It was fascinating to watch and the results were perfect.

So the classy Audi was running and driving superbly, so Elvis could get on with spending money on a few tech updates. The first was rear parking sensors, and with the rear bumper removed they were easily fitted. A reversing camera was next, and this included a screen that replaced the rear view mirror. The last item was a new stereo to replace the original tape deck.

All of these improvements resulted in a very usable modern classic, and all that was left was to enjoy a proper drive. A trip to Cornwall was the perfect way to test its new-found efficiency – it passed with flying colours – and naturally there was a chance to indulge in a few pasties!

The final bill was £5600, but there were plenty of buyers keen to get their hands on the car.  One of them was Andy who was more than happy to pay the £6000 asking price.

Mike says: “People often ask what car will be a modern classic. There’s plenty out there that will make that classification, but for us, the Audi 80 coupe has been waiting in the wings for awhile. So, it was lovely for us to finally shine a spotlight on this fantastic coupe.

“At the time of launch Audi used the slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, which was a way to sell technology through progress and this Coupe is one of the most technically advanced cars. That was back in the day. Today, the Audi 80 coupe looks a little tired, so for us to give this car a new modern upgrade was perfect for Wheeler Dealers.

“The highlight for me was taking the old 15 inch wheels and upgrading them to genuine split rims which means we can use a more safer lower rolling resistance tire at 17 inches, which not only improves dynamics and handling but also fuel economy. Cars like the Audi Coupe will always have a place in the classic car community as more people seek that turn-key classic.

“We hope you enjoyed this show and we look forward to bringing you the last in the series next week.”

Find more info:
Wheeler Dealers

Join the club:
Audi Owners Club

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