Mileage: 215,400 Miles
Engine: 2. 3E 2.3-Liter 5-Cyliner Inline Engine (10 Valve)
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission
Exterior color: Tornado Red Exterior
Interior: Leather Interior
Center Locking Differential
All Power Options Work On-Board Computer
Clear Indicator Lenses
14-Inch BBS Basket Weave Wheels
Ohtsu FP0612 A/S Tires
If you are like me, you think that modern cars are bloated, overcomplicated, and from the driver’s perspective—numb. That leaves no alternative than to look to the past and the greatness of car design that was the late 1980s. The 1986 to 1991 Audi 90 Quattro, known as the B3 in Audi-speak, was an excellent example from this period. The Audi 90 was a high-end evolution of the successful Audi 4000, but with a more aerodynamic exterior and a host of luxury amenities inside. It was also given a fully galvanized zinc body coating, similar to the treatment Porsches received, to aid in corrosion prevention. Compared to a modern car, the B3 Audi 90 is simple, light, and communicative. Quattro all-wheel drive combined with a center-locking differential make it virtually unstoppable in the snow. They were so good that most were driven into the ground. As a result, there aren’t many clean B3 Audi’s left. The ones that do remain are a bargain compared to a similar vintage BMW E30 (I know I have one). Finding an example as well preserved as this one is rare.
This B3 Audi 90 came to us via a German car enthusiast on the Western Slope who split his time between Telluride and Hawaii. He had owned the car since the summer of 2001, driving it only 20,000 miles it in that time period. Tornado Red over black leather are an eye catching color combination that, thanks to living indoors for the last fifteen years, presents fantastically and belies its age and mileage. Amazingly, all interior power functions work including the seat motors, heated seats, on board computer, window regulators, door locks, and even the power sunroof—although I wouldn’t tempt fate with that one. It has the early B3 2.3E 10-valve engine, but it runs great and pulls strong. It was dead even with my 1989 E30 BMW 325iX and even held its own against a 1987 BMW 325iS I have. Inside it is a much more modern car than both E30’s. In preparation for sale, we went through it and addressed the following items:
As I said above, it’s pretty clear this car has lived indoors for the last decade and a half. The Tornado Red paint certainly bares some scares of age, but it is still very presentable. A blue and yellow pinstripe with the letter “Q” hidden on the rear quarter panels is a nice highlight. There are no areas of lifted clear coat, rust, or glaring defects. The front air dam does show some slight pitting, but it is minimal considering the car’s age and miles. All panels are originals and the Carfax is clean. There is no rust. All body trim is present and intact, but there are a few scuffs on the front bumper cover. The lower black strip on the doorsills shows slight discoloration, but I am being critical in saying that. The windshield was replaced in the list above; it is free of cracks and pitting. The side and rear window glass are also in excellent shape. My favorite detail of the car is the word Quattro written in the rear window above the third brake light. The headlight lenses are clear; the front indicators have been replaced with clear Euro lenses. The fog lights are intact, but the driver’s side lens is cracked. The basket weave wheels are straight and the center caps are present. Their only imperfection is very minor curb rash.
Like the exterior, the interior has been spared the UV exposure that most Audi’s of this vintage have. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpets are clean and have been protected by carpeted floor mats. The seat leather is in good shape; all seams are intact and there is no excessive bolster wear. The only imperfection is a slash on the driver’s seat bolster that someone, annoyingly, fixed covered with tape. All power seat functions and seat heaters work. The rear seat has a center armrest with ski pass-through. The dashboard is crack-free and the covering is very nice. The wood trim is intact, although there is a crack on the piece above the glove box. The dashboard is littered with no less than seven vents, three in the center and two at each corner—I love vents! All gauges and lights in the instrument cluster work, as does the on-board computer, which shows 23.5 miles per gallon (better than my 1989 BMW 325iX gets). The anti lock and center differential buttons work (after I replaced a vacuum actuator on the latter). The stereo is an aftermarket Sony unit that sounds great and matches the factory amber illumination. The heat blows warm and the air condition blows cold. The wooden shifter is a cool touch, but it does show some wear on the top. All power windows and door locks work, but the center locking only works from the passenger door lock. The sunroof opens and closes on command, but I would not tempt fate with it! The door cards are in good shape, but the driver’s pull handing is missing a trim piece.
I already listed the items we addressed in preparation for sale in the Summary paragraph. The result of this is a very well sorted B3 Audi 90. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive it across country. I have receipts for all of the items we did listed in the Summary paragraph that are included with the sale. Earlier in its life, the Carfax shows regular servicing at Shoreline Automotive and Wrights German Automotive before the car went to the Western Slope. The engine fires on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strong to redline. The clutch take up is correct and it shifts smoothly. The all-wheel drive system works, as does the center-locking differential. There are no driveline or wheel bearing vibrations. The brakes are firm and the suspension is compliant. We resealed all of the common leak areas; it does not leak or spot. At present, it is a turn-key car ready to be enjoyed by its new owner.