Now Channeling OCD Into Small Chassis
If you can’t find inspiration, it will find you. The Audi Gods weren’t happy when I toyed with the notion of breaking the T44-monotony and moving into something non-Audi for a change. To keep me in the family, they decided to send a B2 my way instead. So what does a hat and a note have to do with how Erlend and I came to meet? Cue the backstory.
ERLEND OVERVIEW 1985 Audi 4000S quattro (Production 4/85) 2.2L I5 (JT) | 5-Speed Manual (016) Tornado Red | Brasil Brown Savoy Velour MSRP: $18,610 Dealer: Porsche/Audi of Avon (Route 44 Volkswagen, Inc.) Avon, CT (Defunct) Factory Options: Trip Information Computer, Power Sunroof (Tilt & Slide) Member of T44Brian Since 10/21/2018 Special Plate: INLINE5 Status: Completed 2019 Restoration Project and Show Vehicle Location: East Garage Notable Awards: eEurofest 2019 Best Audi (Original)
Name Origin: Nordic – foreigner, stranger. After 12 Type 44s, Erlend is our first small-chassis vehicle.
Erlend was purchased new from Porsche Audi of Avon by the grandfather of the original owner as a high school graduation present. This is one quattro that has absolutely never seen snow: he loved the car so much that it spent most of its time garaged with a fresh coat of wax. If you think I’m the only crazy Audi guy, there’s more out there. He even left the washer reservoir empty as to not spray washer fluid on the paint. Remember: nice-day car only. If the weather was bad (i.e., light rain) he drove a Blazer, specifically purchased so that the Audi could stay home. Over the years he purchased subsequent used 4000s as daily drivers so he could at least have one to enjoy and not worry about (hmm,sounds familiar). However, we all know priorities change as life goes on, so practicality reigned supreme: a truck replaced the collection of used and abused 4000s, and again, his original garaged 4000 was the sole Audi left.
Unfortunately mice had recently made a home in the very-dormant Erlend. And a garage renovation for a year had left him covered with a tarp underneath an attached carport.
Where do I come into play in this story? As you all know, I scour the internet daily for cars, parts, and 80s Audi merch. One ordinary fall day I stumbled upon a well-preserved Audi Sport hat on eBay, perfect to enjoy and for photoshoots. The seller was only a few towns over from me, and instead of bid and wait – my impatient-self asked if he would be willing to do a Buy It Now. He happily agreed and the hat arrived a day later.
In the box with the hat was a handwritten note from the owner’s brother (who I later learned was a technician at the Avon dealer and serviced the car regularly):
Having a classic Audi conveniently located two-towns over, let alone in my state of residence, was enough to immediately text him. He sent over some pictures the next day and we agreed to meet that weekend.
My wife and I had plans after to take a Sunday drive and get coffee, so I figured I’d bring her along. Usually my wife’s enthusiasm level with new purchases is low, but she warmed up to the car and actually encouraged me to finally step away from the Type-44 prison I had built for myself.
I never condemned B2s as a possibility: it just never seemed to work out. My extreme pickiness always ruled out most 4000s and Coupe GTs, usually due to condition and mileage. But sitting at my feet was the most beautiful Tornado Red 4000 I’d come upon with 98K miles and the original window sticker. I didn’t even haggle. I asked how much and shook his hand. Not only did this prevent the car from being put on Bring A Trailer, but it also kept the car close enough so that anytime the owner wanted to stop by he’s minutes away.
Now, not all was pretty. The mice issue was something that needed to be tackled still (it had been deodorized once but it was still lingering) and there was a very 80s stereo system that needed to be taken out. The soundboard in the back was a custom piece that the owner made in shop class. It looked really good, but I’m a purist: usually I’d pass on a car with something like that, but I had been there, done that with audio equipment on cars – so I brushed it off and saw how much potential this car had instead.
It’s mid-November and I had started to gather parts big time. My intention for Erlend was to get him as nice as possible – which can be somewhat challenging given the ever-so dwindling parts availability and again: diminishing condition of remaining examples. so I decided to go overboard and buy a lot of new items that would help keep a sort of “freshness” factor. Luck would have it that within two weeks of ownership, I had stumbled upon a lifetime supply of bumper reflectors and center wheel caps, brand new mudflaps, and even the perfect twin parts car. I also put in a huge Audi Tradition order and received new wheels, hoses, reservoirs, and other trim bits. Before the colder weather I removed the seats and rear carpet and started to deep-clean everything. The plan was over the winter months to slowly remove the stereo equipment and put the interior back together.
And then, the car accident happened. My beloved 5000 wagon was destroyed, I was in severe pain and unable to move around, and Project B2 was immediately at a standstill. For a few weeks I had lost encouragement. I barely even wanted to get in a car. But I knew that my spark would definitely come back – just as Ottmar’s arrival helped me get back on my feet in the world of Type 44s.
Fast forward to March 2019. On the first available warm day I walked out to the garage, looked at this torn-up B2, and said no excuses. With Ottmar away for two weeks at the body shop I had the perfect stretch of time to finally make some progress. Something must have broken inside of me as I snipped the first wires to the half-remaining audio system that day, because I ended up getting about a month’s work accomplished in a few days.
Throughout April and May, Erlend was finalized. Aside from final detailing, mechanical issues were taken care of. A fresh timing belt service, filters, gaskets, and plenty of other small fixes were all necessary to improve Erlend’s longevity. Any part that was removed was either replaced or reconditioned. The final fixes of reinstalling the original antenna (it still works!) and accelerator pedal bushings were done at the start of June.
As Erlend stands right now, he is a completed vehicle in the family. As time goes on, I bet I’ll find a few more things to do, but in comparison to where we were in October, we have a whole different vehicle!
Notable Mods & Changes For 2019
New for 2019:
New & Old Stock Items From Audi Tradition
- 14″ Spoke Alloy Wheels
- “quattro” Trunk Badge
- Coolant Reservoir and Hoses
- Fuel Line Retainers (Set of 3)
- Floor Mat Retainers (Set of 4)
New & New Old Stock Items From Other Vendors
- Audi Sport Steering Wheel
- Audi ’84 World Champion Decal
- Audi Sport Logo Decals
- Autobahn OEM Splash Guards (Silver Audi Logo – Set of 4)
- Bumper Reflectors (Left/Right Set)
- Highland Quattro Reproduction Rain Tray
- Satin Black Metal Door Handle Inserts (Set of 4)
- Dome Light
- Hood Prop Clip and Other Various Fasteners
- Lloyd Mats
- Jute Carpet Padding Cut to OEM Dimensions
Good Used Parts from Donor Vehicle or Vendors and Other Additions:
- Instrument Cluster Bezel
- Rothenburg Rev. A Radio
- Rear Parcel Shelf
- Rear Carpet
- Front Left and Right Door Cards
- Wheel Center Caps
- Nylon Mesh at Blower Box
- Driver Seat Belt
- Re-dye/Restore original quattro Script Mats
- Original Antenna Reinstalled
- Paintless Dent Repair on Trunk