California Quattro

Grafting the best of the Q-Coupe onto the 4000 Q

As featured in the February 1988 issue of VW & Porsche magazine

[car photo]

The Audi 4000 Quattro is a great car, but it could be even better if it had more horsepower. To achieve more horsepower you need either to improve the existing engine by adding a turbo or add a bigger engine. The Audi Turbo Quattro engine has quite a few features that make it a very desirable addition to the 4000 body style. The engine's oil squirters cool the pistons by bathing the back side of the pistons with oil. A crank-fired computer-controlled igition system optimizes horsepower while preventing detonation. This engine produces 200 horsepower from a 2.2-liter 5-cylinder. The results are quite impressive-the car can outrun many of the so-called exotics with no problem.

To build one of these cruisers, you need to locate a wrecked Turbo Quattro Coupe; building one of these cars out of the Audi parts department could get quite expensive. The parts we scavenged from the wrecked coupe include the engine, computer, exhaust system, oil cooler, entire front suspension, front axles and CV joints and flanges, lower control arms, tie rods, hydraulic brake assist, front disc brakes and hubs, rear disc brakes and hubs, rear fender quarter panels, rear bumper and chin spoiler and the battery box from under the rear seat.

New parts purchased from the Carlsen Audi parts department included front fenders, front bumper, chin spoiler and intercooler.

Once the necessary parts had been procured, work began at Hammill Fabrication under the direction of master craftsman John Hammill. The front fenders were replaced with the new flared fenders, the only simple bolt-on change. The Quattro Coupe rear fenders were cut off the wreck and fitted to the 4000. This was one of the most difficult parts of the conversion because we were adapting a fender from a two-door coupe to a four-door sedan. The rear lenders were welded in place on the rear door and fenderi. Then the door openings were cut and capped off.

Next, the rocker panels were fabricated by Bob Fernandez and in stalled on the car. The battery box was cut out and installed in its new location under the rear seat. The rear of the car required a lot of modification to accommodate the new bumper and spoiler. The front bumper and spoiler required new mounting flanges. The new European-style headlights finished off the front end. Then the car was ready to go to the body shop.

Sport Performance, the custom body shop in San Jose, was chosen to do the finish bodywork. They painted the entire car gloss black, instead of the original metallic black, with Glassodur, a European factory polyurethane finish. Bill Striegel, Steve Doughty and Steve Markulin worked many hours to prepare the body panels for final painting by artist Louis Stojanovich, who made the car look like it was made of black glass.

Next, the car went to Rae's Automotive Upholstery for installation of a pair of Scheel 400 seats up front and a complete redo of the rear seats and matching door panels. A new headliner was installed and a new rear deck cover was made to protect the Alpine sub-woofers and full-range speakers from the sun. The Momo steering wheel was installed and the dash was modified to accommodate the Alpine 7273 head unit and 3311 graphic equalizer. Alpine amplifiers totaling 360 watts were mounted in the trunk with front speakers mounted in the doors. The cellular telephone is also mounted on the driver's door, a very convenient location. Five gauges, consisting of exhaust temperature, turbo boost, vacuum, oil pressure, water temperature and volt meter were installed in the dash. Motofab made the custom gauge mount designed by Ron Davis of Rae's Upholstery. The Covert radar unit is mounted to the overhead console containing the sunroof switch.

The engine swap was performed by John Hammill and Ron Love with the help of Don Turner of Pegasus Automobili in Santa Clara. Don fabricated the intercooler air supply and return ducts. John did all the intercooler fabricating and Ron did all the electrical work.

Now the car was ready for the finishing touches. The 16x7 Momo Star wheels were fitted with 205/55-16 Goodyear Eagle VR tires, better known as "Gatorbacks." to transfer the new horsepower to the pavement. For trips to the snow country, 205/60-15 Goodyear Eagle M&S tires were fitted to the Audi factory racing alloys, which are a limited-supply wheel. These tires are absolutely amazing! The guys at Tire and Wheel Designs in Campbell, California, did all the mounting and balancing. Many thanks to Rick and Scott, the owners of T&WD.

In order to protect all this stuff, a Hofco III remote-control state-of-the-art alarm system was installed by Ronel Systems in Santa Clara, California. This alarm system does about everything imaginable except wash and wax the car, which is handled by Mike DiPiero at Polishing Plus in Campbell, California.

The finished product is "the car Audi should have made." The fender flare design has since become the "in" design and can be seen on many of the upper-end cars being sold today.

[dashboard photo]

[doorpanel photo] [wheel photo]

Last update: 17/08/22 02:46:39