Remember these? That’s right, from waaaaaaay back in the 1990s. A decade when the interwebs were slow, revolutions weren’t televised, and pants were baggy. The 1990s were also a time when spy agencies didn’t talk about what they did on national television every day, and when wearing a foam John Deere cap meant you were an actual farmer engaged in farming. Rather than an owner of a vintage records store in a posh northwest suburb of Washington DC. You know, the one right up the street from that vegan place run by that gentleman with dreadlocks that also sells knitted hats for $79.99 and the Chinese restaurant where a Ukrainian diplomat was once shot in the crotch by an unidentified assailant using a silenced pistol. And when that happened the metropolitan police shrugged and declared that it was a random act of violence, and speculated that the petty thief who did it was likely after the Szechuan Chicken takeout, the expired Amoco gas card, and $27.50 in crumpled bills and change that the diplomat had on him. Although some longtime beltway residents suspected a more complex motive. But who knows with these things.
Given how relatively non-old these Audis are, it seems kind of funny to ask where all of them went. “The junkyard!” the cynical and the well informed among you will declare in unison and roll your eyes. “Lithuania” some will say and nod knowingly. Okay, so most of these didn’t quite survive the last fifteen odd years. And yes, most of them were undone by the things that Audis of those years tended to become undone by, namely small electrical parts the purpose of which escaped even the master techs at the dealership, and which tended to cost the same as a transmission rebuild on a Chevy Cavalier. And the ones that weren’t undone by small electrical parts the purpose of which escaped even the master techs at the dealership, and which tended to cost the same as a transmission rebuild on a Chevy Cavalier, were undone by the fact that these cars depreciated faster than a Volvo wagon with golden retriever fur all over the interior. And that’s pretty fast.
In the interest of balance, I have to say some positive things about Audis of the 1990s. For one thing, Audi had some of the sharpest looking wheel choices on their cars, or at least those cars that wheels instead of wheelcovers. Remember the 6-spoke wheels like the ones from the S8 and the S6? Best looking wheels of the decade, period! And their design lived on in various form just until recently. (Audi, please bring them back. It might even compel me to try some of your cars again).
Audi also had some of the best looking paint colors, like the Tornado Red seen on the car here. And remember the dark Racing Green on the S8 from Ronin? Did you even remember that the S8 in Ronin was dark green? That was another nice color, very understated. And how about Ming Blue, that blue color that looked black at night, like the dark green? That was another superb-looking paint color that Audi had. And what about the interiors? I think we can all agree that Audi had some of the best looking cabins of the decade.
All joking aside, it was a real treat to see this nicely preserved example, and I only wish that there were plenty more nicely preserved examples that could be viewed on a daily basis. But unfortunately, Audis of the early 1990s didn’t sell in any great number in the US, and their survival rate was further compromised by the unwillingness of owners to pour money into them past a certain point, especially given their repair costs.
[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Jay Ramey]