Audi 80 Cabriolet 2.6E V6 Automatic, a really fine example of an appreciating practical classic
 

At a glance:
1994 Audi 80 Cabriolet 2.6E V6 automatic
Totally original specification
4 private owners
139,636 miles
MOT to October 2020
Rot-free galvanized body


The model:
The Audi Cabriolet was an agreeable addition to the company's range when it was launched in 1992. It joined the 80 saloon and Avant in fighting BMW's hegemony of the compact executive sector - and the new open-top was a very convincing proposition indeed. It joined the (surprisingly successful) Saab 900 and BMW 3-Series convertible as a high-class four-seater convertible, unencumbered with aesthetically displeasing roll-over bars. In Audi's case, its screen was reinforced to do away with the need for a roll bar. Heavily engineered to retain the structural strength of the Coupé (with which it shared sports suspension), the Cabriolet was Audi's first soft-top since the Auto Union 1000SP, which had been introduced in 1959. It was originally offered with the 90-degree 2.8-litre V6, but the 2.6-litre version was added to the range later. Classy and a strong seller right through to the end, and destined for classic status - not just because Diana Princess of Wales had one.

Audi produced the 80 model from 1972 to 1996 but due to popular demand, they continued the Cabriolet up until 2001.


The history of this car:
This Audi Cabriolet was first registered on the 2nd June 1994 having had a total of 6 owners over the last 23 years.


The specification:
Special order colour of Pelican Blue Metallic, my favourite colour for these Audi 80 Cabriolets and so much more interesting than the silver or grey cars everybody seems to own these days. Full black leather interior in very good condition with no damage or significant wear. Many of these cars have cloth, or half leather seats, but this car has the sport version full black leather interior.

Good mohair hood, no rips or tears, normally kept outdoors and watertight with no obvious leaks. Manual roof mechanism, so nothing to go wrong. Only takes a moment to put the roof down and stow it under the hood cover, when you get the knack of it.


Mileage:
This car has covered a sensible mileage of 139,636 miles (at time of writing) and does not appear to have been kept off the road for years at a time, always roadworthy and used regularly, an average of just over 6000 miles per year.


Service history:
Masses of fully documented paperwork & receipts showing regular servicing (including originally Audi for the first 15 years) and any works from the 1990s right up to 2016, but regrettably there is no service book.

The car will be freshly serviced prior to collection by the new owner.


On the road:
These cars drive exceptionally well, with solid purpose, poise and precision that would have rivalled any car of the era. The engine starts on the first flick of the key to the subdued burble of the V6. The automatic gearbox engages swiftly as it should, ideal for relaxed summer cruising, but also ready and willing when a little more pace is needed. The speedometer appears accurate and the steering is both precise and well weighted. 

 

Engine:
Equipped with a silky smooth 2.6 litre V6 engine, which is refined and responsive and has a very pleasing exhaust note.

 

Transmission:
The gearbox is a surprisingly sporty four speed automatic with switchable sports mode. It changes gear smoothly and quietly and performs exactly as it should.

 

MOT:
Sold with the remainder of MOT until October 2020. The vehicle has had a pair of new front tyres for the recent MOT, whilst the rear tyres are both in good condition.

 

Condition:
The car is very solid and totally original, with no traces of rust, thanks largely to the factory galvanized body shell. The car has never been welded, nor does it need any and the underneath is in extremely good condition. As can be seen from the photographs the vehicle bodywork shines well, is generally very tidy and presentable. However, please bear in mind this is a 23 year old car and will have developed patina and character commensurate with age. If you were extremely fastidious there are a few blemishes on the body which could be easily rectified, and I would see it as worthwhile due to the sensible mileage and superb originality. As far as I am aware, everything works extremely well.

 

Availability:
According to online sources there are now only 303 automatic Audi Cabriolets taxed and in use on UK roads.

 

Pricing:
Prices are rapidly appreciating for all classic Audis and VWs, the 80’s Quattro market has seen massive price growth in recent years, and a good quality cabriolet is is likely to be a very sound investment. The best examples are now getting north of £8,000, with scruffy or modified but useable examples being worth £1,500 upwards. This car is one of the very well cared for examples, with the top specification which if owned and enjoyed should rise in value in years to come. Offered at an attractive, yet sensible £3,450

 

Conclusion:
This is a fantastic ‘feel good’ modern classic, a really well-built and entertaining drop-top that put a huge smile on my face when I drove it on a sunny day. Even after 23 years it has a quality Germanic car feel, it drives very well and seems as solid as the day it rolled off the production line. Perfect for making the most of those rare sunny days in the winter, or summer.

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