Ex-Mikkola/Hertz Audi Sport quattro S1 Group B Rally Car Headed to Bonhams Goodwood FOS Auction

If you’ve always wanted to own a works Group B spec Audi Sport quattro S1, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed may be of interest to you. That’s when chassis # SQ85EA905108, a former Hannu Mikkola / Arne Hertz example is headed to auction with Bonhams.

Granted, a roadgoing Sport quattro will fetch over a half million dollars nowadays, so a factory prepared Group B racecar with a back story will go decidedly higher. Bonhams pre-sale estimates place it between £1,200,000 – £1,400,000.

Look below for Bonham’s supplied history of the car, or click directly to the auction house HERE.

[source: Bonhams]

1984/85 Audi Sport Quattro S1 Group B Rally Car 
Registration no. 44 WMN 
Chassis no. SQ85EA905108

• One of 20 works cars retained by Audi’s Motorsport Department
• Winner of the 1986 Welsh International and National Breakdown rallies
• Present ownership since December 2003
• Extensively restored
• Featured extensively on video and in books, articles, rally reports and advertisements
• Carefully stored since last used in 2017

One of the most influential designs of recent decades, the Audi Quattro brought four-wheel drive into the motoring mainstream. Introduced in 1980, the Quattro was based on the outwardly similar Coupé’s practical and stylish three-door ‘fast hatch-back’ bodyshell but used a different floorpan to accommodate its four-wheel-drive transmission and independent rear suspension. The engine was a development of the 2.1-litre, five-cylinder unit first seen in the 200 saloon, equipped with a KKK turbocharger and producing 200bhp in road trim, considerably more being available in race tune. The motivation behind Audi’s marriage of a Volkswagen military vehicle’s four-wheel-drive system to its new high-performance Coupé had been desire for success in international Group B rallying. In the latter role the Quattro excelled, winning the Manufacturer’s Championship for Audi in 1982 and 1984 and the Driver’s Championship in 1983 and ’84 (with Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist respectively), but its enduring legacy would be the demonstration of four-wheel drive’s advantages for passenger cars. 

Having achieved significant successes with the original Quattro, Audi developed a more specialised rally car in the form of the Sport Quattro ‘homologation special’. Weight saving had been one of the engineers’ main aims in developing the Sport, which featured a turbocharged alloy-block engine of 2,133cc boasting a new double-overhead-camshaft 20-valve cylinder head. Maximum power went up to 306bhp. This new power plant went into a short-wheelbase chassis, while further weight savings were gained by using Kevlar for the wings, roof and front apron. ABS brakes made their appearance on a Quattro for the first time. With over 300 horsepower on tap in road trim, the Sport Quattro possessed supercar performance, boasting a 160mph top speed and 0-60mph time of only 4.8 seconds – truly outstanding figures even by today’s standards. According to Eric Dymock’s The Audi File: “214 were built; 164 were sold to customers, and 20 were used as competition cars by the Motorsport Department. The remainder were experimental and retained by the factory.”

Initially prepared by Audi’s Motorsport Department and driven in period by former World Rally Champion Hannu Mikkola, the 1984 Audi Sport Quattro offered here is the winner of the 1986 Welsh International and National Breakdown rallies, which were run over the challenging forest tracks of Wales and North Yorkshire. Driving ’44 WMN’, Mikkola also established a new record for closed cars at the Shelsey Walsh hill climb of 29.51 seconds. This historic Sport Quattro has featured extensively on video and in books, articles and rally reports, as well as in advertisements for Audi and Hella. It also features in the YouTube footage of the 1986 Welsh Rally. 

For a while ’44 WMN’ was painted silver by Audi UK to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hans Stuck’s storming the Shelsey Walsh hill at the wheel of the fearsome 5.3-litre V16 Auto Union Grand Prix car. It is currently finished in the distinctive Audi Sport livery as featured when the car was driven by Mikkola/Hertz in Wales and Yorkshire. Following its refurbishment, this famous Sport Quattro was much exhibited at major events and venues such as the NEC, and been driven by another World Rally Champion, Ari Vatanen, for a Group B feature in Top Gear magazine. The Audi has been a regular competitor at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where it has been driven by Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist, and it has also served as a course car on the Manx International Rally, while Mark Higgins and Malcolm Wilson drove it – for display purposes – at Croft.

The current vendor purchased the Quattro at a UK auction in December 2003, since when the car has benefited from extensive works to return it as close as possible to original condition, although the original aluminium roll cage has been replaced with a more robust steel item. Rebuilt by Lehmann Motorentechnik AG in 2010 (see bill on file for €9,323 dated 10th August 2010), the engine now displaces 2.3 litres and produces a mighty 554bhp (a respectable power output for an early-1980s Formula 1 car). The Quattro is geared down for a maximum speed of 115mph, which makes for breathtaking acceleration through the five gears. 

In 2009 ’44 WMN’ was track tested at Silverstone by three-time Le Mans winner Alan McNish for the The Sunday Times: “As soon as the turbo kicks in, you’ve got this massive noise and the car absolutely blasts forward,” he enthused. “I mean, I expected it to have strong acceleration because of the gearing, but I didn’t expect it to have that acceleration. I thought it was going to be more progressive, but it was zero and then absolutely everything.” More recently, the Quattro was track tested again, on this occasion at Race Retro, Stoneleigh for Audi Driver magazine’s April 2017 edition. Copies of both these articles are on file and the car also comes with original documents. The last time the Quattro was used was at Stoneleigh in 2017, since when it has been kept in a climate controlled garage. The car has not been serviced as it has not been driven, although it has been started occasionally using fresh fuel.

A substantial quantity of rare and valuable spares comes with the car, to include the following:

Original seats and roll cage
Clutch components
Suspension units
Hella auxiliary lights
Front valance
Radiator and housing

Purple Paddle Lot: Please note there is restricted bidding on this lot which requires enhanced bid verification checks. Please contact us at bids@bonhams.com or call +44 20 7447 7447 as soon as possible if you are planning to bid on this lot to prevent any last-minute delays.

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