We were looking for a project to celebrate 25 years of the legendary Audi quattro. We finally decided to recreate the first car to compete in a World Championship event the renowned IN NP 50.The car made it’s debut on January 24th 1981. The venue was the opening round at Monte Carlo. The changeable conditions revealed the cars potential, shocking the rest of the field with it’s pace. By the end of the second stage it was 2m 47s ahead of the rest of the two wheel driven field.
By the time they entered Monaco after six stages Mikkola had a six minute advantage over his rivals. Several alternator belt failures dropped him 13 minutes. Mikkola subsequently made a mistake and hit a low bridge parapet knocking off a wheel. The car struggled back to service and the Audi team made repairs.
Mikkola was once again catching the leaders when he suffered brake failure, probably due to the previous incident, at nearly 100 mph. Luckily the car was on an uphill section when it finally came to rest against a rock face.
Despite this disappointing conclusion to their first event, Mikkola had lead the first 10 stages and set more fastest times than the eventual winner. The rally world was now waiting for Audi’s first championship not debating if it would ever happen.
We needed to see a real works car so that we get the details on our quattro exactly right. We have to thank David Sutton and John O’Connor at Historic Motorsport for the loan of LYV 4 X. This car was an original car which competed successfully in the British Championship and RAC Rally. The car is probably the most photographed rally car of all time. It was driven by Stig Blomquist, Malcolm Wilson and Chris Lord. It took us the best part of three months to photograph and analyse every detail.
Our car started life with a rust free 1981 shell from Bahrain. The car was stripped and painted in Audi Sport colours. All of the decals were recreated by our sign writer. If you would like a set please contact us for details!
Note at various times on the Monte Carlo event, the car appeared on both 8″ Ronal wheels in ‘Sparkle’ silver not the normal Zermatt and Fuch forged 7″ magnesium wheels. The wheels shown are original well worn ‘works’ wheels.
This car has been featured in a number of articles. It is also set to appear in the new Total Audi Magazine and Audi Driver. It is also eligible to appear at the Slowly Sideways events. It was at the 2005 Rally Car Day at Castle Combe and is set to make appearances at future events.