This 74 hp army truck started the Quattro legend



Every modern Audi with the Quattro logo owes its existence to the original Quattro from 1980, a box-shaped coupé based on the 80s sedan. But that original, gravel-sprinkling, rally-winner Quattro itself would never have existed if it hadn’t been for an ugly army truck struggling to reach 113 km / h.

The Volkswagen Type 183 Iltis (German for “ferret”) was the result of the West German army’s need for a modern Jeep vehicle to replace its older three-cylinder two-stroke DKW Munga. Volkswagen, which had recently acquired the various Auto Union brands, including DKW, and grouped it as Audi, updated the Munga and added a 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine and won the government contract.

And while the Iltis was being developed in 1976 on snow-covered roads, where the herbaceous jeep left far more powerful street cars behind, Audi engineer Jörg Bensinger had the idea of ​​building a production car based on the same principles and technology. The Quattro changed the course of rally history, but the Iltis also had its own taste of competitive glory, winning the Paris Dakar in 1980.

Related: Audis 1980 Quattro An AWD Pioneer? This Jensen FF is like “Hold my brandy”

This particular Iltis was built in 1985 when the original Quattro rally car was overtaken by more specialized Group B machines such as the Peugeot 205 T16. And technically speaking, it’s not a VW Iltis at all, but a Bombardier Iltis that was built in Canada under license for the country’s armed forces, but now resides in Georgia.

Equipped for military field communication tasks, including two radio masts and a GPS unit, and with a radio station in the rear seating area, it is currently being auctioned Bring-a-trailer. The speedometer reads 3,600 km (2,200 miles), which is apparently the distance traveled since a major renovation in 2020.

With its canopy and canvas side panels, a side-mounted canister, brush protector, camo robe, and exterior antennas, it definitely looks like it strolled straight off the battlefield and would be a cool alternative to the more commonly seen old jeeps and land rovers. Plus, the prices on the original Quattros could be your only chance to buy into early Quattro history without selling a large organ.

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