Saturday, April 29, 2017

Matchbox Beaters: Peugeot 205 Turbo and 1980 Audi Quattro

When it comes to finding the vehicles that you're looking for you have a few options: you can find a mint one on a mint card that would be a challenge to find and not for the amount of money that you'd expect.  Then there's a raw beater that needs a good restoration, so you bring it home, take it apart, clean it up, paint it, fix any missing parts, and either it can be a full restoration or a custom restoration.  Or how about just leaving them as-is as beaters.  In this case and famed streaming programs like Motor Trend's Overkill this is where you leave them in the rough shape but make modifications to make them special again.  In my case it was these two Matchbox 1980's castings that needed some help yet they were fine as they are with a little touch up here and there.

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Audi Quattro

If it wasn't for Quattro Audi would be just another German car maker.  The idea behind the Quattro started in the 1980's when Audi took advantage of the new rally car rules that allowed all-wheel drive for the competitive sport, and with that Audi took home numerous trophies.  Then the idea was transferred to road vehicles starting with an Audi 80 and installing the famed all-wheel drive system.  The Quattro all-wheel drive system was mated to a turbocharged 2.1L SOHC I-5 that hovered over the front axle and produced 197 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission.  Eventually the Quattro system would expand to other models and by the end of the decade nearly all Audi's had the famed Quattro all-wheel drive system.

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There are plenty of diecast replica's of the original Quattro coupe, and Matchbox was one of them.  Under the flaking metallic red paint you can see the white rings and Quattro on the sides.  The wheel choices were the older basic Matchbox wheels, though I'd prefer the 8-dot wheels that appeared on later versions.  The front has quad square headlights that are part of the windows, a black grille that is part of the interior piece with Audi rings, and a lower bumper with larger intakes, an Euro plate, and signal and foglights that I added details to.  On the sides the fastback roofline meets with flared fenders; the roof had more paint peeled off so I added silver on the roof to give a two-tone look, while a red Sharpie aided as a beltline enhancer to show off the flared fenders more clearly.  Out back the taillights are detailed on the fender ends, the plate area is also the base tab support, and the rear spoiler and decklid being part of the interior seems kind of strange.  Then again the bodylines look rather bland for a sporty car.  The interior has bucket seats up front with two more in the rear and a liftgate that opens to reveal vast cargo space.  The dashboard layout has all auxiliary controls mounted toward the driver and along the analog gauge cluster.  The center stack has controls for the radio, HVAC, and the differential lock just ahead of the shifter.  The coolest part of these 1980's Matchbox is the metal base with details of the Quattro driveline.

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Peugeot 205 Turbo

One of the things that French auto manufacturers are good at is making hot hatchbacks with the engine mounted where the rear seat should be.  It was the cast for the Renault 5 and Clio, and also for the Peugeot 205.  The new 205 line has sleek aerodynamic styling on a compact hatch with lots of room inside and frugal power under the hood.  It was a winner for the Peugeot brand.  Not to rest on its laurels are the countless special editions aimed for the enthusiats and to go after the Golf GTI.  The Turbo was the homologation to the required production vehicles needed to race the 205 in the Group B rally car, but since the largest motor that Peugeot won't fit the tiny engine bay of the 205 up front, they've decided to remove the rear seat and place the engine there.  The engine is a 1.9L DOHC 16 valve turbodiesel I-4 that produced 197 horsepower through a 5-speed manual from a Citroen SM and routed to all four wheels with an additional driveshaft to the front wheels.  The engine is mounted longidutionally over the rear axle and has the intercooler on one side.  The rear hatch area opens up nearly half the vehicle for ease of access to the engine.  Also added are flared fenders, a firewall behind the rear seats, and a tubular frame to support the rear engine.  The 205 was a very successful rally car and the production versions of the 205 Turbo are very popular with enthusiasts.

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Like the Quattro expect quite a bit of diecast companies already have made the 205 Turbo, including partner Hot Wheels before the 1997 merger.  This one has more paint chips, rally graphics that are fading, and a white plastic base that has seen the bright side of the sun.  The front has the smooth face with flush headlights and the cat logo of Peugeotl both I added details to them to stand out against the rough paint.  On the sides the typical hatchback look them morphs into flared rear fenders where I detailed the scoops just ahead of the rear wheels.  The 205 racing graphics are faded, but I tried my best to recreate them and make them appear more that they originally were.  The 8-slot truck wheels were added silver back to the wheels with a Sharpie and look great on this car even though the tires do make a lot of noise when rubbing on the body during cornering.  The round and plain rear is enhanced with the detailed taillights and the black inner stripe.  The hatch area also is a bit tilted when in the closed position.

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The rear hatch opens wide to show off the turbo I-4  as part of the interior trim on the upper right of the area.  To the left is the air filter and fluid resovoirs, while going toward the rear the metal body takes over with the exhaust plumbing and the battery at the end of the rear bumper.  The interior has the stock 205 dash layout with supportive bucket seats and 5-speed shifter.  The firewall does keep the noise (and any ungainly smells) from leaking into the passenger compartment unlike the Renault 5 Turbo.  The base underneath shows off the lower engine and transmission along with the driveshaft to the front wheels.  I guess I could get some more decent versions of both castings later on, but for now these two rough beaters look fine just the way they are.

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