Feature: Ur S4 Time Machine

words: Troy Sicotte, photos: Gene Pascua

Editor’s note: This article originally ran in the Q3_2020 issue of quattro Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to quattro Magazine, join Audi Club here.

Being involved with Audi Club, one eventually gets exposed to countless amazing Audi vehicles and owners. With more exposure from car shows to Audi Club HPDEs, it takes something rare and special to grab one’s attention.

We had just of those days during Audi Club Golden Gate’s “Winter Driving Event” HPDE held in late January at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. During the first timer’s car control clinic, we spotted something rare and special; a seemingly perfect, bone-stock 1993 ur-S4 in an iconic Audi color, Pearlescent White. The closer we got, the better and newer it looked right down to the wheels and new looking matte leather seat, steering wheel, and shift knob surfaces. We needed to know more! Audi Club member and HPDE first timer Chris Inverarity was shocked his “old car” had been singled out amidst Mk2 R8s and tuned RS 3s. We got to chatting.

Based in Oakland, CA, Chris owns and operates a company that does graphics for corporate events. He’s the person behind the curtain that runs slideshows and digital backgrounds that are projected on screens and video walls with clients from the high-tech names you’ve come to know in Silicon Valley.

Chris came across this 1993 ur-S4 on the “German Cars for Sale” blog. The car was local to him so he decided to check it out. Chris reminisces, The first time I saw the car, it was a brilliantly sunny day and it was sitting outside in the previous owner’s driveway gleaming. I couldn’t believe how good it looked in person but what really sold me was driving it.”

Once Chris wrapped up the transaction, the S4 went to Audi Club sponsor Griffin Motorwerke in Berkeley, CA for a full post purchase inspection (PPI). There were only a few things it needed despite approaching three decades: a new battery, battery cables, a reverse light switch and while they had it, a full service. A week later he drove it on a 1000-mile round trip journey to San Diego and back without issue.

This brings us back to that HPDE event at Thunder Hill Raceway. Chris decided to attend so he could really learn how to drive the car. He recounts fondly, “The track day was a new experience for me and I really enjoyed it. The Audi Club Golden Gate folks who staff the event are top notch. I did however decide that I don’t want to track my S4 going forward. The car did great and did not suffer any ill effects from running flat out all day but it’s just too nice of a car to throw it around on a track…something would eventually break.”

So, the ur-S4 is now mainly used on weekends.

Chris plans on displaying the S4 at club get-togethers and some period events such as RADwood or Legends of the Autobahn. “It’s in such good shape I want people to be able to stop and take their time to have a good look at it,” he adds.

Chris continues to study the history of the car and two things are clear; it is a rare car and it was well cared for. Audi of America confirmed that it’s 1 of 150 sold in the US in 1993 with the Pearl White metallic paint and Anthracite leather interior. The car was once owned by a museum preservation specialist, which makes sense when you realize how well kept it is. One of the items that came with the car was the original owner’s notebook which logged all services, even every gas fill-up since new. The car is 100% OEM save for a few subtle and functional modifications: a Stage II Hoppen upgraded exhaust manifold from an S2 and a higher performance chip. It also has a subtly placed boost gage on the driver’s side A-pillar and a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail under the hood.

The only planned modification wish is to upgrade the  Bose sound system without changing the look or historic value of the vehicle. When asked if he ever plans on selling it, he responds, “You never know…life is short and there are lots of interesting cars out there and I only own one parking space.” I can tell you that this author would be first in line should he make that decision.