There’s a challenge most purchasing a new-to-them 80s car like our Audi Club Sweepstakes 1985 ur quattro 20V can attest, and that’s the challenge of audio. With a brightly lit and colorful head CD player, our quattro’s audio system looks period incorrect for our car, and we needed a change. For that we turned to Audi’s brand sibling Porsche.
Cars of the 80s had both less-than-stellar sound and a nearly universal-sized single-DIN radios or “head units”, resulting in a massive aftermarket for upgraded stereo components throughout the 80s and 90s. Eventually car manufacturers caught up in quality, and also made custom shaped radios that made aftermarket component installation much harder to pull off.
Our 1985 quattro was produced smack dab in the middle of the aftermarket stereo industry’s heyday, so not surprisingly the original Audi factory radio is long gone. You may recall that three auxiliary gauges now inhabit the part of the dashboard where the factory radio sat, and one of the car’s previous owners took a previous radio surround plate made for mounting a radio in the owner’s manual pocket to the left of the steering wheel. That space now houses an aftermarket head unit that offers CD player and Bluetooth streaming functionality, but it’s not exactly subtle and seems to clash with the more subtle mid-80s vintage cockpit of our 1985 quattro Grand Prize. It needed replacing.
Fortunately for those seeking a new radio, there are now several options that have that ’80s look and Bluetooth functionality. German manufacturer Becker makes several models, as does VDO/Continental, and also well-known 80s favorite Blaupunkt. And while most of these can do Bluetooth streaming, we’ve found there is a more superior (and expensive) option offered by Porsche Classic, the vintage car arm of Porsche. Earlier versions of the unit have had not just Bluetooth, satellite radio and navigation via a small screen in a period matte-black single DIN form, the most recent evolution offers Apple CarPlay functionality.
While well more expensive than the competition, it’s also the most functional period-looking single DIN unit we’ve seen. Even better, we’ve been hearing that builders in the Audi+Volkswagen enthusiast space have started to embrace the Porsche unit for the best builds. We think our quattro qualifies, and so we’ve placed an order for one o the Porsche Classic units from well-known Florida-based Porsche parts store Suncoast Motors. It’s the most cost-effective source we’ve found for the radio.
We’ll make sure to post more about our installation of the unit into our sweepstakes car once the radio arrives. Until then, please check out our sweepstakes website if you want a chance to win our 1985 Audi quattro 20V for yourself.