It’s rather on-the-nose, with a name like that: the Audi V8 doesn’t leave much room for guessing what lies under the hood. Introduced in 1988 as a flagship model for the marque, the V8 brought about the first union between the Quattro system and an automatic transmission, and was, as one might guess, the first Audi model to utilize a V8 engine. The Germans were feeling crafty when they named it, clearly.
Thorough. It’s an adjective I believe most folks imagine describes their build, and in ways, it often does. From wheels, tires, suspension, and brakes, to engines, drivelines, interiors, and more, it’s not uncommon to find a car that has “checked the boxes” and seemingly leaves no bolt left unturned; more often than not, it’s how to describe the cars on this very site.
This story begins with a rusty, battered Pontiac Trans Am. It’s a far departure from the BMWs Riley Stair has built his name around, although not totally unexpected, if you’ve ever seen the C10 Pickup he tucks away. He’s clearly got a passion for the un-substitutable thump-and-rumble of a V8, having stuffed one into almost every project he’s built so far, ranging from his own E28 and his dad’s E24, to the Datsun 240Z, the C10, and now the T/A, too.
In no way is Dirk Deppen’s approach to building cars subtle. The idea of a “sleeper” is lost on him; the importance of aesthetics and the cohesion between style and performance are paramount in his list of build plans. Just one glance at his main project, an E30, gives it all away: a turbo 5.3 LS, enormous fenders, wild wheels, and everything in between make for a wonderfully ostentatious machine. His E28 on the other hand, is admittedly a bit more nuanced.
Bassam Michiel’s E36 is a difficult one to describe. It probably won’t be labeled as the “prettiest” car in the world, but I don’t think Bassam minds. On the other hand, it’s clearly “purpose built,” as a very competitive car in the Global Time Attack series. Oddly enough, the word “humorous” comes to mind, with the car still sporting its 318iS badging, despite the visceral sounds released from the LS V8 that resides under the hood. Of course, there’s the obvious too…