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A Grand Monday: Audi 80 Cabriolet

Published 12 November 2018

Princess Diana was never one to toe the line, and her taste in cars was certainly controversial. She first bucked Royal trends in 1991 by leasing a Mercedes-Benz 500SL instead of having a British-built car in the family tradition.

Fair enough, she may not have been the first member of the Royal Family to fancy a German, but her decision to choose a non-domestic car was frowned upon by royalists.

It didn't stop her, though. In 1993, she was caught by the paparazzi on her way to the gym at the wheel of a green Audi 80 Cabriolet, which later led to her confirming that she had, indeed, bought herself one with her own money, having fallen for the car after driving one that belonged to her friend Serena Armstrong-Jones, the wife of Viscount Linley. 

Her original Cabrio was soon supplanted by a 1994 model, this time unsurprisingly on Audi Head Office number plates, but even so the Princess put her money where her mouth was, and at the same time elevated the Audi brand from decent to agonisingly cool. It hasn't looked back since.

Audi 80 (2)

The 80 Cabriolet, then, is arguably one of the brand's most significant models ever, so it's quite surprising to see how inexpensive they are, with even really good examples struggling to top £2,000.

This one, though, looks like a real bargain. Owned by the current keeper since 2012, it has passed each MoT since then with flying colours. 

During his tenure, the owner has treated it to a cylinder head overhaul, new clutch and new brakes all round, with only some minor wheelarch rust detracting from the car's overall condition. 

It also has the added benefits of an electric roof and unusual green leather trim, while the 'JB' number plate (just like Diana's second Audi) leads us to believe it may have been an Audi press or demo car when it was new. Even if it wasn't, at £845 ono, it's worth every penny.

Audi 80 (3) (1)


Darren Harbottle    on 4 December 2018


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