Today we are facing one of the most special reports since the creation of our website. Some lines that perfectly describe work, knowledge and enthusiasm for our sport. Manuel Gómez, Angelina Blández and the entire Talleres Gallardo family are the great architects of this great dream.
A dream that has been transmitted to reality with the construction of a replica Audi Quattro S1 E2, but with totally original parts from the time. All this, with a lot of patience: 12 years of intense and delicate work, which are transmitted in a truly impressive unit.
In order to find out all the details, Tramalón had an interesting chat with Manuel Gómez, owner and future driver of the German car. To situate ourselves, our protagonist was born in Seville, but has lived for several years in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid).
The machine with which he enjoyed his first rally was the magnificent Audi Quattro, also built with great care: “It was less complicated for us, since I had another similar street Quattro. It was simpler due to bodywork or mechanics compared to the Quattro S1″ he admits.
Parallel to its first races, the S1 project started: “Almost twelve years ago I started collecting parts for the Audi S1. It is the most complicated task. I started with things like the body kit, headlights, checker clocks …” All with brutal investigative work, and very slowly.
The unit that Teo Martín keeps served as the basis for the Madrid pilot’s model: “The body molds are made based on Teo’s unit,” says Gómez. At that time, Martín was preparing everything for Madrid Motor Days: “The car was disassembled to restore it, so it was really good for us” admits our interviewee.
Gómez wants to thank all the help received: “There have been many important pillars in this project, many people who have worked (external and my colleagues). Thanks to this, we have been doing everything little by little. They are cars that, although it seems that they are very advanced, it is difficult to finish them”.
Details, part by part
Confinement was the final reason to finish the job. Four people, on a daily basis, gave the final shape to the Audi S1. We go with all the details that the owner of this wonder has provided us.
The bodywork, as we have detailed previously, is made with Teo Martín’s own car molds. This unit has an official past within the World Rally Championship. Specifically, Teo’s is unit 10 of the 20 manufactured by Audi Sport -ex Hannu Mikola-.
The mechanics, meanwhile, are totally based on the original model. The engine equipment, injectors, cylinder head … It is exactly the same as the old one. The turbo is also original to the S1: “It is one of the parts that has cost us the most” says Gómez. The power, of course, is also close to that of the eighties, with around 500 horsepower.
The sound of the car, through the typical dump valve, is also traced. The only variation comes through the exhaust, with the aim of achieving more security. This is how the pilot explains it: “These cars, when they bit the exterior, or with the flames, could cause a fire. The exhaust outlet was facing downwards. I did not want to do it that way, because I was always going to be worried, since the areas where we usually run are very dry”.
The gearbox is also the original one, with identical developments to those of the eighties: “It’s amazing, because it has a perfect, immaculate staging. All speeds are staggered, from second gear, at 30 km/h, reaching up to 190 in fifth”. Remember that this model carries six speeds.
As for the braking system, more of the same, just like in the Gr.B era, with 304 mm brake discs, exactly the same on all four wheels, to distribute the weights. It has the same calipers and discs on the front and back.
And about the design … It has original advertising, the same, identical: “We have hardly put any advertising of ours. Only, on the front window, we have placed Gallardo Team, with the same typography of the time, so as not to break the aesthetics original car”. The painting, pristine, has taken a three-month job between two people.
How can you achieve such exclusive pieces?
We are talking about components with a lot of value and very exclusive, even more so being original. Here’s an example: The horn button is original from the car, obtained in an eBay bid, like the station used at the time, with the microphone and speaker.
More details … The wheels that the car has mounted are replicas. However, as if that were not enough, the pilot has a total of nine original tires used by Walter Rorhl’s team: “I don’t want to race with them, as the handling gets worse with the passage of time. We will use them for exhibitions and similar matters“, highlights Gómez.
Since the car has the spare wheel inside, one of those tires – the spare one – is wedged on the spare tire. “When I sit in the car and look back, I start to shake”
A very united team
Manuel sums it up perfectly: “Above all, I want to emphasize that I have been surrounded by an impressive team, with a perfect person for each part of the car. I have had one of the greatest experts in the world, a Bulgarian friend, who has helped a lot. The union of the team has led to achieve this marvel today”.
Gallardo workshops, vehicle lovers: Manuel is the owner of this workshop, with two warehouses in Alcalá de Henares and another in Loeche. “In our workshop we carry out restorations of all kinds of cars, including very old ones. We treat all the units with great affection, with an impressive level of finishes”.
A humble team, but as we have highlighted from the beginning of this article, a lover of their work: “I consider what we have achieved to be crazy and outrageous. It will be a real milestone to take a car of these characteristics to race in our country”.
“We are a humble team, but that works and lives for this world. We have an incredible relationship between us, and this project has united us even more” he highlights.
Finally … When will we see the Audi S1 in action?
The debut of the car was scheduled for the Cieza Rallysprint, the Regional Cantabrian race. A community where the team has many friends. Despite being registered and eager, some last minute problems prevented the dream debut.
As it cannot be otherwise, work is already underway to get everything ready again. If all goes well, and as planned, Manuel Gómez and Angelina Blández will participate in the Rally Costa Brava, a scoring race for the Spanish and European Historical Championships. Its celebration is scheduled for March 12 and 13, 2021.
Let’s hope it is like that! From these lines, we want to thank the interviewee for his willingness and kindness to tell us about his new jewel. We will surely enjoy it for many years. Congratulations!!