PCH, Hell Uber Alles Edition Revisited: BMW 745i or Audi V8 Quattro?

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Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! In our last Hell Project matchup, we learned that two-thirds of Jalopnik readers would choose a Mustang-based Fauxrrari over an Integra-based one as their ride of choice in the Lake Of Fire. The Lake Of Fire, as we know, is rough on body panels… but not nearly as rough as it is on brain-scramblingly complex German electronics. That means we're going to return to Hell Über Alles, with a couple of precision-engineered German machines with bargain-of-a-lifetime price tags.

The BMW E23 745i was quite a machine, with the 252 horses churned out by its turbocharged/intercooled 3.2 or 3.4 liter I6 representing a very impressive figure for its era, but they weren't sold in North America. BMW shoppers had to make do with the naturally-aspirated 733i and 735i over here… that is, unless a buyer was willing to brave the wilds of the gray-market import jungle and bring one over from Europe. Many were willing, surprisingly enough, and you can get one for yourself if you're willing to do a little digging… and a lot of wrenching. If you're in a penny-pinching mood, you can find a cheapo 733 and a trashed 745 and join the two in unholy matrimony, like the seller of this '83 745i/'78 733i combo (go here if the ad disappears) was attempting to do before he or she ran out of time and money. The 745i was allegedly running when parked in March (the year isn't specified, but we'll be charitable and assume the seller means 2008 and not 1995), and it "still needs some love, but what 4dr 600hp classic luxury sedan doesnt." Hey, this must be one of those rare 600 horsepower E23s that BMW offered to its really special customers back then! There's no price given, but given the impossible somewhat challenging nature of this project and the tough economic times, we figure you'll be able to pick up both cars for the price of a 15-year-old Nissan Sentra.
Turbocharging is fun and all, but a big V8 directing mountain-moving torque loads through all four wheels is even better, yes? Yes! The early Audi V8 was a real monster, with 276 horses harnessed to the Quattro all-wheel-drive system in dauntingly complicated perfect harmony… but you couldn't buy one in North America! What is it with those damn Germans, keeping all the good stuff for themselves? Not to worry, though, because some Americans were willing to tread ink in the paperwork lagoon long enough to get themselves a shiny new V8 Quattro back in the early 90s, and- can you believe it?- now they've become fairly affordable. Think we're joking? Then take a gander at this here '91 Audi V8 Quattro (go here if the ad disappears) for the '92 Mazda 323-esque price of just $1,295. That's right, you can buy this car for a tiny fraction of the customs fees its original owner handed to the feds to get the car into the country in the first place! Isn't depreciation a wonderful thing? It seems to be in perfect condition, too… oh, wait, there's that bit about "Tiny oil leak, airbag and antilock lights are on." Well, how hard can a gusher out the rear main seal valve cover gasket leak be to fix, eh? And those warning lights- they're almost certainly just symptoms of total and catastrophic ECU failure minor glitches in the wiring; you'll have 'em sorted out years minutes after you tow drive your new white elephant daily driver home!