Today’s car is going to start a bit of a series of big-body Audis from the 1990s for me. Why start here? Well, the 1991 Audi 100 was a end of an era for Ingolstadt’s products in the U.S. For a little over a decade the big-body cars had been powered by inline-5 motors, and the NG 2.3 liter unit under the hood of this 1991 was at the end of its life span. 1991 would see the introduction of the new V6 motor that would become the staple of Audi for the nearly decade and a half. Late 1991 also saw the introduction of the Type 44/C3’s replacement – the all-new C4 chassis. Well, I saw “all new”, but inside it didn’t really look like it changed much. Outside, though…
There were other changes to the new 100 that I’ll go through in the next post. But let’s talk about today’s 100, which was really just a dressed up 5000. Like all the Type 44s, it received a revised interior with the nomenclature swap in late 1988. Dynamically, though, there were basically no changes from 1987. In fact, the ’87 5000 front-drive shared more in common with the Turbo than the later model which shared many components with the small chassis cars.
The front-drive 100 soundly outsold its more expensive 100 quattro and 200 brethren. Somewhere around 5,000 1991 100 front-drive sedans and Avants were sold here, but finding them today can be a bit of a trick:
It’s hard to believe that only eleven years separate the genesis of the inline-5 Avant wagon design and its culmination with the 1995 Audi S6. Audi’s groundbreaking aerodynamic design for the C3/Type 44 looked from the start as if it were intended to be a wagon; a sleek, modern design with flush windows and a sweeping D-pillar. It would be two years until Audi’s quattro drivetrain would debut in the large package, which left you with the sole option of front-wheel drive for 1984 and 1985. Audi also opted to leave the KKK turbocharger out of the package until all four wheels could deal with it, as well – so basically this car was a luxurious 4-door Coupe GT for the first two model years. Thankfully, though you were only allowed about 110 horsepower, Audi allowed drivers to opt for a manual transmission even in front-wheel drive form:
Last week we took a look at a 1973 Audi 100 Coupe S. It was a bit of a gamble, with photos from 1990 and a not particularly detailed description. It was also a 3-speed automatic, and though the 100 isn’t really known as a driver’s car I’d still wager that most enthusiasts would prefer the manual option for these vintage Audis. As if to rectify all of the faults with that listing, around the same time another 100 Coupe S popped up. Now, to say that these cars are rare in the U.S. is an understatement, so it was pretty cool to see a second and more detailed listing appear. With current photos, a fresh restoration, super low miles and a much more detailed description, it certainly looked like the one to choose between the two – except for two not so minor things…
Were it not for the four rings on the front, it would be pretty easy to mistake the Audi 100 Coupe S for any number of other late 1960s – early 1970s GT cars. There’s a loose resemblance to the the second generation Mustang, for example, but a much stronger link to cars like the Datsun B210 and original Toyota Celica. Too pedestrian for you? How about the Fiat Dino, Jensen Interceptor, Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and Aston Martin DBS? Indeed, there were many coupes that shared the relative same profile in this era, though truth be told it’s not likely that you’ll mistake the Audi for a Ferrari once the curves beckon. Underneath, the Coupe S was – after all – a C1 Audi, not known to be the best drivers out there but good cars on the highway. With 113 horsepower fed in this case through a 3-speed automatic, you won’t win any drag races. However, it’s a sharp looking and rarely seen classic, with only a handful in the Western Hemisphere (there are 5 known in the U.S., for example). That makes this Audi even more rare to see on these shores than a Sport Quattro, for argument’s sake. Though it’s not as desirable, there is nonetheless a fanbase that love these very pretty early Coupes:
I’m going to say something that’s probably somewhat shocking to many Audi faithful; the original Audi 100 was actually a sales success. Audi produced nearly a million of its new-style sedan, taking the company of a trajectory of innovative and aerodynamic family cars throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Of course, you’ll say, even if the C1 was a success in Europe, it wasn’t so much here in the U.S., right? After all, you see very close to zero of these handsome 1970s designs kicking around today. That would be a misstatement of the truth, since Audi original sold an astonishing 146,583 Audi 100s here. But since Toyota sells that many Camrys every hour, let’s put that into perspective. Some really rare Audis in the U.S.? How about a few of my favorites – 22,356 Coupe GTs sold here in total, and only 3868 V8 quattros made it to the States. Okay, neither the Coupe GT nor the V8 quattro was a particularly popular model for various reasons. How about a wildly popular model, then? Audi’s sales success with the 100 was on par with the company’s more recent star model, the A4 – Audi shifted 98,393 95-99 A4 models, and those are pretty common to see even if the newest of the B5 generation is 14 years old. A bigger perspective? Audi sold more 100LSs than it sold total cars (135598 total) between 1988-1995. I remember the 1980s, and even then – when these cars were newer than the current B5 generation – you just didn’t see them. That makes it especially neat to see one today, especially in the condition of today’s example:
One of the benefits to U.S. automobile enthusiasts of the recent global economic slowdown is the raise in value of the dollar relative to the Euro. For some time, the Euro was nearly a two to one ratio – it made contemplating importing vintage cars hard to stomach, because you needed to double the price and then deal with the headache and cost of importing the car. With it much closer to one to one as it is today, perusing the halls of German eBay suddenly becomes less of a pipe dream and more of a potential reality. Of course, if you’re going to be going through the difficulty of importing something, it better be worth it! For me, there are a plethora of rare Audis that I’d love to import. However, it does seem silly to import a S4 or S6, for example, since they were available here as well and you could get a pretty nice example. No, it seems to make more sense to look for something that you just don’t see on a regular basis – like this 1973 Audi 100 Coupe S, for example:
In yesterday’s post on a 1978 Porsche 930, Rob asked “What happened to Guards Red“? Well, I have a similar question – what happened to all of the front wheel drive Audi 5000s and 100s? Occasionally we see some turbocharged front-wheel drive 200 models come up for sale, but even they’re a rarity; yet, in the 1980s it was those front-wheel drive models that provided the revenue stream for Audi, who struggled to sell vehicles increasingly towards 1990. The 5000 and 100 were actually pretty popular, too – competent, quiet highway cars that looked much more updated than the rivals from Munich when they launched. Sure, they weren’t the best performing cars in their day, but they were a reasonable alternative to the Mercedes wagon, which was the only other big German wagon at the time. Despite that, there just aren’t many left – especially not in this condition:
Let’s get this right out of the way – the first generation Audi 100 isn’t the most popular Audi ever built. It’s not even in the top ten most popular Audis. In fact, the Audi 100 is one of the cars that helped solidify the general automotive public’s belief that Audis were rusty, unreliable and unnecessarily complicated cars that you should stay away from at all costs. So what is a 1976 Audi doing on these pages, especially if it needs a restoration? Should it die the death everyone believe it should? We here at GCFSB say a resounding “No!” Why? Well, for the simple reason that too many of these 100s have already passed into the automotive underworld, leaving precious few in serviceable condition. And they’re not the worst cars ever made; sure, they’re not as iconic as the Quattro, but the 100 was a pleasant looking sedan that rode beautiful, was quite and composed. As effectively an entry into a new market for Audi, it was an impressive design. Last year, I looked at a restored 1972 100 LS that was asking well over top dollar; but this car is the more rare 2-door variant in need of a restoration:
Talk about rare; I know Audis pretty well and have owned quite a few, but I’ve never even heard of this Austrian rear spoiler from Foha. Perhaps one of our eagle-eyed readers can help with some history or more information? Regardless, it’s a cool, rare new old stock piece that can help finish off your Type 44 or D1 Audi with a unique look:
Model: 5000, 100, 200, V8
Price: $399 Buy It Now
Very hard to get in the US
This is a NOS original aftermarket trunk lid spoiler from FOHA (AUSTRIA) that fits AUDI 5000 sedan. These is a original FOHA made part in high AUSTRIAN quality. The main spoiler will be installed on the top of the rear trunk and the two parts on both sides. It is original black, can be painted in every other color. It is in a great shape! No cranks and damages. Do not miss the chance to get a real unique EURO look for your car. All parts are new and in a mint condition.
What you see in the pictures, you will get! All original pictures, no relisting!
Do not miss that chance to get a very rare german part for your AUDI! Shipping and handling is $65 with airmail to the US
It’s not cheap, it won’t be easy to get on, but you’re not likely to see another – perhaps ever. Want that last detail on your 5000, 100 or 200 sedan? Here you go!
If this morning’s Jetta TDi was a bit too new for you and you’d really like an alternative to the run-of-the-mill older Mercedes-Benz diesel crowd, we may just have the answer for you in today’s 1980 5000 Diesel. Audi was still quite a fledgling in the United States in 1980 and the reputation of the early 100s – while comfortable cruisers – didn’t really help the company much. In the days before Quattro then there were few Audis to be found on these shores, but they’re smart looking cars, and in the case of the second generation 100/200/5000, quite well built. Still, it’s very rare to see them out and about today, and even more rare in the condition of today’s diesel:
Model: 5000 Diesel
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 118,609 mi
Price: $9,995 Buy It Now
Diesel lover special, 1980 Audi 5000 Diesel !!!!!!!!!!
Belonged to German couple in Oregon, New belts, New Brembo brakes, fluids, filters……………………………look at the pictures, unbelievable condition. ZERO rust. Once in a life time. Starts, Runs, Drive EXCELLENT.
5 Cylinder naturally aspirated diesel, 5 speed manual transmission, interior like brand new. amazing car.
Can come with 20 Day Temporary tag (except for Massachusetts residents), and New Hampshire state inspected if needed!
Title is clean and on hand.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone if you have any questions.
-Winning bidder must contact us within 24 hours after close of auction. A $500.00 dollar deposit is due in hand within 24 hours of auctions end and full and final payment must be received within 7 days of auctions end. If no contact is made you will forfeit the deposit. Deposit is non refundable.