1975 Audi 100LS

The Audi C1 may have introduced the United States to the concept of a large, luxurious…well, Volkswagen…but time hasn’t exactly been kind to its legacy. Every time one comes up for sale, immediately stories will emerge of how one caught on fire, or left someone stranded, or was difficult to maintain, or just plain broke and was left to die. From a generation where cars rarely reached 100,000 miles before their untimely death, the 100 was an interesting addition to the range of German cars available to the public, though not particularly memorable for anything innovative, unique, or superlative. Yet they signaled a new direction for Volkswagen’s range, and would go on to be an important part of establishing Audi’s foothold in the market.

The new B-range and C-range cars ostensibly replaced the NSU offerings like the 1967 TT, and Neckarsulm plant formed the backbone of the new production. Because of their visual similarity to the storied Mercedes-Benz W123, many often believe Audi just copied the Daimler design; however, when the W123 rolled out for production, the C1 was nearly done and due to be replaced with the C2 only two years later. Married with Porsche dealerships, the new Audi products sold remarkably well, especially considering their pricing. At nearly $8,000 in the mid-70s, you weren’t far off the established norm of American luxury cars like the Lincoln Continental. But this car didn’t have the features, or the ‘Murican V8, of those hulks. Still, Audi dealers managed to sell an impressive 146,583 before the new C2 5000 took over in the 1977-1978 model year.

Few of these 100LSs have survived the test of time, because for so long they’ve been considered an also-ran. So it’s nice to see a lovely survivor pop up!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Audi 100LS on eBay


Year: 1975
Model: 100LS
VIN: 8151064393
Engine: 1.7 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 101,000 mi
Location: Morristown, New Jersey
Price: Reserve Auction

Selling my one owner barn find 1975 Audi 100 LS mechanical fuel injection. Parked since 1986 in original garage from original owner. Car now runs and drives and stops everything works except the AC. clean title in my name. Entire fuel system has been rebuilt. Fuel injection system rebuilt. Fuel Tank refinished. rear seat was sitting on truck for 30 years and left an imprint. Please contact me with any question.

Wow! What a find. Not only do we have a lovely example of the 100LS, it’s a four-speed manual, with a sunroof, and with air conditioning! Sure, the latter doesn’t work, but everything appears to be there, and it was apparently mechanically sorted. The condition inside and out appears to be remarkably original, and the 100LS offers an interesting alternative to the normal Mercedes-Benz classic German sedans.

Bidding has reacted, and this one’s already over $6,000 with the reserve unmet. Frankly it should sell for a lot more, but it’ll be interesting to see if it makes reserve. These have long been unappreciated, but are so rare to find like this that this one may spur some interest.

-Carter

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8 Comments

  1. Curious as to what value this example really holds… Miles and condition are way outside collectors’ boundaries, ho hum styling and performance outside, inside is nice and clean though, manual transmission is a huge plus… with ratty examples hovering at $2k I would think $6k is a great price for this one considering the extra dough needed for the A/C. Since this is a sunroof car on an East coast, a thorough inspection for rust especially around the drain tubes would be a must.

  2. Having learned to drive in a ’72 100LS, I will be watching with interest! I will also add for all the terrible press that these cars received, I can report that I drove ours well past 100k and that rust was its real enemy.

  3. I wouldn’t put all the negative press past the competition. I found it amusing how well Audi was doing outside the US market in those years yet had a “Christine” image in the American market.

  4. The engine bay gives us a look at the birth of Audi’s slanted engine and side radiator layout.

    While not the greatest looking car, it is a cool period piece. I would buy it, and put some C2 15″ wheels (oh, maybe 15×8 ronals!), lower it just a bit, clean up the US bumpers with Euro type units, and then cruise all the C&Cs.

  5. Let me guess, “just needs some freon”. And a $2,000 rebuild to house that freon. Not that that would stop a collector.

  6. OK, so what is with that engine bay cover that says “CCCCCOOOL?” Is that the AC evap, and Audi thought it would be funny to brand it that way?

  7. Feel a bit compelled to give historical perspective. While nobody was confusing an Audi with a BMW, in 1974, Audi was certainly not considered something like a big VW. Audi immediately carved out a different brand for itself with this car. It was 1. Quite handsome in the landscape of huge chromed-bedazzled Lincolns and Cadillacs, and boxy Volvos. 2. It was a rarity to have anything in the “luxury” segment with front wheel drive (MB, Volvo, BMW did not). In my Connecticut suburban are it sold extremely well, basically establishing the Audi beach head in US sales.

  8. james fuerstenberg

    I recall test driving one of these as a 10 yr old used car…I remember that it drove very nicely, but I cannot recall why I did not buy it…

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