Press "Enter" to skip to content

This site contains Ebay partner affiliate links, which may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

1983 Audi 5000 Turbo Diesel

The word “rare” gets tossed around an awful lot, and if I’m frank we misuse it often. We talk about rare color combinations, rare drivetrain configurations, or rare specifications. But how about an entire model line that’s rare these days? Now, that’s worthy of taking a second look, and while all early Audis fall into that category, the Type 43 large chassis cars are truly not often seen anymore. There are a few reasons that; Audi’s focus in 1984/5 shifted towards the more popular all-wheel drive models as they looked to go upscale in the market with the new Type 44 chassis. Additionally, many of the early Audis that were sold in the U.S. were sold in areas that left their rust-prone metal fatigued. And the Type 44 chassis was so thoroughly modern, it instantaneously rendered the still fairly new Type 43 a dinosaur of design. If “Video Killed the Radio Star” in 1978, aerodynamics, modern design and quattro killed the first 5000 in 1984. Looking back, though, the 5000 was a lovely design; sure, it was boxy and the U.S. didn’t really get the top-spec European 200 5T model. But by 1983 there were 3 different options to choose from; the base model was the 5000 S, available with the 2.1 inline-5 found also in the 4000 5+5 and the Coupe GT. At 100 horsepower, it wasn’t much of a match for the weight of the Type 43 chassis, but it was available with a 5-speed manual. Step up to the 5000 Turbo, and you got a healthy bump to 130 horsepower but could only select the dim-witted but reliable 3-speed automatic. But the sleeper of the trio, and the one that was seldom selected, was the 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-5 diesel option:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi 5000 Turbo Diesel on Craigslist

Year: 1983
Model: 5000 Turbo Diesel
Engine: 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: Not Listed
Price: $2,500

Offered up for Sale – RARE

1983 Audi 5000 Turbo Diesel finished in Bordeaux Red Metallic over Dark Brown Leather Interior.
I have owned the car for over 15 years. Engine and Transmission were completely Rebuilt along with all accessories, etc about 2k ago. Engine was redone at Redmond Workshop and Transmission and other services at Autohaus Vic. Have all receipts. Over $11.000 in all new running gear. I am a long time Audi Type 43 Fan and have owned many over the years. But ready to part with this one after a long time.

I am ready to sell since I do not use the car that much. There is a relay that sometimes works other other times does not to start the car. But enging is tight, new and has lots of power.

Call for a showing. Curtis at show contact info
•do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

The 5000 Turbo Diesel shared some aspects with the 5000S and 5000 Turbo, but was unique in its own right. The staggering 23:1 compression ratio resulted in a not staggering 84 horsepower, but the lumpy inline-5 did produce nearly as much torque as the gasoline-powered Turbo model at 127 ft.lbs.. While the gearing of the transmission was the same as the 5000S and Turbo automatics, the Diesel had a much longer final drive at 3.08 (v. 3.91 in the 5000S and 3.73 in the Turbo) to match the lower power delivery of the motor. Brakes and most of the other running gear was shared with the 5000S, but the cooling system was from the Turbo. Performance wise, this was not a fast car; 0-60 took a leisurely (and loud) 14 seconds and it would top out only 100 m.p.h.; but the diesels were about fuel mileage and this one returned mid-to-high-30s on the highway; impressive for any large sedan, even today. But let’s talk rare for a second…this is one seriously rare bit of kit. Finding any Type 43 is hard. Finding a Turbo Diesel is even harder. Make it a running one, and you’re on to one hand in the U.S. in terms of number. Then make it in the condition of this example, and you’re likely looking at one of the best condition Type 43s of any sort still around in the U.S., never mind with the infrequently seen Turbo Diesel designation. It’s been fully overhauled and is in simply stunning condition, from the beautiful exterior with added Euro-headlight goodness and some optional 15×7″ Ronal R8 alloys fit. It looks, in many ways, like a 200 5T that was never offered here. Inside the great condition carries over with a clean leather interior rather than the usual tweed these cars carried. Rare…rare…rare! I wish I was a bit closer, because I’d seriously consider picking this car up as an occasional show car. It’s so cool to see, such an incredible survivor that not many will even have a recollection of. On top of that, the asking price is far below was a clean equivilant Volkswagen diesel would trade for. This car is absolute pure win in my book and should make the next owner quite happy.



  1. markiteight
    markiteight August 5, 2015

    Wow Carter, lately you’ve had quite the talent for finding interesting cars from my past. First it was the white B5 Avant in Santa Fe, and now this. I rebuilt the motor in this car back in 2007 when I was working at Redmond Werkshop (Curtis misspells it in his listing). In fact, it was because of this car that I met Curtis and we eventually became good friends.

    The job started as a simple injector swap but I discovered that the head was cracked around one of the injector seats (you have to pull toward the engine when torquing these injectors, if you pull perpendicular or away from the engine the head will crack). We sourced a new head, but when the old one was removed I discovered that two of the head bolt holes were badly stripped. In an effort to keep the already spiraling costs of the repair under control we Time-Serted the holes and reassembled. While the Time-Serts accepted the head bolt torque they just couldn’t hold under the diesel’s high compression. Time for a new block. Sourcing an Audi 2.0 liter (not 1.9) diesel block is no easy task, but miraculously we found one locally and in good shape, but at Curtis’ behest sent it off to a machine shop to be slightly over-bored, decked, and cleaned up. The machine shop also cleaned up the pistons, which were in excellent condition, and installed new rings and main bearings. Once it was all back together (about 8 months after the car was first brought in) I set the pump timing to the limits of factory spec. I don’t know if the pump timing and/or the slight bump in displacement had anything to do with it, but this car feels stronger than any (admittedly tired and worn out) 5000TD I’ve driven.

    Curtis doesn’t mention in his ad that the car was freshly repainted in its original Bordeaux color just prior to all the engine drama. Curtis collects and restores quite a few oddball German cars (he has had about a dozen Type 43s since I’ve known him, and has thinned his herd of Vanagons to less than 20), many of which have been given new paint. As such he has a close working relationship with a local paint shop that does phenomenal work. The paint on this car is amazing, and the color is really unique and suits the car well. Interior is in very good condition for a car this age but the leather on the front seats is a bit dry and starting to crack. Nothing that some Leatherique couldn’t fix if it’s caught soon. This car also features Audi’s funky E-Mode transmission which shifts into neutral when stopped and shifts back into Drive when the brake pedal is released. So the shift pattern looks like this:
    P-R-N-E-D-2-1. Oh…it also has new Bilstein shocks I installed at the same time as the engine rebuild.

    The only “gotcha” with this car is the electrical issue. The owner prior to Curtis really did a number on the wiring in this car. I spent HOURS doing my level best to sort it out but the wiring diagrams in the Bentley manual have absolutely nothing to do with what’s actually in the car. Curtis managed to find someone who knows more about these cars than anyone has a right to and he corrected most of the issues, but the next owner will have an adventure getting the last of it figured out. Unless Curtis has replaced it, the rear muffler is completely shot. Other than that she’s golden.

    For $2500 this is a serious steal! If I had the gumption to pick up this car I would get the pump built up by Giles Gallie, install a newer, smaller, more efficient turbo and with an intercooler and crank up the boost, swap in the 5-speed manual from an earlier non-turbo diesel, and make a helluva sleeper.

  2. Carter
    Carter August 5, 2015

    Great input, thanks markiteight! Appreciate you taking the time to retell the story.

Comments are closed.