Double Take: 1980 and 1981 Audi 5000Ss

Update 12/2/18: The manual 1981 5000S has been relisted with a reserve auction and opening $6,500 bid price. It bid to $5,100 last time around and I was surprised it didn’t sell. Based upon the other Type 43 sales recently, the current listing seems ambitious so we’ll probably see this one remain for sale for a bit.

Update 11/11/18: The 1980 5000S sold for $2,600.

I wasn’t particularly effusive with praise for the Type 44 Audi 5000S, although it was almost certainly the car which kept Audi’s doors open and lights on in the U.S. during the 1980s. Part of the reason that the Type 44 was so successful was that it was a major step forward from the Type 43, a car designed in the 1970s that felt…well, decidedly like it was from the 1970s. It was big, boxy, not particularly efficient and not particularly technically advanced – especially when compared to the model which replaced it.

However, there were some great qualities about the Type 43. It was the model that introduced mass turbocharging to Audi with the 200 5T, a de-tuned version of which would appear in the U.S. as the Audi 5000 Turbo. Audi used that idea to launch the Quattro a bit later, and the rest is history. The Type 43 was also quite a handsome car, though like many from the period its looks were hampered by the DOT-approved bumpers. Although well reviewed by magazines and offering class-leading features and technology, the Type 43 never really sold in great numbers. A total of 163,442 sold here between its 1978 launch and 1983, the last model year before the Type 44 replacements rolled into dealers. That was just a bit better than the C1 Audi 100 had sold here, a car with a less-than-stellar reputation. Clearly, the Type 43 spent most of its time erasing the memory of the C1, and consequently it is important as it laid the cornerstones for the more successful Type 44.

Today C2s are pretty hard to come across, though we do see a regular flow of them across these pages. Today’s examples are the more pedestrian (and more common to find) 100 horsepower naturally aspirated versions rather than the early Turbo. Still it’s a bit of a treat to get two at the same time, so here we go:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Audi 5000S on eBay

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1983 Audi 5000 Turbo

I think I’m going to lose some credibility in my declaration of rarity of Type 43s, because for the third week in a row we get to view a very nice example. Unlike the previous two, today’s 5000 is one of the last Type 43 Turbo models to make it to these shores. Moving to the turbo model didn’t quite get you the power of the Quattro; without an intercooler, these cars only had 130 horsepower. However, that was a substantial bump over the standard 100 horse normally aspirated model, so they were reasonably quick for the time. The Turbo also featured upgraded 280 mm front brakes and 240 mm rear discs – other 5000 models had only drums. Holding those brakes up were 5-bolt hubs and Ronal R8 wheels shared with the Quattro, giving the 5000 a much more sporting presence. Usually these Turbo models were loaded, too – leather, air conditioning, and automatic transmissions were the norm. Pathetic residual value of the Type 43, though, ensured that very few have survived until today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi 5000 Turbo on eBay

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1983 Audi 5000S with 38,000 Miles

Just the other day, I reviewed a 1980 Audi 5000S which I said was a very nice example. While it certainly was, today’s must be considered exceptional. Coming across two mint condition Type 43s in a week is certainly cause for a smile and without doubt a review. This one ups the ante with lower miles, more original condition, a shocking scant 38,000 miles covered since new and a 5-speed manual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi 5000S on eBay

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1980 Audi 5000S

The Type 43 Audi just isn’t something you run across every day. That’s because most are long gone; some had rust problems, but more suffered from depreciation such that a relatively minor repair could suddenly render the car worthless. Such is the case for today’s 1980 5000S, a car which ended up in an auction site likely because of a transmission falling to pieces. Yet someone saved today’s example, cleaned it up well and rebuilt the running gear, and now it’s set to remind show goers of an oft forgotten yet important page in Audi’s history:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Audi 5000S on eBay

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1980 Audi 5000 Diesel – REVISIT

When I saw this 5000, it looked familiar to me even though we rarely cover C2s. But when I read the ad, I was sure I’d seen it before. While we try to produce fresh material with every post, once in a while a truly special or unique alumnus of our pages resurfaces. In this case, it’s a quite rare Type 43 Audi 5000 Diesel. Originally, this car was written up at the end of 2013; now, nearly 3 years later, it’s back from a seller in Tennessee, have traveled only apparently 200 more miles and with a $1,000 price drop to $8,995. What’s perhaps even more spectacular is that they stole my words for the advertisement copy, only replacing “New England” as seen below with “Tennessee”. While it was good for a laugh and I’ll choose to chalk the plagiarism up to a backhanded compliment, this remains a very impressive and rarely seen specimen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Audi 5000 Diesel on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 14, 2013:

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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

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1983 Audi 5000S with 33,000 Miles

If you think that the early BMW 7 series – the E23 chassis – is a rare sight these days, they’re downright common compared to C2/Type 43 Audis. The first “5000”, in the rest of the world this was the Audi 100 and 200 in turbocharged form. The C2/Type 43 replaced the innovative but not particularly reliable or quick 100 and was a major step towards building the modern Audi. It introduced not only the familiar inline-5 to the large family sedan, but also turbocharging and even diesel motors to Audi’s lineup. However, the platform never saw the introduction of the quattro all-wheel drive platform – all of the Type 43s were front drive, and a fair amount were automatic. By 1983, the writing was on the wall – Audi had its new C3 platform full of more innovation and trumped aerodynamics – parked next to the C2, you could see the resemblance but the new car looked downright futuristic compared to the box on box design of the C2. Though the best part of a million of these sedans were produced, they’re one of the rarest Audis to see stateside these days – depreciation, rust and time have taken their toll. Properly cared for, though, they’re still a nice looking large sedan and a treat to see – especially in this condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi 5000S on eBay

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