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Audi 100s Coupe

Audi 100s Coupe Published: 23rd May 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Audi 100s Coupe
Audi 100s Coupe
Audi 100s Coupe
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If you agree with the view that the Triumph GT6 is the beginner’s E-type, then Audi 100S Coupé must be the starter Aston Martin DBS!

What’s so wrong in that? Take the badges away and you’d swear that this German came from Newport Pagnell and that comparison doesn’t do this Audi’s reputation any harm whatsoever.

Like the Aston, the 100S (launched just a few years later…) is a genuine four-seater grand tourer of culture and distinction that’s also now a true classic, given the fact that it’s reckoned that fewer than 50 right-hand drive examples remain – so it’s more exclusive than the Aston! The time to buy one is now as values soar.

The 100S was unveiled at the 1969 Frankfurt motor show, although the first cars were not officially imported to the UK until the tail end of 1971, with automatic fans having to wait well into ‘72.

Essentially, this classy coupé was based upon the competent 100LS saloon – albeit four inches lower and nine inches shorter – and one of the first Audis to be launched under the ownership of Volkswagen, who acquired the troubled brand from Mercedes during the mid 60s. A significant car indeed.

Dates to remember

1969 Car is launched in Germany although doesn’t enter UK showrooms until twolyears later. Based upon 100LS saloon, but on shorter floorpan, and with higher performance from Mercedesdesigned 1.9-litre engine. When cars arrive in the UK original twin carbs are replaced by a single, but with minimal loss in performance.

1973 Mild facelift, chiefly to the frontal include new lights, while inside the interior trimmings are improved. Mechanically the car gains a revised rear suspension taken from the new Audi 80 saloon.

1976 A year before the 100S is dropped it gains a reinforced body and an anti-skid front suspension design, again 80-derived with outboard front brakes. Further tweaks to the interior appointments take place while for ‘76 a servicefree gearbox is fitted.

Buying advice

Corrosion is the main issue, especially those built from 1974; earlier cars were apparently made of sturdier steel. Body panels (and trim) are very hard to come by – forward of the doors it’s conventional LS saloon but these were changed during the ‘73 facelift. Top cars command high prices but given the trouble and expense of a good restoration are the cheapest in the long run. Pay close scrutiny to the front valance, scuttle panel, rear quarter panels and A-posts as well as the sills. Sunroofs also cause problems; the drain channels block up, leading to corrosion of the A-posts. Other potentially costly rot spots include the rear axle mountings, the actual subframe and jacking points.

The engine is more durable although hairline cracks can develop in the head between plugs three and four; usually the result of overheating. Gearboxes can be worrisome and parts not easy to obtain. The inboard ATE front brakes may be a beef as pad changes are a tad tricky. Go to

What makes this classic so special to drive and own?

The Audi may be no Aston to drive but it was streets ahead of the rest 50 years ago and is as good as an Alfa GTV, with more room and a Mercedes-like robustness. The 1.9-litre performs better than you’d expect from 112bhp and was no slouch in its day, although more a rival for a Capri 2-litre than V6. One area where the Audi did punch above its weight was top speed, where that clean shape and tall gearing would see a creditable top speed of 112-115mph in comfort and refinement. Handling is good for a front-wheel driver and the brakes were rated some of the best anchors for their era.

Best buys & prices

The 100S celebrates its 50th this year which will cement the values, aided by the fact that there’s under 50 models left – half are SORN. Not so long ago a pile of bits used to fetch no more than £300 – projects now sell for closer to £3000, with good Coupés changing hands for double. A Plus Audis are starting to breach the £20,000 barrier as there are very few of those around and they come onto the market extremely rarely so you may have to look for a LHD model and even then it’s a case of what you can get but early 70’s cars are sought after.

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