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Audi 100 S

Published: 27th Sep 2013 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Audi 100 S
Audi 100 S
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In many ways the answer is yes and what’s wrong in that? They look fairly similar, and while the Aston is a true GT, the much slower 100S goes nicely enough, is well built and is even rarer than an Aston – when did you last see one, for instance? What’s more this captivating, cultured coupe remains top value.


Less than a Capri! Fewer than 3200 made it to the UK and whereas until recently a complete pile of bits used to fetch no more than £400, project cars now sell for £1000 minimum, with good examples changing hands for £3000 or so. A really nice one will fetch £4500, while the best cars are worth an extra £1500 on top – if you find an owner willing to sell that is.


Not quite but there again it only uses a 112bhp 1.8-litre engine which in this heavyweight means moderate pace. The car’s forte, thanks to a clean shape and tall gearing, is relaxed cruising and commendable economy. Handling is extremely good and the 100S is one of the most modern feeling classics you could wish for.

The fat 185/70 14in tyres grip well and it’s a car that can easily keep up with modern traffic flow. With more than 60 per cent of the weight above the front wheels it’s an understeering car but it can change to heavy oversteer when pushed hard. The good brakes were rated some of the best anchors for their era. Best of all it feels like an old Mercedes; nice and solid and extremely comfy. There’s more room than a Capri, too.


Changes were few so it’s down to condition (as it always should be) when looking. Launched in ‘69 but not available here until late ‘71, in 1973 the rear suspension set up from the Audi 80 was adopted. Cosmetically the grille and rear lights were changed at the same time. For 1975 stiffer bodyshells using impact bumpers, along with a fresh wheel design figured. Negative offset front suspension geometry, again from the 80, were grafted on while the front brakes were now mounted conventionally outboard. The engine was slightly derated during this time.


Apart from the scarcity of certain parts the 100S should pose no problems although it will never be Capri-easy. There are no greasing points, and routine servicing is every 6000 miles and service parts are obtainable. The only beef may be the ATE front brakes which are mounted inboard on early models, making pad changes tricky.

Corrosion is the issue, especially cars built from 1974; earlier ones were apparently made of a higher-grade steel. Pay close attention to the front valance, scuttle panel, rear quarter panels and A-posts as well as the sills. Sunroofs cause problems; drain channels block up, leading to A-posts rot. Other rot spots include the rear axle mountings, the actual subframe and jacking points, while the battery tray rots out and is tricky to repair.

Body panels becoming extremely hard to come buy – forward of the doors it’s conventional LS saloon. The cloth trim becomes shabby while items like decorative air vents and early wheel trims are like hens’ teeth.

The engine is more durable; 100,000 miles is usual if maintained, and even then only a top-end rebuild is usually needed. However, hairline cracks can develop in the cylinder head between plugs three and four; it’s usually the result of overheating through sustained high-speed driving, so you’ll need to track down a decent second-hand head.

The engine can develop tired valve guides and oil seals resulting in smoking; blocks and pistons are hard to come by. When the car came to the UK the engine was derated from twin carbs to a single Solex 32/35 that’s wear-prone and costly to overhaul.

One of the Audi’s better known weak spots is its gearbox and parts are hard to find, as are used ‘boxes. Automatic transmission suits the car well and these models remain high geared but the ‘box needs watching for leaks (stator oil seal) and a leaking vacuum modulator valve. The former fault allows auto fluid and oil from the diff to mix – nasty.


Definitely – the Audi 100S is one of the best kept secrets in the classic coupe market and in its own Germanic way as desirable as a DBS!

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