By on April 28, 2011

When I was 16 and just beginning to contemplate expanding my personal automotive fleet beyond a ’69 Corona sedan, I had the opportunity to buy three Audi 100s for 350 bucks. Actually, the deal was more like 3.75 Audi 100s, what with all the random engine parts stuffed in the trunks and oozing oil onto the upholstery. None of the three ran, but I figured I could play mix-and-match with the parts and make one runner, which I would then customize in the finest 1982 style (shudder). I ended up passing on the tripartate-O-100s, due to what I thought was the inherently uncool image of the marque (back then, only orthodontists drove Audis), but the question remains: what can be done to fix the stodgy-yet-vaguely-sporty image of the C1 Audi 100?

Tomas Sport Tuning seems to have figured it out. This 8-track-equipped 100LS rides on airbags now, and the look actually works. The key is the factory hubcaps; 21st-century wheels would just look silly.

The only improvement I’d suggest would be an early-70s-grade brown paint job.

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28 Comments on “Who Says You Shouldn’t Slam an Audi 100?...”

  • avatar

    I like it, even in Waldgrün.

    Apropos of nothing, the 2012 Beetle will offer old school-style hubcaps~

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!  I knew it had to be on airbags or hydraulics.
    Call me completely f-ed up but every since I was in high school I’ve wanted to do something similar to a 1986-1991 Buick LeSabre.  Bonus points if it’s a coupe.  (I was one given a 1991 model as a “loaner” when my 1982 Celebrity was in for service at the GM dealer.  God with the 3800 and four speed auto it was a revelation over my Iron Duke equipped Chevy.  That Buick would peel rubber from a stop at will.)

  • avatar
    John Fritz

    Back in the mid ’90’s a good friend of mine owned a white 100. He called it Hitler’s Revenge.

  • avatar

    Beautiful car, but then anything looking like a 2800/3.0/Bavaria would be.

  • avatar

    Is it just me, or do I see more than a hint of a Leyland P76 in the front end of that beast?

    • 0 avatar

      Only a hint, and only the front end. The rest of the 100 LS looks like the car I was driving when the Audi was first imported in 1970: a 1965 Rambler American. They were both about the same size and overall shape. The big difference was I had the 232 engine and Borg Warner Flash-O-Matic transmission. It wasn’t as fancy inside, but more durable – except for the headliner, door panels, radio knobs, trunk lock, driver’s exterior door handle and window cranks.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Well, not to be a party pooper, but the car looks “broken” . . . which is fitting for that car, because it usually was.
    When Audi introduced the new “100” into the US market (badged as the “5000” for reasons that will become obvious) the US importer explicitly said that, unlike the old 100, the new 5000 would be reliable.
    Yeah, right, says this former “5000” owner.  Absolutely the most unreliable car I have ever owned in 40 years.  In 4 years of ownership, I had failures on that car that I have never had fail on any car: steering rack, head gasket, clutch slave cylinder, reverse gear in a manual tranny, annual failures of the a/c, heater core, aluminum (!) contacts for rear tail lamp assembly.

    • 0 avatar
      also Tom

      What a shame. I had a long list of woes with my 5000 too. It also started to blow oil after 98000 careful miles. Regarding the lowered example  in the pic I can’t help but ask “why”?

      • 0 avatar

        Add me to the list of people that have endless problems with their Audi 5000. I can’t figure out why I still love it and I want a Coupe GT! It’s the Audi disease and it’s not curable.
        Picture link:[email protected]/4721650016/in/photostream

        The slammed Audi 100 is awesome! The owner is a brave soul and must have a case of Audi disease.

      • 0 avatar

        Those Audi 5000 wagons are still sharp looking!

  • avatar

    I briefly considered an Audi 100 as a first car (very used) in high school.  The example I looked at was tired and had a very strong attraction to my wallet, which I resisted.

    Glad I didn’t buy it, but they did have a certain classy look about them which I think is missing from today’s Audis, and cars in general.

  • avatar

    Superior German engineering.
    Doesn’t Austria and the Sudetenland also wrap themselves in the “German mystique”?
    Anyway, the Hindenburg told me all I needed about “superior” Fatherland engineering.
    The 1980 Audi 5000 clinched the belief.
    Maybe a German-built toaster or non-stick frying pan would re-posit my subjective opinion.
    Maybe not.
    A used V6 Chevy or Ford van?
    Cargo van.
    Not a wimpy passenger-type van such as a Windstar, etc.
    Something i can live in when even a meager shanty in the low-rent portion of the USA is unaffordable.
    Long wheelbase cargo-type with minimal windows offering max privacy so a porta-potty/camper’s potty can be used when needed.
    Waiting for gas to rise to 5 bux per to see if cost of van falls.
    I believe local construction/contractor-types, mainly redneck hillbillys would pay top dollar for 60K mile 4×4 long bed extremely well-maintained.
    4x4s very popular especially among the “General Lee” car on cement blocks lawn ornament crowd.
    A cargo van would allow easier stealth vehicle living than crawling into the back of a top/camper SHELL equipped p/u.
    Won’t need to tow….
    MAIN consideration is stealth/secure vehicle living.

    Blog page where comments can be made.. opinions, etc.
    Hints, tips, thoughts, whatever greatly appreciated!!!!!!
    Vehicle type. Outfitting interior…. anything!!!!

    • 0 avatar

      ‘Doesn’t Austria and the Sudetenland also wrap themselves in the “German mystique”?’
      As the joke goes, Austria’s two greatest achievements were to convince the world Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.

  • avatar

    “Maybe a German-built toaster or non-stick frying pan would re-posit my subjective opinion.”

    Actually, German appliances are pretty good. I have a 220V Porsche-Design water heater that looks great and heats a half liter of water in one minute.

    But I agree Audis (and Volkswagens) are woefully trouble-prone still after all these years.

    • 0 avatar

      I concur with German appliances. We have a Miele washing machine and dryer that came with the house we bought, front loaders. They are very, very durable, run very quiet. I probably wouldn’t have bought it on our own dime as they’re really pricey, about $1,200 to $1,500 per unit.

      • 0 avatar

        They are very much worth it vs the domestics. Bosch too, long trouble-free service life.

        Not so for the Audi. That is a great looking 100, but the low-rider thing is not doing it for me. Looks silly and contrived.

        Interior is very nice and in great shape! So much nicer than the dark, dark, cramped overdesigned interiors of today with their Klingon/Romulan cell-phone style center stacks!

  • avatar

    That thing looks idiotic.

  • avatar

    I remember riding along with my father as he test-drove one of these in 1974. It was billowing white smoke out of the exhaust, and the automatic shifted like a an old tractor. If that car had any redeeming qualities, they eluded my father who wisely passed on it.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Loved my shit-brown 1979 Audi 5000. It was a tank. Required the maintenance crew too.

  • avatar

    We had several (many?) of these growing up…When I was a toddler in Germany (very early 70’s) my memories started with what was called the “Super 90” with a pair of HUGE Hells driving lights up front. Very cool. Then we got our first 100, blue with blue interior, then another one also blue but with red interior…
    Then we moved to the US, and bought another one, this time white with tan interior. After it got rearended, we got a powder blue one with I think black interior. The US market ones seemed MUCH less reliable, there was much more cursing from my dad (an engineer, not an orthodontist). After that he got a Mazda and never looked back…
    By the way, those may be factory hubcaps, but there should be a set of trim rings as well on those wheels. And I do not recall ever seeing a brown, but am sure they exist somewhere…

    • 0 avatar

      You are right about the trim rings.My Dad had a brown one with a 4 speed.Second gear was good to about 60 mph.Only problem it ever had was the distributor didn’t tolerate any dirt in it.Once in a while,you’d have to run a rag across the points.After that…it was good to go.It handled pretty good for a car back then.Some dipstick stole it and totaled it,whereupon Dad bought a new 81 Accord,saving him the fun of having to ever deal with the Audi 100LS’s notorious inboard brakes. That car looks like an elephant sat on it.The driving experience must be akin getting stuck with a bad shopping cart with a borked wheel at the grocery store.It certainly looks about as appealing.

  • avatar

    WOW…a current pic of a 100LS
    I had one too many years ago to pinpoint but I remember how great the seats were and how the rear torsion bar suspension rusted away leaving you with a nose high car….
    Thanks again for the pic!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    A friend of mine owned a 100LS 2dr w/sunroof. It reminded me of a poor mans 280SE. I was amazed that it was actually quite reliable though he did sell it a few years later so who knows what the new owner had to deal with.

    I once dated a women who had a mid-80’s 5000. What a miserable POC! I was always the dutiful boyfriend who managed to fix what I could on it. Battery, alternator, fuel etc. The other more complex stuff I told her to go to the local “Germanhaus” repair shop who specialized in these.

    My dad owned a VW Dasher 2dr 4spd which was the cousin to the Audi Fox. When the syncros went out we went to the wrecker for a transmission. Since they as well as the 100LS are both N-S mounted they ended up giving us a 100LS transmission by mistake. We had to return it and get the correct one. The fuse box was trouble on these too. Hit a little bump and no power. Duct tape to the rescue fixed it!

  • avatar

    Somewhere around 1973/74, my parents traded in their Mercury Cougar for an Audi 100. To this day, they refuse to look at Audis (they drive BMWs & Mercedes these days).

    The Audi was replaced in 1977 with a Toyota Corona (1977 1/2 model year).

  • avatar

    That is a gorgeous piece of styling. Simple and elegant. Although I’m not sure it was meant to be a low rider.

  • avatar

    The only ugly thing on that car is the prndl.

  • avatar

    Check out this 1974 Audi Coupe on eBay!


    It’s so desireable yet you know in the back of your mind that you are just asking for trouble. Kinda like a hooker!

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