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While there is no arguing that Audi is currently achieving impressive sales figures with their current models, their high-tech snobbish image probably isn’t doing them any favours in the classic car scene, where Audi’s are generally all but ignored and forgotten. But is this entirely justified?

Probably not. After all, the company has a long and proud history tracing its roots right back to 1904 when August Horch first established his car manufacturing company. Then in 1910 he set up his second company, this time named Audi, which in turn became part of a merger with Horch, DKW and Wanderer to establish the famous Auto Union in 1932. This was the first use of the four rings – representing those four merged brands – which to this day embellishes all Audis. After the war, the Audi marque was relaunched when Volkswagen managed to buy DKW from Daimler-Benz. In 1965 they they fitted a four-stroke engine in the DKW F102, and started selling it as the Audi F103. This small saloon was further developed into the 60, 75, 80 and Super 90 to reflect the power output. Only three years later, in late 1968, Audi launched their first post-war fully self-developed car with the Audi 100 – known as the C1.

The well-proportioned three-box saloon debuted in 1968 and quickly established Audi as a manufacturer of high-quality saloons for the upper middle market.

The C1 was meet with huge approval from both the press and the buying public, and subsequently became a huge sales success for the company finally securing Audi’s future as Volkswagen’s upmarket brand. The well-built saloon was launched with a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine pushing out respectively 80hp, 90hp or 100hp depending on whether you opted for the base 100, the 100S or the 100LS. Of course, development of the model continued throughout its production life, leading to the introduction of the two-door saloon a year later, and then the highly stylish and elegant Audi 100 Coupé S in late 1970. Besides its Aston Martin-inspired design, the coupé also received a bored out 1.9-litre engine bumping up the power output to 115hp. Then for the 1972 model year, a new range-topping trimlevel was introduced for the two- and four-door saloons called the 100GL. Audi were really reaching for the very upper middleclass market now, as the GL not only received the stronger 1.9-litre engine from the Coupé S, but also pampered its occupants with luxurious like deep velour seats and a rev counter as standard, while also sporting a more purposeful face with four round headlights replacing the two rectangular items.

German engineering combined with German ergonomics and not least the posh GL-trim.

The 1974 model received a light facelift with a more angular nose, different rear light lenses and more importantly coil springs replacing the rear torsion bar. Then at the end of 1976, the C1 model bowed out to make way for the newer and bigger C2. By this point just short of 800,000 Audi 100 saloons had been produced with another 30,000 coupés on top of that number. Impressive considering it was their first self-developed model and that only 2,000,000 Audis in total had left the company since being reestablished in 1965.

The two-door saloon debuted in 1969 – just one year after the four-door.

What caught our fancy here at ViaRETRO this week, is a 1974 Audi 100GL with the tw0-door saloon bodywork. As such – short of the rare Coupé S which has also seen a serious increase in value during the last few years – we’re looking at Audi’s range-topper from the early to mid seventies.

In the pictures provided the car presents very well indeed. It’s an elegant shade of Marathon Blue metallic over a black interior and sits on stock steel wheels sporting both stainless steel dog dish centers and trim rings – not to mention authentic French-market yellow headlights (seeing as the car is for sale in France). It’s been well spec’ed from new as well, as it has both a factory sliding sunroof, blue tint windows all round and the four-spoke steering wheel from the Coupé S. The private seller has taken the time to write a proper advert with plenty of information provided – which is nice for a change. However, my French skills are pretty much non-existent, so I must confess that I’ve relied on google translate. He makes the point quite clearly that the Audi is not in perfect condition. On the inside the dashboard has a crack on the top, the backrest of the rearseat has a hole in the Skai material and the roof-lining seems to have shrunk a bit. Other than that, the rest of the seats, the doorcards and the carpets are good, while the wood veneer has been restored. The bodywork is said to be rustfree, but the paintwork could apparently do with some attention if you want a perfect shine. Mechanically it has clearly received some recent tlc with a good compression test, complete engine gasket set, new clutch, master cylinder, water pump, fuel pump, alternator along with an electronic ignition system and the installation of an electronic fan as well. The front suspension has been seen to with new steering ball joints and new brake pads. All four tyres are also said to be good too. The current owner is only the third and the car comes with complete history and both its keys.

However, as far as I can tell, the car is currently not registered, and must therefore be picked up by trailer / flatbed. As long as this is purely down to a bit of paperwork, then I’m sure it’s not a problem, but if you’re seriously interested it might be worthwhile to investigate further with the help of someone who actually speaks French and preferably also has a working knowledge of the French car registration system.

Here are a few pictures of the stylish Audi:

As mentioned the car is for sale in France, just northeast of Paris. The private seller makes the point that he is note desperate to sell, but he would like the Audi to go to an enthusiast who will get it back on the road. There’s also a small spares package included in the sale. He’s asking Euro 7,000 which currently equates to £ 6,200. To my mind that appears to be a whole lot of stylishly packaged German engineering for the money. For more details and contact information, have a look at the advert here: 1974 Audi 100GL 2-door

 

With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to primefindoftheweek@viaretro.co.uk

3 Responses

  1. Tony Wawryk

    Very smart car, and looks good value from the oics. One of my uncles ran one of these (one of a sequence of Audis that started with a DKW 1000 through Audi 80/100). The coupe version is properly lovely, a German Fiat Dino (which is high praise).

    Reply
  2. Anders Bilidt

    Tony, I too have family memories of the first generation of Audi 100’s. My grandfather bought an Audi 60, then a base 100 and finally upgraded shortly after to a range-topping brand-new 1973 Audi 100GL in red with a black vinyl roof. He kept this car meticulously until the early nineties, and I have fond childhood memories from many trips on the backseat of his grand 100GL. I wish it could have stayed in the family, but he sadly sold it only a couple of years before I invested in my first car..

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