Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1971 Audi 100 Coupe S - Rare in the US (And Everywhere)

In a way, you can call this the Audi GTO. Just as John Delorean had to develop the Pontiac GTO in secret in order to prevent GM from interfering with or shutting down the project, Audi technical director Ludwig Kraus had to do the same with the 100 S Coupe. Volkswagen had no idea what was going on until the car was ready to be presented. It was a wise move on Kraus' part. Just as the GTO defined Pontiac as GM's "sporty" division, the 100 S Coupe defined Audi as a premium brand.

The 100 S Coupe made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1969. It was based on the 100 sedan, but had a shorter wheelbase. The 1.8 liter Audi 4 had twin Solex carburetors and an aggressive camshaft that enabled this car to reach 60 MPH in 10 seconds or so.(Impressive for a large 1970s 4 cylinder coupe.) According to the seller of this car, the 4 speed transmission was designed by Audi and Porsche and uses Porsche synchros.

The seller compares the look of the car to the Aston Marin DBS and, if you squint, he has a point.

Although Audi produced over 30,000 100 S Coupes between 1970 and 1976, less then 600 are known to exist today worldwide, making this a rare car. These cars were never officially imported into the US and the seller says this is 1 of 2 here. (Another website says there are 3 in the US)

This car appears to be in remarkable condition. It has a rebuilt engine (done professionally by a highly regarded local Mercedes Benz shop) and new paint. The seller replaced the trouble prone Solex carburetors with a pair of Webers. He still has the original carbs and is including them in the sale. The interior looks immaculate.

While I compared the 100 S Coupe to the GTO because of its secret development, this car is really Audi's 2002tii. In the 1970s, the 2002tii established BMW as the German sports sedan brand in the US. Audi has been playing catch-up ever since. I wonder if things would be different now if Audi had decided to sell this car here.

Located in Saint Leonard, MD, click here to see the eBay listing.

Check out the Audi 100 Coupé S Club of Great Britain for more information and pictures. You can find it here.

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