Thursday, August 26, 2010

1977 Audi 50 GLS

This car has been for sale for awhile and has appeared on other blogs and websites. Still, I wanted to write about it because it's so unusual here in the US.

The Audi 50 was introduced in 1974. It was available only in the 2 door body style. In 1975 VW put some Volkswagen badges on it, cheapened it up a bit and created the Volkswagen Polo. Not surprisingly, the cheaper (but less equipped) VW Polo outsold the Audi 50. By 1978 the Audi was gone. (The Polo still exists today and, ironically, Audi's A1 - it's first supermini since the 50 - is based on it.)

The body was designed by somebody. Just who that "somebody" is, is open to debate. It is credited to Audi's Ludwig Kraus, but Bertone and Marcello Gandini are known to have had some input, at the very least. It also bears more than a passing resemblance to the Giorgetto Guigaro styled VW Golf and a few websites credit him as the designer.

This is a small car. It's just 11' 6" long. (A new Mini Cooper is 11' 9" long.) The engine, depending on the tune, puts out 40 or 50 horsepower.

The GLS is a fairly rare version of this car. It is the upmarket version with a nicer interior and a few extra features. The seller says the just 50 are still registered in Germany and this is most likely the only one in the US. I can't verify the former, but I'm pretty certain the latter is true.

This is a great piece of Audi history and one that would be a huge hit at any car show.

Ahh, but there's the issue of the price... The seller is running this as an auction, but he has a Buy It Now price listed of $12,500.00. Big bucks for this little car. The seller points out that if you could find one in Europe in this condition and import it, title it, etc. it most likely would cost you as much as this one. That's probably true. However, it appears like you could save $3000.00 by going to the seller's website, where the very same car is being offered for $9500.00. Hmmmm...

Located in Prescott, AZ, click here to see the eBay listing.


Quantum Joe said...

It's rare, but that kind of money will get you a nice S4.

Jon said...

This was on B.A.T. back in February 2010.

More than a few folks at BAT were shocked at the price. The seller responded in the comments section. He seemed pretty level headed and explained the "hidden" costs that would justify the price. This guy imports Pinzgauers and Unimogs.

You should take a look at the 6X6 Pinzgauer on his website. Wow! Makes a Hummer look like a golf cart.

I also noticed he has a huge Pinzgauer pickup for sale. It makes me wonder if the Audi 50 hitched a ride in the bed when it was shipped over. It certainly looks like it would fit.

In any case I don't see that much has changed since that time. It's his car after all, and he can ask whatever he wants for it.

We never got the Polo or the Audi 50 stateside so I guess I would have to settle for making a "tribute" model from an old VW Rabbit.