My 2nd car at the age of 20 was a 1973 Audi 100 LS back in the late 70s. I drove it from Ohio back to Florida to live, following my father.
I loved this car with its sunroof and Blaupunkt radio. It drove very well, and the chrome gleamed. It was a beautiful dolphin gray color. I paid 1800 used for it, and struggled to pay the 67.00 a month payment, LOL.
This was one of the coolest cars I have ever owned, even with the ups and downs of its unreliability and high cost to maintain, much less finding a competent mechanic! Owdi? awedi, they never heard of one before LOL. The guy I bought it from had a brown 74 just like it, but with a vinyl roof. The sunroof broke, never did fix it, the floor rusted thru, talk about Fred Flinstone stopping the car, the drivers seat kept going lower and lower thru the floorboard! LOL.
It looked great in the driveway! With all that said, and the fact that I had to sell it to a junk yard for 125 dollars, I was in love with this car. Wish I had another one!
It drove beautifully when everything was going well. You never see any of them driving on the road, not one, at least not in SW Florida. I think my 1985 Volvo DL, 1972 and 1974 VW Super Beetles, 1976 VW bug convertible and the Audi were my favorite all time cars that I owned, the Audi being the most unreliable, but the prettiest, the Volvo and all the Toyotas and Hondas being the most reliable.
My dream is to find another Audi LS. I can't think of a car with its personality today other than Saabs, VW Beetles and Volvos of the past. The newer ones don't have the personality as the old German and Swedish cars.
I bought a 1974 Audi 100LS, used, 2 year old, with low mileage. It was very pretty and rode like a dream. Unfortunately pretty and cushy ride doesn't get you there if mechanically it doesn't work well. 8 months after buying it I was driving down Main St. at 30 miles an hour and the motor blew!!! $900 worth of parts and 2 mechanics later the car was rendered worthless and was auctioned off for $250.00. Sadly it was the sweetest riding piece of junk I hope to ever own. I really hope they are making a better car than the old Audi was.
I just read with interest the comments on the 100LS Audi. I bought one new in 1971. 2-door manual with Air. Ran like a top most of the time. I even towed a pop-up camper to Florida from NJ a couple times. Biggest problems I had were the in-board mounted brakes that tended to heat up, and the radiator fan would either not run or not shut off. Dealer tried to fix this several times to no avail. It did ride and handle quite well (with that huge steering wheel). My sister bought the second one the dealer had in late '70 and mine was in the first two dozen or so sold by them. Like many Audi dealers, the dealership was a branch of a local VW dealer. I wound up selling it to an Audi dealer in Florida during the gas crunch for only about $400 less than I paid for it after only four years. It easily did 100 on the turnpike, and did feel like it was on a rail, but any faster and it started to float. Fun car and I do miss it on occasion, but I don't think I would buy another. That was in my youth.
We bought a 74 100LS new, drove it for 10 years, 130k miles. It was a supreme pleasure to drive, thrilling, handled with a liveliness even our present Mercedes and BMWs don't have. It felt like an old BMW 3.0, very athletic and responsive, amazing acceleration, cornering and braking.
It had heavy perforated leather seats, a large wood steering wheel, spartan interior, lots of visibility. It invited the driver to push its limits which we did with pleasure.
It broke down once toward the end; a front axle failure that we had fixed, but ours was not otherwise especially troublesome. Cars have certainly improved in many important ways, but for sport driving nothing I've driven has felt sweeter than this did, not even a modern 911.
Those of you who experienced problems, perhaps had one late in its life, and did not know it at its best. It's completely gone now...
Update on my 1974 Audi 100 LS in Ontario with 95,400 miles on it now:
Started it up for the 2011 season about a month or so ago. No issues. Fired up right after 2 shot glasses of gas down the carb (same ritual for the past 20 years).
Had a great drive last night... wonderful machine. Eats up any bumps on the road with the wishbone suspension and the newer (used, but in great shape - no new ones available in the world!) suspension bushings I put in a few summers ago.
This car keeps going and going, as long as one does not expose it to road salt... which I will never do...
Note I do not have the brake issues others have experienced, and I find braking excellent. I also never had a warped cylinder head. But one time my temp sensor was not working (bloody $10 part) and this screwed up the carb, which had to be rebuilt about 10 years ago.
Lord of the Rings.
In April of 1973 just after college graduation, and shortly after I got my first real job as a hospital supply sales rep in Pa., I happily purchased a new 100 LS. I called it my poor man's Mercedes.
In the first two weeks it ran hot as a result of the cooling fan not coming on appropriately. From there on it was one problem after another. I couldn't keep it fixed long enough to sell it. The dealership knew I was absolutely fed up with the car, but didn't offer any other options. In fact when they gave me the last bill of $1584, which was a ton of money for me in 1975 (it was out of warranty), they actually made me bring cash and wouldn't accept a check.
The car was the opposite of an engineering marvel. More of an engineering nightmare. Absolutely without doubt the worst car I have ever owned. Because of the way Audi treated me through that experience, I would NEVER purchase another vehicle from them again, and I'm 65 years old now.
As luck would have it, I managed to sell it and purchase a 1975 Olds Delta 88 Royal, which turned out to be the best car I ever owned.