AUDI DRIVERS – #1981
100 CS / #Audi-100CS
A car called Destiny…
John McLannahan recounts the story of his wife’s 1981 Audi 100 CS, a tale of ownership that was clearly just meant to be…
Many visitors to the Classic Motor Show at the NEC last November admired our left-hand-drive 1981 Audi 100 CS on display on the Club Audi stand, and it has quite an interesting story to tell…
The Fahrzeugbrief (title certificate) shows that our Audi was built by #Audi-NSU-Auto-Union-AG
and first registered by Autohaus Kober in Esslingen on December 3, 1981, with the plate ES-Y 9912. Some 10 service stamps (at approximately 7500-km intervals) and two owners later, my wife Jacqui bought the car at 76,000 km, on July 22, 1990, and because she lived and worked in Stuttgart at the time, the car had to be re-registered as S-KS 7657.
When she bought it, she hadn’t even passed her test – but a friend of a friend had advised her that he knew of a really good car for sale. He was probably right. Incidentally, when she did pass her test, and because of her ‘impaired eyesight’, the German licencing authority placed a 150 kph (93 mph) restriction on her licence… Jac moved back to the UK in 1994 and the Audi was again re-registered, this time in Liverpool as DEM 160X on June 27. However, three years later, in 1997, with the cost of fuel, repairs and maintenance rising and with the large cruiser not being really best-suited to city driving, it was traded in (at an allowance of £1200) at Halls in Birkenhead, in exchange for a Peugeot 106.
Although the deal seemed very sensible both economically and practically, we were very sad to part with her trusty old bus and often wondered with great fondness whether it had actually gone to Russia or Turkey to be used as a taxi – which is what the dealers had predicted. Subsequently, we could find no trace or record of it anywhere, and (typically) wished we had held-on to the car.
By 2006, we had moved out of the area and on one Sunday in August that year we were out for a walk with our dog along a disused railway line, called the Wirral Way. It was customary for us to drop in to the Pollards Inn in Willaston for a drink before we returned home, passing, as we would, a small used car lot…
Imagine our surprise, when we saw the unmistakeable Indiana Rot (red) on the roof of a car that was just being brought out of a warehouse. Tumbling past the other vehicles in the yard, we were delighted to see that the roof was indeed that of Jac’s old Audi!
It had just been brought out of storage, to be collected later that day and taken to Turkey to be used as a taxi! We quickly discovered that £170 would settle the storage charges (for 9 years!) and that for another £10, they would tow the car home for us.
When we looked at the V5, it showed that there had been no official change of registered keeper, so technically Jac was still the car’s keeper.
Since 2006, we have used the car in the summer time as our daily runabout, spending whatever was needed to get it through its annual MoT. As such, it is largely un-restored and proudly displays the obvious ‘patina’ that it has accumulated over its 34 years, the last 25 of which in Jac’s ownership – of course.
A couple of years ago, we joined Club Audi and have attended and enjoyed a number of meets and shows both locally and at the NEC. We have appreciated the many kind comments that we have received about the old bus and having agonised for some time as to whether we should keep the car or sell it, we have now decided to start a steady programme of restoration.
As far as we know, there is nothing major to be done. However, there are patches of rust here and there, the rear offside door needs replacing and some of the panels have faded more than others. The first job then is bodywork and a respray. I was lucky to have found a rear door and two other NOS panels recently, and I have discovered a (limited) availability of other parts in Germany.
Back in the summer, a fellow Club member told me about a 1982 (LHD) C2 which was for sale in Southend. Sadly, the car was beyond saving, but it was a source of some other parts, all of which may be useful as time goes on.
We look forward to continued membership of the Club and we’ll be attending as many events and shows as time allows. As far as we know, this is the only LHD C2 Audi 100 on the road in the UK, so hopefully we will soon have it back to its former glory.
‘We have been using the car in the summer time as our daily runabout, spending whatever was needed to get it through its annual MoT...’
‘When she bought it, she hadn’t even passed her test – but a friend of a friend had advised her that he knew of a really good car for sale. He was probably right...’