Audi 100 Coupe S

Audi 100 Coupe S


What’s the 100 Coupe S like to own, and how much should you look to pay for one? Seatbelts on, as we present our ultimate guide to an iconic Audi.

One of the more glamorous cars to adorn British roads in the 1970s was the Audi 100 Coupe S – a sleek, two-door edition of the upmarket 100 saloon that was, at the time, still a niche product in the UK.

Subsequent generations of the 100 sold better in the UK as Audi built up a following across the 1980s and 1990s. That grew from its reputation for producing high-quality saloons – interesting alternatives to the default Mercedes or BMW choices.

Before that, though, was the Coupe S, a little slice of exoticism that rivalled the likes of the Aston Martin DBS or Iso Grifo for exclusivity and kerb appeal.

History and overview

The Coupe S was derived from the first generation (C1) of the Audi 100, the German marque’s new range of large saloons. Introduced across 1969, the full C1 range comprised a four-door saloon and two-door equivalent – plus the sleek, svelte Coupe S.

The latter, when it appeared, seemed to take a few design cues from the Aston Martin DBS, which had been presented to a suitably impressed motoring world a year previously.

The Coupe S took after the DBS most particularly in its use of louvres behind the rear side windows, and in the shape of its rear light clusters.

By the way, those louvres were a very attractive addition to quite a few sporty late 1960s / early 1970s cars, and always look very evocative of their time.

Other cars to sport little louvred panels include the wonderful Alfa Romeo Montreal, and the similarly beautiful (and, to our eyes, unfairly neglected) Renault 17.

There were two other very desirable grand tourer cars that seemed to inspire the Coupe S. One was the Jensen Interceptor, an early entry into the sexy, menacing grand tourer stakes when it appeared in 1966.

The Interceptor’s low, prowling stance, long bonnet and roomy rear end look to have had some influence on both the DBS and 100 Coupe S.

The final car with which the Coupe S shares some obvious DNA is one of our very favourites from the whole classic car universe.

We’re talking about the Iso Grifo, surely one of the most elegant cars of all time and a product of that golden age of Italian GT design that also gave us the Maserati Khamsin and Lamborghini Espada.

Styling for the Grifo was from one Giorgetto Giugiaro, he of the Lotus Esprit, the Mk1 VW Golf and countless other iconic car designs.

The C1 100 was the first brand new engine made by Audi since it was taken over by VW in the mid-1960s. The new 100 played a big part in putting Audi on the map, and the Coupe S variant played a big role within that.

The Coupe’s wheelbase was some five inches shorter than that of its saloon siblings. Its 1,871cc engine put out 115bhp, a significant improvement on the 80bhp of the base model 100.

But the looks, not what was under the bonnet, were the real draw here. The roofline was graceful. From side, front or rear, the car could easily be taken for something Italian from the era.

Audi 100 Coupe S models and production years

The story is simple with the Audi 100 Coupe S. The car was produced across just one generation, from 1969 to 1976.

A little over 30,000 cars were produced, and it’s thought that around 3,200 of these made their way to the UK in right-hand-drive mode. Those UK cars went on sale at £2,418, a not inconsiderable sum for the time.

For comparison purposes, a 1969 Ford Capri cost £890 while, a couple of years later in 1971, a V12 Jaguar E-Type would set you back £3,139.

That’s a jump over the Audi – but not all that much, particularly when you compare the E-Type’s 5.3-litre V12, capable of 272hp, with the Audi’s relatively humdrum four-cylinder block.

The Audi also came in just the one trim level. In fact, when it came to choices, your major decision was the transmission: you could specify your 100 Coupe with either a four-speed manual, or a three-speed automatic gearbox.

Why was the Audi 100 made in secret?

Interestingly, the car was developed in secret by Audi engineers. This was to avoid interference from Volkswagen, by now Audi’s parent company.

Although by now part of the larger VW family, Audi clearly wanted to give this sleek coupe its own distinctive personality. And its quest clearly worked: the car was well liked by both VW executives and the wider public when launched.

The 100 Coupe S had unmistakable Audi looks, plus that rakish, Italian profile. The stylish Coupe played a crucial role in the brand’s emergence as a distinctive force in the executive car sector.

Common problems with the Audi 100 Coupe S – and where can you find help?


Interestingly, earlier cars (built up to 1973) tend to have been made with slightly better-quality steel than their 1974-onwards counterparts. Either way, the 100 Coupe S is now an old car – all models will be either side of 50 years old – and there are often repairs to be made.

Areas that can deteriorate and need welding or, where parts are available, replacing include the front panel beneath the bumper, the sills (in particular those towards the rear of the vehicle), and the rear quarter panels.

Some Coupe S cars were specified with a sunroof as an optional extra. That can make them the ultimate cool ‘70s cruising machine – but it can also, unfortunately, be a rust magnet.

Other corrosion hotspots include the floor pan, especially around the car’s jacking points. Repairs here can be both costly and time-consuming, so check the area carefully.

Engine and mechanicals

The Audi 100 Coupe S has a reliable 1871cc engine that should be good for 100,000 miles without problems.

After that, cars tend to be thirstier with the oil: but this can be fixed by replacing the engine’s valve stem seals. If you take this step (or a previous owner has), you may be able to get up to 150,000 miles out of the car.

What other engine problems should you be aware of? Well, the heads of the four cylinders can develop hairline cracks. This is generally a result of the engine overheating.

Elsewhere, the synchromesh gearbox can start to perform less efficiently at around the 60,000-mile mark, and the change from first to second gear can feel particularly clunky or loose.

A complete gearbox overhaul for a car of this vintage is likely to be very expensive, so we’d thoroughly recommend a test drive with a variety of gear changes before committing to any purchase.

Available benefits at a glance

  • Car Club member discounts up to 25%
  • Static Show Cover
  • Historic Rally Cover
  • Choice of repairer
  • Salvage Retention
  • Free EU cover up to 90 days
  • Two Year Agreed Valuation
  • Laid Up Cover Available*
  • 24 Hour Claims Helpline
  • UK Based Call Centre
  • Limit Mileage Discounts

*(available for £18)

Why Choose Lancaster Classic Car Insurance?

  • Classic Car That’s Hard to Insure?
  • Classic Car MoT Exemptions
  • Classic Car Insurance Quote
  • Classic Car Insurance Discounts and Benefits:
    • Car Club member discounts up to 25%
    • Static Show Cover
    • Historic Rally Cover
    • Choice of repairer
    • Salvage Retention
    • Free EU cover up to 90 days
    • Two Year Agreed Valuation available for £18
    • Laid Up Cover Available
    • 24 Hour Claims Helpline
    • UK Based Call Centre
    • Limit Mileage Discounts

Lancaster is the insurance broker of choice for classic car owners providing cover for over 88,000 classic cars (as of May 2019).

We arrange classic car insurance for over 40% of all MG Bs on the road and over 30% of all Land Rover 88s and MG Midgets – proving that classic car owners place their trust in us.

At Lancaster Classic Car Insurance, we aim to find the best price for your individual cover needs. We appreciate the importance of recognising the true value of your classic car and our team will be happy to talk to you through our benefits, such as agreed valuations and salvage retention.

We will offer you a tailored policy, bespoke to your requirements – this can include cover for:

Lancaster Insurance is committed to supporting the classic car clubs.

Owners club members may enjoy discounts of up to 25% off their insurance premium (the level of discount offered by each insurer differs and is subject to underwriting criteria).

Some of the classic car clubswe currently partner with include MG Owners ClubMX5 Owners ClubVW Golf MK1 Owners Club, VW T25 Club and many more.

If your club isn’t on our Classic Car Club page or wish to partner with Lancaster Insurance please call 01480 220065 or visit our Classic Car Club page for more details.

At Lancaster we understand that not every situation is the same, especially when it comes to Classic Cars.

That is why in addition to our Lancaster Classic Car insurance, we also can arrange the below:

  • Modified Classic Car Insurance
  • Multi-vehicle Insurance
  • Wedding Car Insurance
  • Limited Mileage Insurance
  • Laid Up Cover
  • Two Year Agreed Valuation

If you would like to know more details regarding the above offers, please call us on please call us on 01480 484826 or click here and we’ll call you back at a time that’s best for you.

Are you passionate about Classic Cars?

Here at Lancaster, we not only provide Classic Car Insurance but we’re constantly looking for ways to support the Classic Car community at events, sponsorship's, giveaways and sharing care tips for classic vehicles.

We’ve partnered with the team at Meguiar’s to showcase one of their awesome products each month.

This time we’re featuring the Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam contains a specialized Xtreme Cling foaming action that delivers an intense foam that sticks and clings to painted surfaces gently loosening road grime, dirt and contaminants.

Fine-tuned to carefully and thoroughly clean coated, waxed or sealed finishes while preserving protection and leaving a brilliant, swirl-free shine.

We will listen to your requirements for cover, and discuss the best options with our panel of expert underwriters, to see if we can cover your cherished vehicle.

Call our specialist team on 01480 484826 or we’ll call you back at a time that’s best for you and let Lancaster Insurance help you.

In May 2018 the Department for Transport announced that cars that were built more than 40 years ago exempt from MOT testing, with the option for owners to voluntarily have their car tested if they feel it needs checking.

What’s the average price of an Audi 100 Coupe S?

With the 100 Coupe S not making it over in big numbers, relatively few survive, and sales of this beautiful car are not frequent. However, we found a nicely presented model with a frugal 26,000 miles on the clock, going on sale for £12,500.

Another car, with 77,000 miles on the clock, went for £15,660. This one was in beautiful condition, though, and had recently enjoyed a comprehensive restoration including new sills, a total respray, new clutch, tyres, servo brakes and radiator. 

Where to buy an Audi 100 Coupe S

Where is a good place to find an Audi 100 Coupe S for sale? The internet has, of course, made searching for a used car so much easier and more rewarding.

As with any classic, the web is the place to start your search for a used 100 Coupe. You’ve got a great choice of dedicated online used car marketplaces to choose from.

Classic Cars for Sale

This is a good database of used cars on sale around the UK. You can search by marque and then, within that, by price.

Car and Classic

You’ll find a slightly more sophisticated search tool here allowing you to search for cars of a particular year or period. So, if it’s an Audi 100 Coupe S GT 1972 you’re after, you can search for that specific year in the search field.

Classic Trader

The website and marketplace attached to the classic car magazine of the same name. This site has a huge database of classics for sale: around 11,000 when we last looked.

We like the search function on this one: after entering your preferred make and model, you can organise the results by price, mileage – and even distance from where you are.

The parking

This site boasts a Europe-wide reach so if you’re happy to go further afield to find your classic, this might be a good place to start.

That could be quite an advantage when searching for a car like the Audi 100 Coupe S GT, which sold in larger numbers – and thus will be a stronger survivor today – in its native Germany than here in Britain.

In fact, now that we come to think of it, a trip to Germany to go and pick up a classic ‘70s Audi coupe sounds like a lot of fun. Why not read our helpful guide to driving your classic car in   before you go?

What about buying a classic at auction?

A direct sale is one way to pick up the Coupe S of your dreams. However, after doing a bit of homework on how these events work, you may also want to try your hand at a classic car auction.

Traditionally held ‘in the metal’ only, classic car auctions are now, since the COVID pandemic, increasingly cropping up online as well. For example Car and Classic, mentioned above, holds regular online auctions.

These aren’t a specific day when a clutch of cars go under the hammer: rather, they always have a large rolling turnover of cars going up for auction.

So you might find an Audi 100 that needs final bids submitted by this time tomorrow, and another where you’ve got three weeks to ponder your bid.

Other reputable digital auctioneers include The Market, Trade Classics, and Collecting Cars. Once again, the latter has a more international feel, so if you don’t mind travelling some distance to get the car you want, this site will be well worth a browse.

Of course, you may want to go to an actual physical auction and see the cars up close and personal. Or why not be open to both ways of buying?

In any case, some good holders of regular physical auctions include:

Silverstone Auctions

Classic Car Auctions


Anglia Car Auctions

H and H Classics

Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions

Whether you’re attending a real-life event or submitting bids digitally, we’d definitely recommend swatting up on auction protocol.

Knowing how things work is crucial to getting a good buy. Our top tips for buying a car at auction should make a good starter kit here.

Hidden costs with buying classic cars

When you buy a classic car, there are various different things to budget for. Some of these are clear right from the start. The purchase price of the vehicle, for example, will be a definite sum that may or may not fall within your budget.

Then, as a classic car owner, you will need to budget for any ongoing repair and restoration work. This includes both labour and the sourcing of parts that can, at times, be hard to find and expensive when you do find them.

Two other obvious upfront costs are your fuel and, of course, your classic car insurance.

These may both be significantly less than they would be for a typical daily driver.

If you’re only taking your classic out, say, at weekends and for trips to classic car shows, you will be covering fewer miles in it. This will mean lower fuel bills – and, hopefully, lower car insurance premiums.

Those are the obvious costs. You may also face some other outgoings that you may not have bargained for at the start.

For instance, if you’re spending a decent amount on your classic (and, in the case of the Audi 100 Coupe S, you probably will be), it may be worth asking a professional inspector to give the vehicle a once-over.

Of course, if you know your motors yourself, or can bring along a friend who does, this may not be necessary. However, if you haven’t got some classic car and mechanics expertise readily to hand, paying an expert to take a look may make financial sense in the long run.

Areas to check include paintwork, brakes, tyres and chassis.

An older or classic vehicle may also require some specialist fluids. For example, many classic cars need their own dedicated motor oil with different minerals.

Last but not least, you’ll need to look after your cherished classic when you’re not using it.

Your modern daily driver may be perfectly fine parked at the kerb all year round: however, an older car will be more sensitive to all that the British weather can throw at it.

Older car bodies won’t enjoy being exposed to rain, snow or heavy wind.

What’s more, the grit salt routinely spread on our roads during heavy winters will bring on severe rust in classics (like the 100 Coupe S) built before the arrival of galvanising techniques in the 1980s.

If your budget permits it, we would definitely recommend storing your 100 Coupe in a secure garage.

Failing that, a suitable car cover (make sure it’s a good fit, in order to keep out damp and small animals) is the next best solution.

Checks to carry out when you purchase your Audi

Before committing to buy any older car, there are a few checks that you should make to ensure that the car is as stated and won’t be giving you some expensive problems further down the line.

Here are a few checks we’d always recommend making. The Auto Express website has a more comprehensive checklist.

Accident damage and repairs

Enquire about any damage that the car has sustained, and ask to see documentary evidence of repairs. Have they been to a high standard?

Key checks to make include panels – where these have been replaced, have they been fitted flush, with minimal gaps? What about the paint job – have any replacement panels or resprays been done to exactly the same colour?


The seller will give you a mileage for the car – but does this seem consistent with the vehicle’s age and general appearance?

If they are claiming that the car has done just 40,000 miles, but the bodywork or engine seem worn out, you should be suspicious. Odometers can be tampered with.

A more reliable way to get an accurate mileage will be to look at service records and MOT certificates. And remember, you can check the vehicle’s MOT status and history on the Government website.

Safety features

Perhaps above all else, you need to be sure that your car is safe and legal to take out on the road. Checks to make here include the tyres, which should be in good condition.

Any with a tread depth of less than three millimetres will need to be replaced soon, so you may want to ask for a discount to reflect this.

Elsewhere, make sure that the seatbelts deploy properly and aren’t damaged anywhere along their length. Verify that all the external lights and interior (warning) lights work correctly.

Check the windscreen wipers and washers do their jobs.

Other controls

Satisfy yourself that all locks and windows (including a sunroof, if your classic has one) work properly. Then check other key controls – heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and radio.


A crucial part of any classic. For instance, try starting the engine from cold and listen for any unusual noises? There could be problems with the battery charge, the timing belt / chain or other key elements.

Also make sure that the oil warning light goes out when the engine starts – if not, you may have a problem with seals around the oil compartment, and your car may routinely run low on oil.

Lastly, try the clutch a few times and make sure that you can depress it without any strange noises being produced. Clutches can be expensive to replace.


If you plan to take your classic out on the road, you will need to tax it. Even if the vehicle is over 40 years old and no longer liable for road tax (and here is our article explaining the 40-year tax exemption), you still need to arrange tax – it’s just that the tax is now zero.

Now, to tax the vehicle, you will need its V5C registration document – so make sure that the seller is able to provide you with this.

Also check that the VIN (vehicle identification number), engine number and colour are as they are described on the V5C. The VIN, in case you’re wondering, can be found either in the engine bay or beneath the plastic trim around the driver or passenger doors.

Does it require an MOT?

No, the fact that all Audi 100 Coupe S vehicles are now over 40 years old means that they are now exempt from both road tax and the MOT. You can read more about the 40-year MOT exemption in our explainer on the subject.

Most classic owners will choose to continue with the MOT, though, to ensure their classic is safe and roadworthy.

Owners club discount available?

Lancaster Insurance works with a number of classic car clubs up and down the UK, offering discounts on classic car insurance.

Check with the team to see if we have a partnership with your particular Audi / VW club when you get a quote.

Does the Audi 100 Coupe S classify as a classic car?

Undoubtedly. By any metric you can think – beauty, age (the newest cars are now over 45 years old) and desirability, the Audi 100 Coupe S is now a cast-iron classic.

You can expect to pay classic car prices – but in return you will get the joy of owning and driving an absolute 1970s icon. Don’t hesitate – but remember to take all the steps and precautions we’ve run through in this article.

Interesting fact about the Audi 100 Coupe S

Audi teamed up with Porsche to create the Audi 100 Coupe S V3 variant, which boasted a Porsche 928 V8 engine with 350 hp.

It also created the Audi 100 Coupe S V4 which was widened by 4 inches to incorporate the 928 running gear.

Classic Audi 100 Coupe S insurance from Lancaster

We’re able to arrange insurance for a huge range of classic cars here at Lancaster Insurance.

And yes, that includes the svelte and desirable Audi 100 Coupe S.

So, if you have this car, or any other classic, in your sights (or are lucky enough to own one already), why not find out more about our classic car insurance policies?

Benefits of insuring with us include:

  • Choice of repairer
  • Static show and historic rally cover
  • Two-year agreed valuation
  • Laid-up cover
  • 24-hour helpline

Why not contact us for a classic car insurance quote today?