Friday January 17, 2020
Fifty-four years ago, you might have been reading the motoring press when a startling advertisement catches your eye; ‘ISL 1982 - dial it if you dare’. The challenge was to ‘tame Audi – the saloon that sports Mercedes power’.
Furthermore, ‘All that power plus front wheel drive means Audi likes to go. All the way around curves. Do you?’.
In fact, the importer was so convinced that you would be impressed that they promised to reverse the charges, should you be so bold as to call ISLeworth 1982 and arrange a test drive.
In 1966 the great British motorist was largely unfamiliar with the Audi name although its logo was known to thousands of drivers.
The four rings stand for the “Auto Union” of Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer but only the second-named was revived after the Second World War.
The Ingolstadt plant recommenced building cars in 1950 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtVStFvlV_E - and the concern became part of the Daimler-Benz empire in 1958.
1963 saw the debut of the rather elegant F102, which featured smart new lines and inboard front disc brakes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_fYAp7na5Y. Unfortunately, too many prospective buyers regarded its 1.2-litre three-cylinder two-stroke engine as dated, and its popularity of the latest DKW was limited.
Daimler-Benz sold Auto Union to Volkswagen in August 1964, and MD Dr. Heinrich Nordhoff issued orders banning the development of any new cars bearing the four-ring badge.
But since 1963 the Union’s technical director Ludwig Kraus had been developing a new version of the F102 powered by a four-stroke 1.7-litre engine.
The F103 made its bow in September 1965, sporting a longer bonnet, a matt-black grille, rectangular headlamps – and the revived Audi name - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3ITRjnnrfE. By 1966 the F102 and the DKW brand were no more.
A few months after the launch of the Audi saloon, the Auto Union introduced the Variant estate car and the flagship Super 90, with its 1,760cc engine. The UK price was £1,194 0s 3d, placing the Audi on the lower fringes of the Rover/Triumph 2000 market in the UK with the adverts boasting a superior 0-50 acceleration than either British rival.
Another alternative was the Ford Corsair 2000E, but the German car was a very different form of motor-car – understated and even slightly formal as opposed to proudly “Flash Harry”. ‘The Exclusivity of an Audi Super 90’ proclaimed Auto Union, appealing to any motorist of taste and discernment.
Auto Union introduced the larger 100 in 1968, and the F103 range was replaced by the B1 80 in 1972. By that time the four-ring logo was as familiar as the BMW roundel as the hallmark of dependable and enjoyable prestige motoring.
It almost goes without saying that every current B9-series A4 owes a debt to that understated saloon from 1965. And quite possibly to those customers who dared to call that mysterious telephone number on the Isleworth exchange.
Why choose Lancaster Insurance?
Here at Lancaster, we love classic cars as much as you do and we understand what it takes to protect them for future generations.
We have links with some of the top classic car clubs around the country and some of our policies even offer discounts of up to 25% for club members.
Other benefits of classic car insurance through Lancaster can include:
• Historic rally cover
• Static show cover
• Limit mileage discounts
• Choice of repairer
• 24-hour claims helpline
Give your classic the protection it deserves and get a quote for your Audi today.