Junkyard Find: 1976 Audi 100 LS Sedan

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The Audi 100 was the car that made most Americans aware of the Audi brand for the first time. The 100 wasn’t particularly reliable in American hands, to put it mildly, and most examples were long gone by the time the 1980s came to a close.

Here’s a long-neglected ’76 that just showed up in a Colorado Springs self-service wrecking yard.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, 100 LS badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The mid-grade LS was the only 100 model available in the United States from 1974 through the end of first-generation 100 sales in 1977.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, dealership badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
This one was sold new in Colorado Springs, and it will be crushed in Colorado Springs.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, leaf litter buildup - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The heavy buildup of leaf litter, rodent nests, and twigs in and on this car suggests that it spent at least a decade sitting outside, possibly awaiting repairs that never came.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, HVAC controls - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The duct tape blocking operation of the HVAC controls tells a sad story of flaky 1970s VAG electrical components, and may be an indicator of the (most severe) problem that parked this car forever.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, fender badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
I saw this car while harvesting vast quantities of parts during the All-You-Can-Carry-For-$59.99 Junkyard Sale, so I grabbed these cool-looking fender badges.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, emissions sticker - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
Not legal in 1976 California!

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, engine - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
These cars were comfortable and reasonably luxurious for the price, and a 95-horsepower straight-four was acceptable power in a 2,531-pound car during the depths of the Malaise Era.

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, decklid badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
List price was $7,100, which comes to about $31,280 in inflation-adjusted 2017 dollars. For less than half that price, American car shoppers in 1976 could have had a cruder, rougher-riding, but orders-of-magnitude-more-reliable Chevy Nova. In hindsight, the bulletproof $9,172 Mercedes-Benz 230 was worth the extra money to American car shoppers seeking European sophistication and styling.

Exactly like a Cadillac Eldorado or Ferrari Dino!

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, 100 LS badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, front seats - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, HVAC controls - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, dashboard - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, emissions sticker - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, engine - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, leaf litter buildup - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, fender badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, front seats - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, decklid badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, dealership badge - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, peeling paint - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, automatic gearshift - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, Colorado emissions decal - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

1976 Audi 100LS in Colorado wrecking yard, door panel - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars