Miniature Curbside Classic: 1972 Audi 100 By Signature

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Remember when you were a kid, watching cartoons on Saturday morning, and on came a commercial showing the latest toy? Until that commercial appeared, you had never heard of the toy, nor indeed had any great desire for a toy of that type–but once you saw it, you just had to have it. Despite my being well past my elementary-school years, a similar event involving this lovely 1/18-scale Audi happened to me recently.

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In the Klockau household, family members are encouraged to hint at what they would like for Christmases and birthdays. While some may feel that this takes the fun out of shopping for your mom, dad, brother or sister, in our experience it works quite well. We are a pragmatic bunch.

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It was late January, and my birthday was coming up. I really didn’t have any huge “wants”, but that changed when I came upon this 1972 Audi while perusing model cars online. Although I already had several models from this company, including a Porsche 356 and Chrysler Airflow, I was unaware they had done an Audi 100–the first of a long line of 100s (the third-gen 100 was marketed in the U.S. as the (ill-fated) 5000).

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One look at that blue interior and I had only one thought: I must have this model! So thanks to a not-so-subtle hint to my folks, this little Audi was on display amongst my other 1/18 cars a week or so later. Until I saw this model, I was not even aware that the 100 was made as a two-door sedan– all of my period ads show four-doors.

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When it debuted in November 1968, the “C1” 100 was a thoroughly modern car with front-wheel-drive and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which was available in 79-hp base, 89-hp S and 99-hp LS versions. A swoopy fastback Coupé S with styling quite similar to the contemporary Aston-Martin DBS was also available. The fastback variants were equipped with a bored-out, 113-hp, 1.9-liter version of the 1.8-liter four.


The 100 was very successful in its home market. Although the production line at Ingolstadt was running full-tilt, it still could not meet initial demand. As a result, a second 100 production line was added at VW’s own Wolfsburg plant! All told, 827,474 C1s were built–not too shabby.

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C1s were built up to 1976, and the four-door variant sold quite well in the U.S., despite reliability issues that also seemed to plague other contemporary emissions controls-equipped North American imports. Despite its popularity when new, today it is one of those cars no one remembers until they see one on the road (or if they owned a lemon 100 in the ’70s!).

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But enough about the full-size 100; we’re here to talk about the scale model! This one is very well detailed with photo-etched emblems, seats that slide back-and-forth and tilt forward, carpet-simulating blue felt and even fold-down sun visors–just like the real thing!

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This car is so detailed, I was able to get the trademark CC “through the window glass” shots. Just behind the driver’s seat you can see the seat belt–it even has a chrome buckle!

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All in all, the assembly and quality are quite good, although my example has a slightly misaligned hood, and a little scratch on the passenger door that I imagine I can clean up with a bit of polish. All in all, this little Audi is a keeper!

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I really have a thing for Audis of this vintage; the clean lines and no-nonsense design of the 100 (and the smaller 80) are very appealing to me. A full-size Audi of this vintage would probably be a money pit, but I can enjoy one in miniature. Apparently, Signature is also going to do a four-door 100 in the near future–and when it debuts, this mini-me 100 just might get a stablemate.

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