After The Middle The Pace Speeds Up

The sunlight really helped in this instance. The car shone out. Modern vehicles mostly don’t come in colours like this. So even from 800 metres I could tell this was very likely worth a closer inspection.

1976-1982 Audi 100 (C2)

The Audi is parked so close to the wall that you can’t see the badges – or, you couldn’t if they were there. By the time I got back with my camera the light had changed so I could not snap the car from the best view with the best light. However, art is often about rules and what are rules but limitations. It makes things interesting when you have requirements to satisfy. Such binding of the hands actually really helps one to do something different than is suggested by the path of least resistance.

I can testify to the creative value of rules; after a long spell during which I did not draw much or methodically, I began to work with rules. Number one, all the work goes in one pad (a marker pad). Number two, I could not remove pages from the pad.

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Which led to rule three, no second chances and no mistakes allowed. Fifty pages later I realised I needed a new set of rules, to do the things I avoided and to stop doing the things I did automatically.

The least interesting work is done on the clean sheet or the green field with money no object.

(What do you make of this car anyway? Age and rarity have dignified it but it is more or less as plain as a Granada or Rekord/Senator from the same period. It is close to them in execution than a Mercedes W-123 from the previous year. The Peugeot 604 is an altogether nicer car from the same class. Would anyone have guessed things would pan out in the intervening years?)

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

25 thoughts on “After The Middle The Pace Speeds Up”

  1. Good morning Richard. Thank you for photos of the C2 100 in a very characteristic colour. There’s a pleasing precision to the design, nicely captured in your photos, particularly the junction between front and rear door window frames and the base of the D-pillar. This particular example is a facelifted car, with wraparound bumpers. The original had a straight bar with plastic end caps. The plastic wheel covers as aftermarket items. The car would originally have had small chromed hub caps with the Audi logo. Interestingly, the car also has non-standard small indicator repeaters in the front wing, just behind the wraparound front indicators and therefore rather superfluous.

    Here’s a totally original pre-facelift example:

    The interior has a modernist 1970’s Scandinavian feel to it, with very period colours. I think I mentioned this previously, but Audi was interested in the effect of colour on the driver’s mood, so even the instrument faces were not black, an “aggressive” colour, but dark brown instead.

    1. Il might be that the third repeater on the side was requested by local regulations.
      Through the Sixties ad Seventies German cars imported to Italy were mercilessly drilled on every side to provide such repeaters, unknown to the German StVO but requested by Italian traffic laws.
      Maybe also Denmark wanted such repeaters (supposing that the picture has been taken in Denmark by Mr. Herriott).

  2. Richard, I meant to ask you if you seek permission before photographing cars you see in your travels? I occasionally see photo-worthy vehicles when out and about, but am nervous about getting my phone out, in case people think I’m up to no good.

    1. Couldn’t agree more about colour choices, Richard. I really like that metallic green on the Audi, especially combined with the orange and brown interior. Our Orange MINI will be hated (or at least avoided) by many, but a few will love it when the time comes to sell, and you only need one buyer.

    2. Daniel: one, yes, you only need one buyer and there must be the same amount of people who like orange used as new.
      Second, when I take photos I keep physically clear of the car and keep my hands in sight. If there is someone around I smile and say “lovely car, may I take a photo…it´s for a car blog.” Nobody minds at all. Good manners and a decent distance do the trick. Most people love their car to be liked.

  3. One of my absolute favourites, the biggest Polo VW ever made.
    This is the car that defined Audi as Uber-Opel and Under-BMW, complete with engine from VW’s LT light truck and dubious colour choices courtesy of Paolo Nestler.
    The roof panel was made from steel with 0.2 mm thickness and would give way when polished with a sponge. The engine compartment looked like the aftermath of a handgrenade explosion in a glory hole and corrosion set in early and heavily. VW ran several campaigns to get whole production runs off the road when dealers paid silly money for used Type43s and had to scrap them.
    Here’s the engine donor

    1. What was dubious about the colour choices? I have a bit of a thing about colour. It´s okay people don´t like certain colours but they aren´t compulsory. There was always a choice of sober colours for cars, even in the loudest phase of the Colour Years. Today there is very little choice – a victory for those who seem to think it is morally wrong to drive around in a cheerfully hued car. Where did this wierd “consensus” come from? I know journos never miss a chance to sneer at a bright coloured test car. However, it would mean nothing if it did not chime with a general view that somehow having a nice colour is an affront or an objectively immoral thing. Yes, bright colours are “harder to sell” but only harder to sell to the people who don´t like them. There´ll always be someone indifferent to colour or who´d like a mint green Golf. It´s only in the Church of Higher Residuals that colour is a sin.

    2. The first car I ever bought new was a Mark 3 Polo, in Pistachio Green. A lovely colour on a completely underwhelming car. It was one of the colours VW also used on the Harlequin Polo.

    3. Hi Adrian,

      I remember that green on the Polo III, it was a good colour !

      A website I like to check all the colours available on new model is It’s both in French and English so that’s handy.

      I just checked the website and I really like this bronze colour on the new Yaris

  4. Dave,

    Wasn’t the type 43 the first application of Audi’s EA827 based inline 5? I don’t remember them offering the bigger, heron head 2 litre engine of its predecessor, also used on the LT and the Porsche 924

    1. Indeed, the five pot EA827 arrived in the type 43, but only after some time in production.
      The Type 43 started life with 1.6 litre/85PS from the EA827 and 2.0 litres/115 PS from the EA831.
      The EA831 was an OHC conversion of the old Mercedes-developed OHV Heron head engine used in the F103 and C1.
      The EA831 was originally developed for the LT28 light truck where it had 2.0 litres/75 PS fpr 92 RON fuel. The engine was then tuned for 115 PS on 95 RON fuel and carburettor, 125 PS and injection for the Porsche 924 and even 177 PS in the 924 turbo. The EA831 was phased out when the 1.9 litre five cylinder in the 100 ‘5’ (as opposed to ‘5S or ‘5E’) arrived

    1. Not the LT engine itself, but the engine the LT unit was based on. That was called ‘Mitteldruckmotor’ which roughly translates to ‘medium bmep engine’. It had Heron heads and corkscrew inled tracts like MAN M-system diesels to give the mixture a strong swirl – otherwise its CR of 11.7 to 1 wouldn’t have been possible. In theory this gave higher thermodynamic efficiency and in practical use it gave an extremely coarse engine and a very narrow band of high effiency and excessive fuel consumption everywhere else, which is why Audi de-tuned it very quickly to a (still high for the time) CR of 9.7 to 1.

    2. Hi Roberto, I’ve always thought the W118 prototype looked quite unlike a traditional Mercedes-Benz, with its low waistline and tall, glassy DLO with slim pillars. It looks more Italianate than German. Perhaps that’s why if never made production.

  5. I like the interior. Imagine Audi doing something cerebral and not aggressive today!

    Where do the generic non-original plastic wheeltrims come from?

    1. So, who is doing cerebral non-aggressive interiors? Generally they have gone to peices, so many bits. Peugeot´s 508 is a mess. I liked the Avalon interior shown recently. Teslas are nice and plain. If you want a simple interior you need to stay in the sub 11K bracket, don´t you?

    2. Richard,

      I urge you to try out a 508 for a few days. Its cockpit is the smartest I’ve come across in ages.

  6. much thanks, Richard, for this enterprising examination of the Audi.
    and particularly for your comments on car colours. the current aversion
    to bright colours is such a miserable variety of conformity,
    or is it a peculiar mutation of iconoclasm? either way it imposes
    a great drabness upon our streetscapes, an impoverishment.

  7. NRJ this is an excellent site, finding all the colours for almost every current model, thanks a lot.
    We seem to forget putting colours in our lives.
    We had a friend, whose only question when someone just bought -or was even thinking to buy- a new car was:
    “Very nice, and what’s its colour ?”.
    Her question usually arrived quite late in the discussion, after a thorough discourse on its marque, engine, price tag, upholstery and customer service topics.
    It always had the same effect! That of a surprice question.
    Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “An artist, a woman with sensitivities on fashion, design, and “la mode”.
    Well, no.
    A language translator and interpreter.
    She always said: “People don’t focus on the important aspects in life”.

    1. Hi C. Christodoulou,

      You’re welcome. Are you sure that woman wasn’t Richard in a wig ?

  8. Speaking of important things in life – how about
    a TE in Pueblo beige?


    1. Hi Alexpinaweiss,

      I took the liberty to post your picture because it didn’t appear above. I’ve been there before.

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