Words: Aron Norris | Photography: Danny Honour
When cars are your passion, you find yourself making any excuse to enjoy them. With the turn of a key, cars ignite more than just fuel and air, they give us licence to venture, to explore, to roam.
The owner of this beautiful Audi 100LS is Julian Göttschkes from Monchengladbach in Germany. Julian and I have become very good friends since meeting at our Belgian Chapter event in August 2016. This guy has an infectious passion for cars and he is simply here for the enjoyment, nothing more, nothing less. Julian just loves classic cars. Everything this guy does, he does with a positive spirit and a smile on his face.
Car culture belongs to all of us and it brings us closer together as a result. Different visions, different ideas and different personalities, all represented through our cars. One community. In this feature, we shine some light on a car build which is the product of Julian's blood, sweat and tears.
Starting is Easy, Persistence is an Art. (Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst).
Classic cars are a dying breed and not everyone has the patience to take on a classic project. If you’re pouring your heart out over a classic car or bike project, we salute you. It’s not easy.
The Audi 100LS 2-door you’re about to feast your eyes on is a very special car. You probably know this car, but if you don’t, this is RollHard Germany at it’s finest.
Whilst the Audi 100LS is a rare car, Julian couldn’t believe his luck when, having search for a 100LS for over a year, he found this little peach for sale 50km from his home in Monchengladbach, where the former owner had passed away in 1996. Having sat for 19 years, Julian promised to breathe new life into the 100LS and take on a demanding new project.
The Theory of Attraction.
The shape this car cuts simply oozes germanic chic. This car is a 70s beauty. Back in 1971, the 100LS would have been a classy addition to any driveway. This was Audi’s car for the middle class, no need for the 4 door family variant, the 100LS was for those with style in mind, or the posing kind. In a world where modern cars are all now designed with sales in mind, the 100LS is a throwback from a time when car designers were given licence to go off-piste, to take risks and to try something different.
The Audi 100LS is a handsome iteration of the Audi 100 body style, and the story behind its creation is an interesting one. The real drama came in 1966 when Auto Union became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagenerk AG, which prevented Ingolstadt from developing their own vehicle. This created frustrations between VW and Audi within the new larger company setup.
Ludwig Kraus, Head of Development at Audi decided to move ahead with plans for a new model, in secret. In 1969 the 2-door Audi 100 “LS” was born (the 4-door was launched a year earlier in ’68). With identical wheelbase and exterior dimensions to that of a regular 4-door, this little beauty featured a completely different “pavilion” roofline, leaving the German public speechless upon it’s unveiling. This was a showstopper then, as it still is now.
Julian’s Audi isn’t a coupe, technically, it’s a limo. Now, when I think of the word “limo”, I think of something a little crass. In german talk, limo isn’t a dirty word at all. Whilst the word may have smeared by pink Lincoln Continentals and the like, the Germans have at least kept this nomenclature classy. Limo it is, then.
Assumption is the Mother of all F*ck-ups.
At first glance, this is just a classic on air, isn’t it? er…
In some kind of perfect-world scenario, this build perhaps could have been a simple one, but it just doesn't work that way with classics like this. This is a ground-up restoration.
The most challenging part about restoring a classic is that no matter how much planning has been done, old cars always throw curveballs at you. Just when you’ve figured out what needs doing and how you’re going to do it (or how you’re going to pay for it!), something unexpected always rears its head.
When Julian picked the car up, it was clear it had a LOT of rust. This was never going to be a quick fixer-upper and Julian was under no illusions that this car was always going to be a labour of love from start to finish.
Patience is a Virtue.
Following three long months putting in the hours at the workshop cutting, fabricating and welding his Audi back to something that didn't resemble a sieve, Julian had a solid base to work with. His plans certainly didn’t involve the original L21Z Tibet Orange paintwork this car left the factory with, because as with any car modification, individuality plays a pivotal role. Julian kept things unique along the way.
Wanting to stamp his own personality into the car, Julian began brainstorming period correct looks, ideas and colours. The grey you see here is a custom hue because “it just seemed like a good idea and I’ve never seen a grey 100LS before” as Julian tells us. Formulated in Julian’s head and mixed up by his friend, Patrick Specker, this car with all its original features teamed with subtle modifications have a "blink and you’ll miss them" custom flavour. It’s hard to tell what isn't original about this car. We love that.
In the modification stakes, Julian developed his own custom air-ride setup for this 100LS. H&R struts teamed with Rubena air bags and Accuair rocker-switch management. This setup is all neatly tucked away in the boot of the Audi. Although brand new technology, Julian has made sure his install follows a retro vibe.
Inside, the interior has more design details than you can shake a stick at, but following the sympathetic modification and personalisation journey Julian has taken, there are still some changes here too. The formerly brown wood dashboard has been swapped out for grey wood instead and the gear shifter is now an air-pistol. The devil is, after all, in the detail.
Under the bonnet lays the original engine, a 1.8 litre straight-4, developing 100bhp. Back in 1971, that was perfect cruising, or should I say, posing power. This car is no speed demon, but old timers like this should be treated with the respect they deserve, letting the modern-world rush by whilst enjoying the laid-back cruise, 100LS style.
Julian’s 100LS well and truly "slices and dices" up car culture. By that, what I really mean is this; it’s hard not to enjoy this car, regardless of where you sit on the car enthusiast spectrum. I would suggest that even the most diehard concours fanatic would have a hard time not liking this car. Julian has done such a sympathetic job with this build, it could almost all be factory, bar the ride height, naturally.
This very special car is a product of secret development by Audi, some serious soul searching by Julian, involving; blood, sweat and tears, a lot of imagination and some fresh thinking. This car has seen Julian travel all over Europe including an appearance at the Essen Motorshow. You will also see this car at our RollHard events in August this year.
For now, let’s live like it’s 1971. Take a step back, sit back and enjoy Julian’s beautiful 100LS.
This is what car culture is all about, after all, starting is easy, persistence is an art...