He Who Has Seen It All (Well, Mostly)
Need a classic Audi that just works? When you spend the majority of your waking hours dealing with different stages of mechanical Audi limbo, there’s at least one car that is proven to start on the first try and keep cruising along without much effort. Edelweiss is not a car with an agenda or destination in mind. You can just soak up the miles, burn through the cassettes, and enjoy the old-world Audi experience at its best.
1990 Audi 100 (Production 9/89)
2.3L I5 (NF) | 3-Speed Auto
Alpine White | Quartz Grey Serret Velour with Marine Appointments
MSRP (With Dealer Installed Accessories): $28,725
Dealer: Val Ward Audi, Fort Myers, FL (Defunct)
Factory Options: Cold Weather Package
Dealer Installed Accessories: Plush Floor Mats, Pinstripes,
Paint Protection, 1000-Mile Service, Front Splash Guards
Member of T44Brian Since 3/27/2015
Special Plate: AUDI100
Status: Completed Show Vehicle
Name Origin: German – edel “noble” + weiss “white.”
Edelweiss is the sixth Audi I purchased and the catalyst for my preservation efforts with these vehicles. Up until that point, all of the T44s had been worse for wear. Seeing one as well-preserved and cared for until that point was a revelation.
Edelweiss was purchased new in April 18, 1990 by retired restaurant owners from Prospect, CT, who lived in Naples, FL during the winter months. He saw 20K miles of use in the first three years before seeing a steady decline thereafter. In 2011, now both in their 90s, the couple permanently moved back to Connecticut but held onto the car until the husband’s passing in 2014. Edelweiss was then sold to a family friend who owned a dealership, which is where I found him. I purchased him in March 2015 with 61,270 miles.
Edelweiss was bought for many reasons. I bought him as a 20th birthday present, for blue interior (which I had yet to find and own), and also because I wanted an actual T44 that I could call my show car. This was the first car that I didn’t have to stress out about – because it wasn’t required to be in daily service, and also barely needed any repairs.
Edelweiss was bought as a stock vehicle and also 100% functional. The factory cosmoline still coated the entire engine bay and underside, and right before I purchased him the original owners elected to do a several-thousand dollar service which took care of major work like the timing belt service and exhaust as well as the the minute details like bulbs or missing trim clips. That left me with somewhat of a blank canvas to clean up and experiment with. I was a blissfully ignorant 20 years old and had ideas to redo the interior and put a better audio system in: stuff that obviously goes against what I do now. But I did it anyways just to get it out of my system. Knowing I would put the car back to stock eventually, I didn’t do anything too permanent.
Edelweiss also served as my wedding ride in 2016 – so there are sentimental reasons as to why he sticks around. If there’s one car my wife and I both agree that stays no matter what – it’s him.
In 2017 Edelweiss was back to stock and I was getting more serious with Audi restorations – he served as one of the main show cars that year along with twin Alpine White 100E, Greta.
For 2018, our flood-rescue Greis was the completed project which meant Edelweiss didn’t attend many events. Garage-mate Greta was in project mode and had some problems that were looming. To make room for new cars and also continue improving upon what I already own, I realized that Edelweiss and Greta were redundant. Greta was the unique 100E, but Edelweiss had lower miles, no engine bay or underside corrosion, and blue interior. Remember: he’s also way more sentimental, too. The easiest thing to do was take all of the aspects of Greta that I love and make Edelweiss the perfect 100 “E.”
Now slowly approaching the 70K mark, Edelweiss can officially be considered a completed vehicle and a permanent member of the collection. Not only is he the longest-running member of the family, he’s also been the most reliable. It must have been a good day at the factory or maybe it’s just luck, but whatever it is, Edelweiss has been here through most of my time as T44Brian and isn’t going anywhere. He’s the only car that has his own garage spot – Literally, his name is on the wall. And maybe at this point with all the other cars and everything else going on, he’s a little ignored. But when it is time for a Sunday drive, he’s the only one who seems to start right up.
Notable Mods & Changes for 2019
New for 2019:
Borrowed from Greta to make a 100E-style vehicle:
- 100E Quartz Grey velour seats and door card inserts (now two-tone)
- Delete Ski/Storage Sack
- Delete non-functional seat heater switches from center console
- Rain Tray (Early Audi Logo style)
- Non-drilled Front Bumper
- 14″ Steel wheels with Wheel Covers
- “E” Trunk badging
Borrowed from Zygmunt:
- Marine Blue Seatbacks
Upgrades Previously Installed:
- Center Console Wood Trim (climate control cover and ashtray)
- Center Taillight Panel