From Soaked to Success – A Unique Restoration
Most cars don’t have the luxury of several lives. After a maligned past of mechanical failures, a five-year dormant period of outside storage, and getting half-soaked in a flood, Greis somehow survived long enough to be found for a T44Brian-style intervention. After a nearly two-year restoration process, Greis remains the running and driving testament that anything can be brought back to life.
1991 Audi 100 (Production 5/90) 2.3L I5 (NF) | 4-Speed Auto (097)
Titanium Grey Metallic LY7P | Graphite Leather Non-Power Seats
MSRP: $31,610 Dealer: Centennial Audi, Eugene, OR (Defunct)
Factory Options: Leather Upholstery, Metallic Paint, 6-Function Trip Computer, Cold-Weather Package
Dealer Installed Accessories: Front Splash Guards, Floor Mats
Member of T44Brian since 12/12/2016
Special Plate: TYPE44 Status: Completed Show Vehicle
Notable Awards: 1st Place Audi Other (New England Dustoff 2018), 1st Place Audi VW Stock (81-92) Waterfest 24, Wolfsgart 9.0 Alpha Class
Odd & Unique About This Car: Like other North American 1991 100s, Greis has a 4-speed Automatic transmission which improves power delivery at lower speeds. Greis is also factory equipped with very uncommon non-power leather seats.
Name Origin: German – nickname for “grey-haired man.” Chosen to represent his first owner, a retired engineer who had an affinity for the C3 Audi.
Greis was bought new at Centennial Porsche-Audi in Eugene, OR in early 1991 when his owner traded in his ’86 5000S. A bit of a troublesome car, he spent plenty of time at the shop and his owner also spent many weekends in the garage with fresh parts from the service counter and a set of wrenches. Many of Greis’s service records are conversations in German by fax with Audi AG, asking for part diagrams or service bulletins. I give a lot of credit to him for his efforts over the years for all the triage he performed himself – most would have given up.
Greis never did sort himself out with age. As his original owner also aged, repair attempts became more infrequent. At a frustratingly low 54,800 miles, Greis required a transmission rebuild in 2008, and had a long list of other gremlins that were looming and ready to turn into major repairs. It is estimated that Greis achieved lawn-ornament status in late 2010. When his original owner passed in 2012, his wife held onto the car. Unfortunately, she did not drive Greis, or move him into the garage, so for the next several years, the elements began to take a toll on him.
To top it all off, sometime in 2016, an unexpected flood swept through their neighborhood, and Greis received a bath of muddy water that reached up to the transmission tunnel carpets in the interior, and the engine bay was soaked up to the valve cover. At this point, Greis was handed off to their longtime mechanic where his fate would be decided.
I found Greis online in December 2016 when the shop listed him for sale. He was running, but not well – still caked in mud, with transmission problems and a mile-long list of other issues. But the classic Audi market had been slim picking at the time – so I took the bait and Greis was off on a 6 day, 3,100-mile trip to the east coast on a car carrier. This was the first vehicle purchased sight-unseen.
He looked mildly better in pictures than in person, but it was mostly because he was still so dirty. As he rolled off the car carrier water poured from the trunk. Over the next 16 months, I fully dismantled Greis, cleaning every part of the engine bay, interior, and undercarriage while preserving every single part I could, down to the nuts and bolts.
Aside from the extensive cleanup, Greis received full maintenance, transmission repairs, and a custom radiator (because 4-speed 1991s used a unique one). Of all the headaches, the worst was trying to recondition his original paint.
Greis was finally near-completion around 2018 and had a major show season that year. He was acknowledged at events including a 1st place Waterfest 24 class win and participating in Wolfsgart’s Alpha Class.
Of the Core-4, Greis has the least modification. His restoration was still done during a time when I was very intent on OEM and factory accuracy, and has since stayed that way. He is chosen to go to events where this accuracy is required and appreciated. As a 1991, he also represents the short “Take Control” era of Audi in the US, which was Audi’s attempt to regain traction in the market. He is always shown with his promotional Take Control items and banner when parked on the showfield or at T44 HQ.
Heading into the new decade, Greis will remain part of the T44 HQ museum display as a fully completed restoration.
Notable Mods & Changes
2020: Completed Restoration, No Further Changes This Year.
- Center Console Wood Trim (climate control cover and ashtray)
- Center Taillight Panel
- New Fuel Line Retaining Clips/Hardware installed
- Better condition wheels installed from Edelweiss
- Better condition Headlights from Greta
- Original Floor Mats Restored
- Paintless Dent Repair on Hood, Trunk, and Left Fender
- Custom Radiator for 4-Speed 1991 Models
- Coolant Flush with new Expansion Tank
- V8 Quattro Automatic Leather Shift Knob