After the 5000S Avant was totaled in November 2018, the search for a replacement began immediately. Knowing that an exact match would be nearly-impossible without an unlimited timeframe, I compromised on certain items and drafted my short list of demands: 5000 with blue interior. 43 days later, I found a car that was just as unique as the Avant and checked both of the requirements.
1987 Audi 5000CS Turbo (Production 8/86) 2.2L I5 (MC1) | 3-Speed Auto (087)
Alpine White L90E| Marine Blue Savoy Velour
MSRP: $27,470 Dealer: Bay Ridge Porsche-Audi, Brooklyn, NY (Now Audi Brooklyn)
Factory Options: Automatic Transmission, Clearcoat Metallic Paint Delete (No Charge)
Dealer Installed Accessories: Two-Tone Pinstripe, Plush Floor Mats
Member of T44Brian Since 1/14/2019
Vanity Plate: 12453
Status: Completed Restoration, Permanent Collection
Notable Awards: 1st Place Audi Other (New England Dustoff 2019), Best Audi (Larz Anderson German Car Day 2019), 1st Place Stock Class (Waterfest 25), Best Audi (Lime Rock Historic Festival 38 – 2020)
Personality Profile: A car that makes such good use of its limited resources, you’d be forgiven to think that there’s not much oomph hiding under this rather austere luxury sedan. It’s ready to deliver a burst of power on-demand, but watch for the erratic and jumpy tendency as its fiery “aiming to please” use of energy doesn’t always match with its floaty underpinnings and heavy steering. Don’t swap cassette tapes while merging.
Odd & Unique About This Car: FWD turbo 5000CS models were relatively low volume through 1986-1988, especially when equipped with standard velour which is unique to CS vehicles, but shared with post-1985 B2s. Metallic paint was a no-charge item on CS cars, but a handful of factory cars had deleted this in favor of either lacquer Alpine White, Tornado Red, or Clearcoat Black.
Name Origin: Derived from original Germanic Audamar. Aud meaning “wealth, prosperity” and mar “fame.”
Ottmar was a life-long city car until my ownership. Delivered to Bay Ridge Porsche-Audi in Brookly, NY in late 1986, the owner of the establishment, “Pop,” purchased the vehicle to use for the next three years. In early 1990 with 24K miles, Ottmar was available as a pre-owned vehicle at the dealer. That’s when his long-term second owner noticed the car on the lot while on his work shift, he stopped in after and purchased soon after.
With this purchase, Ottmar traveled his next 14K miles mostly in and around Staten Island. A long-time Audi owner and car enthusiast, his second owner ran a boat shop and all maintenance was done religiously. Knowing how important it is to prevent corrosion, he would even go as far to disassemble and lubricate any moving part of the vehicle regularly, using the Bentley manual as his guide.
With nearly three decades of meticulous ownership, Ottmar stepped aside to make way for his owner’s dream Porsche. In January 2019, he was listed for sale and I noticed the ad the same night. After a two-hour phone conversation, I knew that this would be the perfect replacement vehicle. I planned a trip down to the Island a couple days later and then went to go pick up Ottmar that following weekend.
This marks the first vehicle in the collection with a turbo. At the time, this was a relatively big deal for the whole “T44Brian” thing, which was mostly focused on bringing to light the least-loved FWD slow-ass 5-cylinder examples. But, I had just acquired the 4000, which made strides in the collection as the first small chassis. We were on a warpath of sorts.
The MC1 under-hood is a welcome change from the more relaxed and less-vocal NFs I’m most accustomed to. Not that I still don’t love my non-turbo large chassis cars – a little extra punch is just nice in certain situations. Less planning on merging and passing and more actual merging and passing… Pair that with my preferred blue velour interior and a designated place to put my cassettes and it’s an 80s fantasy only a select few of us really appreciate.
Before you bemoan the fact that this isn’t a quattro, rare and oddball cars were always top priority here. So even though this was a “change of coast” car, it’s still odd enough. Whether in 5000CS or later 200 form, the front-wheel drive turbo sedans were a lower-volume sales vehicle when compared to the 5000S lineup and more expensive CS turbo quattro variants. With the addition of a non-turbo 5000S quattro variant in 1987, Audi sold four times as many S vehicles compared to CS vehicles in general.
Side-rant alert: the front-wheel drive turbo vehicles began as the S Turbo, a late availability 1984 model which ran through 1985. I could go into pages worth of detail about this but I’ll try and summarize. For an additional $5000, you most notably received a 2.1L turbo producing 140HP, standard automatic transmission, 15″ aero wheels with upgraded brakes, and a unique interior with upgraded Savoy velour, unique hood, and center reflective taillight panel. For the 1986 model year, these vehicles were rebadged CS, given an updated 2.2L turbo, and added a couple more extras such as a 10-speaker system. Gone for all S and CS cars were the quad headlights – the CS vehicles received the “slim” headlights and the S cars retained larger, less sportier units. The automatic transmission became optional.
Make no mistake: Not all 1986 “CS” cars are turbo. The Commemorative Design 5000CS is badged as such, but is a regular 5000S with specific options and trim. This was also a switch-over period and some one-offs were bound to leave the factory with non-standard parts.
Excluding drivetrain differences, CS-turbo cars came nearly as well-equipped as turbo quattros. From 1986-1988 leather upholstery, an automatic transmission, heated seats, ABS, and pearl white paint were the only options.
From the moment I began my drive home with Ottmar, I intended to bring him back to like-new. That night I ordered parts from Audi Tradition and my other resources, and throughout the rest of the winter I embraced the cold garage and got to work.
With progress on 4000S quattro Erlend halted for the remainder of the winter, Ottmar was responsible for getting me back into the swing of things. While I was still busy with physical therapy and doctors appointments from the accident most days, my nights were dedicated to going through all the normal T44Brian-esque processes of getting a car back to top condition.
2 out of 3 major areas tend to be in decent shape when I buy Audis for the collection: body, mechanicals, interior. What was it for Ottmar? Decent mechanicals, perfect interior, but not-so-great body. While not accident-related or rusted out, Ottmar’s paint was extremely thin, dry, and chipping, along with several prominent dings and gouged bumpers (re: Staten Island). After completing a full detail, the answer was clear: paintwork was unavoidable for most of these issues to make him look his best.
While I swapped in a good set of bumpers and most other trim/moldings from parts cars, I left paint and bodywork to professionals. With damage scattered all-over, and knowing my hard-to-live-up-to standards very well, my body guy recommended I get the entire car refinished. Done over two weeks in late march, Ottmar was brought back to OEM quality. I decided to go with the clean look and leave the dealer-installed black and blue pinstripes off.
In less than 90 days, Ottmar went from a passable daily driver to fully-restored show car. That’s the quickest turnaround for a T44Brian car ever! Since April 2019, work has been limited to adding small touches such as reproduction decals in the engine bay, further repairs of electrical items, and adding fresh reservoirs and other trim bits as old stock items appear for sale.
This remains the vehicle I am most comfortable taking out for a spin when I have a large-chassis itch. Of the 6 Audis in the fleet currently, this and the 4000 make up the “80s duo” which, when I’m in my feels and listening to the cassettes, are the preferred cars to cruise in. And when whatever I’m daily driving decides to break, this is the car I use (temporarily). Will it remain in standby in 2023, or will I have to rely on him once more?
NOTABLE MODS & CHANGES
2021-2022: Minor Part-Swaps:
- Back to Stock Steering Wheel
- Genuine Audi Rings Plush Floor Mats
2020: Additional Parts:
- Replacement NOS Center Taillight Panel
- Replacement NOS Turbo Injector Cooling Shroud
- Upper Plastic Trim Refinished on Front and Rear Bumpers
- Replacement NOS Headlight Side Markers (Amber)
- Larger Front Splash Guards with Audi Rings
2019: New Vehicle Purchase
Upgrades and Refreshments:
- Full Professional Repaint
- NOS 15″ CS Aero wheels from Audi Tradition (Stock Wheel Style)
- Forged Fuchs, Refinished in Pearl White (Currently Fitted)
- NOS Rear Autobahn Splash Guards (Audi Rings)
- Restored 10-speaker “Hi-Fi” Stereo System with OEM Rothenburg Head Unit
- New Rear Badging
- New Audi Sport Decals
- New Audi Sport Steering Wheel by Nardi-Personal
- New Rearview Mirror from Audi Tradition
- Refreshed Door and Fender Side Moldings
- NOS Chrome Door Handle Trim
- New Front Door Handles
- Repaired Power Antenna with new Mast
- Reproduction Engine Bay Decals
- New Brake Fluid Reservoir
- New Brake Rotors and Pads
- Swapped Front and Rear Bumpers
- Replacement Hood Insulation (later version with Audi Rings)
- New Left and Right Rear Door Glass & Replacement Seals
- Refreshed Window Slot Chrome Trim for All Doors
- Re-dyed rear headrests and top of rear seat backrest
- Removal of aftermarket anti-theft system
- Full Timing Belt Service
- Full Cooling System Service
- Full Fluid Flushes and AC recharge
- New Washer Fluid Reservoir and Lines
- Addition of Front Splash Guards
- Custom Lloyd All-Weather and Carpet Floor Mats