NEW! Award 116: 1981 Audi 5000S Diesel 52K Survivor – Sold?

by | Apr 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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May 15, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

One of the positive advances the Internet provides classic and collector car enthusiasts is the democratization of data. Hobbyists were once at the mercy of auction houses and appraisers to estimate values.  Resources such as Collector Car Market Review,, and Hagerty provide values based on the car’s condition. However, takes things up a notch by tracking the history of auction sales of cars by their VIN Number.

The seller of this Blue 52K 1981 Audi 5000S Diesel for sale in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), hopes no one knows that fact.  We agree with the seller that their diesel-powered Audi is a very rare piece.  We also thank him for adding the VIN number to his Craigslist ad, as it confirmed it to be the same car sold at a no-reserve auction not once but two times in as many months, according to

Let that sink in for a moment. This very same Audi sold in March 2022, at no reserve, for $6,700, on Cars & Bids.  Just one month later, the next seller auctioned it on Bring a Trailer at no reserve, hoping to improve on their purchase. They lost their shirt as the car only achieved $6,151.  Consequently, that seller lost nearly nine hundred dollars on their one-month flip attempt. Fast forward nearly one year later to the day, and the latest caretaker has the car for sale again. However, after paying $6,151 (plus $308 to Bring a Trailer and shipping), the current caretaker now has it listed for a whopping $19,990. Not only does the seller’s description not detail any repairs or upgrades performed under their ownership, but the pricing guides verify they are completely out of touch with the pricing of these Malaise-Era Audis.  Two no-reserve auctions ending under $7,000 dollars should have been a red flag this car achieved all the money possible., the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well above the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for C2-generation Audi 5000s produced between 1976 and 1982.  As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is $12,400 above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of only $7,600. For a third point of reference, the downloadable 2023 Old Cars Price Guide confirms the seller’s current asking price is nearly $16,000 higher than this guide’s #1 “Excellent” rating of only $4,100.  Combine these data with the fact this rare Audi endured two no-reserve auctions in as many months, and its a no-brainer to award this seller our latest “NEW!” (short for “No Effin Way!”) Award for asking a price that is completely out of touch with market reality.

German Automake Audi produced its mid-sized Executive car across four distinct generations between 1968 and 1997.  Similar to Chevrolet Corvettes, Audi enthusiasts identify these generations as C1 through C4.  Better known as the 100 and later 200 in Europe, the same car went by the 5000 moniker in North America. Audi produced the C2 version from 1976 through 1982.  In North America, Audi sold 133,512 C2s during that period.

The 5000 had twin round headlamps for the first two model years, after which rectangular units replaced them. The diesel was originally not available in California, as Porsche-Audi of North America was unable to meet that state’s strict emissions standards. The naturally aspirated diesel was also only available with a five-speed manual, a handicap in the American market.  Considered more of a premium luxury brand in the U.S., nearly ninety percent of C2-generation Audi 5000s sold in the U.S. came equipped with the pricier “S” equipment package.

The 5000 Turbo diesel received a useful increase in power and torque, offset somewhat by only being available in conjunction with Audi’s “3+E” automatic transmission. This was a three-speed automatic in which the “E” mode engaged a freewheeling effect, lowering fuel consumption by 3-5 percent.  The Turbo diesel received the same body and interior specifications as the gasoline-powered turbo; the only difference was the use of 14-inch alloy wheels rather than the wider 15-inch items mounted on the 5000 Turbo.

The Gwent Garage YouTube Channel features this US Market 1980 Audi 5000S Diesel ad:

A lawyer once told me a saying that applies to this 1981 Audi 5000S Diesel for sale:  “Pigs Get Fat. Hogs Get Slaughtered.”  The seller’s excellent photographs are what attracted us to this car. However, the pricing knowledge easily obtained on the internet will make it hard for the seller to find a buyer willing to pay their asking price.

If you are serious about buying this 5000S, you can start the conversation by contacting the seller using the contact details they provided in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw Audi survivor featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Offering for sale Audi 5000s 1981 diesel stick shift with only original 52K !! The car is in original factory condition and always garage kept. Drives and handles great and comes with car fax and Pa title. Original leather seats with great condition dash and door panels.
Sunroof is in working condition as well as the windows, except for the right rear.
If you are an Audi lover please come and have a great piece of history. If you are not local, arrange an inspection by the mechanic.
Test drive only by appointment.
Spams will be reported. Good luck

Yea or Nay: What say you about the asking price of this 1981 Audi 5000S Diesel for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!


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