'It never ends,' says the slightly gray man with a mustache and slowly looks at the brand new rear bumper of his Audi 100 Coupé. He recently paid 800 euros for this shiny piece of metal. Again and again he discovers one or two little things on his Audi 100 Coupé S that could be improved, which makes the restoration a never-ending story.
Bernhard Janssen drove the Opel Rekord C Coupé in the 1970s. His aggressive outfit in the form of black stripes on the hood and a whole battery of auxiliary lights on the front bumper left no doubt about the sporty attitude of its owner.
Affordable dream coupé - thanks to an accident
Janssen would have felt much better off at the wheel of the new Audi 100 Coupé, but that was unattainably expensive for him. Then a miracle happened. For two road users whose paths intersected at a traffic light intersection, the traffic light was green, as both later claimed. In any case, their vehicles collided roughly in the middle of the intersection. One of the damaged cars was an Audi 100 Coupé S. With a wrinkled side panel and a bent rear axle, the only two and a half year old, 53,000-kilometer copy was to be sold to Holland. The extradition request was just about to be signed, 'but I was faster,' says Janssen, still happy today. At that time he was working in the workshop in which the Audi 100 Coupé S was initially waiting for its further fate.
Since the Audi 100 Coupé S was almost a total write-off, he could get his dream car for little money get hold of. Then he went straight to work. He put the Audi 100 Coupé S on the bench in the workshop and got it back into shape with the help of a colleague. Where necessary, he used the new parts that were still easily available at that time, and the painter friend, who was a friend, provided a fresh coat of paint. After two months in which Janssen had been welding, hammering and screwing hard after work, the Audi 100 Coupé S was back on the road.
Garage keeper: Nobody wanted the coupé - so it stayed
But nobody wanted the beautiful Audi 100 Coupé. Without further ado, he parked the Audi in a corrugated iron garage with the thought: 'You will build it up again.' Was that just a crazy idea? Two years later, he drove back to the corrugated iron garage with two red license plates under his arm. He pushed plastic sheets and blankets aside, brought the Audi 100 Coupé S to life without any problems and did a few laps. Then it was finally clear to him: the car would be rebuilt. From then on, he began collecting spare parts for the Audi 100 Coupé S so that he could hit the road unchecked on day X. But a few more years should pass before then, because there was no room for screws. It was only after Janssen, after much back and forth, received approval to build a garage that the realization of his idea was within reach - the Audi 100 Coupé S should be back on the road.
Core renovation: almost every sheet metal replaced
Finally, in 1999, he was ready to go. First, due to the lack of a lifting platform, he placed the Audi 100 Coupé on a self-made frame so that on the one hand he could still work from above, but on the other hand he could easily get under the car with the roller board. At first, the Audi 100 Coupé S was completely dismantled, 'and by now I've had every screw on this car in my hand,' the North German credibly assures. He labeled all the dismantled parts of the Audi 100 Coupé S and packed them in boxes.
'I started with the left sill. If I had started on the right side, I would have probably thrown the body away,' reported he shook his head at his terrible discovery. Because on the right the Audi 100 Coupé S was looking particularly bad. Water in the footwell had caused a lot of rust damage. There was nothing left of the inner sill - which was not visible from the outside. Various parts were already available for use, but Janssen still had to manufacture one or the other sheet metal, such as the sill reinforcement for the Audi 100 Coupé S, himself. He meticulously listed all the bodywork that took about a year. Anyone who studies this list comes to the conclusion that Janssen has apparently replaced almost every piece of sheet metal on his Audi 100 Coupé S. During the bodywork repairs, he initially left the doors installed so that later no problems with uneven fits would arise. Janssen remembers the extensive sheet metal work on his Audi 100 Coupé S with horror.
Finale: Postponed overhaul of the engine and transmission was worth it
After this extensive work was completed, the sealed and primed body of the Audi 100 Coupé S to the painter,where it should be painted in the original color. During this time Janssen devoted himself to technology. For example, he overhauled the entire braking system and steering. He restricted repairs to the clutch as well as to the engine and transmission to the bare minimum. This included cleaning, sealing and replacing defective parts. He gave the carburetor of his Audi 100 Coupé S a complete overhaul. Of course, he also revised the parts of the wheel suspension and gradually all the add-on parts of the body. In June 2001, the assembly work on the Audi 100 Coupé S began, which also included the insertion of a new headliner because the old one had become hard and brittle.
A year later, Janssen happily started his first test drive Audi 100 Coupé S. But over time, the car wasn't perfect enough for him. After he had improved a number of small things on his Audi 100 Coupé S, the inevitable total overhaul of the engine and transmission was on the agenda. Janssen initially tried to find help with used units, but their condition usually turned out to be worse than expected. In the end he decided on an exemplary revised engine and transmission unit for his Audi 100 Coupé S - and is satisfied with his decision. The Audi 100 Coupé is always admired at club meetings, but Janssen still finds something that could be optimized. He recently found a new left side window. It just doesn't end.