Find of the Day: 1975 Audi 50GL

words: Bill, photos: Cars & Classic

The Audi 50 3-door hatchback was produced from 1974-1978 and offered in 2 trims: the LS or GL. 180,812 were built and proved popular in Europe. Volkswagen rebadged it as the Polo and while the 50 production stopped in 1978 after one generation, the Polo is still being produced. This fantastic 50GL was fully restored in 2017 and is offered up for auction. Here’s the ad:

  • A great looking, fully restored example ready for a busy show season
  • Fully restored in 2017 to include paintwork, interior and mechanicals
  • Offering the prospect of a highly unique but cheap to run classic car
Which came first, the VW Polo or the Audi 50? Well, it was the Audi…..just. The Audi 50 was a Europe only model which was launched in mid-1974 as a riposte to the new breed of “super minis” appearing across Europe like Fiat’s 127 and Renault’s 5. Within 6 weeks of its launch, a badge engineered VW model named the Polo also appeared. The two cars went on to sell side by side until the Audi 50 was discontinued in 1978. By that time Audi had produced a total of around 180,000 Audi 50’s.


This example is one of very few that will have made it to UK shores. It was imported to the UK from France in 2014 and stored until a restoration during 2017. During that time an eye-catching custom Audi 50 was born. This is a car that is sure to be a favourite at the many VW and Audi car shows and events that occur in the UK in the summer months. All with the simple, practical and cheap to maintain underpinnings of the VW Polo.


  • This little Audi 50 was produced in 1975, the second year of Audi 50 production
  • Little is known of its early life, however
  • The car was imported from France to the UK in 2014
  • It was believed to have been stored until it underwent a full restoration in 2017
  • This work touched every aspect of the Audi to produce the car we see today
  • The car was first registered in the UK in March 2018
  • The car was then used for a while by its first UK owner
  • The current owner acquired the car in September 2019 to become its second UK owner
  • The car is complete with its current V5 in the name of the owner
  • The V5 designates the car as a Historic Vehicle
  • As such it is MoT and VED exempt in the UK
  • Online records show it did pass an MoT in February 2018 at an indicated 85,423 kms
  • This was an advisory free pass


  • The interior is very reminiscent of the early VW Polos
  • The interior appears very utilitarian by today’s standards
  • The seats have been beautifully retrimmed in grey, herringbone tweed material
  • The bolsters are finished in black vinyl
  • The rear bench is similarly trimmed with a centre section finished in black vinyl
  • The condition is excellent and has clearly been professionally undertaken
  • The carpets also appear to have been fitted during the restoration
  • These are in a Berber style and finished in a complimentary grey hue
  • The dashboard is a simple affair finished in black vinyl
  • The green on black VDO gauge set is a unique Audi touch
  • Smaller, less expensive gauges were used on the VW Polo
  • This example if fitted with a four spoke, leather rimmed BBS steering wheel
  • The original, more dainty, original is also included and pictured
  • The BBS wheel, like the dash centre panel has been finished in herringbone fabric
  • Judging by the Harris label on the dash this is from a Harris tweed jacket
  • Its herringbone pattern is a very close approximation to the seat fabric
  • Door cards and side panels are finished in hard-wearing black vinyl
  • The compact boot features its original mat
  • It is also home to spare wheel and jack


  • This little Audi looks really eye-catching in its bright sky-blue paintwork
  • This was applied in 2017 during the car’s restoration an exudes a high shine
  • It has been professionally applied with even the door shuts and boot floor nicely covered
  • The body work looks robust too with shut lines and panel gaps looking straight
  • There is the odd paint chip in evidence and some minor surface bubbling
  • These have been photographed for your review
  • The car sits on 14-inch split rim BBS alloy wheels
  • These consist of highly polished rims and anthracite painted multi-spoke centres
  • They appear to be in excellent condition throughout
  • A matching set of recent Nankang tyres in a 155/55 configuration are fitted
  • A degree of intentional tyre-stretch is apparent, adding to the desirable custom look
  • A pair of black vinyl BBS decals and sill stripes have been added
  • Cabin glass and light lenses all appear to be in great condition and original
  • The car has been tastefully lowered or “stanced” to add to its show-car appeal


  • The Audi 50 shared its mechanical underpinnings with the VW Polo
  • This makes for a well proven set up and mostly good spares availability
  • Being the higher GL model this Audi 50 features the higher powered 1,093 cc engine
  • Originally rated at around 59 bhp and driving through a four-speed manual gearbox
  • The mechanicals of this car were understood to have been recommissioned in 2017
  • The current owner reports that the car runs very well indeed
  • He also underlines the low mileage that the car has covered since 2017
  • The only fault reported is a misbehaving temperature gauge
  • This is understood to be a gauge or sender fault and doesn’t reflect hot running
  • The under-bonnet presentation of the car is very strong 
  • The underside exhibits a large degree of original underseal in place
  • Some surface corrosion is visible but nothing out of keeping with the age of the car


An Audi 50 is a rarely seen car on UK roads being a Europe-only model. That has to be a good thing, too, in terms of desirability and interest. It is also reassuring to know of the high percentage of parts that cross over with the MKI VW Polo, meaning parts availability should remain reasonably good.
This example has been developed and restored into a show-car par excellence. It looks great in its bright blue colourway and the condition is generally very good. The lowered stance, BBS alloy wheels and stretched tyres all help to give the car a very individual persona. The interior is pristine and features some interesting, personalised touches. A really fun ownership prospect for this year’s show season and beyond.

Oh I forgot to mention that this 50 is located in the UK and while it’s rare to see on UK roads as stated above, it’s even rarer to see on US roads. Also while I know some people love RHD cars, I couldn’t deal with one so I’m glad this is LHD. What I also can’t deal with is the fuzzy steering wheel and dash but thankfully the original wheel is included and it looks like it wouldn’t be too hard to remove the extra tweed. There is no price listed as this is an auction but the last Audi 50 we had as our Find of the Day was an LS model going for $27,500 in September. This GL is a higher trim level with a slightly bigger engine (1.3L vs 1.1L). If you want this fully restored turnkey Audi 50GL classic, you can find it HERE.