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'91 100 Ignition Failure

I was working at NAPA this weekend when I struck up a conversation with a guy
who'd parked his Audi in front of our store.  He was saying how he liked the
car overall, but was ready to get rid of it and buy a Buick.  It was his third
Audi, and he was sick of the problems with 'em, but he loved the way it rode,
handled, etc.  Anyhow, when he left, he went out and jumped in and tried to
leave.  Apparently the car heard our conversation, because it wouldn't start!
 The key wouldn't turn in the ignition.  I tried to help, but couldn't get it
to do anyhting either.  We tried the turn-the-steering-wheel trick, but that
didn't help either.  After twenty minutes of screwing with the thing, we called
a flatbed and had it hauled off to the dealer.  What would cause this?  The key
wasn't bent, and it worked everything else in the car.  Would a bad ignition
cylinder be the culprit?  I grabbed my Bentley out of my back seat (never leave
home without it...) and was thimbing through trying to see where the ignition
cylinder segment was, but never found it...  Any ideas?  BTW, I think I now of
a '91 100 for sale in the very near future!  (In fact, I think the guy's wife
would have given it to me on the spot, she was pretty fed up with the car...)

87 5000CS TQ
84 5000S (2,000 miles away and a mile high)
90 80 (sibling's mode of transportation I get lynched into working on)