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Buy an '85 5000 S

Hi all, I just joined this mail digest, and I have a question for anyone 
who'd like to answer.

I've been a German-car enthusiast for all of my car-owning life. Recently, 
I decided to go back to university next year to go to law school, so I sold 
my total lemon of a '85 BMW 535i, and I've been shopping around for a VERY 
cheap car.

In amongst the old american boats and south-korean rust magnets I was 
looking at, I called my sometimes BMW mechanic to see if he had any cars 
for sale, and did he ever! I just came back from looking at an '85 5000 S 
(not a Quattro) that he was selling for $1750 Canadian ($1200 US?).

Now that price is very competitive with some MUCH worse cars I was looking 
at. However, when I previously mentioned I was a German car enthusiast, I 
should have really said I was a BMW enthusiast. I really don't know much 
about Audis. How reliable would this car be? This is VERY important, as the 
repair bill on my lemon 535i nearly put me in the poor house (but then a  
gain, no car can possible be as bad as that one). What should I look for in 
this car?

For that price, the car is not mint. There is some slight rust (although 
its survived Canadian winters very well). It needs a new muffler, 
windshield and tires, but they are included in the price. The A/C doesn't 
work, nor do the heated seats, nor the trip computer and memory seat 
locations. A warning light comes on when the lights are turned on. It is a 
5-speed (big plus for me!). The radio only works on AM (although again he 
promised to swap in a better unit). But I'm not looking for mint. I'm just 
looking for a car to get me to school and back (and if it can do it in 
style, so much the better!).

Any help on this would be quite useful. You can reply to me via private 
e-mail and I'll summarise on the list, or you can re: right back to 
Quattro. Although I'm very new on this list (been on for about 10 minutes 
now), if quattro is even 1/10th as useful as the BMW Digest I'll know I've 
come to the right place.

K.C. Komosky
carless for now...