All posts tagged 1987

Rare B2s: 1987.5 Coupe GT “Special Build” and 1986 4000CS Quattro “Commemorative Edition”

I’m not sure who is funnier – enthusiasts or marketing specialists. Let’s start with marketing specialists; for Audi, the introduction of a new “Fox” design brought with it a specific name for North America – the Audi 4000. There were various trim levels available, but by 1985 the trim specifications were limited to “S” specs. Now, at one point, the “S” actually stood for a slightly different Sport trim specification, but in 1985 you couldn’t get a non “S”. That changed slightly in 1986; if you wanted a quattro, your only option was the 4000CS quattro. Presumably, that stood for Commemorative Sport – but while in 1986 the CS versus S meant the difference of a turbocharger in the 5000 model range, in the 4000 there was no option. In part this can be viewed as the problem with the cars directed towards the United States; in Europe, there were two different trim specs with different motors, too – the 80/90 and 100/200. But to throw even more confusion into the lot, there was then a series called the “Commemorative Design” which was launched in 1986, too. Those Commemorative Design editions were available in Coupe GT, 4000CS (front drive), 4000CS quattro and 5000CS models and were a celebration of 100 years of the automobile. Convoluting things even more, there was now a 4000S and 4000CS front drive, but no 4000S quattro. Make sense? It seemed uniquely un-Germanic, but also signified that Audi did things differently than the rest of their compatriots. What did the Commemorative Design get you? Well, that’s interesting, too – because it varied by model. In the GT and 4000CS quattro, it was color-matched trim in your choice of white or graphite metallic with a special red leather. The GT was slightly different, with a digital dashboard making its appearance in that model – but not only in the Commemorative Design, as a slew of normal 1986 models also came with the digital dash for some reason that no one completely understands. The red leather was not carried over to the 4000CS front drive interestingly – it instead got Audi 5000-spec wheels, Coupe GT brakes and split leather and Alcantara seats. The 5000CS Commemorative was only available in front drive spec and similar to the 4000CS front drive, making the front drive 5000CS more luxurious than the 5000S quattro – which was more expensive. Of course, these cars weren’t called the “CD” models – because there actually was a 5000CD in Canada which was spec’d more like the 5000CS. Still with me? To quote Adam Sandler from a memorable Saturday Night Live skit, “Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?”

Now to complicate matters even more, in 1987 Audi launched a revised Coupe GT which it then promptly discontinued. The car was substantially changed – a new engine bumped up to 2.3 liters (the NG/NF that would see duty in the later 80,90 and 100 models), along with new to the GT 4-wheel disc brakes and – like the Commemorative Design, color matched trim. There was also a slightly different gearbox and different dashboard – still digital – just to confuse things even more. There were only a few hundred of each of these models that were imported to the U.S., making this whole exercise a bit strange in the grand scheme of things. But what’s undeniable is that B2 enthusiasts generally love these cars the most, creating their own names for them – the “Special Build” GT and “Commemorative Edition” 1986 models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT on Craigslist

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Motorsports Monday Budget Racers: 944 v. 325is

Let’s be honest; going to the track is a bit of an addiction. Few make it out the other side without having at least contemplated heavy and expensive upgrades to their cars. The symptoms of the illness vary from patient to patient, but most exhibit similar characteristics; starting with a somewhat sporty road car, the owners quickly engage in a series of modifications that will make them “faster”. These modifications nearly always degrade the everyday usefulness of your road-going machine, and ultimately no matter how much you modify a street car, it will still be a compromised design. You simply can’t create a track weapon that is road-legal without some compromise. The result, then, is bobble-headed enthusiasts driving their barely-suspended, over cambered and too loud cars around looking – let’s be truthful – a bit of a fool. What’s a smarter option? Well, if you really want to drive faster on track, you find a slow car that someone has already made into a racer. First off, you’re getting into a more pure track car. They’re not road legal generally, so all of the goodies that make life bearable on the street are gone making them lighter. If the build was done right and well, you’re probably saving a lot of money, too. But the real benefit of getting a slower car is that you’re doing more of the driving – ask any racer, and most will say that extracting maximum performance from a slow car is more rewarding than allowing the computers in your GT-R to obliterate the pavement for you. Two of the most popular German cars to hit the track in are here today – the venerable E30 in 325is form, and the iconic Porsche 944. Which will hit the finish line first?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 325is on eBay

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1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Restomod

Backdating an air-cooled 911 to resemble one of its much-beloved long-hood brethren has become quite popular and it’s always a joy to see the various ways in which builders choose to pick and choose from the 911 parts bin in order to create these special cars. The nature of the 911 market means these are never an inexpensive proposition as sourcing the car from which to create the build can itself set you back quite a bit. When done well a builder can affect quite a transformation and produce a car the details of which force us to pause over every angle to get a sense of just how everything has been put together. The car we see here, a 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe backdated to resemble a RSR, certainly is not perfect, but it possesses the vintage look of an early 911 combined with the softer curves of the more modern designs and has just enough detail without coming across as over the top.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Restomod on eBay

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10K Friday: Practical Performance Edition – S4 Avant v. 944 Turbo v. S600 v. Passat TDi Variant v. M5

One of the things I love most about these 10K posts is the breadth of selections and ideas that I dream up to try to pull together. Today’s thought was about practical performance – what’s the most your can buy for $10,000? As a result, we have quite a diverse selection to make it through today, ranging from a 2.0 TDi gas sipper through a 5.5 liter, twin-turbocharged V12 torque monster. In their respective ways, each is a great car (at least, in premise) and probably defines its category. What’s your favorite of this group?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi S4 quattro Avant on eBay

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1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Wolfsburg Edition

$_57

I’ve been getting pretty into these non-pop-top Vanagons recently, and today’s is an interesting case. It comes with tons of miles and a rebuilt title, but has clearly been cared for and gone through a thorough mechanical rebuild. While normally title issues raise huge red flags for me, most older Vanagons are inherently going to be projects, and it’s nice to know that someone has done a lot of the important stuff here. Most of all, if you didn’t know about the title this would just present as a clean, excellently 80s gold-on-tan van. The few issues will keep it affordable, turning this versatile vehicle into a good deal.

Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon on eBay

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