Deja Vu All Over Again: 1986 Audi Coupe GT

Edit 10/8/2017 – This car is back up again on a new auction with the vinyl removed and/or replaced. The seller removed their ~$5,000 asking price but the car has gone through several reserve auctions and not cleared $3,000.

Do you ever see a car and think it looks awfully familiar? Probably like a lot of you, I scan listings nearly every day, and every day provides a wealth of new examples of rare cars that encourages a lot of what we do here at GCFSB. But, once in a while, one pops up that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Now, being the chief (and only) Audi Coupe GT enthusiast in the world at GCFSB, I’m obviously prone to remembering these cars. Sure enough, with so few hitting the market these days I tend to remember every single example I’ve written up – meaning, basically every single example which comes to market – sorry about that.

But this one is particularly interesting. I immediately recognized the Team Dynamics wheels that this 1986 was wearing, but the two-tone paint color was off. Not many Oceanic Blue Metallic Coupe GTs are still kicking around, but at least the sides of this one were the neat and oh-so-80s-electric hue. But closer investigation of some of the details in the description revealed what I thought; this was the same GT I knew from the early 2000s. Originally, the car was Graphite Metallic with black leather – a rare combination on an infrequently seen car – and had been upgraded to participate in track events in Pennsylvania with a cage, a hotter NG motor, rear discs and upgraded suspension, those great looking Team Dynamics wheels and a few other odds and ends. Later it turned up on the West Coast with a notorious flipper of Audis; now with European H1/H4 lights and little else but failing paint, the flipper was looking to make a profit claiming it was one of the best GTs in the country.…

1985 Audi Coupe quattro

While on paper it doesn’t really offer any advantages over the three distinct packages that came to the United States, the Audi B2 Coupe quattro still catches the eye of many early chassis fans here. The why is simple; it combines the best elements of the Type 85s into one distinct package. You got the rally-bred all-wheel drive system featured in the Quattro and 80/90 (4000), coupled with the narrow body of the GT. While effectively underneath it’s the same as the 4000S/CS quattro from the same period, it’s somehow slightly better at the same time. In my eyes, the Coupe styling is more attractive than the sedan it was based upon. You got the exotic feel of the turbocharged Quattro without the bills associated with it though, and while keeping those older forced-fed wonders going today can be difficult, there are still good condition Coupes available that offer most of the feel of the legend without the expense of buying into an original. Few come to the market quite as nice as this Graphite Metallic with Mouton red interior from Spain:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe quattro on Mobile.de

1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition – REVISIT

It’s always a bit exciting to find a car you wrote up a while back return up for sale; such is the case with today’s 1986 Audi Coupe GT. As if the Commemorative Design models weren’t rare enough, finding a Graphite Metallic example is even harder. Then tack on low miles and great overall condition, and this is one rare package. Last time around, the seller was the dubious Audi flipper from the PNW; some of the faults of the car were corrected by the new seller, others were not. It’s now wearing the correct Ronal R8 wheels (though, not with the correct center caps – instead it wears early “nut” caps from pre-’86 models). A fair amount of mechanical work has been covered including most of the wear items. The air conditioning and cruise control have not been repaired and the sunroof doesn’t work; better stick to cool climates. But the price is much more reasonable this time around despite a general appreciation of values on the model; now offered at $6,250 with only 4,000 miles driven since 2013, it would cost you more to build an equal condition model out of a lesser example. I hope this rare Coupe finds a loving home soon!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition on Craigslist

The below post originally appeared on our site September 23, 2013:

It’s Hip To Be Square: 1986 Audi Coupe GT and 1987 Audi 5000CS Quattro

There are probably a few out there reading this who will remember Huey Lewis and the News, or perhaps you’re a fan of Christian Bale and his performance in American Psycho which prominently featured a notoriously catchy song by the band, “It’s Hip to be Square”. While the song itself was a relative hit, for me it’s Bale’s character’s critique of the band that is particularly poignant when considering Audis from the 1980s:

“You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor. I think their undisputed masterpiece is “Hip to Be Square,” a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself!”

Audi reinvented itself in the 1980s; with crisp, clean new designs that stood apart from their countrymen. They were boxy but aerodynamic, clean and economical – yet at the same time, they were really noticeable, looked expensive and have stood the test of time. Yet few people partook in these 1980s Audis compared to some more period marques. If Mercedes-Benz was the sign that you had made it to opulent wealth and still made good decisions, BMW was the sign that – well, you’d just made it to wealth. But Audis, though quite dear in price, were always a bit different; outsiders in their own land.…

1986 Audi Coupe GT

Being a huge fan of the B2 Audi, and with so few floating around, you’d be potentially forgiven for believing that I’d remember ever single one I see. But even though there are small amounts of them still floating around in comparison to the E30 market, let’s not forget that the Coupe GT was a relatively popular model for Audi, with over 100,000 produced. A reported 22,000 of those made it to the U.S., with the majority being the early Type 81 model with rectangular headlights. Only about 8,500 were the later, higher horsepower post 1985 models with updated interiors and exteriors – for argument’s sake, not many more than the original M3. So, it’s fair to say that I do recognize a fair amount of the survivors that pop up as I’d guesstimate that, unlike the E30, less than half of those originally imported post-85 cars still survive today. This one, in particular, looked instantly familiar – but not because of the color; in fact, in spite of it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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.…

U.S. or ROW? 1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-spec vs. U.S.-spec

I bang on about how much I prefer the look of the European market cars from the 1980s over the U.S. spec cars, and this is especially true amongst BMWs. For some reason, the powers that be at BMW decided to do the worst integration of DOT bumpers of all the European manufacturers; it was almost as if they said “Oh yeah? Well, take this, then!” Bulky, with too much plastic, rubber accordions and fading stainless trim, they stand out as a stark reminder of how simple and pretty the European bumpers on many of the same models were. However, it’s not often that we get to see two very similar models for sale at the same time; today, however, there are two nearly identical BMW 635CSis on eBay. Both are 1985, dark metallic colors, red leather, 5-speed manuals and updated wheels – and in their own way, each is lovely. Does the Euro-spec car win out for me once again?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 BMW 635CSi Euro-spec on eBay

1986 Audi Coupe GT

Despite praise from critics when it was new, a great design by Giugiaro and a motorsports legacy second to none, the Audi Coupe GT has remained since new a fringe car in the United States. Compared to the E30 2-doors, Audi produced less than half the total production of BMW’s venerable small coupe with only around 170,000 made over its 8 year production run. Of those, many less were imported to the United States and even fewer survive today. They’re downright rare to see running around anywhere – the legacy of poor residual value more than anything. Those that have owned them love them – a great looking, unique coupe with awesome handling that is both at home on the highway and back roads. It’s easily capable of carrying a sizable load of adults and luggage since, like the E30, the GT shared its platform with a sedan – but where the GT differed was in drivetrain layout and the slinky roofline that has helped the car age particularly well. On paper, the GT doesn’t make a great driver – a big iron lump hanging out entirely ahead of the front axle line to allow for the all-wheel drive system we didn’t see in the GT on these shores, an open differential and a slightly heavier curb weight without much more power than the coupes from Volkswagen. But statistics don’t tell the whole story, and GT is a great example of that. Extremely well balanced and neutral out of the box, the longer wheelbase provides excellent stability while the equal-length driveshafts eliminate torque steer and help to put power down better than the Volkswagens. The package is refined and shows why the GT was successful in its own right as a racer in Europe. Plus, you get that wonderful off-beat, throaty inline-5 providing one of the more unique soundtracks from the 1980s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Hemmings

1986 Audi Coupe GT

Another week, another rare Audi from the same seller in the Pacific Northwest. This time, unlike the 4000 quattro that had been subjected to a series of questionable modifications, the Coupe GT featured today was well built between the late 1990s and early 2000s to compete in SCCA competition. Featuring most of the upgrades of the later 1987.5 “Special Build” GTs, this GT was a favorite of the 4000/GT crowd long before the current seller got his hands on it. Since those days of the original builder, not much appears to have changed except the deteriorating condition of the paint and the skyrocketing price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Ebay

1986 Audi 4000CS Quattro – REVISIT

Only a few weeks ago we witnessed a mint condition 1985 4000S quattro sell for over $12,000 – a remarkable feat. But only a few weeks before we showed that impressive condition 1985 we had an equally impressive condition 1986 model for a then staggering to contemplate $9,800. In the meantime the price has fallen slightly, first to $9,200, and now the car has appeared on Ebay. With no reserve on the auction, it looks like the seller is hoping to roll the same dice that the 1985 seller utilized. Any bets on where this lower mile, equally impressive 1986 ends up?

-Carter…