1984 Audi Coupe GT

1984 Audi Coupe GT

Like the 1984 Audi 4000S quattro, the 1984 Audi Coupe GT was a bit of an odd bird in the U.S. market. The GT was a light revision of the earlier Coupe; the major difference that was noticeable immediately was the Quattro-inspired 14″ Ronal R8 wheel design and raised spoiler shared with its bigger brother. Coupled with the deep chin spoiler and 4-quad headlight design, the Coupe GT introduced in mid-1983 looked like a fitting tribute to the turbocharged halo model.

Power now came from a 2.1 liter inline-5 (code WE) which cranked out 100 horsepower. Matching its European “5S” counterpart, the U.S. spec GT got an overdrive 5-speed manual with a 4.90 final drive; it helped economy slightly, though the slab front end certainly didn’t. But the new close(r) ratio box over the early economy-minded 5 speed helped acceleration little. Despite the lightweight 2,500 lb curbweight, Audi claimed the GT could hit 60 in a little over 10 seconds and it was out of fizz at about 109 mph. Despite this rather tame performance for a ‘Grand Tourer’, the GT’s numbers were on par with the GTI and better than the Scirocco. Plus, the longitudinal engine layout with equal length driveshafts coupled with a longer wheel base made them quite fun to drive.

But what was really unique about these cars was that they were an intermediary; the end of the Type 81 Coupes before the Type 85 Coupe GTs launched with heavy revision and more power (along with bigger brakes) for 1985. So while the later Coupes were basically a front-drive quattro, the 83-84 Coupe GT was like a 5-cylinder powered VW in some ways. They retained the smaller 4×100 mm bolt circle on the hubs with 239mm (9.4″) front disc brakes and rear drums, which is a blessing for wheel and brake upgrades should you want to go that route.…

1985 Audi 4000S quattro

1985 Audi 4000S quattro

I was sure I had seen this car before. Tornado Red and Brazil Brown Kensington Velour? Check, but there are quite a few 4000 quattros that fit that description. But a 1985 model narrows the pool slightly, though numerically Audi reports selling more 4000 quattros at nearly 5,000 in 1985 than any other model year. Pacific Northwest and under 120,000 miles? And in very good survivor condition? Yes, surely this is the car that I wrote up in February, 2014.

But I was wrong. It’s not the same car. It’s another that is in even better condition with less reported miles. Does lightning strike twice? The air sure feels pretty electric around me as I poured over the details of this 1985:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 4000S quattro on eBay

1984 Audi 4000S quattro

1984 Audi 4000S quattro

The 1984 Audi 4000S quattro is a bit of a unique beast. Though it appeared for all intents and purposes identical to the 4000S Limited Edition from the same year, underneath the two shared little in common. Indeed, when you lifted the covers much more of the quattro model was shared with its bigger brother, the exotic Quattro – the so called “Ur-Quattro” by fans. Herein lies part of where things get confusing in Audi history, since the actual development mules for the boxflared rally wonder utilized the 4000 (née 80). You could make a pretty convincing argument that the small sedan was the original, but that’s neither here or there at this point and is generally semantics (though, it’s occasionally nice to splash the waters of reality on enthusiast’s ill-informed fires of unshakable belief). Whoever was technically first, there’s no denying that the 4000/80 model brought the idea of permanent all-wheel drive to a much more affordable market of rally-bred enthusiasts who eagerly snapped up the roughly 4,500 examples of the first year model. Radical looking changes came for the 1985 model year with a thorough refresh, and there are those who love both generations with equal aplomb. Admittedly, I’m a fan of the post 85 models, sometimes referred to the as the “sloped grill” cars. But you don’t have to go far to find fans of the more square ’84 model. One reader of ours tasked me with the goal a few years back of keeping an eye out for a clean ’84. Easy, right? Not so fast…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi 4000S quattro on eBay

Litmus Test Part 2: 1986 Audi Coupe GT

Litmus Test Part 2: 1986 Audi Coupe GT

In yesterday’s Litmus Test article, I broke down a reportedly “excellent” Audi Coupe GT to see if the pricing had actually risen on the model lines. While a few years ago such a car would have likely been a $1,500 example, yesterday bidding ceased at $3,050. Now, that’s actually above the condition Hagerty lists a condition 4 car. So, $3,000 is our baseline for a model that’s reasonably clean but has quite a few needs and some question marks. What price would a much better example command?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Considering what it takes to be called a supercar these days, it’s somewhat amazing that in the early 1980s the Audi Quattro sparked such a revolution. After all, the boxflared wonder arrived in the U.S. costing about the same as a Porsche 911 but sporting only 160 horsepower. Factor in the relatively heavy for then (though admittedly light by today’s standards) 3,000 lb curb weight, and the Quattro was anything but high performance by the standards we consider today. But a revolution in performance it was, as it allowed you to push the car hard in any condition with confidence. Recently I watched the old Motorweek clip on the Quattro; performance was about what you’d expect from the numbers presented above and is probably on par with a base Honda Civic these days. But still the reviewers raved about the performance of the luxury coupe, and though few sold on these shores they’ve always enjoyed a cult following which today is growing into a greater appreciation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

Shifting Gears: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 3

Shifting Gears: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 3

Has it already been two months since my last update on the project 1987.5 Coupe GT? It seems hard to believe, but the date doesn’t lie. In that time there have been, predictably, some successes and some setbacks, coupled with a fair amount of waiting for both parts and diagnosing the problems. If you want a refresher, you can check out the introduction piece on the new-to-me 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT “Special Build”, or Part 2 when I finally got it running. Now, what’s next? Well, as it turns out, a whole lot….…

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

Trying to convince people that the Quattro was the most influential and important car developed in the 1980s is akin to attempting to argue that Scottie Pippin was the all-around best player on the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Sure, you could back up your premise with plenty of facts, testimonials and opinion pieces that “Pip” was a better all-arounder than some other more famous players. But in the mind of nearly all enthusiasts and most non-enthusiasts alike, the image of Michael Jordan winning everything trump any argument a Pippin fan can generate. It’s therefore up to the small group of enthusiasts who understand the significance of the Quattro to support the dwindling supply of road-worthy examples – not an easy thing to do these days, given the even more scarce amount of spare parts:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition

1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition

I know, I know – another Audi B2 post. But hey, we hear about every single variant of 911 all the time too, and since I love the GTs I think they deserve to be showcased. There weren’t many special editions of the GT produced, but in 1986 Audi made an entire run of “Commemorative Design” cars. The 4000CS, 4000CS quattro, Coupe GT and 5000 models all got special upgrades and each were slightly different. The closest were the 4000 quattro and Coupe GT, which shared paint colors and interiors. The exteriors were either Graphite Metallic or Alpine White, but inside they shared the same lipstick red “Mouton” leather. While the quattro got the slightly uprated JT code 115 horsepower inline-5, the GT relied on the “KX” code motor with 110 ponies. The difference lay in the exhaust manifold; the GT unit was a 5-1 cast manifold, while the quattro had a beefier 5-3-1 exit, along with a larger diameter exhaust. However, the lighter GT was quicker than the all wheel drive variant; and thanks to the nature of the GT versus the quattro market, more of the special 1986 models have survived. The ’86 CE models also received the notorious digital dash, and if you selected Alpine White, they had color matched wheels, mirrors and rear spoiler. The color combination really makes the sharp Giugiaro lines stand out:

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

1983 Audi Quattro

1983 Audi Quattro

It’s a sigh of relief to see a market correction in classic Audi’s favor. For such a long time, Audis were simply unappreciated; but innovative designs, great looks and solid build quality mean that those who hung on for the depreciation ride are now smiling a bit more. There’s simply more appreciation for the classic Audis now then perhaps ever; even perhaps more than when they were new. That’s because back then, no one knew what they were, really – but today, the legend of Quattro has spread and thanks to the proliferation of internet video, we still get to hear the raucous barking and watch the belching flames from the turbocharged inline-5. This past weekend, I took my Coupe GT out for a ride. I grabbed my cousin and we went to look at a new car for him; a 2009 Subaru WRX. Much like a modern interpretation of the original Audis, it’s apropos that we arrived in an Audi to take a look at it. What was perhaps more striking, though, was the reaction of the Subaru crowd. We showed up to a Subaru speed shop where the WRX was to be view, and instantly once within earshot, all of the crew at the garage came out to see the approaching Audi. It was a genuine show of respect, smiles, and thumbs up from a crew you wouldn’t automatically assume would know their history. Even more shocking, though, was the resounding appreciation they showed for the old car – more than often is seen at Audi-specific events. That’s the legend and the importance of the Quattro:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

1982 Audi Coupe

1982 Audi Coupe

Just when you think you know everything about a car, one pops up to surprise you. In today’s case, it’s the color which this early U.S. bound Audi Coupe was delivered in – LA3Y Surinam Red Metallic. It’s seriously rare and the first time in my many years of Audi Coupe following that I’ve seen one. Now, off the bat many would be forgiven for believing that all 2-door Audis from this period were GTs; however, the Coupe didn’t become the “GT” until the late 1983/84 models. There are actually a host of changes that differentiate them from the early GTs. First off, the early cars carried the code WE 2.1 liter inline-5 instead of the later KX or NG equipped 2.2/2.3 Coupe GTs. It wasn’t much less power than the later cars, but was rated at 100 instead of the later 110/130 horsepower GTs. Gearing was longer, too – intended to give the GT better fuel economy, coupled with the lower power the early Coupes are a few seconds slower to 60 than the ’84 up cars. The early cars also ran 4×100 instead of 4×108 wheels with smaller brakes. Inside, there were no big changes to the Type 81 between 1981 and 1984, though some of the interiors are more rare to see. In this case, the build sticker tells us this car was equipped with interior “KC”, which thanks to the B2 Resource Guide tells us this was the Negro interior with Tweed Check. The car was also pretty heavily – and somewhat oddly – optioned. For example, the buyer selected sunroof, air conditioning and power mirrors, but oddly not power windows. Whatever their motivation, the buyer clearly coveted this expensive Coupe as witnessed by the condition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Coupe on eBay

Coupe Week: 1983 Audi Quattro

Coupe Week: 1983 Audi Quattro

I know what you’re thinking from the earlier post; “Really Carter? You’re going to do a Coupe GT and not a Quattro? Don’t be silly! Of course, the legendary and original turbocharged all-wheel drive Coupe is on my list for Coupe Week, and Paul spotted this stunning example on Classic Driver. It may be one of the lowest mile Quattros in existence, and certainly one of the best outside of the museum. While interest in the Quattro has surged thanks to Audi finally acknowledging in their ad campaigns that they made cars before the A4, the truth is that too long the Quattro was an unappreciated giant of automotive design. How unappreciated? Well, even as interest grows we’ve seen quite an odd trend; Europeans have been reverse-importing U.S. spec cars back to Europe. Such is the case with this example; originally a U.S. spec car that is back up for sale after returning to European soil:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on Classic Driver

Winter Winner – 1990 Audi 80 quattro

Winter Winner – 1990 Audi 80 quattro

Every year for the past decade I’ve headed towards the colder climates to enjoy some time exploring the limits of winter driving in schools put on by the Audi Club. Held on frozen lakes or in specific dedicated facilities, these schools allow you to do what’s simply not safe or legal on the regular roads; to get the car out of shape and beyond the limit of grip and learn to get back under control. Predictably every year there’s a crop of the newest and greatest from Audi, Subaru and even BMW. But around the ice, the best performers are still the old ladies; Audi 4000, 80 and 90 quattros comprise a small minority but generally blow right by all the “faster” cars once the grip declines. But while examples of the early quattros are never particularly expensive compared to new cars, finding the right one to buy and turn into a “winter beater” is a bit harder since they’re few and far between. So when this complete and solid but slightly weathered 1990 80 quattro turned up, my thoughts immediately turned towards the ice:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi 80 quattro on eBay

Seeing Red: Audi 4000 quattro Roundup

Seeing Red: Audi 4000 quattro Roundup

The Audi 4000 quattro was like a Sherpa to thousands of European car enthusiasts; a steadfast winter standby with slick styling and Rally-bred sure-footedness. On paper, looking back today the 4000 was probably a bit dull; nearly 2,900 lbs of brick-on-brick design with a measly 115 horsepower motivation. But numbers don’t tell the whole story of the B2 Audi, because in any configuration it’s a great handling car. The quattro, however, had some special features that would have been headline items for any sports sedan until very recently; four wheel independent suspension with a large front sway bar and four wheel disc brakes. Couple that with the first all-wheel drive system fitted to a small car, sprinkle some luxury items in and cut the price of the exotic Quattro in half, and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t particularly fast. What the 4000 quattro was, though, was one solid all-around performer. The subtle changes from the front-drive sedan resulted in a car that felt more grown-up and refined, yet still pushed you to do silly Hoonigan things. 4000 quattro owners that I’ve talked to almost always have the same proud story; the time that they managed to get their 4000 quattro stuck. Normally, that would be a cause for embarrassment, but such was the grip of the plow-through-anything small sedan that it became a badge of honor when you outdid the car’s twin-locking differentials. The secret, of course, was just to make sure all four wheels were in the air! But because of this type of sillyness inducing competence amongst dropping residual value and a second or third tier of ownership that didn’t always repair or maintain the cars, few are left in good condition. However, I managed to scratch together a trio of three-quarters of the U.S. bound production years, all in the fetching shade of Tornado Red.…

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

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.…

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

It’s another Wednesday and time for another rare wheel roundup! Today I have some more of my favorites lined up, starting with ones close to my heart – Ronal R8 option wheels. These are the lower offset wheels that have the spokes curve in to create a nice lip; were they 4x108mm, rest assured I wouldn’t have posted them and they’d be in the mail to me. They’re rare to find in either bolt configuration but would suit an early GT/4000, Volkswagen or (gasp!) E21 or E30 well. There are two sets of OZ Racing Vega wheels – one for Porsche, the other for Mercedes-Benz. They’re a neat BBS alternative and rare to see. The Audi A3 S-Line wheels may be one you haven’t seen before as most of the S-Line cars came with either larger 17″ wheels or the more BBS-esque wheels. Boy, they’re cheap – a great rare winter setup, perhaps? The Gotti wheels are so over the top they’re almost cool again! And the same goes for the polished Zenders – a rare find with plenty of character to set you apart. What’s your favorite?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Audi Ronal R8 15×7, 4×100 Wheels on eBay