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1986 Audi Coupe GT

About a week ago, Paul sent me a link to Daily Turismo which was reviewing this very Audi Coupe GT. In the comments were the all too predictable Audi stereotypes; nothing electric will work, it’s overpriced, not worth getting unless its a quattro, I didn’t maintain mine well and so it was unreliable, etc.. The truth about the GT could not be farther from those descriptions; those that have driven them almost always report enjoying the experience, and those that have owned them and have moved on still pontificate how great of a car they are. To me, it’s cars like this that exactly underscore what’s wrong with the e30 market – here’s a very nicely styled, classic GT car. It’s well balanced and fun to drive. For the purists, it’s a 5-speed and has a race-bred soundtrack. They’re notoriously long-lived, with many (including this author’s) well in excess of 200,000 miles. There simply isn’t much electronic equipment to break on them. Yet, even a shining example such as this can be had for only $2,500:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Craigslist

Year: 1986
Model: Coupe GT
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: Not Listed
Price: $2,500

Rare 1986 GT Coupe 5 Speed, garage kept.
Wife forcing sale of my beloved Audi, need space in garage for HER car.

New Parts & Maintenance Include:
Wheels, Tires, Shocks, Brakes, Timing Belt, Water Pump, Exhaust, Paint, Battery, Tune-up, and rebuilt Speedometer Cluster. Can provide extensive maintenance history paperwork.

Seeking fellow Audi enthusiast to take ownership of keeping this Audi running for another 25 years.

Serious inquiries only, please call Jeff (no text please) at show contact info
CASH only deal. No wire transfer, no check, no trade.

While it’s nice to have the timing belt, exhaust and tune up done, the truth is that maintaining these GTs is fairly simple and affordable for the most part. The catch is that some parts – such as the windshield – are NLA parts in the U.S., making sourcing parts considerably harder than the E30 chassis. They’re also a fair bit more rare than the E30s, but with an enthusiastic community behind them it’s still very possible to keep them running. The KX-code engine is fairly uninspired in stock form with only 110 horsepower, but it’ll run with no oil for a few hours – they’re seriously stout units. Upgrades are hard to come by and tend to be expensive, but can be found – you could easily double the price of this car just in suspension and headlight upgrades. The wheels aren’t my favorite but there are plenty of options that do fit, contrary to popular belief. It’s unfortunate that the lower bumper grills are missing, but the NLA front reflectors are there and overall this Tornado Red example presents quite well. Though there are some questions, this car seems to be an exceptional value in the classic market, and no one will regret getting into it.



  1. Brad
    Brad October 22, 2014

    This guy is NUTS!!! To sell this just because of the wife wanting the garage. Get a super car cover and park it outside, park it a lot, in a rental garage, do whatever, but don’t sell a beloved!

  2. Ry
    Ry October 22, 2014

    @Brad – good call, I think that line is probably used a lot in car sale ads for some reason. It’s the “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse for car ads. Ha

    @Carter – I think you’re using your platform here to mount a run on Coupe GTs! 😉 Over the years you’ve brought me around on them quite a bit though…it’s too bad that the platform doesn’t have the flexibility of easy engine swaps or other ways to get over the slight HP deficit. This price does seem hard to beat if there’s no funny business.

  3. Carter
    Carter October 22, 2014

    Hmmm, no easy engine swaps? 10v Turbo, tdi, 7a 20v, 20v turbo, vr6, 1.8T, 3.6 and 4.2 V8 have all been in there, Ry….what more do you need?

  4. Ry
    Ry October 22, 2014

    @Carter – I guess I just never picked up a background in Audis pre-dating my old CoupeQ! I was on the old school Quattro email digest for like 5 years and swear I never saw Coupe GT swaps come up! This is news to me, but exciting stuff.

    I want to do a Top Gear type comparison/track event/other nonsensical road race with you where you show up with the best Coupe GT for under $5k and I show up with the best Honda CRX Si under $5k and we have it out. :). I’ll send in our applications…lol.

  5. Carter
    Carter October 23, 2014

    Ha! Well, around a track for cheap, I’d have to admit that a Si would be hard to best under 5K – parts are just too cheap for the Hondas. But I know what I’d rather look at – and drive there and home – or across country!

  6. E500E
    E500E October 23, 2014

    Another great write-up Carter. I’m a big fan of the 80s-era Audis and enjoy reading all of your 80s/90s Audi posts. My first car was an ’87 4000CsQ purchased in ’91 for $7k. That car was indestructible and the engine sounded soooo good…similar to the M119 in my E500.

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