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1987 Audi Coupe GT

Edit 7/2/2017: This car has dropped to a $3,000 Buy It Now

The 1987 Audi Coupe GT is an interesting bird. Well, to be more precise, 1986 and 1987 Audi Coupes were a mixed bag and there are always little details that are interesting to see. In 1986, Audi offered the Commemorative Design model Coupe GT, which offered no performance upgrades but was a neat looker with unique red leather interiors. One of the other items the GT had which the 4000CS quattro Commemorative Design didn’t was a digital dashboard. The lower center panel, which normally had three VDO gauges, instead held a VDO electronic display with only oil temperature and a voltmeter. There was no oil pressure gauge. Where the normal dash held analog gauges, instead the Commemorative Design had a three pane electronic display. On the left was a increasing scale tachometer with a lower section readout for the (standard on electronic dash) trip computer. The center display held the speedometer and the odometer only. Below were the standard array of warning lights. On the right, the display had a fuel reading up top, temperature gauge up amidship and a clock below. The trip computer’s toggle functions allowed you to swap the dash readout between U.S. and Metric settings – always fun to surprise passengers when you announced you were cruising at “130” and comment on how quiet the car was. Using the dimmer switch, you could also engage “Night Mode”, which would drop all but the speedometer display off the dash. Should a warning light appear or the fuel level get too low, the car would automatically revert to the full dash.

Was it a gimmick? Sure, but it was the 80s, and it was pretty damn cool at the time. Of course, it wasn’t as cool as the full talking dash available on European Quattros, but we take what we can get, right?

The interesting part came in that the “digidash” was supposedly limited to the CD models. It was not. There was a strange allocation of ’86s which also were built with the dash. In 1987, you had to get the later “Special Build” Coupe GT to get the digital, and slightly different colored, experience, right? No again, as randomly some early 87s had the 86 digital dashboard, too. This Tornado Red example is one of those latter examples:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

Year: 1987
Model: Coupe GT
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 156,450 mi
Price: $3,000 Buy It Now

Hi everyone, this is my 1987 Audi Coupe GT. I bought this car from a friend of mine a few months ago after he decided to move across the country, and couldn’t afford to take multiple cars with him. I have been driving it when the weather is nice once or twice a week since I’ve owned it. I keep it stored in my garage away from the elements, and I usually clean and detail the car once a week. My goal with this car was to get it looking good, and driving well so that I can enjoy it as a fun, weekend, classic car.

*Full Video Tour & Drive:*

When I got the car there were a few areas that needed some attention. The clear coat on the hood was faded, and there were some small rust spots beginning to form on the fenders. I am not a professional body shop worker, but I have lots of experience with body repair, paintwork, and the steps within those. I am proud of the work I did to this car, and hopefully you agree after looking at the pictures. If you were to look with a very critical eye; the hood is just a tad more orange than the other body panels, however it looks good and I took my time making sure that it was done well. The hood was taken down to bare metal, and I used high quality primer, red paint, and clear coat with a proper spray gun to achieve the result I got. The other small corrosion spots were all treated the same way, and masked off properly to blend in with the fender. I did my best to capture all of this in the pictures, as well as a video tour that I have linked below.

Beyond that, the car has some other small issues that I have also captured in my pictures and the video I made. The only issue that is not strictly cosmetic, is that it doesn’t like to idle by itself when first started. You just need to give it a little gas for a few seconds until it warms up. I believe this issue related to the IAC valve, but it hasn’t really bothered me since I kind of expect this from a 30 year old car. (I show the process of cold-starting it in the video). If you would like to message me with any questions about any aspect of the car, feel free. It has been in Michigan it’s whole life so it has been a victim to some rust, but nothing compared to the majority of cars here. It was sold new in Lansing MI at William’s Auto World, and I have a good amount of paperwork including the manuals and original window sticker, to provide some insight into the car’s history. To my knowledge I am the 4th owner of this car. It’s got a clean title, 4 almost-new tires, and it’s ready for the road. Thanks so much for checking out my Audi, and good luck!

The pictures, at least at a distance, portray an excellent condition and mostly original Coupe GT. The Tornado Red paint gleams and the staging makes the car look like the original press photos from the later Type 85 brochures. However, the story begins to fall apart slightly as you zoom in and read the description. The seller claims clearcoat failure on the hood; impossible if it were the original paint, as Tornado was a single stage. That means a probable prior respray or perhaps accident. Getting closer, though the hood’s general tone matches the rest of the exterior, the actual paintwork itself it’s very good and the finish is poor. The rear bumper is distressed from an impact, and though the hood was resprayed the sunroof clearly needed attention, too. Missing is the sunroof gasket, a NLA part in the U.S., and one which will have you cursing in a heavy rain. Opening the door reveals rust on the rockers which doesn’t look good, but the shots underneath really display the extent of the problem, with unusual to see complete failure of the unibody structure after the wheel wells.

Inside, gray leather was a rarely selected option and neat to see; but unfortunately, it, too has suffered the wrath of time and neglect. The Blaupunkt radio has been replaced as have the speakers. The dash shows an unusual dent in the middle, and the ashtray seems broken. There are other missing pieces around the cabin, and the ripped shift knob reveals a plastic, rather than wood, substrate (my ’86 is the same, but there’s a weird mix of knobs out there – I have a ’85 knob that was wood, for example, and my ’86 4000CS quattro was wood, too).

Under the hood looks quite tired and the engine has been at least partially apart, as well as poorly painted. The running condition displayed is probably a faulty cold start valve or idle stabilizer, or mix of neglect and poor running condition. The front suspension looks tired and the rear is typically sagging a bit. The KX-code 110 horsepower inline-5 is generally trusty when running correctly, and connected to the 5-speed manual box is a fun drive – but the later NG 130 horsepower car is the one to seek if you can find them, because along with the increased horsepower came 4-wheel disc brakes and nicer trim treatment.

Doesn’t sound like there’s much to like here, eh? Well, if you don’t mind a project driver-quality GT that will never be a show car, this isn’t a horribly bad find. In some ways the condition is superior to others that come up for sale, though the underbody shots look like it spent too much time on salty roads. The working digital dash is alone worth a pretty penny, and the car has most of the proper trim in tact. In this a $6,000 example? Far from it. In my opinion, and owning two of them, if this car achieved even $3,000 that would be more in line with the market on these cars now. But to correct the faults would easily cost double that amount in proper paintwork, a mechanical overhaul and trim sourcing. This is one that it’d be lovely to see heading down the road, but not so great to actually own.


One Comment

  1. Christian
    Christian June 13, 2017

    I’ve owned 3 CGTs back in the late 80s – ealry 90s, and I can tell you that you are correct when it comes to the inconsistency of options/packages. There always seemed to be some random mid year change in equipment or standard features, and it never was reflected in the brochures. I’ve seen so many odd running production anomalies with these cars, but it was never a bad thing. They would just decide to change the production run randomly for the US cars.

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