Audi’s attention to detail in 1986 was…well, poor. Contrary to the never-wrong-Internet’s common belief structure and commentary every time an 80s Audi appears on a site, this had nothing to do with the quality of the cars they built. They were, in fact, very nice cars, and they have generally withstood the test of time as well as their countrymen and better in aggregate than the majority of 1980s cars.
So what was their problem with detail work? Well, notoriously Audis from the 1980s stood a good chance of being in some unusual specification which didn’t conform to what Audi claimed was available. Let’s take this 1986 Audi Coupe GT for example. According to Audi’s literature, if you bought the Commemorative Design 2-door in 1986, you got a special electronic digital dashboard with accompanying “Audi Electronic” oil temperature/voltmeter in place of the typical VDO 3-gauge center dash readout.
Except that wasn’t the only way to get the electronic dash. Because even though it apparently wasn’t an option you could select, Audi must have had a surplus or stock in ColecoVision, because they installed a bunch of these dashboards in a random selection of 1986 and some early 1987s. I know, because I have one of them. Here’s another, and this one only has 28,000 miles:
The lineup of unlikely VAG survivors continues today with this second generation Volkswagen Passat, of course badged the “Quantum” for the U.S. market. This model replaced the lovely and popular Dasher model which had been available in several configurations. Briefly, the new B2 continued that and if you’ve ever seen a 1982 Quantum 2-door hatchback in person in the U.S., you might be alone. The model was dropped quickly, though continuing on was the Variant (VW-speak for wagon) model. And because the underpinnings were shared with the B2 Audi, things started to get pretty interesting for the upscale VW. And, confusing.
Volkswagen was happy to tout the Quantum as the sole “German engineered Grand Touring car sold in America that was available as both a sedan and station wagon and came equipped with a 5-cylinder, fuel injected engine, front-wheel drive, power assisted rack and pinion steering, four-wheel independent suspension AND cruise control”. You don’t say, VW? Seriously, I think they could have left a few modifiers off that description and it still would have been true. The weird part is that the upscale Volkswagen actually tread on the toes of its even more upscale competition – the Audi 4000. Though early 4000s had the 5-cylinder available as an option, when it came to the mid-80s Audi saved the inline-5 only for the quattro models and Coupe GT/5000 front drivers. The 4000 grabbed the engine from the GTI, instead. But you could still get a 5-cylinder Quantum, and you could get a wagon version. Heck, you could even get a Syncro version of it, but only as a wagon!
Here’s where things get even more confusing. The 5-cylinder is usually associated with the moniker “GL5” – the upscale sedan with alloy wheels. And indeed the base Quantum Wagon in 1985 came with the 1.8. But in 1986, you could get a base Wagon with the 2.2 liter inline-5, and I believe the wagon was never officially badged the “GL5”. Weird? That’s VW.
As I’ve more frequently turned my attention to modern 911s, largely in an attempt to locate better performance value, I am still reminded of the 930. The 911 has become quite refined over the years. Porsche has now long been a luxury brand and it is expected that its 911 Turbo will carry on that luxury. While the 930 wasn’t exactly a no-frills 911, it also would be hard to describe as refined. It was more than capable of biting a ham-fisted driver and strictly on appearance refinement hardly would be its calling card. That path lay for Porsche’s own venture into very high dollar territory with the 959. The 930 remained a menace.
It is that quality which always brings me back to it. Modern 911 Turbos are faster and more capable performers in almost any conditions, all while being able to serve as a daily driver. In many cases on the second-hand market they’re cheaper too. So why the 930? For me it just takes one look.
Just beautiful. I can think of no other appropriate way to describe this Iris Blue Metallic 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t entirely original, nor is it an ultra-low-mileage garage queen. It’s just beautiful.
The version of Iris Blue Porsche gave us in the ’80s – note that it did change dramatically when the color came back in the ’90s – is one of those shades of blue that we’ve seen variants of throughout the 911’s history and it always captivates. It exists on the lighter side of the spectrum, which differentiates it from other great metallic blues like Gemini Blue and Minerva Blue, but it makes no sacrifices to its appearance. For those who are a fan of that lighter shade it makes for a very nice option. On a classic 911 it’s a crowd pleaser.
I’ve been on a little bit of a 930 run lately so let’s continue that. This one isn’t a Slantnose, though it does look a little sad. And I mean that in a fully anthropomorphized sense. I think we can see why so many owners replace the standard headlamps. It does have the rear quarter vents and strakes like the Slantnose and it’s when we get into these areas that my interest rises.
This 930 presents us with a little bit of a puzzle. At least, it does if you’re like me and thinking about 911 values and markets and whatnot. The seller goes to great lengths about this being a show car. At first, I wasn’t sure what he was on about and why the insistence on mentioning it. A lot of older 911s and 930s appear at these events. That’s where the puzzle begins: This 930 isn’t in the vain of a SEMA-style show car, but it isn’t a regular 930 either. It’s modifications aren’t hugely significant, but they do seem purposeful and intended to attract a certain level of attention. The mileage is quite low and it looks in really good condition. The show car emphasis then began to make sense to me. The question I wondered: will prospective buyers have a similar level of appreciation?
We last got to look at a modified E30 through the disappointing realization that finally after years of trying to sell with different dealers, the car listed as an Alpina C2 2.5 was just a very convincing replica. But as noted, the car was clean and wore a lot of really expensive Alpina bits – so while the price tag of $22,800 seemed high for a replica, it was in some ways amazingly justified.
So what happens when the car in question is a real Alpina? We find out when we look at an actual Alpina C2. The asking price in that case was nearly double at $39,500. And when you factor in that the C2 is one of the less desirable E30 Alpinas out there, that’s drawn into sharper contrast.
So here we are again with another Alpina to consider, but it’s not alone. One of our readers spotted a Hartge H26 – an even more rare to see variant of modified 1980s E30. And to kick the rarity up a few notches, both are 4-doors instead of the usual 2-door sedans. So how do they compare in terms of pricing, and are these cars all that they seem?
It feels too long since I featured a Porsche 930. I believe it’s only been a month and my last feature came on the heels of a bunch of interesting early 930s coming up for sale. Since then, there hasn’t been much. But such is their desirability and my own love for them that at some point I yearn to find another and search even deeper. I think this one is well worth it.
Here is a Prussian Blue 1986 Porsche 930 Coupe, located in Connecticut, with a matching Dark Blue leather interior and just 20,225 miles on it. Among other things it came optioned with sport seats and specially ordered Platinum painted Fuchs wheels. I really like the contrast provided by the wheels.
The M635CSi somehow gets lost among the other greats of the period from BMW. Perhaps, for U.S. fans, it’s the nomenclature that’s confusing. After all, there was a M1, an M3, and a M5, but when it came to the M version of the E24, BMW stuck with the moniker M635CSi in all markets but the United States and Japan. Confounding that decision was the launch of the E28 M535i. Like the M635CSi, it had additional body pieces, special interior trim and wheels from M-Technic. But while the M535i had a fairly normal M30 under the hood, the E24 received the full-fat M88/3 that was shared with the M5. Like the European M5 production started in 1984, well before they were available to U.S. customers. But while the M5 only sold in very sparse numbers over its short production cycle (about 775 sold in Europe between 1984 and 1987), the M635i was a relative hit, with just over 3,900 selling overall – far more than made it the U.S. market. Additionally, the European models were a slightly more pure form of the design; smaller bumpers, less weight, and about 30 more horsepower on tap without catalyst.
These European spec models were offered with some color combinations and interiors that never came to the U.S. market. A great example of the combination of these factors is today’s 1986 right hand drive model in the striking “Akaziengrün” – Acacia Green Metallic:
The Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16V is quickly becoming one of those ”snatch one up while you can” cars. Much like it’s rival E30 BMW M3, these are becoming hot buys in terms of driving enjoyment and collectibility. They aren’t quite at the level of the E30 M3 where people are pulling them out of the bottoms of lakes and selling them as-is for $12,000 yet, but probably in the next few years we’ll get to that point. That’s probably why this 1986 is still for sale in San Diego. Well that, and a few other areas of this car certainly need some attention.
This is another of Porsche’s many available colors that I’ve never seen before. It’s called Pastel Beige, which I’m pretty sure is an oxymoron.
Marketing person #1: We’re struggling to sell some of these beige colored cars, what should we do?
Marketing person #2: Our pastel colors seem to be very popular, maybe produce additional…
Marketing person #1: Say no more.
The name aside, it’s actually a strangely attractive color that works well on the lines of the 3.2 Carrera. It reminds me a lot of Ivory and Chiffon White, both of which had been available on earlier 911s. Pastel Beige is certainly a color within that range. Paired with a Grey Beige interior, which in the pictures looks much more of a brown than grey, we end up with a natural combination and it kind of works. Pastel or not this isn’t an exciting color, but it is a pretty one and, of course, of almost equal importance it’s quite rare. Here it adorns a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, located in California, with just 16,045 miles on it.