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In 1986, to commemorate the 100th year of the automobile, Audi released a series of designs to celebrate the occasion. The consisted of a series of interior and exterior color combinations which were unique to the Coupe GT, 4000CS, 4000CS quattro and 5000CS sedan. Each car had a different interior (with the exception of the GT/4000CS quattro, which both received ‘Mouton’ red leather) and were available in limited quantities and limited exterior color choices.
Their name, appropriately, was Commemorative Design.
Despite that, the Audi enthusiast world at large insists on calling these cars the ‘CE’ – Commemorative Edition – models, rather than ‘CD’ for the appropriate Commemorative Design. Perhaps this stems from some confusion with the Canadian market, where the 5000CS model was marketed as the 5000CD. Does it matter? Not at all.
The two most desirable of this run were the Coupe GT and 4000CS quattro examples with red leather interiors, especially in Alpine White. Though mechanically no different than the standard models, they always make the collective pants of the B2 community a bit tighter when they pop up for sale. However, this particular one might be close to ‘Not Safe For Work’ level, as in addition to the color scheme it’s got a turned up 2.2 liter 20V turbo under the hood. Is this B2 perfection?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi 4000CS quattro Commemorative Design 20V Turbo on eBay
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
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:
One thing I truly appreciate about my wife is that she not only listens to my interests, but provides unique insight into them as well. Not that long ago, I was talking to her about the whole E30 and 911 craze, saying how insane prices were getting. She immediately stated something to the effect that if someone walked up to me and offered me $20,000 for my Coupe GT, I had better sell it. In part, I’m torn; I’ve logged countless hours driving the GT, and have so much blood, sweat and swears in the car I’m not sure you can put a dollar value on it. I love how the car looks, how it performs, the sounds it makes and the way it stands out from the crowd. But then there’s the moment of pause – seriously, what if someone told me suddenly that my car was worth (to me) a large amount of money? Would I keep it? Would I gamble that it would continue to increase or that the market would pop? While the dollar figure varies greatly for the E30 M3 market, I imagine it’s a similar thought that is going through many E30 owner’s minds – when is the right time to sell?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition on eBay
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. The red leather was not carried over to the 4000CS front drive interestingly – it instead got Audi 5000-spec wheels, Coupe GT brakes and split leather and Alcantara seats. The 5000CS Commemorative was only available in front drive spec and similar to the 4000CS front drive, making the front drive 5000CS more luxurious than the 5000S quattro – which was more expensive. Of course, these cars weren’t called the “CD” models – because there actually was a 5000CD in Canada which was spec’d more like the 5000CS. Still with me? To quote Adam Sandler from a memorable Saturday Night Live skit, “Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?”
Now to complicate matters even more, in 1987 Audi launched a revised Coupe GT which it then promptly discontinued. The car was substantially changed – a new engine bumped up to 2.3 liters (the NG/NF that would see duty in the later 80,90 and 100 models), along with new to the GT 4-wheel disc brakes and – like the Commemorative Design, color matched trim. There was also a slightly different gearbox and different dashboard – still digital – just to confuse things even more. There were only a few hundred of each of these models that were imported to the U.S., making this whole exercise a bit strange in the grand scheme of things. But what’s undeniable is that B2 enthusiasts generally love these cars the most, creating their own names for them – the “Special Build” GT and “Commemorative Edition” 1986 models: