1986 Audi Coupe GT – REVISIT

One of the nicest condition Audi Coupe GTs to come to market in the past year is back up for sale with a lowered “Buy It Now” price. It may seem a steep asking price, but in the breakdown of the two models I covered when you look at the number of expensive details necessary to bring a lesser example to this condition the asking price makes more sense. Will it find a home at $7,000?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site January 23, 2016:

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Litmus Test Part 1: 1986 Audi Coupe GT

I’ve been part of a broader discussion about values on 1980s Audis over the past few years. In one corner, I’ve suggested that values have been steadily increasing and that very good examples of 1980s Audis – the 4000 quattro, the 5000CS quattro and the Coupe GT – are higher now than they have been since the early 1990s. But have they really been increasing? Hagerty, among others evidence we’ve collected, would seem to say yes. The problem is that few examples of 1980s Audis in really exceptional condition come up for sale. But today is part one in a mini-litmus test of the market on one of my favorite models – the Audi Coupe GT. I’ve suggested that really excellent examples of these cars are currently $6,000 – $8,000. The basis for my argument is twofold; one, it’s so uncommon to come across a really top-condition, low mileage Coupe GT these days, and two – that between no longer available parts and the cost of a proper restoration, you’re better off paying top-dollar for a no-needs example rather than trying to bring a lesser example up to show-ready quality. So, let’s take a look at part one – a reportedly “excellent” Coupe GT:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build

Like yesterday’s Scirocco, the similarly Giugiaro-styled Audi Coupe GT added a touch of upscale Italian design to relatively pedestrian underpinnings. However, there was more of the rally-bred all-wheel drive Quattro DNA in the Coupe GT than its little brother. Nearly everything apart from the door handles in the B2 was overbuilt; massive driveshafts, bigger brakes and heavier duty suspension, and a robust engine meant that in any form these entry level Audis have stood the test of time pretty well. While in Europe there were several different variants of the Coupe in 4 or 5 cylinder and with all-wheel drive, in the U.S. we only got one at any time. Starting with a 2.1 inline-5, the front-drive only GTs worked their way up to the last of the run 2.3 NG motored cars. With 4-wheel disc brakes, special exterior and interior treatments, a unique digital dashboard and 130 horsepower, these lighter “Special Build” GTs were a performance match for U.S. spec Quattros:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build on Charlotte Craigslist

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1986 Audi Coupe GT

I know what you’re going to say the moment you see this post. “Alright Carter, enough with the Audi Coupe GTs already!” you’re furiously typing, “We want more quattros!” The Porsche 924 of the Audi lineup, the reality is that more low mileage, pristine Coupe GTs come to market than just about any other 1980s Audi. But in my mind, they’re far from the least desirable in the line up, as they offered a stylish package with a high fun-to-drive quotient coupled with some serious longevity. And they’ve really begun to appreciate over the past few years; prime examples are now at least asking close to $10,000, a seemingly staggering amount considering you could get a very nice one a few years ago for no more than $3,000. But as with all of the mid-range and cheapish 1980s cars, the pool of excellent candidates is quite small and few come to the market quite as good as this 1986 example, primed for Christmas in a Tornado Red suit:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

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B2 Love: Audi Coupe GT Roundup

My affinity for the Audi Coupe GT goes without saying, and it’s been a bit since I’ve written one up – but a few nice examples floated past my computer screen thanks to the quattroworld B2 forum and I thought they were worth looking at. Below are three distinctly different versions of the same car – one of the early design 84 Coupe GTs with some great modifications, a stock but automatic 86 model and a last-of-the-run 87.5 “Special Build”. Which is the one to grab as these cars continue to appreciate but are still quite affordable?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Coupe GT on German Cars For Sale Blog’s Self Service Classifieds

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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….
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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

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1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build

Is a car ever really “free”? This past weekend, with help I managed to get the recently acquired Coupe GT running. That, in and of itself, was both awesome and created a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to hear the inline-5 clack to life. But, had the car not run, in some ways it would have been much easier. Sadly, I could have taken the parts that were good and resigned myself to the reality that I just couldn’t save this one. But as old Audis do it sprang to life and immediately presented new problems; a frozen alternator, a leaking auxiliary radiator, and the inability to shift out of first gear. Even before tackling those problems, I’m already a few hundred dollars into the car in parts and delivery. Start adding up the potential bills, and the “free” car gets closer to the reality; it’ll likely end up costing close to market value (or perhaps even more). Wouldn’t buying one that was already done and in great shape be easier?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build on eBay

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Waking From A Coma: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 1

For those of you who follow the blog, my affinity for the Audi Coupe GT will come as no surprise. Few cars embody the “more than the sum of its parts” ideology better than the GT; a competent cruiser, fun to toss around corners, reliability and longevity all coupled with great and unique looks to create a package that was better than its peers. Previously, I’ve covered some of the history of my 1986 Coupe GT 20V; a unique car that’s been with me since 1998. Still running strong and delivering smiles, it is the third of four coupes that passed through my hands. It’s also an interesting example; a non-Commemorative Design car, it was one of the few 1986s delivered with a digital dashboard and in the rare shade of Oceanic Blue Metallic. I’ve also owned a Tornado Red, Graphite Metallic and another Oceanic Blue Metallic example – but there was one I always really wanted; a 1987.5 “Special Build” in Alpine White.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a friend with the subject line “Coupe for sale”. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to open up the email even though I was on vacation and not looking to buy a car. But the message inside was too intriguing to pass up; my friend told me he could get a whole car minus wheels and radio for free – did I want it? The questions went down the rabbit hole; what color was it? White. What year? 87. And, according to my friend, it looked very solid. With each answer, my hopes increased. I asked for pictures; worst case, I could grab some parts for it. The picture above was the first one I got; there it was, a 87.5. I could tell right away by the white spoiler, mirrors and window trim. The wheels were wrong, but as they were slated to stay with my friend that didn’t worry me. Inside, the interior looked remarkably clean and velour – more on that later. The downside to all of this? It was non-running and an automatic. Still, the images revealed a shocking number of NLA parts for the GTs that were just too good to pass up. The pictures showed a uncracked windshield (European order only these days), both front reflectors (NLA from Audi and trading for more in pristine shape than some whole cars), and the entire compliment of lower grills (also NLA from Audi and hard to find an entire set).

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Leaves Nothing Stock: 1984 Audi Coupe GT 20V

If the M6 I just wrote up was full of non-original details, it’s hard to find anything that came from the factory on this Audi Coupe GT. Much of that I can appreciate, as I myself have fully modified a Coupe GT from stock form. It’s a chassis often overlooked because of the layout; on paper, just like a 911 the Coupe GT shouldn’t work. It’s front drive with an open differential and a very forward weight bias; unlike nearly all the Volkswagens, the engine in the GT in longitudinally laid out. That’s because it effectively was a front drive Quattro platform; many of the details of the front drive GTs are shared with their Quattro cousins. The configuration leaves a giant inline-5 cylinder motor hanging fully in front of the axle line, and the motor which promised the power of a 6 with the economy of a 4 was really the opposite. Yet, as with the 911, something magical was born from this recipe; not only did enthusiasts love the GT, but indeed even automotive experts said the 2-door Audi was more than the sum of its parts. GTs dance through corners with a poise that isn’t shared with the Volkswagen GTis, for example. They’re stunningly composed over long trips too, both spacious and at home cruising on the highway. And, importantly, they looked different than just any 2-door sedan; the angular delight of the Giugiaro design translated well into the narrow body. But just like the GTi and the E30, the platform had room for improvement; stiffen up the suspension and add power and it punches well above its weight class:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Coupe GT 20V on eBay

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