1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition – REVISIT

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:

Continue reading

It’s Hip To Be Square: 1986 Audi Coupe GT and 1987 Audi 5000CS Quattro

There are probably a few out there reading this who will remember Huey Lewis and the News, or perhaps you’re a fan of Christian Bale and his performance in American Psycho which prominently featured a notoriously catchy song by the band, “It’s Hip to be Square”. While the song itself was a relative hit, for me it’s Bale’s character’s critique of the band that is particularly poignant when considering Audis from the 1980s:

“You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor. I think their undisputed masterpiece is “Hip to Be Square,” a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself!”

Audi reinvented itself in the 1980s; with crisp, clean new designs that stood apart from their countrymen. They were boxy but aerodynamic, clean and economical – yet at the same time, they were really noticeable, looked expensive and have stood the test of time. Yet few people partook in these 1980s Audis compared to some more period marques. If Mercedes-Benz was the sign that you had made it to opulent wealth and still made good decisions, BMW was the sign that – well, you’d just made it to wealth. But Audis, though quite dear in price, were always a bit different; outsiders in their own land. Whilst everyone else took tried and true paths, Audi forged ahead through unusual means – small displacement, turbocharged motors feeding locking differentials and all-wheel drive, for example. Every model seemed to be a statement within itself that the company was different, and few embody that ethos quite as well as the 5000CS quattro and Coupe GT:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 5000CS Quattro on Craigslist

Continue reading

1986 Audi Coupe GT

Being a huge fan of the B2 Audi, and with so few floating around, you’d be potentially forgiven for believing that I’d remember ever single one I see. But even though there are small amounts of them still floating around in comparison to the E30 market, let’s not forget that the Coupe GT was a relatively popular model for Audi, with over 100,000 produced. A reported 22,000 of those made it to the U.S., with the majority being the early Type 81 model with rectangular headlights. Only about 8,500 were the later, higher horsepower post 1985 models with updated interiors and exteriors – for argument’s sake, not many more than the original M3. So, it’s fair to say that I do recognize a fair amount of the survivors that pop up as I’d guesstimate that, unlike the E30, less than half of those originally imported post-85 cars still survive today. This one, in particular, looked instantly familiar – but not because of the color; in fact, in spite of it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

Continue reading

1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition

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

Continue reading

Rare B2s: 1987.5 Coupe GT “Special Build” and 1986 4000CS Quattro “Commemorative Edition”

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT on Craigslist

Continue reading

1984 Audi Coupe GT v. 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco

I’ve always pondered how the Audi Coupe GT compared to the more popular Volkswagen Scirocco. For the past 17 years, I’ve owned one GT or another and obviously I’m a big fan; I think they’re massively underrated compared to many of their contemporaries. The Scirocco, similarly, seems to be the odd-man out in the Volkswagen lineup; yes, it has tons of fans, but most of the attention over the past few years has concentrated on the rapidly appreciating Corrado SLC models and earlier Giugiaro-designed first generation Scirocco. Of course, in appreciation of both seems to pale in comparison to the highly sought and much more common E30 BMWs, but in their own way each offers a unique alternative. In the Scirocco’s positive column is a slick design that’s low and lean; 16V models got the great motor coupled with 4-wheel discs and some cool teardrop alloys and a nice bodykit. In the GT’s positive column is a much more refined and polished package, capable of carrying 4 in comfort with it’s more upright sedan-based stature. The drivetrain is a wash; the Audi has more torque and horsepower from its inline-5, but then weighs a bit more than the Scirocco too. But mid-corner balance has to go to the Audi, plus the equal-length drive shafts eliminate the typical torque-steer prone FWD problems and the Audi feels more neutral on the fly than the Scirocco. The best of the bunch are the last run “1987.5” GTs with 4-wheel discs and the upgraded 2.3 engine with more torque and horsepower. Plus, the Audi has the better WRC soundtrack – at least, in my mind. While today I don’t have a 16V Scirocco v. 87.5 GT comparison that I think would be very interesting, I nevertheless have an interesting comparison – a later Scirocco that’s quite clean compared to an earlier GT that shared some of the traits of the Scirocco. Which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

1986 Audi Coupe GT

Despite praise from critics when it was new, a great design by Giugiaro and a motorsports legacy second to none, the Audi Coupe GT has remained since new a fringe car in the United States. Compared to the E30 2-doors, Audi produced less than half the total production of BMW’s venerable small coupe with only around 170,000 made over its 8 year production run. Of those, many less were imported to the United States and even fewer survive today. They’re downright rare to see running around anywhere – the legacy of poor residual value more than anything. Those that have owned them love them – a great looking, unique coupe with awesome handling that is both at home on the highway and back roads. It’s easily capable of carrying a sizable load of adults and luggage since, like the E30, the GT shared its platform with a sedan – but where the GT differed was in drivetrain layout and the slinky roofline that has helped the car age particularly well. On paper, the GT doesn’t make a great driver – a big iron lump hanging out entirely ahead of the front axle line to allow for the all-wheel drive system we didn’t see in the GT on these shores, an open differential and a slightly heavier curb weight without much more power than the coupes from Volkswagen. But statistics don’t tell the whole story, and GT is a great example of that. Extremely well balanced and neutral out of the box, the longer wheelbase provides excellent stability while the equal-length driveshafts eliminate torque steer and help to put power down better than the Volkswagens. The package is refined and shows why the GT was successful in its own right as a racer in Europe. Plus, you get that wonderful off-beat, throaty inline-5 providing one of the more unique soundtracks from the 1980s:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Audi Coupe GT on Hemmings

Continue reading

Broken Arrows: 1984 Audi Coupe GT and 1993 Audi S4 quattro

It goes without saying that not every older German car is perfect, and that leaves a large amount of cars that are a bit of a “project”. Depending on your tolerance and your desire for a particular model, that level of project can vary greatly from a car that has some minor needs to a complete rebuild from scratch. Today I have two “broken” Silver Arrows from different generations – each with a devoted following and somewhat rare to see these days. Both could function as daily drivers with some work if you’re game. Let’s start with the Coupe GT:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

Continue reading

1982 Audi Coupe GT with 57,000 Miles

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a big fan of the Audi Coupe GT; obviously, it helps that I own one that I’ve had for a few decades now. They’re stellar and underrated cars, forgotten by German car enthusiasts at large they remain one of the best unsung grand touring cars of the 1980s. While not the fastest or flashiest car out there, the GT provided a good amount of luxury and isolation, but brought with it a good dose of sport to back up the DNA links to motorsport and its big-brother Quattro. The GT was a car that gave you 80% of the performance of the turbocharged model for half the price. It also, in my mind, looked great too – while we all love boxflares, like the non-M3 E30s the GT had a charm of its own. The great angular yet curved C-pillar was the best design feature in my mind and still looks great today. For a car that shared a majority of its components with the 4000 model, the GT was remarkably different in character. However, as they were generally forgotten it is exceedingly difficult to find good examples of the B2 Coupes in general, and especially the first run of the cars. Distinctive with their DOT-spec diving board bumpers and quad-headlight setup with flat grill, these GTs have a loyal following – and one of the best examples from what was clearly a loving home is up for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Coupe GT on eBay

Continue reading