Check out this 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build—an exceptional specimen with only 7,253 miles, embodying near perfection. This model served as a bridge between the B2 and B3 chassis, introducing features later found in the B3 front drive 90.
Tag: Special Build
Like yesterdayâ€™s GTI, 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 corporate cousin. 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 â€œSpecial Buildâ€ GTs were a performance match for U.S. spec Quattros, and are almost as rare. This black example sports some modifications but looks quite clean overall:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build on eBay
If you pop on to the Audi USA configuration site, itâ€™s easy to shake your head at how expensive it seems the range has gotten. The A3 is the cheapest product you can buy, but at $33,000 without options itâ€™s hard to see how this gussied-up Golf is affordable.
Yet, relative to where Audis used to sticker, that price is downright cheap.
Take this 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Special Build. At the end of the run, Audi sold approximately 850 of these B2/B3 hybrid Coupes to the U.S. market. While things like the suspension and basic body were unchanged, the Special Build got the NG-code 2.3 inline-5 that was seen in the later Type 44/C3 and B3 chassis cars with 130 horsepower. The gearbox was also unique to the Special Build, having beefed up drive shafts (for some unknown reason, as the existing ones were already overbuilt). The Special Build was also the only front-drive B2 to carry 4-wheel disc brakes â€“ again, shared with the B3 instead. Inside, the Special Build got a special digital dashboard in a slightly different hue than the â€™86 Coupe GTs with digital boards had. The interior fabric was updated to the Savoy Velour (also from the B3) instead of the B2â€™s Kensington Velour â€“ this was signified by a triple stripe instead of a dual stripe. To help distinguish the limited cars, the exteriors featured a â€œdippedâ€ look; window surrounds were body color as were mirrors and spoiler, and if you opted for Alpine White (L90E) the Ronal R8s were also painted body color. As with most later GTs, the Special Build came relatively loaded with few options, though most donâ€™t seem to have the rear wiper selected for some reason. Sunroof, leather steering wheel, power windows, power defogging mirrors, cassette stereo and power antenna, cruise control and a trip computer were all standard. Only heated seats, a rear wiper, leather interior and an automatic transmission could be optioned.
The price for this â€œheavily optionedâ€ exclusivity was $20,600, and youâ€™d be hard pressed to leave a dealer for much under $21,000 after delivery charges. Inflation corrected from 1987 dollars to 2020 dollars, thatâ€™s about $48,000. A brand new A5 coupe starts at $44,000 today and has many more amenities standard. Is it any surprise that we see so many more luxury vehicles today than what we saw in the 1980s?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi Coupe GT Special Build on eBay
Most enthusiasts couldn’t give a damn about a mid-80s Audi. I am not â€˜most enthusiastsâ€™. Indeed, if two people pulled up to a Cars and Coffee â€“ one in a brand-new C8 Corvette and one in a fairly used 4000CS quattro, I know which one Iâ€™d gravitate towards. Iâ€™d like to think Iâ€™m not alone, either. The 4000CS quattro was one of the best examples of the expression ‘greater than the sum of its parts’. With only 115 horsepower on tap and fairly mundane roots in an economy car, youâ€™d be right to not expect much. But the 4000CS quattro over-delivered in just about every way thanks in no small part to a healthy dose of DNA infused from its bigger, turbocharged brother.
To end production, just as they did with the Coupe GT Audi of America rolled out a Special Build 4000CS quattro. Since it already had four-wheel discs, that wasn’t changed, nor was the engine, unlike its two-door counterpart. But what you got was a special Jacquard quattro-script heated cloth interior, blacked-out badges, body-color mirrors, a trip computer, and one of the best all-weather companions ever created:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS quattro Special Build on eBay
Update 4/28/19: Back in December 2018 I looked at this beautiful, low-mileage Coupe GT Special Build with a $12,000 asking price. It quickly disappeared, but has popped back up at another dealer, now with a $14,950 asking price. While it seems unlikely to sell, appreciation for this chassis has been rapidly growing and pricing creeping up. Finding an original one like this is very tough today!
How many times can you write-up the same car, or find something new to say? Somehow, for me these older Audis drive a passion of discovery which keeps them fresh. Today’s example of a B2 Audi is, like the 4000CS quattro from the other day, a last year model. Unlike the 4000CSq, though, the late Coupe GTs were upgraded with the Special Build package. A crossover to the B3 chassis, they featured rear disc brakes, color-matched trim, B3 interior fabric and a 20 horsepower bump thanks to the addition of the 2.3 liter NG inline-5. The Special Build also had a slightly different version of the ’86 digital dashboard. The best performing GT offered here, these are generally considered the most desirable of the lineup.
Today’s example is much like my ‘87.5 project, (unfortunately) right down to the automatic transmission. But with only 60,000 claimed miles and in pristine shape, is this the one to get?