1987 Audi 4000CS quattro

I’ve taken a fair amount of heat over the past few weeks for posting front drive B2 models. But, in fairness, there was reasoning behind it; several of the examples were far above average, if not the best examples for sale anywhere today, and the fact of the matter is that the front drive Audi B2s are really fun to drive. “Quattro” becomes this obsession that overshadows the rest of the model run to the point that even Audi fans dismiss the two wheel drive variants as worthless. However, the much larger issue is finding good examples of 1980s quattros for sale. They do pop up from time to time, but largely what comes to market is used – and used hard. However, I came across one that appears to be in above average shape, so let’s take a look at it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS quattro on Spokane Craigslist

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End of the Run: 1991 Volkswagen GTi 16v and 1992 Volkswagen GTi

There’s something that’s just so right about the 1990-1992 GTis. The bigger bumpers gave a chunkier, more menacing look than the 85-89 cars had, and the swap to the 4-headlight grill worked so well. More power and bigger, better BBS wheels made these the best GTis in the eyes of many VW faithful. By 1990, the GTi 16V had gotten fairly expensive so Volkswagen reintroduced a more budget-conscious 1.8 8 valve version. It wasn’t a total poseur, though – Volkswagen made an attempt to differentiate the entry level GTi from the standard Golf. With 105 horsepower on tap (5 more than the standard Golf) and a 5-speed close-ratio gearbox, they channeled a bit of the original A1 GTi even if they didn’t sing up high like the 16Vs did. There were other subtle differences between the 16V and 8V; externally, they looked very similar except that the 16Vs wore appropriate 16V insignia front and rear and on the slimmed down side moldings. The 16Vs also got the larger and wider BBS RM multi-piece wheels with wider flares, while the 8V model wore the 14″ “Teardrop” alloys that had previously been the signature of the 16V. Both now wore roof mounted antenna and integrated, color coded rear spoiler with 3rd brake lights and color coded mirrors, along with the aforementioned 4-headlight grill, deeper rocker panels and integrated foglights. The 16V got beefier Recaro Trophy seats, while the 8V was equipped with the standard sport seats. Both wore the same sport suspension. And, both models now had the passive restraint “running mouse” belts. Today we’ve got one of each to look at, so let’s start with the big brother:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen GTi 16V on Huntsville Craigslist

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Litmus Test Part 2: 1986 Audi Coupe GT

In yesterday’s Litmus Test article, I broke down a reportedly “excellent” Audi Coupe GT to see if the pricing had actually risen on the model lines. While a few years ago such a car would have likely been a $1,500 example, yesterday bidding ceased at $3,050. Now, that’s actually above the condition Hagerty lists a condition 4 car. So, $3,000 is our baseline for a model that’s reasonably clean but has quite a few needs and some question marks. What price would a much better example command?

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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Double Take: 1990 Audi Coupe Quattro

For some time, the B3 Audi Coupe quattro enjoyed a coveted place in the lineup, and many enthusiasts still consider them the high point of Audi design. However, in the market place their star has fallen slightly as newer and faster cars have become more affordable. While for some time a solid example would have cost you well north of $6,000, these low production all-wheel drive hatchbacks seem to have fallen on harder times recently. They have a reputation for being slow compared to the competition – the result of being relatively heavy rather than lacking in the motor department. The 7A inline-5 20V motor is a true gem of a motor, and on the fly these Coupes are quite entertaining to drive. Of course, as with most of the Audi quattros, turbo conversions are popular and the possibilities are near limitless. The B3 chassis also upped the electronic quotient for the driver compared to the relatively simple B2s. Electronic fuel injection, electronically locking (and automatically disengaging) rear differential, a Torsen center differential, electric seats and automatic climate control moved the B3 upscale from the B2, along with added safety features. However, this past year the first of these Coupes turned 25 years old – an age that qualifies them as being antique in some states. Audi only sold a reported 1,730 of these Coupes between 1990 and 1991 model years, and the best (and probably optimistic) estimates put only about 75% of those still on the road today. So, today instead of looking at two modded examples, here are two clean drivers that could be an affordable and unique classic:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi Coupe quattro on Washington D.C. 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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1983 Audi Quattro

Contrary to popular belief, most of the elements of the Quattro were not pioneering. It was not the first production car with all four wheel driven – that distinction goes to the Jensen FF, which beat the Audi to market with a luxury 4WD GT by a full 15 years. It was not the first car to introduce turbo technology, as many manufacturers had been playing with forced induction for some time. Notably, some of the team that developed the Quattro came from the halls of Porsche, having worked on projects like the 924 Turbo previously. Even the signature box flares were borrowed from the Group 5 cars that raced in the 1970s. But the Quattro was the first to put all of these elements together and set the blueprint for what would become a fairly standard hot package going forward. The Ford Escort Cosworth, Lancia Delta Integrale, Subaru Impreza 22B, and Golf Rallye are but a few of the many that copied Audi’s trendsetter. And while some that followed were dynamically better than the Audi, it still has a mystique somehow greater than the both the sum of its parts and its inherently flawed design:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

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3 C3: Audi Type 44 Roundup

A sleek aerodynamic design, modern electronics, luxurious appointments, all-wheel drive and available small displacement turbocharged engine. This is the recipe that nearly every luxury automaker has taken on in the past few years, but in the 1980s there was only one available car in this configuration – the C3 Audi. Okay, it’s taken the best part of 30 years for that blueprint to be the go-to design, and the market has changed in many ways since then, both from a buyers prospective and from the regulations that govern cars. But to say that the Audi Type 44 was an advanced car in its day was no leap – it really was about as technically sophisticated as cars got in the mid 1980s. Under the aerodynamic and efficient body lay a rally-bred drivetrain which was robust enough to carry the torch after the Group B cars had extinguished. Indeed, it was the Audi 200 quattro (5000CS quattro in the U.S.) which went on in 1987 to win Audi’s next major rally – the Kenyan Safari Rally – where the luxury sedan went 1-2 with Hannu Mikkola and Walter Rohrl. Not satisfied, Audi then took the large sedan racing; first in 200 quattro form in the Trans-Am championship, then later in the modified D11 V8 quattro DTM car. It was an unconventional race car which was very successful – something Audi excelled at, historically. But nearly extinct are the road-worthy versions of the early 5000 quattro; the complicated pattern of electronics and hydraulics systems, originally its strength, being the downfall of many. Today I have the three rarely seen variants of the 5000 that were available in the mid 1980s; 5000CS quattro, 5000CS quattro Avant, and 5000S quattro. Which would you want to take home?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Audi 5000CS quattro on eBay

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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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