1987 Audi 4000CS quattro

We usually try hard to steer clear of nefarious characters, both in automotive products but more often in sellers. Today’s 4000CS quattro comes from a flipper in the Pacific Northwest who has gained a well-deserved reputation in the rather close-knit classic Audi community for misrepresenting, over selling, incorrect information about the cars, high and unrealistic prices and my personal favorite – the inability to take a whole picture of the car with normal perspective. So why am I once again showcasing a car of his? Well, two-fold; I’d like to correct the once again poorly researched information he’s provided (and, he managed to provide TWO whole frame photos!), and it’s just so infrequent that we get to gaze on a reasonable condition 4000CS quattro that I thought it was worth a look. Can we see past the seller to find a potential reasonable ride?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 4000CS quattro on eBay

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1985 Audi Quattro

It’s always a bit of fun to see a GCFSB alumni pop up again; back in September of 2013 this particular Quattro appeared on these pages. Now, typically when we relist a car we’ve previously featured, we’ll do a “revisit”. But I’m not going to do that with this car for one simple reason; the change in price. You see, the current seller bought this car almost exactly two years ago to the day. I remember looking longingly at the listing and thinking that if I was in a slightly different place, this car had the prospect of being an incredible deal. Not only were few 1985 model Quattros imported, but to me they’re the best looking of the bunch and offer the upgrades of the later Type 85 chassis; better electronics, an updated dash and some trim bits and of course the classic 8″ Ronals. There were a lot of positives, including a respray, working air conditioning and recent maintenance. Despite that, it traded hands at $15,000 – a bargain for a legendary car in good shape with low miles. Well, if you missed the boat then, tickets for this ride have gotten slightly more expensive….as in, just over 5 times more expensive:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Quattro on eBay

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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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The Spark of Life: 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT Part 2

About a month has passed since my introduction piece on the new-to-me 1987.5 Audi Coupe GT “Special Build”, and since then a fair amount of work has occurred. There have been a few successes and a few setbacks; as with any project, some things were unexpected and have complicated matters slightly, but then this is a car that has been sitting outside for over a decade non-running – it was never going to be a cake walk. Still, I’m quite a few steps closer to it being a viable car again, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to update the readership as to just how well it is (or, isn’t) going.
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1985 Audi Coupe quattro

While on paper it doesn’t really offer any advantages over the three distinct packages that came to the United States, the Audi B2 Coupe quattro still catches the eye of many early chassis fans here. The why is simple; it combines the best elements of the Type 85s into one distinct package. You got the rally-bred all-wheel drive system featured in the Quattro and 80/90 (4000), coupled with the narrow body of the GT. While effectively underneath it’s the same as the 4000S/CS quattro from the same period, it’s somehow slightly better at the same time. In my eyes, the Coupe styling is more attractive than the sedan it was based upon. You got the exotic feel of the turbocharged Quattro without the bills associated with it though, and while keeping those older forced-fed wonders going today can be difficult, there are still good condition Coupes available that offer most of the feel of the legend without the expense of buying into an original. Few come to the market quite as nice as this Graphite Metallic with Mouton red interior from Spain:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi Coupe quattro on Mobile.de

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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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Audi’s Other Front Drivers: 1985 5000S Avant and 4000S

You’d be forgiven for thinking, based solely on my 1980s Audi coverage, that there was only one front drive model available during those times – the Coupe GT. True enough, the 2-door is my favorite of the front drive Audis from that time, but in fact Audi produced many two wheel drive cars right up to the 2000s. Few remember, for example, that there was a front drive A8 available briefly with a smaller 3.7 motor. A few generations earlier, though, and it was a different large Audi that was initially available in front drive only – the 5000, before it was a quattro, was powered only by the leading wheels. Indeed, even its famous appearance in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was, while a Turbo model, still front drive only. And while it’s been the quattro versions of both the Coupe and 4000 that were more popularly remembered, both the 5000S and 4000S enjoyed a popular base and were good cars in their own right. Today we have two of these forgotten and forlorn Audis to take a look at:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Audi 5000S Avant on eBay

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Boxflare Showdown: M3 v. Quattro

This one has been brewing in my head for some time, and required only two things; the right two cars. I think, in this case thanks to the help of our reader Martin, I might just have the right two candidates. While BMW enthusiasts love to tout the virtue of the boxflared M3, they often overlook the importance of the Quattro. The chunky, Giugiaro-designed Audi made it to the market with its bulging quarters a full 5 years ahead of the M3, yet the DTM star is arguably much better known than the all-wheel drive Rally champion. Both were certainly important to the development of their respective corporate brands; both have illustrious careers as race cars and both are considered by connoisseurs to be the best design of those that followed. Quietly, while the market-star M3 has soaked up the headlines, good condition Quattros have also been appreciating, and with far fewer of them produced than M3s they’re a more rare sight today. They’re also, generally, much older and fewer were taken care of in the way that the M3s were pampered. Add little factory support and an even worse balance of the number imported to North America – only around 10% of the total of North American bound M3s – and it’s a hard match up. Yet, today we have two overall great condition cars to consider. Who wins the boxing match? Let’s start with the odds-on favorite M3:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW M3 on eBay

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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

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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

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