By on November 2, 2012

This series has featured a few 1980s Audis in recent months, including a couple of unintended accelerators and this crypto-Audi VW Quantum Syncro wagon. But what about the Coupe GT, which had an interesting-looking Giugiaro design (we’ll forget that Giugiaro did the Hyundai Excel) and offered American car shoppers a German alternative to sporty front-wheel-drive Japanese coupes such as the Honda Prelude and (1986 and later) Toyota Celica? You don’t see many of these things in 21st-century America, but Coloradans love Audis— even the non-Quattro ones— and I knew a Coupe GT would show up at a Denver yard sooner or later.
These things were available with the Quattro four-wheel-drive system, which would have made more sense for trips to the ski slopes or whatever Audi drivers do in the winter here, but the ground clearance wasn’t up to, say, International Harvester Scout levels when things got serious.
The interior of this car has been picked so clean that I suspect it was a parts car that got scrapped the moment its final owner got all the stuff he wanted out of it.
I’ll bet not many Coupe GTs were sold with air conditioning.

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22 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1986 Audi Coupe GT...”


  • avatar
    jimf42

    I owned an 82 Coupe back in the mid-80s. Great car to drive, decent handling, good highway cruiser. Expensive to repair.

  • avatar
    couper

    … still have my `84. awesome road manners for a non-Quatro. VW parts = Very Worst prices until you factor the miles/cost ratio. Coupe specific parts can be a wallet crusher. case in point – $600 for a SEKURIT windshield because the carport did a sommersault over the garage onto the wiper arm. tks, Sandy – owe ya one =(:|)

    • 0 avatar
      fiasco

      You can actually GET a windshield for it? I thought they were NLA.

      • 0 avatar
        couper

        … like sooo many other cars 20+ yrs out of production parts hunting is just that. could have got a SafeLite for $289 – waves included … ha ha ha ha. IDK the cost of a Pilkington, if avail. couldn’t get a used one from Shokan among others. 2 1/2 hr drive to NJ, 3 hrs back – so completely worth it …

  • avatar
    fiasco

    I don’t think the Coupe GTs were available with Quattro. The “UrQuattro” rally homologation special, was turbocharged and all-wheel drive, and also had fender flares to match. If the regular Coupe GT was available with AWD, my neighbor would have half a dozen stacked behind the barn. All his DIY “Sport Quattro” projects involve a shortened 4000 Quattro floorpan and nose with a shortened Coupe GT roof and tail.

    • 0 avatar
      couper

      … the shorter wheelbase cars are the Gruppe B rally cars that dominated the sport throughout the 80s. actually legal to import to the US now …

    • 0 avatar

      They were available with Quattro, just not in the US. Europe got the FWD and Quattro variant, labled as the Coupe Quattro, and the turbo, box arched version just “Quattro”. I should know, I have one, in British-spec.

      • 0 avatar
        SimonAlberta

        Beat me to it!

        At an Austin Rover dealership in the late 80s our brilliant sales manager bought a Coupe Quattro UNSEEN from somewhere…only he thought it was the full-blown rally homologation Quattro so he paid WAY too much for it.

        It was a nice car to drive, and due to the above mentioned issue, we had it around to “demo” for quite a while. The 136 BHP 5-pot was still quite fast for the day and I just loved the sound of it. Way tastier than any V6.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    CoupeGT was not available with quattro in the US. It was in Europe, however.

    I believe AC was standard, at least in later years. Probably the majority was sold with it. Having owned one and ofter looking at other used examples, I don’t recall ever not seeing AC.

    Usually the dash is one of the first items to be taken, it is a popular upgrade for the pre-85 Coupe’s and 4000′s.

  • avatar
    karlbonde

    I used to own a 1982 Coupe. I found a 1984 version at my local junkyard and took a ton of parts off of it – similar to the car above. Also, never seen one that did not have A/C as standard.

    The Coupe was widely praised by the auto mags back in the day for being a rare compromise: it didn’t have outstanding performance, but it was fun to drive, handled well and at the same time was very comfortable. The engine had a lot of usable torque but wasn’t particularly powerful. In other words, the test numbers showed an unremarkable car, but the driving experience was much better than expected.

    It was a great car for hauling passengers – the back seat was surprisingly comfortable and roomy for a two-door coupe. Getting into the back seat wasn’t easy, but once you were seated, it was nice.

    I think the biggest drawback of this body style (as well as the Audi 4000 sedans) was the trunk. Many people mistake the Coupe as a hatchback, but it had a trunk and you could only open it by pulling on a lever hidden on the driver’s door jam. And the gas tank is mounted vertically, right behind the back seat, just like a Mercedes W124.

    The coupe was available as a naturally aspirated quattro in Europe, but North America only received the front-wheel drive models (although they did receive the ur-quattro turbo vehicles).

    North America also received a special edition model in 1987 that had a 2.3 ltr engine with 130hp (more than both the 2.1 or 2.2 5-cylinder), a digital dash, and rear disc brakes.

  • avatar
    DM335

    I had an 86 Coupe GT in Bright Red with Gray cloth interior. This was one of my favorite cars. It was comfortable and sporty. There really weren’t many other cars like it. Domestic coupes were too large and bloated. Other foreign coupes were not as roomy inside. I remember it had pretty good performance, at least with the manual transmission. Just as now, Audi’s quality seemed to be rock solid. The trunk was oddly shaped, but had plenty of room if you learned how to pack it. Large suitcases and boxes were out of the question.

    Once 60 Minutes did its hatchet job on the Audi 5000, there was no way for Audi to continue with such a low volume model like this in the late 1980s.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The underhood view brings back memories of my poor 4000S quattro. The engine is right behind the grill with the radiator set back next to it. This is probably related to why I broke the engine block into three pieces when I drove my quattro off a 32 foot embankment on the side of the interstate. The towing company, the storage yard that stole my audiophile sound system, and the Audi dealer all said they’d never seen a broken engine block before, but most engines aren’t three inches from the front bumper.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Didn’t they have an ad slogan along the lines of “5 cylinders – because six is too many and four is too few”. This was back when virtually every US car had a V-8, so I remember doing a double-take when I heard/saw that ad.

    One of the best designs I’ve ever seen, but couldn’t get past the 5-cylinder thing and it seemed very expensive for what it was (I suppose that applies to all Audi’s . . . . .)

  • avatar
    Maintainer

    Coupe Quattro is on my bucket list. I’d take a clean Coupe GT like this though.
    I’m sure someone could convince these “Recycler” guys that there’s more than scrap value on a few of these rides.
    My last FSJ Widetrack Cherokee cost me more to ship from Northern Cali to Chicago Il than it’s purchase price and it was soooooo worth it.

  • avatar
    ICARFAN

    One of the better looking cars from the 80′s IMHO.

  • avatar
    haenschen

    These were the move-up option for the Scirocco crowd (among whom I numbered myself) back in the day. More room and comfort, lots of style, decent performance with some exclusivity, sort of a German take on the personal luxury coupe so beloved of the NA manufacturers. Sad to see one so tattered.

    • 0 avatar
      couper

      … I think of my Coupe as the bigger cousin to my `86 Scirocco (out of pic – stashed in FL) they are that similar in style. can stare at their angular lines for hours …

  • avatar
    olddavid

    As one of the few left with memories of inboard brakes and experience driving the 100LS, I find the Audi brand to be a baffling enigma. I have also been a repeat buyer. No brains, no headaches……

  • avatar
    roger628

    They should just shipped them directly to the junkyard, bypassing the poor hapless middleman/consumer in the process.


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