Find of the Day: 1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition

words: Bill, photos: Cars & Bid

When you think of Audi in the 80s, a couple of  iconic vehicles pop into mind: The Sport quattro and  the Quattro (ur-quattro). The Coupe GT was a version that didn’t have the fender bulges of its muscular brother nor the turbo…nor the all-wheel drive. Yes, this is a front-wheel drive Audi but this one is a little special – it’s a Commemorative Edition. The Commemorative Edition was set apart from other GTs with the ‘Michelle Mouton Lipstick Red’ (yes…that Mouton) leather interior and had a really rad digital dash specific to the Coupe GT in the US market. This one popped up on Cars & Bid recently. Here’s the ad:

Doug’s Take

Now this is a cool car. Older Audi models are starting to become more desirable, and that includes this Coupe GT — which shares its body lines and 5-cylinder engine with the famed Audi Quattro Coupe (just without the turbocharger or all-wheel drive). Quattros have become absurdly expensive, but this car has a very reasonable reserve, and it looks to be in good shape — and it’ll be a fun way to enter the old-school Audi world before prices shoot up too high.


THIS… is a 1986 Audi Coupe GT Commemorative Edition, finished in Graphite Metallic with a red leather interior.

  • This Coupe GT is equipped with the desirable 5-speed manual transmission.
  • The seller reports that he purchased this Audi from a couple who owned the car since 1988.
  • The seller performed a major, engine-out service in the spring of 2020. Numerous parts were replaced ranging from the head gasket to the warning label on the brake fluid reservoir. The full list of work performed recently on this Coupe GT is below, and images of the engine out and the cylinder head disassembled are included in the gallery.
  • This Coupe GT is unmodified with the exception of H4 headlights.
  • Audi introduced the Coupe GT Commemorative Edition for the 1986 model year. This upmarket model received more standard features (including red leather upholstery and a digital instrument cluster). The 4000S and the 4000CS got a similar treatment.
  • Audi sold 2,365 Coupe GTs in the United States in 1986. 699 were finished in Graphite Metallic, and 284 of those were equipped with the Red Leather interior.
  • Power for this Coupe GT comes from a 2.2-liter straight-5, which produces 110 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque. It spins the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission.


  • 14-inch wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Leather upholstery
  • Power-operated windows
  • Sunroof
  • Rear wiper
  • Air conditioning
  • Cassette player


  • H4 headlights

Known Flaws

  • The attached AutoCheck history report notes this Coupe GT collided with another vehicle in Ohio in 1994. It does not provide additional information about the incident.
  • The seller states the sheet metal around the antenna was repainted.
  • Chips on the hood
  • Chips on the rear edge of the driver’s door
  • Finish on the wheels peeling
  • Creases and wear on leather upholstery

Recent Service History

Service records detail most of the maintenance and repairs performed on this Coupe GT since the 1980s, and the seller states he performed a major, engine-out service in the spring of 2020. Photos showing the work being performed are in the gallery.

The list of parts replaced includes:

  • Engine: Top-end gaskets (including the head gasket), lower gaskets (including oil pan, crankshaft seal, and rear main seal) and valve stem seals.
  • Cooling system: Water pump and thermostat.
  • Electrical system: Alternator and battery.
  • Driveline: Clutch, pressure plate, plus master and slave cylinders.
  • Suspension: Front struts, front control arms, and numerous bushings.
  • Wheels and brakes: Front rotors, front pads, front brake hoses, 4 wheel bearings, and 4 tires.
  • Miscellaneous: The engine was repainted, the brakes were bled, the air conditioning system was charged with R12 refrigerant, the steering wheel was reupholstered, and the shift boot was replaced. The seller also replaced some of the stickers in the engine bay.

Other Items Included in Sale

  • 1 key
  • Owner’s manuals
  • Bentley repair manual
  • Extra set of new front floor mats

Seller’s Ownership History

The seller purchased this Coupe GT in December 2019 from a couple who bought it in 1988. He has put about 1,500 miles on it since.

About the pinstripes…the owner states that it’s painted and the previous owner said it was done by someone from Peterbilt. AC and heat works great. I’ve been looking at the GT (not too seriously) as the Quattro is climbing way out of my comfort zone. The Coupe GT can still be found rather cheaply and this one, being a Commemorative Edition, won’t last long. Speaking of which, if you are not familiar with Cars & Bids, it’s an auction site similar to Bring A Trailer and it was created by Doug DeMuro and a team of like-minded auto enthusiasts. That being said, there are 6 days left (as of this writing) and the highest bid is $3,972. Jump on this…you can find it and videos HERE.