1981 Audi 80 GT
The early 1980s saw the introduction of a more economical Audi model for the masses. Its Type 81/85 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1980 and displayed a complementary shape to its more expensive sibling, the Quattro. Audi continued to produce the 80 series cars until 1988 with nearly 8,000 being made. Audi’s design of a smaller and more affordable car had also spawned to a new genre of racing. The company had a factory team that was owned by Peter Seikel. He recently had an Audi 80 GT in the United States and one lucky builder was able to get a closer look.
The Audi 80 GT was never officially produced and sold by the company, but did race in the European Touring Car Series. Peter’s car is in great condition and that allowed for measurements and information to be gathered from it in great detail. The car to be restored was another GT that was originally owned by Peter Aschenbrenner, who had raced it in IMSA and Trans Am events. Since its glory days the car had been sitting in disrepair just waiting for someone to show it a little love.
More details on the Audi 80 GT after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
Franczak Motorsports of Toronto undertook the project of restoring the car to original racing specs. A former race driver, Rudy Bartling was brought onto the team in order to provide some expertise for this rare restoration. Things began by recreating the widened fenders of the race car at a local fiberglass shop. The GT model also had a rear wing to increase down force at high speeds and this piece was also made by the fiberglass shop. Other pieces needed to make the car appear original were a roll cage for the interior which was provided by Safety Devices of the UK. With the major components of the Audi 80 GT covered it was time to move onto the details.
For the interior they decided to use a Kirkey racing seat with the Audi sport logo embroidered into the fabric. This may not be exactly what the car looked like initially, but it does provide a racing feel.
The most complicated part of the build was finding mechanical components that would be close to the original, but also practical today. The original engine from the GT was a 2.0-liter 5 cylinder model that simply does not exist anymore. The opted out for a 2.2-liter turbo from the UR Quattro. The 80 series Audi model did come with this engine during its production run so it was an easy fit and kept things close to stock. The fuel system caused even greater problems and now an Audi TT fuel pump is being used and the team is also planning on replacing the stock system with an EFI unit. One nice piece of racing equipment that was custom made for the car is a 3” thick NASCAR style radiator to handle the heat output from the liquid cooled turbo engine.
In the end the new Audi 80 GT produces 260hp and puts all that to the road through a carbon clutch and Audi 5 speed transaxle. A GT car would not be complete without a complementary suspension system able to handle the European circuits so they decided to use a solid bushed 2.5” adjustable coil over system provided by Koni. The car is also now being brought to a stop by 11” Brembo brakes with 4 piston calipers. The use of high end components extends down to the brake pads by using carbon for extended track use and minimal fade.
Where Is It Now?
The Audi 80 GT was able to be built thanks to the original car owned by the Audi Factory Racing Team, it now resides in Germany at the “Museum Mobile” for all the enjoy. This little known Audi racer found a new lease on life and is once again ready to take on the track.