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Party Like Its 1989 Week: 1989 Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition One

Given how difficult it is to find a clean, stock, unmolested MK2 GTI, importing one may not only be appealing for the Euro cool factor – it may be your only choice. Obviously, this limited production GTI has been lowered and its factory basketweaves have gone missing. However, the dash hasn’t been hacked apart for a modern stereo; the glass isn’t tinted the same color as a New York City Town Car; and the seats clearly haven’t been carting around candidates for Weight Watchers. Even though the Edition One offered a few options for powerplants, and this model appears to be fitted with the smallest displacement motor available, I would still import it in a heartbeat just to remember what it’s like to experience a GTI not saddled with evidence of past parts-catalog binges. Hell, the steering wheel is even on the correct side!

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Party Like Its 1989 Week: ’89 BMW 320IS

The E30 320is is a car that reminds me just how far we’ve fallen from the glory days of BMW. Yes, I’m a bit of a fatalist. But until BMW again sees value in selling me a high-revving, attractive and affordable M3 with a cloth interior, I’ll keep crying crocodile tears. The new-for-the-2013 320i with the sport package is the closest thing BMW currently offers, and it’s essentially a stripper version of the already-portly 3er with firmer suspension and bigger wheels. When comparing the price of importing this 320is and the cost of a new 3-Series, my decision is an easy one. I’ll use the savings to put the baby S14 on a freighter, an ironic part of the equation considering the F30’s weight issues. Me? Bitter? Nah.

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Party Like It’s 1989 Week – Double Take: 1989 Volkswagen Scirocco GT

Much like the 1989 Polo GT and 1989 GTi 5-door, Europeans generally have been more interested in stylish examples of economy cars rather than the largest motor available. With gas prices pushing $8.00 a gallon and high taxes on larger engine displacements, it’s easy to understand why though Americans still haven’t gotten the message here. While the U.S. got the revered 16 valve version of the Scirocco 2, most European examples made due with less-thirsty 8 valve versions. That didn’t stop them from dressing the cars up, such as today’s twin Scirocco GTs, a model we didn’t get on these shores:

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Party Like It’s 1989 Week: ’89 BMW M3 Convertible


These days, the E30 BMW M3 is one hot commodity amongst track day enthusiasts and collectors. This trend began even before the last M3 rolled off the assembly line this year. It’s hard to find a good one these days for under $20,000, but if you are willing to invest some time and money, there are plenty of well used and otherwise derelict examples out there in need of some TLC. There is one E30 M3 variant that did not make it to the US: the convertible.

With only 783 units produced, this was one of the more rare M cars, but a rather curious one. I’ve been well aware of this model since its debut but much like the E36 M3 Cabriolet, it never captivated me. If you’re going for all out performance, common knowledge dictates you would want a solid roof. But given the near classic status of these early M3s, maybe it’s time to give the convertible version its fair shake. And this particular one for sale in Northern Italy is now legal for US importation.

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Party Like It’s 1989 Week: ’89 Volkswagen Polo GT

Unlike some of the other rare iron that made the list for ready to import this year, the Volkswagen Polo is just a neat little car that we never got here in the U.S.. Similar to the original Scirocco, Audi 50 and original Golf that inspired its styling, the Polo Coupe was a slick looking hatchback that offered a little sport and a lot of economy. Indeed, as early as 1983 Volkswagen was experimenting with start/stop technology that would shut the engine down on the Polo to help save even a little more gas at red lights; technology that is just making its way to these shores today. The GT didn’t have that feature but gained a slick plaid interior, some neat alloys and a 4 headlight grill similar to the A2 GTi. Though a fairly basic car overall, it made good use of its light weight for a little sport and some style to many German’s commute. Today there is a nice condition 1989 for sale in Germany, ready to import:

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