2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12

Years ago, the thought of a twelve cylinder Volkswagen would have been unthinkable. What was devised as the “People’s Car” during World War II has now turned into a dominant force in the global car market, controlling a number of different brands spanning almost every market segment. The Phaeton was the car that took the battle to the luxury car segment directly to the competition’s doorstep, mainly Mercedes-Benz, BMW and even in-house brand Audi. While it is still on sale in Europe, few noticed on these shores and the car disappeared from the lineup after three model years. Now these large sedans represent a bargain if you are, of course, brave enough to battle the potential pitfalls and repairs that comes along with such a complex machine.

While most Phaetons had the 4.2 liter V8 under the hood, this W12 for sale in Missouri is the pinnacle of the flagship line for Volkswagen, with an engine similar to the one found under the hood of certain Bentley models.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 on AutoTrader

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Scirocco GT on Mobile.de

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDi Cup Edition

2014 will reportedly introduce to the U.S. a car that many Volkswagen fans have been eagerly awaiting – the Golf “GTD” TDi. Basically a GTi with the turbo diesel in place of the 2.0T, the GTD looks great, drives wonderfully and gets some fantastic mileage. But go back a few years and we basically already had the prototype here; the short lived 2010 Jetta TDi Cup Edition. What you got for your hard earned bucks was a basically a Jetta GLi with it’s heart yanked out and replaced by the thrifty and torque-laden turbo diesel. But this wasn’t just a styling exercise for Volkswagen – they had actively engaged in racing the Jetta TDi in the “TDi Cup” to help promote the TDi brand, so this car has some racing heritage as well. Only 1,500 were produced in black, white, blue, or today’s Salsa Red:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDi Cup Edition on eBay

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Polo GT on Mobile.de

1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro

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Sport Utility Vehicle. The term is a bit overused in modern vernacular. Most vehicles that fall under this category offer little sport and if they do, utility is compromised. However, Volkswagen really captured a niche in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the Vanagon Syncro. The number of vans that have offered four-wheel drive throughout history are few, but the Vanagon had a rugged air about it, something that hasn’t been lost on lovers of the great outdoors to this day. A trip to Montana might not be on everyone’s agenda during this extremely cold winter, but if you’re on the hunt for a good T3 Syncro, your search might take you there.

Click for more details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro on eBay

1984 Volkswagen GTi

Over the past 15 years, the original GTi has moved from a forgotten trailblazer into an investment-grade classic. It’s been helped by the countless articles and reports that have fondly remembered this little pocket rocket as one of the best enthusiast cars ever made. We’ve seen the result of this first-hand; I joked about how very Clarkson-esque I was having sold my 1984 GTi for $300 in the late 1990s when we featured the back-to-back $18,000 1983 GTi and $17,000 1984 GTi. If it sounds a bit crazy to pay those prices, for the buyers those cars they were obviously looking for the best example possible. If you can back down your standards a touch and are looking for a solid driver that’s a bit more reasonably priced, this 1984 may be a good opportunity for you:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

Party Like It’s 1989 Week: ’89 Volkswagen GTi 5 Door

When I spent some time in England and Germany, my friends there laughed when I stopped to gawk at a 5 door A2 GTi. My German friend kept telling me “it’s nothing special, it’s just the golf 4 door with GTi badges”. He was both right and wrong, because while the 5 door GTi shown here really is just mostly an appearance package it was a car that the U.S. never received and one that I really wanted. I’m not even completely sure why Volkswagen chose not to bring the more versatile 5 door to the U.S. until the Mk.5 platform, but like many of the European variants they have remained out of our reach since new. 1989 saw the beginning of the changeover from the smaller bumper A2 to the chunkier “big bumper” look with integrated fog lights. Today’s example looks nearly identical to the 2.0 16V GTi we received on these shores – with the exception of the number of openings!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen GTi on eBay.de

Afternoon Accessories: Ronal R8 15×6 Wheels

Looking at that project Jetta GLi got me thinking about what wheels I’d love to see on there. In my quick search, I came across a set of wheels from a car that few seem to remember – the Renault Alliance GTA. Looking very similar to the A1 Jetta, the GTA was a two door sedan performance version of the regular Alliance, and wasn’t much of a performer but did look sharp thanks to some spectacular 15″ Ronal R8 alloys that were slightly modified in design specifically for the GTA. Differing from the normal Audi look, they had slight webbing in between the normal spokes. It’s not often you see either the car or the wheels anymore, but today there is a quite reasonably priced set on Ebay:

Year: 1987
Model: R8 (Alliance GTA)
Diameter: 15″
Width: 6″
Bolt Pattern: 4×100
Offset: ET 45
Condition: Used
Tires: Not Included
Price: $174.99 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Ronal R8 15×6 wheels on eBay

Heap of the Week: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi

So few remain around these days that it’s easy to forget that in 1984 Volkswagen introduced the hot 4-door Jetta, the GLi. Like the GTi brethren, these featured an upgraded 1.8 inline-4 mated to a close ratio 5-speed transmission, as well as upgraded brakes and a few external changes to set them apart from the run-of-the-mill Jettas. Not many were produced, and again like the GTi few remain around in good shape; in fact, I can think of only one that I’ve seen in the past decade. Like me, the owner is a high performance driving enthusiast and we’ve been trucking our old Volkswagen/Audi products out to BMW HPDEs for years. Despite neither of us having the fastest car out there, it’s always fun to see his red GLi, hunkered down over very wide semi-slick tires bouncing down the front straight at Lime Rock park. Today’s GLi isn’t quite ready to do that, but offers a glimpse into a rare car that’s quite affordable and should be saved:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta GLi on eBay

1988 Volkswagen Cabriolet

Okay, call it wishful thinking, but as the “white stuff” descends on New England I think it’s a great opportunity to look at a the perfect winter car – an all-white Volkswagen Cabriolet. By perfect car, of course I mean it’s the perfect car to hide in a snowbank and dream of a warmer climate. Plus, the wheels are affectionately known as “Snowflakes”! In all seriousness, these Cabriolets soldiered on long after their Mk.1 brethren had been replaced by the second generation Golf. It wasn’t necessarily laziness on the part of Volkswagen, but a testament to the lasting appeal of this not-so-cheap but cheery convertible. Of course, if you were “Daddy’s girl” in the 1980s you were probably destined for an automatic version of today’s triple-white “Molly Ringwald” edition Cabriolet, but thankfully this example has an more fun to drive manual:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Volkswagen Cabriolet on eBay