All posts tagged 1989

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 Volvo 480 Turbo


Here’s a piece of automotive trivia for you the next time you get together with your petrolhead friends: what was the first front-wheel drive Volvo? Give up? It was this car, the 480. If you’re unfamiliar with this hatchback, you might be scratching your head at its existence. Every time I see one of these, I’m instantly reminded of the song from the children’s program Sesame Street: “which one of these things is not like the other….which one of these things just doesn’t belong?” So stark is the difference in the 480’s styling from the rest of Volvo’s lineup at the time, it can’t help but intrigue you.

We like to feature the odd Swedish car here at GCFSB, but the 480 was actually designed by Bertone and built in the Netherlands. The end result was a curious car for a manufacturer known for boxy styling and an emphasis on safety. Taking it’s rear hatch styling from the short lived P1800ES, the 480 was supposed to come to North America but was cancelled at the last minute. Introduced with a 1.7 liter inline-4, a turbocharged, 2.0 liter unit was introduced in 1988, which is what is under the hood of this 480 Turbo for sale in Regensburg, Germany.

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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!

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Party Like It’s 1989 Week: ’89 Opel Senator B CD 3.0i


Want something plush for highway cruising but not a particular fan of any of the American modern classics? Well, why not try on what GM’s Europe arm had on for size at the end of the 1980s, the Opel Senator. The Senator B was a long-wheelbase version of the Opel Omega, a car that would later go on to form the basis for the Cadillac Catera. The Senator was laid to rest after the 1993 model year, as Opel decided the new Omega would give the company enough range in the luxury segment. This Senator for sale in Northwest Germany is a top level CD model with the 3.0 liter inline-6.

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