Motorsports Monday: 1965 Porsche 911

For some time, old race cars were near throw-away items. Vintage racing has changed that and given new life to old steeds to the point that some vintage race cars are actually more valuable than their road-worthy counterparts. This is especially true when you’re talking about very rare cars or cars with historic wins – but in some cases, provenance doesn’t matter quite as much when the market is red hot. One red-hot market right now is the early Porsche 911 market with cars tripling in value over the past year and a half. Couple a short wheel base ’65 911 with one of the most historic races linked to the Porsche name – Sebring – and you’ve got one desirable package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Porsche 911 on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 1985 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 16V

In the world of race cars, there’s something that gives enthusiasts like me raised hairs on the back of the neck. ‘Body in white’ cars are cars that were never sold to the public, but turned directly into racers either by a third party or by the manufacturer itself. What is extra special about them is that as more or less dedicated race cars, they were often sent with less options or even devoid of items that racers love to rip off. It might be no interior, less wiring, or a lack of undercoating but it all translates to the same thing – less weight, faster lap times and more wins. Today’s Volkswagen Golf may look like a run of the mill pocket-rocket racer that someone built in their garage, but it has an interesting history:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

Continue reading

1990 Volkswagen Passat GL

If the twin B4 Passat GLX VR6 Variants from the other day are a dwindling supply, the odds of running across a serviceable B3 Passat GL today are just about slim to none. While they were fairly expensive at the time, the 2.0 16V motored GL was seemingly a throw-away mid-level luxury car. It was quickly replaced at the top of Volkswagen’s food chain by the short-lived B3 GLX VR6 model – and in general, enthusiasts prefer those. That makes sense since they’re quicker than the early cars – but it also means that the odds of running across one of Volkswagen’s grill-less sedans or wagons is a rare occasion. It’s still neat to see them, though – even though they weren’t the fastest, best looking or best equipped Volkswagen, there were neat and innovative design elements that were incorporated into the B3. It was a huge leap forward from the outgoing Audi-shared B2 platform, a slick design which looked sportier, more angular and aerodynamic, and leagues more modern than the Quantum:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Passat GL on eBay

Continue reading

1981 Porsche 924 Weissach Commemorative Edition

It seems that Porsche has always been at the cutting edge of “special editions”. In fact, one could argue that the entire idea of the Porsche was really just a special edition Volkswagen. But by the late 1970s, race victories and a growing reputation as the go-to sports car meant that the marketing gurus at Porsche were working overtime. There was the Sebring ’78 edition 924; it looked an awful lot on paper like it was a normal 924, and that’s because effectively it was just a cosmetic package with some ’70s spectacular stripes. There was also a Martini Edition car, that similarly was simply a set of stripes and a unique interior on an otherwise normal 924. There was a further Limited Edition in 1978 for those that had missed out on the Martini cars in 1976-1977 and just couldn’t wait until 1979 for the ’78 Sebring Edition. Confused? Not to worry, because after a short gap in 1980, Porsche introduced another special “Weissach Commemorative Edition” alongside similar 911 and 928 models. While this, too, was primarily an appearance package, there were some small changes. For example, as with the Martini cars the Weissach got a unique interior; brown and cream seats with a brown dashboard. But there were 924 Turbo details that were included as well – the ATS-made alloy wheels from the drum brake Turbo appeared, along with the rear spoiler. The wheels were slightly different than the all-silver Turbo wheels two, as they appeared two-tone machined with black inserts. Painted a platinum metallic color and “limited” to only 400 production models for the U.S., it at least sounded more special than the standard 924 until you realize that Porsche only sold a total of around 2,100 924s (including the Weissachs) in the U.S. in 1981. As with other older 924s, they’re rare to find and not as prized as the 928 and 911 Weissach models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Weissach Commemorative Edition on eBay

Continue reading

1998 Volkswagen Jetta K2

I’m a pretty big VW nut, but when it comes to the A3 Jetta even I admit they’re just pretty darn boring. The Mk.2 Jetta had plenty of character for better or worse, but the third generation just seemed to be a bit lumpy and overweight in comparison. The crisp body lines were replaced by softer transitions that, well, just didn’t look special. And there was the engine; gone was the awesome twin-cam 16V 2.0 GLi, replaced by a single cam 2.0 8V in the normal Jettas that were snatched up by New Jersey college girls. Sure, there was the GLX VR6 model that continued the quick Jetta tradition, but it seemed that most of the time you heard a droning automatic 4-cylinder Jetta leaving the lights. And the build quality just wasn’t the best; memorably, a friend of mine purchased a brand new 1997 Jetta and I waxed it for him one day while he was at work. On my way to drop the car off, the sunroof broke in the open position. The car was two weeks old. So, it was ugly, slow and unreliable – and expensive. The normal Jetta bordered on $18,000 without many options in 1997, and the GLX model pushed you well into the 20s. Comparatively, the new Jetta stickers around $14,000 nearly two decades later. Towards the end of the A3’s run, though, Volkswagen upped the ante with some limited edition models. There was the Jetta GT, which featured 4-wheel disc brakes and fog lamps, along with a spoiler and unique alloys. But if you wanted to be the cool dude on campus, you got your parents to buy you the Jetta Trek or Jetta K2. As far as I could tell at the time, they were normal Jettas (and Golfs) with roof racks and a bike or skis/snowboard. “Meh”, I said, “just another poser Volkswagen”. But the limited edition A3s were a bit of a treat:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Volkswagen Jetta K2 on eBay

Continue reading

1974 Porsche 914

IMG_9539_zpsf7900cc8

914s have been on my mind again for the first time in a long while. One of my first attempts at misguided car purchase was well before I even had my license, was a call to a guy on a forum advertising a $950 914 project. “Yeah, I’ll save and fix it up by the time I can drive!” I thought. “What the hell is my seventh-grader doing on the phone discussing buying cars!?” my poor mom asked. Well, the basest of Porsches seemed like a fun way to tinker, and the go-kart from Stuttgart had my mind working over time. Now again, I’ve been longing for a weight-free tossable treat, and some choice 914s in the area have them back in my consciousness. None are as sweet as this though, which had just one owner and covered less than 70k miles in the first 40 years of its life. A beautiful repaint and cared-for interior have it looking like a showroom example. There aren’t many out there like this and it’s going to command a commensurate price, but as vintage 911s rise beyond the reach of many, the 914 is still a quick and fun option available to most.

Click for details: 1974 Porsche 914 on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsport Mondays: 1985 Volkswagen GTi 2.0 16V

There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of “To make a small fortune in racing, you have to start with a large one”. While it’s true that any track-related activities are generally a one-way flow of cash – out – from your bank account, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be a millionaire to go have a lot of fun. One of the more affordable platforms that budget weekend racers took to in the early 1980s was the then-new Volkswagen GTi; with solid aftermarket support, a light and nimble chassis and and crash it, walk away ability, the inexpensive Volkswagen was a natural track candidate. It’s become rare to see either of the first two generations showing up at the track these days, no surprise as many are 30 years old at this point. But once in a while, one that has undergone development and is a tidy package pops up, and today’s 1985 GTi is just one such example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday Un-pimp My Ride: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60

Edit: One of our Facebook readers – Steve – correctly noted that this is Capri Green and was an 8V Golf to start out. In some ways, that makes it better that a real 2.0 GTi wasn’t sacrificed, though my feelings about most of the modifications stay the same. Thanks Steve, and sorry for the mistake!

I’m fairly certain that with the right backing and skillful marketing I could pitch a show to one of those crappy cable networks. My premise? Take a car that has been modified and return it to OEM or OEM+ standards. Seriously, when talking about rare cars, aren’t there buyers for these rides? Don’t there seem to be lots of people endlessly browsing the internet looking for that hidden, unmodified and well-cared for gem that rarely surfaces? Heck, it’s what we’ve built a fair amount of our writing around. And even though there are plenty of people pining for original BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models, there’s a special lot that love original Volkswagens. One of the biggest reasons they long for these “unicorn” models is that so few were properly cared for, and many of those that were have been modded within an inch of their life. Take the Mk.II GTi; a solid performing replacement for the “original” hot hatch. It’s near legendary status is well cemented in the halls of automotive history, and it’s even one of the few models that carries brand awareness outside of motoring circles. Seriously, even people who know almost nothing about cars know what a GTi is. Within the Mk.II crowd, there are several limited models that the U.S. didn’t receive, so our top of the heap has to be the 1990-1992 16V edition. With a close-ratio gearbox, revised and better integrated smooth big bumpers, the best set of BBS wheels and Recaro seats ever fitted to a Volkswagen and one stunner of a revy 2 liter inline-4, it was an awesome package. Specify it in Montana Green, and you’ve got the crowds drooling. Then someone goes and does this:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60 on eBay

Continue reading

1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

It probably sounds crazy, but I find the 924 Turbo pretty fascinating. Born at a time when smaller displacement turbocharged engines were the wave of the future and the rage in motorsport, the 924 is still one of the most aerodynamic cars to make it to the public. This resulted in good fuel economy, which combined with hatchback practicality meant it was a reasonable daily driver. But the weight distribution and turbocharged power plant meant it was at home on the track, too – in turned up Carrera GT, GTS and GTR versions it was a hugely successful race car. It was good looking, too – subtle curves, great ATS wheels and just enough vents and ducts to hint at performance potential. Really, it’s a great package – but in spite of this 924s in general remain one of the cheapest Porsches available. That means you can get into one for quite a deal these days while the rest of the market continues to pull out of reach:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

Continue reading

Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Supercharged Harlequin Replica

Pretty much everyone knows that Volkswagen enthusiasts are a special breed, but even within Volkswagen enthusiasts there are some really devoted fans of a particular sub-model. One such example of this is the Golf Harlequin, seemingly a joke by Volkswagen dealers to get rid of excess body panels. In truth, it’s one of the really neat exercises by a major that reinforces my belief that Volkswagen just does things differently than most other manufacturers. Seriously, could you imagine Mercedes-Benz shipping a bunch of S-Classes out to dealers in different colors and telling them to swap body panels around? The Harlequin Golf was and remains a neat page in Volkswagen history that generally brings a smile to VW fans. So, it’s no surprise that the Harlequins are very sought after, even if they appear all in one color because the dealer was lazy – no joke! But are they sought after enough to warrant a replica?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

Continue reading