I’ve always thought the early W463 Mercedes-Benz was the pinnacle of all the G-Wagens that made it to production. It has enough creature comforts to make you feel like you aren’t a member of the Slovak Republic Armed Forces on a counter-terrorism mission (seriously, 43 military organizations around the world use a G-Wagen) but not so many modern toys that everything is already broken inside it or at least on the verge of being. It has comfortable seats, a modern HVAC system, a nice stereo system and some real wood trim. You still got your choice of gas engines as well as a diesel that didn’t have 84 horsepower. Mercedes also gave you a choice of a five-door or a three-door and, perhaps most surprising, a three-door Cabriolet. Today is one of those convertibles for sale in Italy and since it’s a 1992, it’s only one month short of being eligible to be imported to the United States under the 25-year importation rule.
In an attempt to challenge Mercedes-Benz’s R107 for chassis longevity, Volkswagen’s introduction of a more affordable German drop-top in the 1980 Rabbit Convertible stretched production until 1993. That meant that the A1 outlasted all of the A2 production cycle and was no squarely into the newly launched A3. Volkswagen introduced their replacement for the aging and renamed Cabriolet with the Mk.3 Cabrio in 1994. As with the A1, production again would extend beyond the A3 chassis life, because in 1999 VW introduced us to the fourth generation Golf. As with the 2nd generation, VW didn’t plan a convertible version for the Mk.4 – well, at least, not for the Golf, as convertible duties would be handed off to the New Beetle. But since the launch of the nostalgic Beetle Convertible waited until 2003, VW covered the gap with the “Mk3.5” refresh on the Cabrio. It received softened and rounded bumper covers, Mk.4 inspired lights, and a lightly revised interior. As with other VW models, there was a base GL model or the better equipped GLS, like today’s example:
Welcome back to Fail Friday: Where once good cars can hopefully get the help they deserve. Today’s vehicle is a result of what happens when people just simply have too much money. It’s not the fact that it’s the ultra-rare W463 G500 Cabrio, it’s the fact that someone decided to turn it into a driving Salvador Dali gallery. I have lots of questions and not a lot of answers so let’s try to sum up this surreal G-Wagen located in Germany.
There are few cars, past or present, that do not have a stigma attached to them. The Toyota Prius is for dope smoking activists who are under the impression they are helping the environment. Range Rovers are for trophy wives. Mustangs are for people who enjoy burnouts at Cars and Coffee and jump the median strip or crash into a crowd upon leaving the event. The Volkswagen Cabriolet? The stuff dreams are made of for high school girls and the official sponsor of sororities across the country. Right? Too harsh of an assessment? Well, if I was ever going to question my masculinity, I’d do it with this 1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet. In black over nicely contrasting white leather, the Snowflake alloy wheels and 5-speed manual gearbox set this one apart from the usual cruisers equipped with the 3-speed automatic. This example for sale in Florida is about to hit 80,000 miles and quite frankly looks like it just rolled out of the showroom. I wouldn’t mind tooling around in this drop top this summer.
While we only saw a few special edition Volkswagens in the 1980s – mostly Wolfsburg Editions – the amount of special edition VWs available in the European market was staggering. Whether it was a fashion designer or a tribute to a particular sport, it seemed there was a trim package for just about every taste. This particular one, a Cabriolet Bel Air, is one that I haven’t seen before. These Bel Airs were available in three colors, Diamond Silver, Ruby Red or the Blue Pearl we see here, all with color matched Avus wheels and color matched trim. This low mileage example is for sale by the same dealer in Germany that had the BMW L7 we featured last month.
I’ll get this right out of the way: at GCFSB, we don’t like “stanced” cars. Okay, so what is this Cabrio doing here? Well, as we’ve done before, occasionally there are cars worth taking a look at because perhaps they can be saved. This Cabrio is a good case in point; a lower mileage example with a clean VR6 swap, but riding a little too low for most people’s taste. No problem, it’s supported by air, so you can crank it up a bit:
To me, there’s always been something special about the Golfs with a few extra lights in the grill. Super rare are the Mk.1 Hella grills – one of which I wrote up around a month ago. The quad-round grill was and still is very popular with the Mk.2 crowd, but I remember the first time I saw in European Car back in the 1990s a Mk. 3 Golf GTi with the Hella grill pictured here. I thought I looked really cool, and I still do. They’re rare to see come up for sale, but here’s your chance today:
Year: 1993-1998 Model: Golf/GTi Condition: Used Price: $325 Buy It Now
Hi! I have for sale a Rare Hella Foglight Panel for any VW Golf 3 Mk3 III Cabrio GTI 16V VR6. This unit was only used one time on a car for less than a month. I have had it sitting around for 6 years now and its time to let it go. There are no broken clips or anything broken on this unit for that matter. The box shown in the picture is NOT included, box is sadly long gone for this unit. I just put it up as an example. Please contact me with any questions. Thanks! Paul
As I said with the 4000 cassette holder the other day, sometimes it’s the little details that help to set the car apart. This is a small addition that will really change up the style of the car. I wish I still had my Mk.3 Golf some days, and if I did this would be pretty high on my list to add in!
The MkI Volkswagen Cabriolet was one of those cars with staying power. Sold from 1980 through 1993, it was to soldier on through the MkII era, as no soft top version of that chassis was ever developed. This was not a very masculine car, however, it did have strong sales in the United States. Several special edition variants were offered, such as the Carat, Wolfsburg and Eitenne Aigner.
With one owner on record and 62,000 miles, this is an impossibly impeccable example of a later model Cabriolet. My compliments to the owner for keeping all that white clean over the years.
This week for auction, Volkswagen of North Scottsdale offers an immaculate 1989 Volkswagen Cabrio. This is a pristine example of the MKI Cabio. It is part of our vintage collection. It is a true ONE owner car with only 62k miles. It is fully documented since new. The original owner babied this car and kept meticulous records. The original purchase order indicates the car was sold new at Granite State Volkswagen of Concord, New Hampshire. The impeccable condition indicates this car was stored inside and not exposed to the elements. It is rust free. The car was brought to Arizona in 2009. We acquired this Cabrio earlier in the year and added it to our collection. Now it is time to offer it to sale to the public. If you have been looking for that special Cabrio that you once knew years ago, this is your opportunity to own one of the niceset in the country!
Cosmetically this Cabrio is in excellent shape. It has the special “Best Seller” package that includes color matched wheels and mirrors. The paint is all original and like new. No paintwork or bodywork. No dents or dings. It is Carfax and Autocheck Guaranteed to have NEVER been in an accident.
Like most convertible conversions, this isn’t for everyone. If you are however, a fan of cars with the roof cut off then its best to get a conversion done by a reputable source and not the guy down the street with a sawzall. The company that did this conversion, Baur, has a long history of working with the BMW factory to modify cars. Even so I still worry about how much stiffness/safety you lose with a conversion like this.
The seller states this 2002 is one of 1963 that Baur converted to the targa style. The front has a removable top while the rear has a fold down soft top. The open air is a good thing for the summer as the car’s nice black leather wrapping the Recaro sport seats probably roasts the backs of legs on a hot day. I suspect the roof will rarely be on the car so one can look past the car’s less than stellar looks with the top up.
This is a German delivery car and has retained its Euro spec gauges. The steering wheel with the blue inserts is a bit of a detraction, colored rims are ok with me (my BMW has body color rims), color insert steering wheels are a bit boy racer. The proper Baur emblem resides on the center console.
There are 85,000 miles on the original 2 liter inline 4. Power flows through the stock 4 speed manual. The exterior has been redone and the rich blue color looks great. There is an added front and rear spoiler, which look ok. There appears to be a larger than needed exhaust on the car as well.
This is a no reserve sale so high bidder will take the car home.…
And in case you’ve forgotten, the 996 Cabrio has 315hp and sounds a lot like this:
So why the skeptism? 996’s of any variation start in the high teens, and those have at least twice the mileage of this car. But heaven forbid this is the real deal… well I just can’t believe it is, but it’s fun to imagine.
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