Volkswagen Eurovans

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As I continue on my van kick, today we’ll look at a couple of clean Eurovans that have a lot of life left in them but won’t break the bank. Maligned as the lamer, less-fun, front-engined descendent of the Bus and Vanagon. They’re a heck of a lot more authentic and European than the Routan, that’s for sure.

The first option is from the final year of the Eurovan, and it comes in the great, Estoril-esque Techno Blue.

Click for details: 2003 Volkswagen Eurovan on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels GCFSB Project: 2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T Variant Part 1

While we all want to have a classic, sporty German car in our lives, the reality of daily driver duty often falls onto less exotic cars. Several years ago I purchased a 1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T GLS to do just that; it replaced a 97 Golf as my daily driver, and I enjoyed over 100,000 miles behind the wheel. Unlike the reputation these cars have gained, I found my Passat to be very reliable – it never once left me stranded or failed to start, it could get 36 mpg if I didn’t get too deep into the throttle, and it was comfortable, quick and fun to drive. After a year of company car duty, the time had come for me to purchase another daily driver, and my immediate thought was that I wanted another Passat.

The search began, and it wasn’t very easy. There are two classes of Passats; devoted owners that keep their cars in great condition, and wrecks that will bankrupt you trying just to pass emissions. But in general the wagon versions were better kept than the sedans; likely a testament to their high sticker prices. It’s hard to fathom, but in 2002 my current car’s sticker price was over $26,000 – more than a brand new Passat will set you back today. As such, the Variants seem to be better kept than the sedans in general, and that was certainly the case when I finally found the car to buy. Priced higher in the market, it was a one-owner 100,000 mile Ink Blue model with grey leather. A GLS spec, it came with many nicer features and alloys, but wasn’t the wood-lined V6 luxury model. The single owner had been meticulous and had every record from new. It was the first time I had ever bought a car like this, and it was clearly worth the premium.

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2002 Volkswagen Eurovan GLS

I find it ironic that the company which popularized the small van over 60 years ago turned to another manufacturer when it came time to reintroduce a van to the US market. But that’s exactly what Volkswagen has done. The Routan is nothing more than a rebadged Dodge Caravan. Volkswagen projected they would sell around 45,000 of these vans in the first year, but they were only able to move a little more than 14,000 units. Perhaps this is automotive karma for this cop out of a product offering? Whatever the case may be, this has me questioning whether Volkswagen would have been better off offering the latest generation of what we see here for sale in Missouri, the Eurovan, or Transporter, as it is known elsewhere in the world.

This 2002 model represents the second to last year that the Eurovan was offered stateside. The last of the Eurovans featured the 2.8 liter VR6 engine with a four-speed automatic as the only transmission choice. Versus the earlier Eurovans with the anemic 2.5 liter five cylinder engine, these vans could at least get out of their way.

2002 Volkswagen Eurovan GLS on VW Vortex

The van was purchased new by my father in Feb. ’02 and then I purchased it from him in about 2 ½ years ago. It had Ziebart rust protection installed before delivery. I have complete history from the window sticker to the most recent repair. Everything works perfectly and it needs nothing. It passed full safety and emission inspections at the end of July.

Although all repairs are documented, these are a few of the most recent and major:

Nokian entyre tires (proper load rating) were installed in March of ’11.

June of this year (3k miles ago) I replaced all motor mounts, serviced transmission (fluid and filter), and replaced all brake pads (all parts purchased from Europarts SD)

Last week I replaced the alternator. A/C compressor, drier, expansion valve, and pressure switch were all replaced at the dealer in Aug. ’05. The van is in excellent condition. The inside is in great shape, but does have some wear/stains on the carpet. The hood has some rock chips that have been touched-up. The only modifications are a six-disc CD changer (dealer installed) and installation of clear corner marker lights in the front (I still have the OE amber). Although I am the second owner, it has been in my family its entire life. I would not hesitate to drive this van anywhere (I drove it to D.C. this summer)! Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am located just outside of St. Louis.

It’s hard to find Eurovans with low mileage, as these haulers are often employed for long distance and vacation travel. The asking price of $7,900 seems reasonable in light of the condition and one family history and it’s always a good sign to see that the seller is willing to negotiate. The Eurovan certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to a family hauler, but for those who want to be different, this might just be the ticket.

-Paul

Mexican 1980 VW Jetta GLS for sale

Foreign-market cars are always interesting, whether it’s custom trim or a model completely absent from the US market. The Mk1 Jetta was certainly sold in the US, but I’m guessing you’ve never quite seen one like this Mexican example. I love the GLS striping, and overall this is an extremely clean example of the great original Jetta. You may be wondering about that elephant in the room though… Just how big are normal wheels on all cars these days? Check out these stock “Detroit” style wheels from a 2010 GTI making the Jetta look like a donk (definitely a “box,” not a “bubble”) I’d see in Oakland. Just another reason I think brand-new cars are merely caricatures of when they were simpler, better. Well, enough ranting, it’s certainly a new take on “OEM Plus,” and I kind of like it. Other than being grossly oversized, they fit the overall scheme of the car. The 1.8l with a 3-speed auto must have a hell of a time getting those ferris wheels turning, but the great part of old VWs is that a remedy for that is almost as accessible as switching the wheels.

1980 VW Jetta GLS for sale in Mexico


Description, in English and Spanish!

Up for Sale is a VW Jetta GLS MK1

Engine size is 1.8liter
Automatic 3 speed Transmission
Disk Brakes on all wheels
18″ Rims coming from a 2010 GTI
Brembo Disk Braking system
Good overall body and Paint
133,000 Kilometers
HID LIghts
No frame damage or accidents
Sold As Is with no warranty.

Vehicle currently has a Mexican Title under the state of Jalisco in Mexico.
Don’t know what it would if possible, take to make this car legal here in the US.
Buy at your own discretion.

This car is currently being used as a commuter car, engine runs strong with no oil leaks.

All original moldings and accessories.

Tengo de Venta de Oportunidad un Atlantic gls 1986 Jetta mk1,
Motor 1.8 Automatico , Vidrios traseros automaticos solamente
Frenos de disco Brembo en las cuatro llantas
Rines 18″ de modelo gti 2010
Buena Pintura sin garantia
133,000 kilometros
Luces HID y nunca chocado
Pintura en optima condicion.

4 bids have budged the price up to $560, but the Buy-It-Now is $4000. Factoring in that the wheels are worth at least $1k and it has just 82k miles on it, and I think $3,000 would be a nice price for this. Getting it into the US may hold its own problems, but it really is a clean Mk1 Jetta for someone looking for low mileage. You may be able to redo the stickers under the hood and the giant wheels, but then you wouldn’t have the story of being this hilariously awesome Jetta from Mexico!

-NR