As much as the E30 M3 has become a wild vintage success story, and as much I’m proud of the E28 M5 for being a “buy now!” list-maker, the true David that took down Goliath when it came out and will continue to do so until the end of time is the indomitable Mk1 GTI. It looks right, it goes right, and for all the hype, it’s still available. Today’s has some highs and lows, low-mileage and lots of love being the prior, some cosmetic needs for the latter, but overall it is getting some extremely hot bidding because people know it is a diamond in the rough. With a paint job and some interior work, this would be one of those GTIs that is reaching above $10k. If the bidding stays low enough, the buyer will end up with a triple threat: a fun project, a legendary daily driver, and a great investment opportunity.
All posts tagged GTi
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
The MK1 GTI remains one of the greats that you can buy without emptying your bank account. Unlike other cars such as the E30 that have crept up dramatically price-wise, these original hot-hatches seem to be quite comfortable at under $10K in driver-quality condition. This 1984 example is rust-free with some tasteful upgrades to make daily driving more enjoyable, such as a new headliner, stereo, windshield and fresh battery. The BBS RAs look fantastic, but I’d probably paint them a more conservative silver with black centers (unless the car was white, in which case gold-painted all the way!) The original engine is a nice touch, and the repaint looks good from where I’m sitting – which is no where close to an in-person inspection. Still, for locals, this seems like one worth checking out.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 VW Rabbit GTI on The Samba Classifieds
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
Well, I hope this will stir some interest, as I think this is a bit of an interesting comparison. What level of performance can you buy for $10,000 (give or take) these days? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options – and those options vary pretty seriously in their execution and packages; there’s a wagon and a sports car, two sedan-based coupes and a hatchback. Engines range from a 2 liter turbo to a V8, with a bit of everything in between. Yet, what appears to be a very strange comparison linked only by price is revealed to be much closer when you look at performance figures:
E36 M3: 240 hp, 0-60 6.0 seconds, 3,200 lbs
944 Turbo: 220 hp, 0-60 5.9 seconds, 2,900 lbs
CLK500: 302 hp, 0-60 5.7 seconds, 3,800 lbs
S4 Avant: 250 hp, 0-60 5.6 seconds, 3,700 lbs
GTi: 200 hp, 0-60 6.6 seconds, 3,200 lbs
The range is much closer than you’d expect – especially when you consider that these figures could easily be equaled in margin of error, driver skill and reaction time. In the twisties, the lower powered cars like the GTi catch up to the higher power CLK and S4. All are, in one way or another, practical choices. Some are destined (or already) classics, while others will likely fade away. So what would be your choice? Let’s start with an M3 we’ve already seen: