Feature Listing: 2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition

As I talked about in the recent post about the 20th Anniversary Edition GTI, the 2002 ‘337’ was the GTI to get when they launched. The moniker derived from the original project code – EA337 – for the first generation GTI, and effectively the 2002 337 was a carbon copy of the 25th Anniversary model that was a Europe-only special from 2001. Hunkered down with the 1BE sport suspension, the 337 wore 18″ specially painted BBS RC wheels with low profile 225-section tires. Red calipers grabbed 12.4″ front vented discs and 10″ in the rear, also with veining. Powering the 337 was a 1.8 liter, 20V turbocharged motor, good for 180 horsepower, mounted to a new MQ350 6-speed manual gearbox. Underneath was a stainless steel exhaust system tuned to emit a bit more noise than a standard model. Inside the GTI got Recaro “Le Mans” red and black cloth seats, a special golf ball shift knob, aluminum interior accents and Monsoon radio system. Finally, a unique Votex body kit and retro badging helped to distinguish this model as the one to get for 1,500 lucky U.S. customers:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Volkswagen GTI Edition 337 on Autotrader

2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition

For fans of the GTI, the 4th generation offered a few “greatest hits” editions for the model. The first to launch was the 2001 “25th Anniversary Edition”, built to commemorate a quarter century of hot Volkswagen hatches – in Europe, at least. Since the GTI wasn’t launched in the U.S. until 1983, a “18th” anniversary wouldn’t have made much sense here. However, what was basically the 25th Anniversary Edition was brought here in 2002. The “337” Edition ran in 2002 with Votex bodywork and great BBS RC wheels, along with a cozy set of Recaro seats. Only 1,250 were sold out fairly quickly, so in 2003 Volkswagen continued the greatest hits parade with the release of the nearly identical 20th Anniversary Edition. Each was numbered and a total of 4,200 were made, each now available in three colors and with OZ-made Aristo wheels in place of the BBSs as well as different interior fabric over the same Recaro seats. They were popular new and have remained the Mk.4 to get outside of the R for the past 15 years:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition on eBay

End of the Shark Era: 1988 BMW 635CSi

We have not written up an E24 in the past few months.

‘For shame!’ you should be shouting at your screen, and you’d be right. Quintessentially an 80s car (though designed in the 1970s), the BMW 6-series offered performance, elegance, presence and practicality to the 2-door luxury market. While the Mercedes-Benz SEC might have enjoyed a better reputation and the Audi Quattro was technically more exciting, the E24’s resilient staying power has meant that some 28 years after production wrapped these lovely coupes are still eye catching.

This particular car caught my eye because of a unique combination of factors; the Cirrus Blue Metallic exterior mated with the later bumpers is a rare sight, but inside was a 5-speed manual. How rare is this combination? Well, prepare yourself for one of the most exhaustive (and entertaining) listings we’ve seen in a while:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 635CSi on eBay

2000 BMW 528i Touring

Recently my wife and I have been discussing getting a new wagon down the road, and while for some time it seemed like Audi would be the natural choice, the dearth of recent Audi wagons has had us looking other places. BMW? Sure, the new 328 Sport Wagons in either turbocharged inline-4 or diesel configuration are nice, but have you checked out the prices? Staring at $42,000 for the cheapest, it’s not hard to brush up against $60,000 – for a 3-series. It certainly makes options like the awesomely better looking new Volvo V60 look much more appealing. But I’ve also looked backwards a bit, to see if there’s something older that could suit the needs. I’m putting together a wagon roundup of some options I’ve come across for later this week, but this particular example was too good to pass up. From the great looking E39 chassis, this 528i Touring also features the Sport Package and a manual transmission. Granted, this isn’t the speed freak’s weapon of choice, but a clean example of a very nice classic design:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 BMW 528i Touring on eBay

1983 BMW 533i

Yesterday, a reader suggested that 2016 might be the year of the E28. It’s not a bad prophecy to make, after all, since we’ve seen all 1980s cars increasing in value, and the E28 is certainly a fan favorite. Handsome styling, good build quality, more than adequate performance and classic tail-out BMW handling make it a practical choice for a classic BMW. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at some neat options outside of the natural choice M5; there was the Euro-bumpered Dinan 3.9 1988 535i that everyone seems to think is overpriced. Yesterday I also checked out a 1983 Alpina B9 3.5, one of my favorite unsung heros of the E28 lineup. Nate looked at a ultra-clean all-original 1985 535i that just sold for $12,000. Paul considered a lightly modified 1988 535is that everyone loved but failed to find a buyer. And even last month we looked at a rare option, when Nate checked out a right hand drive M535i. When this 533i popped up, I was almost certain we’d seen it before; it was a near clone of a car we looked at back in 2012, but it’s not the same car. Is this a good potential candidate to express your E28 love, then?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 533i on eBay

Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Boy, it’s been too long since I did a Wednesday Wheels – amazingly, it seems like late January was the last wheel roundup. But it’s something I love and with the sun shining and most of the potholes on their way towards repair in Rhode Island, I can finally shift my attention from snow chains to summer tires! Today I returned to my favorite subject; BBS wheels, with a roundup of some of neat ones that appear. There are the eponymous 80’s semi-aftermarket wheel choice, the BBS RSs many manufacturers offered at the dealer. This is a set of 16×8 and 9s for a 944 Turbo. Equally neat to see are the the 4x100mm BBS RM wheels; not as prevalent as RSs yet with a similar look, these were the perfect fit for the 16V GTi in 1991 and 1992. If you were looking earlier, you might have been interested in some BBS Mahle wheels; these are a pretty early Mercedes-Benz specific set that would look great on a SL. In more modern times, BBS was still a great option – Volkswagen specified the RXII 2-piece model for the Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8T, and again the BBS RC seemed to be the go-to option in the mid 2000s for a great looking performance wheel – this set is for an Audi. What’s you’re favorite and why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BBS RS 16×8,9 Wheels on eBay

Double Take: Modded or Stock 1983 Audi Quattros

For some time, the Quattro remained an undercover legend amongst enthusiasts. Saddled with an unfair reputation from media hype and enthusiasts’ misconceptions, the Quattro was remarkably affordable until very recently – especially so when you consider the ascension of other ’80s icons. But Audi’s acknowledgement that they built cars prior to the A4, coupled with some star power from the British show Ashes to Ashes and universal acknowledgement of the car’s impressive stature in the halls of automotive history mean that it’s still a star on the rise – especially in Europe, where the car is seriously coveted. Americans are just catching on in the grand scheme of things – and their delay means that many of these turbocharged all-wheel drive wonders have gone the way of the Dodo. It’s not as if there were many to choose from initially, with only around 11,500 of them produced and a majority of those remained in Europe. The U.S. only saw a few years of importation; a reported total of 664 made it here – and though they’ve maintained a devoted fan following since they were pulled from these shores in 1986, it’s nevertheless been difficult to find good examples of these cars today. They’ve become regarded as quite cool; the mystique of the turbocharged, box-flared World Rally Championship car for the road – the original Quattro is unsurpassed in the realm of cool Audis. Today, we’ll look at a mild and modded example and see which is the one to grab:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on Craigslist

2002 Volkswagen GTi 337 with 6,700 Miles

I have to admit that when I initially heard the details of the 337 Edition GTi, I was very excited. To me, it seemed like Volkswagen had finally gotten the message and brought us a modern interpretation of the car that I loved, the 1990-1992 GTi 2.0 16V. After a period of low performance 4-cylinder variants, the pokey 1.8T was now pumping out 180 horsepower and matching torque – finally, the car had the go to match the show. While the VR6 had continued into the fourth generation GTi, the accompanying weight, luxury items and electronic throttle meant that while horsepower numbers went up, the seat of the pants kick and thrill that was the hallmark of the original and 16V GTi – and even the Mk.3 VR6 – had been replaced by a stout highway cruiser. As if to answer critics and revisit the original formula, in 2001 Volkswagen introduced a stripped down, turned up version of the GTi called the 25th Anniversary edition, celebrating the original 1976 launch. For me, it was a return to form for the original hot hatch with some great updates. Unfortunately, it wasn’t heading to the U.S., because of course we didn’t receive the GTi until the 1983 model year. But U.S. fans were taken care of too when the nearly identical GTi 337 was launched. Outside, it got some awesome shot-peened BBS RC wheels that looked stunning compared the the rather bland wheels styles that had adorned the GTi since the BBS RMs on the 16V. Behind those wheels were beefed up brakes and red calipers, because red is of course faster (or, slower in that case?). It also sported a new body kit that highlighted the lower stance – hunkering the GTi down over those great wheels. After a period of hidden tailpipes, a polished exhaust tip emerged from the rear valance – a nice change for sure!…

1984 BMW M635CSi

Yesterday, Nate wrote up a last-of-the-run 1988 M6 for a budget price. He noted that $12,000 seemed like a deal for a 107K mile car with that magical S38 power plant hidden under the long hood, but concerns about maintenance costs linger with any of these complicated machines. It wouldn’t take you long if you dove into the motor to double that initial investment. Well, from last of the run to first, perhaps this 1984 M635CSi is a better proposition? It’s got a lighter curb weight, more pure European lines outside, and an even more potent engine thanks to the M88/3 pumping a few extra non-catalyzed ponies. Presented in black over black with a great set of BBS RC wheels, it sure looks fresh despite being 30 years old:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW M635CSi on eBay

1987 BMW M6

Want a classic 1980s BMW, a race-bred motor, and a car nearly guaranteed to appreciate over the coming years? The S38 powered M5 and M6 are the place to look right now, since the only other two options – the M1 and M3 – aren’t the best options right now. Traditionally, the M6 held higher values than the long-unappreciated M5; a great looking grand tourer, the M6 is certainly capable of keeping up with sports cars in a straight line and around curves. The other nice thing about the M6 was that unlike the E28 M5, it was available in many shades. Today’s example shows that off nicely in Cinnabar Red with Lotus White Nappa leather:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW M6 on eBay