If you’re into the small, sporty coupe, the other alternative to the 924s I’ve written up if don’t have the big bucks to buy a super clean 944 is Volkswagen’s answer – the Corrado. While that may generate a chuckle from some, if you breakdown the numbers, the Corrado was pretty close to the recipe of the outgoing 924S. Adding the G-Lader supercharger to the 1.8 liter inline-4 gave the Volkswagen similar punch; 158 horsepower and 165 lb.ft of torque with about 2,700 lbs to motivate. It was a 2+2 hatch as well, with more practical seating in the rear and plenty of storage space. The 195-50-15 tires gave plenty of bite, making the Corrado the equal of the 924S through corners, too. And early on it was even a bit cheaper than the 924S had been because, you know, it wasn’t a Porsche. It’d cost about $20,000 out the door; expensive compared to the GTI, but then this car was really intended to compete in a more upscale market.
Like the 924S, there are foibles. There’s a more potent version that’s quite a bit more popular in the later VR6, though it should be noted that just like the 944, by the time the SLC VR6 models bowed out of the marketplace they were 50% more expensive than the 1990 launch version. It can also eat up a lot of money in repairs, especially if the supercharger that made the package get up and go has got up and went. Also like the 924S, asking prices are usually out of line with market value, and there are quite a bit more abused ones out there than clean examples. I last looked at a clean, but at least partially (and poorly) resprayed example in November:
1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60
The asking price was originally $5,200, but it eventually sold for just under $5,000. That puts it squarely in line with the price of those two 924s from last week. Today, we get to look at another Tornado Red with dark gray/red stripe velour manual. While it has more miles on it, it looks clean and importantly is a no reserve auction:
Update 1/6/2018 – The asking price on this Corrado G60 has dropped from $5,200 to $4,800.
While the second-generation Scirocco was a re-body of the first-generation chassis with some upgrades, when it came to the end of the 80s and the launch of a new sporty Volkswagen, they turned to…another antiquated chassis. Prepared for the 1990 model year, the A2 chassis was already the best part of 7 years old and not the most refined unit out there. Despite this, plans moved ahead at cash-strapped VW to produce two “new” models that were adaptations of the A2 chassis.
The result was the third generation Passat and the sporty Karmann-built Corrado. The design was more VAG evolution than revolution; in many ways, the Corrado’s profile and several aspects mimicked the upscale Audi products. Volkswagen again went to the tried-and-true ‘Operation Copy Giugiaro’ plan that worked with the Scirocco. It looks like a shorter, chunkier Audi Coupe GT to me – especially in its original G60 supercharged guise. While the GTI went to the 2.0 16V and slick BBS wheels making an instant classic, Volkswagen relied on the G-Ladder supercharger that was seen in the European Golf Rallye and G60 GTI for the motivation for the Corrado. But the Corrado wasn’t made to challenge its siblings; it was aimed at the 944 crowd, replacing the 924S as a ‘Poor Man’s Porsche’ rather than just an expensive GTI alternative.
Ostensibly, this made it the top-trump at Volkswagen, what with 160 horsepower and good torque. But the heavy weight and complicated nature of the model meant that the GTI retained greater appeal. It seemed as though Volkswagen hit a home run when they finally slotted the even more potent and better sounding VR6 into the Corrado for 1992, relegating the supercharged model to obsolescence and obscurity. Like yesterday’s Audi 5000 Turbo, this model was thoroughly overshadowed by the VR6 and GTI, so values sunk quickly. Often they landed in the hands of those not able to afford the expensive repairs. And, no surprise, the result is that finding clean G60s is pretty tough today:
The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
The best part of 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plutarch questioned at what point an object began to lose its “originality”. You’ve heard the story many times, probably as the hyperbolic ‘Washington’s Axe’ parable. But though it’s been two millennia since Athenian thought led the world, the question remains applicable today.
Take this Porsche 911S, for example.
This past weekend was the Goodwood Festival of Speed; if you missed it once again, or have no idea what I’m talking about but are reading this, it’s something you desperately need to examine in your motoring life. There are historic races held around the world, and there are motoring events held around the world, so one more held on some rich dude’s driveway shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Wrong, it’s perhaps the single most unique and impressive automotive event in the world. The FoS reunites classic race cars often with their original drivers, driven in anger up the 1 mile hill of Lord March’s drive. It’s tougher than it would seem to be, and since it’s inception it’s attracted every major automobile manufacturer and gathered some of the most impressive machines ever made. From the first race cars to modern Formula One racers, the Festival of Speed is a celebration of all things automotive. For example, this past weekend, Mazda was the featured marque – but they also had gathered 7 of the 8 Mercedes-Benz 300SLRs ever built, and had Sir Stirling Moss, Hans Herrmann, Jochen Mass, Sir Jackie Stewart, and many other notable champions driving four of them up the hill. That was one of many priceless convoys parading by motorsports enthusiasts; it’s simply the largest collection of the most significant race cars ever made in the world coupled with the historic champions that drove them. Why talk about this in this tribute listing? Well, look closely at the lower portion of the door, and you’ll see that the builder of this 1972 Porsche 911 – which tribute’s Hurley Haywood’s Brumos-sponsored 1973 Sebring RSR – went so far as to include the Goodwood FoS number sticker from when the car appeared:
Another week of wheels, this time some more rarities. I love the polished look of narrow Fuchs wheels on early 911s. MOMO 5-spoke wheels were some of the best in the early 1980s, and these would be a nice alternative to the normal ATS/Ronal “Penta” wheels that often adorn early 80s Benz models. How about those great Hartge wheels, seeing that we’ve had two Hartge cars this week? Rather have something a bit more stock? How about the Audi Coupe-spec 15″ Speedline wheels complete with track rubber? Or if you’re into Volkswagens, we have a nice set of the early Corrado “Sebring” wheels too – what’s your favorite?