While last week’s Corrado SLC track car sure checked the right boxes for me, for some it was not extreme enough to be considered a “race car”. Fair enough, it was a track car at heart for high performance driver’s eduction or perhaps some solo/time trial events, but it was mostly just a stripped Corrado. Well, for the Volkswagen faithful today I have a much more extreme example – a GTi ready to tackle just about anything you’re ready to toss at it. Stripped down, beefed up and widened, this GTi sure looks the racer part – check out that cage! But to make it go like it promises outside, the heart has been replaced by a turned up 1.8T motor. Having been in a similar package on track, you’re mind can’t fathom what a light car like this with that much power will do compared to the original:
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Even though I feel very fortunate to have two cars I love, every time a Rabbit Pickup drives by I follow it longingly. It was an amazing first car – different, a blast to drive, moderately useful, and completely hilarious. There are quite a few still out there that could be acquired for decent prices, but the diesels and the really clean examples have begun commanding some severe premiums. Today’s example isn’t quite the modded-out tuner machine like a few that I’ve written up here, but it’s not an all-original example either. It sits as a nice in-between, with an attractive, low stance and awesome, plus-sized Snowflake wheels. The only other modifications are a duckbill front spoiler and trimmed bumper mounts, creating a subtly unique look that is more of an exaggeration of the original car rather than a revamp. The real story here is that it’s covered less than 100k miles and shows it, with the white exterior clean and the VERY RED interior in great shape.
Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay
What did you get if you wanted a reasonable German commuter that was no frills but fun to drive and got good mileage in 1997? Jeff’s low mileage 318i got me thinking that while the style of the BMW was good, it lacked a certain commuter charisma that I really enjoyed with my 1997 Golf. After a long run of Audis, I was ready for something that was a little less dear to fix considering at the time I was putting around 55,000 miles a year on my cars for work. My mechanic glanced towards a faded but reasonably clean Tornado Red Golf K2 he had in the lot and said “You can have that for $1,500″. Done. I never once regretted it – it was a great little car; it would get 34 m.p.g. in a pinch, the air condition blew cold, the K2 came with heated seats, and even after 3,000 hours of polishing I restored the “Tornado Pink” to red once again. It was also fun to drive – the 8 valve has been given the nickname “2.slow” by enthusiasts, but the reality is that the ABA is more than adequate to motivate the lightweight Golf at speeds the original GTi would be envious of – plus, it had torque. Put sticky tires and a stiffer suspension on it and it was fun in the twisties, and good snow tires let you toss it around in the white stuff with no problems. But the best part of the Golf was its simplicity; it was just basic transportation, but it added character to a daily commute. I loved it, and smile every time I see a clean one like this Memory Red Pearl example with lower miles come up for sale:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Volkswagen Golf on eBay
It’s been an interesting week or two for Corrado fans over here at GCFSB – but we haven’t gotten the cars we wanted despite seeing a few. Most recently was Nate’s white 1991 G60 model; it had potential and looked clean, but universally there were some things we didn’t like and the price was out of line – plus it was an automatic. Earlier in the week, I wrote up a sweet track-prepped 1992 SLC VR6; awesome if you were planning on some hot laps, but you’d need a trailer since it didn’t look to be easily road-legal – that really limits its use and appeal. Then we had the somewhat poorly modified Tuner Tuesday example of a 1992 SLC VR6 that I spent most of the post demodding. Finally, Jeff wrote up a Japanese import 1992 SLC VR6 in Poland; clean, low miles and unmolested – but again, an automatic, expensive and in Poland. So today I hope to rectify our “good” Corrado drought with two nice examples. They also both buck my normal description and complaint of Volkswagen owners; they’re clean (even inside!), relatively original and maintained. Which would you choose?