I’m a pretty big VW nut, but when it comes to the A3 Jetta even I admit they’re just pretty darn boring. The Mk.2 Jetta had plenty of character for better or worse, but the third generation just seemed to be a bit lumpy and overweight in comparison. The crisp body lines were replaced by softer transitions that, well, just didn’t look special. And there was the engine; gone was the awesome twin-cam 16V 2.0 GLi, replaced by a single cam 2.0 8V in the normal Jettas that were snatched up by New Jersey college girls. Sure, there was the GLX VR6 model that continued the quick Jetta tradition, but it seemed that most of the time you heard a droning automatic 4-cylinder Jetta leaving the lights. And the build quality just wasn’t the best; memorably, a friend of mine purchased a brand new 1997 Jetta and I waxed it for him one day while he was at work. On my way to drop the car off, the sunroof broke in the open position. The car was two weeks old. So, it was ugly, slow and unreliable – and expensive. The normal Jetta bordered on $18,000 without many options in 1997, and the GLX model pushed you well into the 20s. Comparatively, the new Jetta stickers around $14,000 nearly two decades later. Towards the end of the A3’s run, though, Volkswagen upped the ante with some limited edition models. There was the Jetta GT, which featured 4-wheel disc brakes and fog lamps, along with a spoiler and unique alloys. But if you wanted to be the cool dude on campus, you got your parents to buy you the Jetta Trek or Jetta K2. As far as I could tell at the time, they were normal Jettas (and Golfs) with roof racks and a bike or skis/snowboard. “Meh”, I said, “just another poser Volkswagen”. But the limited edition A3s were a bit of a treat:
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What better way to celebrate Black Friday than with a car that carries the work “black” in its name? Here’s a 2008 CLK 63 AMG Black Edition up for grabs, brought to our attention from our reader Den. This is the kind of car that will help you get your gift shopping done in record time. The CLK 63 AMG Black Series was a 507 horsepower beast, akin to a DTM car for the street. With a removed rear seat, adjustable suspension and wide fenders, this car was all business. With so few sold here in the US, this Black Series for sale in San Francisco with just under 40,000 miles represents a rare opportunity.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series on San Francisco’s Craigslist
If ever there was a car made for Miami Beach, this Volkswagen Karmann Ghia would fit the bill. It’s pastel paintwork just pops and as much as I don’t like white wall tires, they compliment the look well. In a sea of drab automotive colors, mint green is a perennial favorite of mine. It makes me yearn for some of the bright colors we would see on 1950s Detroit iron. Sure, it might not seem current to some, but it certainly is interesting. This particular Karmann Ghia has undergone a complete restoration and would prove to be a unique choice to help stand out from the rest of the air-cooled VW crowd.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1964 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia on eBay
As cars get more and more technologically advanced each year, there’s one thing that seems to have some staying power. The hubcap.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Pair of NOS Audi hubcaps on eBay
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Porsche 356 hubcap on eBay
CLICK FOR DETAILS: BMW 14″ wheel covers on eBay
Maybe you’re lucky, and it’s sunny and warm where you’re reading this. Or, perhaps you’re stuck under a rock – or in the case of Buffalo, several feet of snow. But like it or not, winter is upon us a bit early this year, and if you are in Buffalo you probably need some sort of snow-cat to get to the local store. Hopefully, that’s not the case for most of you but I wondered what sort of all-wheel drive car you could get on a $10,000 budget. As it turns out, you might be able to get a little more than you expected – so here’s a few offerings from the different manufacturers, starting with the folks that started it all: