The Volkswagen Polo SP we featured last May is back up for sale in Iowa. Unlikely place for this non-US market car, but could make a great runabout for someone looking for a compact with a bit of estate car hauling capability.
The below post originally appeared on our site May 15, 2013:
The Polo has been a mainstay of the lower end of the Volkswagen range for many years but has perpetually been absent from the US lineup. Iâ€™m not sure what drives a company like Volkswagen to arrive at such a decision, especially when their company was built upon the idea of cheap, simple transportation. Surely there is a market in the US for a well-built, fuel efficient small car, as we have seen with the MINI Cooper. Not only that, but the hot version of the current Polo is more of a spiritual successor to the original Golf GTI, as its more diminutive size and lighter weight appeal to those seeking cheap thrills. A few Polos that are over 25 years of age have begun to make their way stateside, and this one for sale in Louisiana came over recently as a result of someone seeing it while on holiday in Germany.
Model: Polo SP
Engine: 1.3 liter inline four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 50,650 km (~31,400 mi)
Price: $4,999 Buy It Now
Click for Details: 1984 Volkswagen Polo SP on eBay
***NOTE: This is a 1984 model but it has a European VIN and therefore eBay policies require it to be listed as 1980 model. However it is titled and licensed in Louisiana as a 1984 VW Polo.***
The family council has met and decided that dad needs to get a convertible â€“ so I need to let go this unique VW Polo SP.
While vacationing in Germany in the summer of 2012, I fell in love with this beauty at a classic car dealer in Bonn, Germany. I bought it, had it gone through thoroughly by a classic car shop in Germany and shipped it stateside. It now has all the required paperwork, including a clear Louisiana title.
This Wolfsburg, Germany made 1984 Polo SP was first registered on 11/11/1983. Itâ€™s a very rare special edition model of which only 9,000 were made (in late 1983 & 1984 – hence the â€˜SPâ€™). It is loaded from the factory with the following goodies:
+Dual remote manual mirrors
+Leather wrapped â€˜sports styleâ€™ steering wheel
+Bermuda green exterior metallic paint
+Two tone Bermuda green / charcoal chiffon fabric interior (the same fabric that hot air ballons are made from)
+Tinted windows, vacuum assisted breaks, trunk cover, rear wiper, etc. etc. etc.
It has the â€˜largeâ€™ 1.3l 55HP engine which is good for ca. 100 mph (and yes, we had it up to that on the Autobahn 😉 â€“ because it weighs only about 750 kg (1,500lbs) itâ€™s quite lively and has no problem coping with modern traffic).
The story of the car is as follows: Apparently it was originally bought by a young woman. After only a couple of years she passed the Polo on to her mother. Mom drove it less and less and not at all since about 1999. A classic car collector bought it at an estate sale in late 2011 and did the following work on it:
+New timing belt, new water pump, new battery, radiator flush, tune up, oil and filter.
I saw it in May 2012, bought it, and took it to a classic car shop in Munich. They drove it for about two weeks and went through it end-to-end. During that time, it got the following:
+Brakes completely disassembled, cleaned, parts replaced as needed, new brake fluid
+New front struts, including strut dome bearings
+New rear shocks and related hard ware
+Four new tires
+Checked for rust â€“ there is absolutely none â€“ and taken to body shop to have all interior spaces flooded with hot wax and underbody re-covered with high grade tar/wax product.
Since arriving in the US in September 2012, I have put about 2,000 miles on the car â€“ both long distance and city traffic â€“ and it has been absolutely reliable and is just a joy to drive: peppy, great road holding, small and zippy â€¦ and Iâ€™m getting about 40 mpg on the highway, 25 in town. Overall, I would say the car is in the condition youâ€™d expect for a two to three year old car â€“ the interior is near perfect, the paint shines as new and it runs like a top. If I were to keep it, here are some improvements I would make:
+There are a few door dings and scrapes around the driverâ€™s door (in and out) that I would clean up.
+The steel rims have had some curb contact â€“ They are perfectly fine to use â€˜as isâ€™ but would look better sand blasted and powder coated
+Recently the front end developed a â€˜clickâ€™ when braking on poor pavement. I have examined the front end and havenâ€™t found anything obvious thatâ€™s wrong. Eventually, there may be a bushing that needs to be replaced.
Other known issues:
+Under hard acceleration the catalytic converter occasionally touches the floor board â€“ hasnâ€™t bothered me and happens maybe once a month
+There are a few very minor paint issues here and there such as minor stone chips (do keep in mind itâ€™s a 30 year-old car thatâ€™s never been repainted) â€“ I did have some paint mixed in Germany and it will go with the car in case you want to touch these up)
So there you have it. A near perfect example of a very rare European VW â€“ I doubt thereâ€™s another one anywhere in the country.
P.S. I know I have way more $ into it than Iâ€™ll get for itâ€¦.not counting the hours it took me to get it legalized for use in the USâ€¦.
P.P.S. the car comes with basically never used original, color matched floor mats, rubber floor mats, a period correct Philips AM/FM cassette player which works great, touch up paint, original German paper work (sales literature, service â€˜check bookâ€™, registration documents), clear US title, two original keys, original German key pouch, etc.)
P.P.P.S. While I may be a car nut, Iâ€™m no car mechanic and this 30-year-old classic is sold as-is.
Of the earlier Polos, I like the two-door estate variant the best, as it adds a touch more practicality to go along with the mini shooting brake looks. The problem with importing a car like this is by the time you pay for the cost of shipping and customs fees, youâ€™re likely to be well over what this car would realistically sell for in any other market. Sure, itâ€™s unique here, but the fan club is sort of limited outside the cadre of Volkswagen fanatics in the US. With slightly over 30,000 miles, Iâ€™d suspect this Polo might be worth around $4,000 to $5,000 at the most. Itâ€™s in great condition, but thereâ€™s more powerful, more upmarket Volkswagens to be had at that price, if that is your cup of tea.