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1986 Volkswagen Polo Coupe

We’ve all heard the stories about the little old lady from Pasadena, who owned a piece of classic American iron but rarely ever drove it. Well, how about die alte Dame aus Stuttgart ? What would she drive? Apparently a Volkswagen Polo MkII, like this example for sale in Deckenpfronn, southwest of the city that Mercedes-Benz and Porsche made famous. The second generation Polo bowed in 1981 and was available as a two door estate, two door notchback, or the 2 door hatchback, known as a coupe, such as our feature car. Offered were a variety of petrol and diesel engines, ranging from 1.0 liter to 1.4 liters.

Two interesting powerplants were offered during this generation. First, the was the supercharged 1.3 liter engine with 113 horsepower as seen in the Polo GT G40. This was a precurser to the later G60 engine that would appear in the Corrado and Golf. Second, there was a high fuel economy version called the Polo Formel E. This car featured longer gearing and a higher compression 1.2 liter petrol four cylinder engine. In a display of Volkswagen’s technical prowess, the Formel E also introduced start stop technology when it was released in 1983. If the engine idled for more than two seconds, it would shut off and automatically restart when the gear lever was moved from neutral. This function also had an override in the form of a switch on the dashboard.

From the description, this Polo appears to be a GL model with the 1.2 liter four cylinder engine, as it is stated as having 55 horsepower, which is close to the original 60 horsepower listed for that engine.

1986 Volkswagen Polo Coupe on eBay Deutschland

1986 Volkswagen Polo. Built in 1985. ORIGINAL 23,900 km driven by older lady until August 2011. Garage kept. Retrofitted catalytic, E-pollutant code no. 03. ORIGINAL, absolutely unused vehicle. TÃœV August 2013 Checkbook (not complete) available. Vehicle in top condition, but because of age as a collector vehicle, offered without warranty.

At approximately $4,800 USD, this could be considered cheap for such a high quality vintage Volkswagen or pricey for what was the entry model Volkswagen of the era. While under 15,000 original miles is certainly impressive for any 1980s subcompact, one has to consider just how collectible a car like this is. If this were a Polo GT G40, it would certainly be more desirable. If one could procure this Polo for around $2,700 to $3,000, it would leave enough room for a rabid Volkswagen enthusiast to ship it here to the US and be the talk of the next show they went to.



  1. Larry
    Larry June 8, 2012

    How cool would it be to import and tool around in this thing?!? Of course, it’s not fast or luxurious or spacious or anything like that, but probably quite entertaining and certainly unique (at least here in the US).

    How much hassle (and expense) is it to import a car like this?

  2. Larry
    Larry June 8, 2012

    BTW, I recently came across a later-model Polo wagon (on eBay, I think).

    Low-mileage, claimed to be street-legal in the US, as it was brought back by a returning soldier from a base in Greenland (or something like that).

    Unfortunately, they wanted something like $10K for it.

  3. brian
    brian June 8, 2012

    in addition, there are brokerage companies that deal with all of the legal BS…for a fee of course.

  4. Larry
    Larry June 8, 2012

    Thanks, guys.

    With so many great cars now falling into the 25+ years exemption category, importing is becoming more of a consideration.

    The jalopnik article provided some great insight into the process and the challenges (and the costs), but probably made the process sound a little easier than it would be for most of us.

    The author benefited from being stationed in Europe, and buying/registering/driving the car over there first. He didn’t have to rely on doing everything remotely through a third party.

  5. Paul
    Paul June 8, 2012

    Two cars have been on my mind to import, Larry. The 205GTi and the Audi RS2. I do still have family in Portugal, which would make securing a car easier, but it’s still a process. It just bewilders me sometimes how draconian the US Government can be towards car enthusiasts. For the handful of people that would go to the trouble of importing unique and collector vehicles, it really wouldn’t pose that much of an encroachment on safety or air pollution. But I’ll get off my soapbox 🙂

  6. Paul
    Paul June 8, 2012

    Oh and PS, I should say I’m “waiting” for the green light to import an RS2. That won’t arrive until 2019. Unless the law changes.

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