Golden Nugget: 1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60

Collector Volkswagens from the early 1990s are now very much a thing, but supply – especially of original condition examples – can be quite difficult. Still, every few months we roll across some clean time pieces that are worth a look. Earlier this year I took a look at two nearly identical Tornado Red Corrado G60s, explaining a bit about what made them so special:

1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60

As a coming-of-age driver, while red was often associated with sporty hatches for me it was Volkswagen’s introduction of Nugget Yellow on the Corrado that captured my attention. Perhaps it’s because the ad campaign and a fair amount of the magazine tester cars came in the shade, but regardless, this was the ‘Montana Green’ of the early Corrados. It just looks right! So when this apparently clean, lower mile and original 5-speed manual 1990 popped up for sale, I had to take a closer look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60 on eBay


Year: 1990
Model: Corrado G60
VIN: WVWDB450XLK016310
Engine: 1.8 liter supercharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 77,120 mi
Price: $8,990 Buy It Now

1990 VOLKSWAGEN CORRADO COUPE MANUAL 77K ORIGINAL MLS 1-OWNER
Installed Options

[1AC] ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM
MSRP:$835.00
[027] CALIFORNIA EMISSION EQUIP
MSRP:$95.00
[] CLEARCOAT METALLIC PAINT
MSRP:$165.00
[CP1] COLD CLIMATE PKG-inc:heatable front seats/windshield washer nozzles
MSRP:$250.00
[3FD] ELECT SUNROOF (tilt/slide)
MSRP:$695.00
[] LEATHER SEAT UPHOLSTERY-inc:leather seating surfaces w/matching leatherette seat sides/backs/bolsters/door panels
MSRP:$710.00

With less than half the mileage of the other examples of G60s I looked at in 2018, this one should be automatically a great start. Couple that with the rare and desirable color, and original configuration, and we’re even better off. Throw in the infrequently found on early models leather interior and this is a pretty rare find. From that aspect alone, you can understand the premium this dealer is asking. But at nearly $9,000, it’s basically twice the price of the last two and puts you pretty firmly into VR6 territory.

Further, it’s not without problems. There are no records indicated and you’d certainly need to factor in a supercharger rebuild at some point. While not the most expensive repair by a long shot, it does add expense. The rear bumper looks to have been almost certainly repainted and it’s not quite the right shade, and despite the respray it still exhibits damage. But perhaps that’s better than the front bumper which is partly hanging off and also shows damage. There’s no health report on the electrics, such as the automatic deploying rear spoiler, though the tilt function works on the sunroof at least. The tires are a budget affair and the wheels show crusty brake dust, the rockers have some damage and most obviously there’s a missing “VW” badge. While not the easiest part to find, they can still be had new and fairly inexpensively.

Perhaps these seem like minor gripes, and indeed for most they’re probably excusable on a sub-$5,000 car. I’d even go so far to say you’d expect them. But at double that amount, I’d really expect this car to be a lot more buttoned up. The G60 model just doesn’t comp to the VR6 in today’s world, and this asking price gets you a very nice VR6.

-Carter

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6 Comments

  1. Either the door cards have been changed or the seats. Because the door cards are from a Corrado with the cloth/vinyl bolster interior (like the white one I had since new). Leather interior Corrados (like my friend had, in yellow) had padded vinyl inserts above the armrest.

    Still, this is a nice example and as much as I loved mine I’d be looking for a SLC model instead for this kind of money. It drove like a vastly improved car with the VR6 – although admittedly not as sharp in tight turns as the G60.

  2. I had a G60 back in the mid 1990s, and loved the way it handled. But it had quite a bit of issues, so it was not at the high point of VW quality. At 40K miles I started hearing about superchargers failing really early on these cars, so I decided to ditch it before having to shell out HUGE money for a new supercharger (no rebuilds were available back then). And as much as I loved the looks and handling, every day I cursed the stupid automatic belts. I sold it and picked up a pristine Audi CQ after only 1.5 years.

  3. I purchase a 1990 Nugget Yellow G60 in 1991 that was a VW Exec car. It was very fun to drive. It was faster than my 16V 87 Scirocco that I had. The only issues I had with it were the wheels were very soft. If you hit a pothole you almost were assured of bending the rim. I think I replaced 2 or 3 rims. It was a fun car. Traded it for a 1993 VR6 Corrado that was being heavily discounted. A definite upgrade, much quicker.

  4. The seats definitely look like the dealer installed leather fiasco. They then put a separate window sticker next to the factory window sticker stating the extras. Leather $995, Door edge guards $300, paint protection $500, market adjusted value $1000.

    But forget all that, the G60 sounds like an underwater Jeep farting. It is impossible to get used to. Cold start up is exponentially more offensive.

  5. Good catch on the door cards, @Ed. It indeed does point towards an interior swap which would make sense. I don’t recall ever seeing a ’90 with leather but maybe they’re out there.

  6. @Carter

    My friend’s yellow ’90 G60 had the black leather interior from the factory. It was nice but I personally hate leather (especially in South Florida) so I was glad I found my white one with the cloth interior at the dealer. Ironically, both of my current cars have leather seats 😛

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