Tuner Tuesday Un-pimp My Ride: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60

Edit: One of our Facebook readers – Steve – correctly noted that this is Capri Green and was an 8V Golf to start out. In some ways, that makes it better that a real 2.0 GTi wasn’t sacrificed, though my feelings about most of the modifications stay the same. Thanks Steve, and sorry for the mistake!

I’m fairly certain that with the right backing and skillful marketing I could pitch a show to one of those crappy cable networks. My premise? Take a car that has been modified and return it to OEM or OEM+ standards. Seriously, when talking about rare cars, aren’t there buyers for these rides? Don’t there seem to be lots of people endlessly browsing the internet looking for that hidden, unmodified and well-cared for gem that rarely surfaces? Heck, it’s what we’ve built a fair amount of our writing around. And even though there are plenty of people pining for original BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models, there’s a special lot that love original Volkswagens. One of the biggest reasons they long for these “unicorn” models is that so few were properly cared for, and many of those that were have been modded within an inch of their life. Take the Mk.II GTi; a solid performing replacement for the “original” hot hatch. It’s near legendary status is well cemented in the halls of automotive history, and it’s even one of the few models that carries brand awareness outside of motoring circles. Seriously, even people who know almost nothing about cars know what a GTi is. Within the Mk.II crowd, there are several limited models that the U.S. didn’t receive, so our top of the heap has to be the 1990-1992 16V edition. With a close-ratio gearbox, revised and better integrated smooth big bumpers, the best set of BBS wheels and Recaro seats ever fitted to a Volkswagen and one stunner of a revy 2 liter inline-4, it was an awesome package. Specify it in Montana Green, and you’ve got the crowds drooling. Then someone goes and does this:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V G60 on eBay

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1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

It probably sounds crazy, but I find the 924 Turbo pretty fascinating. Born at a time when smaller displacement turbocharged engines were the wave of the future and the rage in motorsport, the 924 is still one of the most aerodynamic cars to make it to the public. This resulted in good fuel economy, which combined with hatchback practicality meant it was a reasonable daily driver. But the weight distribution and turbocharged power plant meant it was at home on the track, too – in turned up Carrera GT, GTS and GTR versions it was a hugely successful race car. It was good looking, too – subtle curves, great ATS wheels and just enough vents and ducts to hint at performance potential. Really, it’s a great package – but in spite of this 924s in general remain one of the cheapest Porsches available. That means you can get into one for quite a deal these days while the rest of the market continues to pull out of reach:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Supercharged Harlequin Replica

Pretty much everyone knows that Volkswagen enthusiasts are a special breed, but even within Volkswagen enthusiasts there are some really devoted fans of a particular sub-model. One such example of this is the Golf Harlequin, seemingly a joke by Volkswagen dealers to get rid of excess body panels. In truth, it’s one of the really neat exercises by a major that reinforces my belief that Volkswagen just does things differently than most other manufacturers. Seriously, could you imagine Mercedes-Benz shipping a bunch of S-Classes out to dealers in different colors and telling them to swap body panels around? The Harlequin Golf was and remains a neat page in Volkswagen history that generally brings a smile to VW fans. So, it’s no surprise that the Harlequins are very sought after, even if they appear all in one color because the dealer was lazy – no joke! But are they sought after enough to warrant a replica?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volkswagen Golf on eBay

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1985 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V – REVISIT

The 1985 Volkswagen Scirocco from last fall with a 2.0 16 valve conversion and some nice touches like BBS wheels, Euro bumpers and Euro headlights is back up on Ebay with a 10% price drop to just below $5,000. I think its great looking in the rare to see shade of Titian Red Metallic on these Sciroccos and the upgrades are just what I’d want – for the money, it seems like a pretty hard to beat value performance package.

THE BELOW POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON OUR SITE OCTOBER 24, 2013:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday Double Take: 1983 and 1984 Volkswagen GTis

Recently we’ve had a wave of lightly modified, good condition A1 GTis. Always a popular platform for tuners and back yard mechanics, the GTi for a long time was cheap, modifications were plentiful, and they mostly lived a hard life. Today, finding clean examples will yield you a highly sought after prize; with so few left, the price has been driven up and nice examples are coming out of the woodwork to test the waters. Today we have two modified but clean GTis – will either be to your taste? Let’s look at the cleaner and more original of the two:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen GTi on VW Vortex

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1983 Volkswagen Cabriolet 16V

The Volkswagen market is fairly fickle these days. Some low mile, original cars go for big bucks; other times, its unlikely modified cars that draw the money. But it seems in general that the 16V Scirocco and original GTi are the two shining stars right now for 1980s Volkswagens. What do you get when you put them together and chop the top off? A 16V Cabriolet, of course! Granted, this isn’t how this car was delivered from the factory, but if you’re looking for the best of three world, perhaps you can enjoy this Cabby modified in the style of OEM:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Cabriolet on eBay

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1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

$_57

Last year I wrote up a very cool Caddy, almost completely redone with great mods like a 16v and Brat seats in the bed. At the time, the seller was asking almost $15k, which seemed a bit optimistic. Today’s fully redone Caddy is gorgeous and leans a bit more towards the subtle end of aesthetics, but has a 16v ABF engine among a very nice list of performance improvements in addition to the cleanliness that can only come with ripping something all the way down. Unfortunately, while $15k seemed optimistic (and was… it sold for $10,900), this seller has started his auction at $12k and is asking $19k. I love Rabbit Pickups, it was my first car and I will own one again etc., but that white one represented the top of the crop. This one may be there, but that market is still short of the opening bid.

Click for more details: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

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1992 Volkswagen GTi 16V

About a week ago I posted a 1991 Volkswagen GTi 8V in Montana Green on our Facebook fan page. It wasn’t the best example, but it wasn’t horrible either and as I said finding these Mk. 2 GTis in rare colors such as Montana Green in original condition is really quite hard. For whatever reason, the questionable tastes of the watercooled crowds have claimed many victims who have suffered countless horrendous modifications in lieu of strong maintenance and careful ownership. Consequently, original condition GTis tend to command the strongest money out there, and today is no exception. Sure, you can find a VR6 or 1.8T swapped GTi from this generation for less money just about any day of the week, but if you really want to relive the days of the hot hatch at Volkswagen, the hottest setup you could get was the 1990-1992 GTi 16V 2.0, and today we see one in original configuration and relatively unmolested. Care to play the lottery? You might just need to to afford one of these:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Volkswagen GTi 2.0 16V on eBay

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10K Friday: Poor Man’s Porsches – 914 v. 924

While I’ve spent a lot of time on 10K Fridays looking for the most car for your money, today we’re going to take a different path and look at the least Porsche for your money. Sound a bit strange? Well, while other Porsche models have taken off in value or are on the verge of being completely unaffordable, it’s refreshing to know you can still get a nice quality Porsche on a budget. Could you get into a beaten 944 Turbo for this money? Yes, and perhaps if you’re looking for a performance car that would be a better choice. But in the true spirit of the creation of both the 914 and 924, I want to look at the most simple versions of both of these cars. Which would be the one for you? Let’s start with the 914:

Year: 1972
Model: 914
Engine: 1.7 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 100,000 mi
Price: $7,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Porsche 914 on eBay

1972 914 porsche from california new tires fuel injected very rust free for more info call dennis 847 521 9442

I have to admit, I’m a more recent convert to thinking clean 914s are pretty cool. They’re not the most attractive by any measure, but they have a Lotus-like simple design. Think of this car as the Porsche Europa and it makes a little more sense. Pop the top and you’ve got a fun, simple targa design. This model has some upgraded alloys and looks reasonably clean. Miles are lower and the price – $7,500 – wouldn’t get you into much of any other Porsche; that is, except the underdog 924:

The 924 is such a clean and elegant design, it’s nice to see them in their original spec. Sure, they sprouted flares, spoilers and big wheels and became more aggressive but the original design is still impressive. With that engine running well, you’ll be in the mid-30 mpg range cruising in what is still a very aerodynamic design today. In Guards Red over tan, this is a great looker:

Year: 1981
Model: 924
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 29,574 mi
Price: $5,995 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 on eBay

Runs and drives very well. The body and paint are in very good condition. The interior is in good shape, but the seats have rips and the dash is cracked. Has a clear title.

Yes, the engine is anemic, and like many of the early 924/944 variants the dash is now cracked. But for a full $1500 less than the 914, this package is really quite neat. Like the Targa roof on the 914? Well, most of the top of the 924 is removable and ultimately the experience isn’t that different. This particular 924 was well equipped and with very low miles seems in great shape! The price is high for a non-2.5 924, but considering the condition it would be a better deal than buying a worse-condition one and trying to restore it. Not many love the 924, but it is pretty amazing that nearly two decades after it’s launch the 968 was still looking fresh with effectively this same design.

Which would I choose? For me, it’s a no-brainer – I’d choose the 924 over the 914 any day. As an affordable classic and entry level car in the Porsche world, it’s still unappreciated and values reflect that, but it’s a clean and neat design that can be owned on a strict budget – not something that can be said of many Porsches!

-Carter

1990 Volkswagen GLi 16V – REVISIT

The Tornado Red 1990 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 2.0 16V we featured in last week is back up for sale with a low Buy It Now of $3,000. One of these gems has recently joined the GCFSB fleet (watch for an update soon!); they’re neat quick cars that remain a solid value among special Volkswagens – especially in comparison to the Scirocco and GTi 16Vs that pull much stronger money. With a nearly 30% price drop, this one seems like a great value now!

The below post originally appeared on our site November 3, 2013:

Volkswagen and Audi in the 1980s were an interesting bunch. Consistency in product was just not one of their strong suits, and consequently there are some strangely equipped “changeover” cars that made there way to the U.S.. My Coupe GT is one of these; a digital-dash equipped 1986 non-Commemorative Edition car, it’s one of those “off the books” cars. However, I’m not alone; I had a friend with a 1990 8V GTi that should have had the later “big bumpers” but didn’t. Today’s Jetta GLi must have also been a “Monday” car as well, since although it sports the 2.0 16V engine, it doesn’t have the 1990 aerodynamic bumpers that characterized the 2.0. Either way, it’s red, it’s got Recaros, and it’s got a 7,200 RPM redline:

Year: 1990
Model: GLi 16V
Engine: 2.0 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 109,000 mi
Price: $3,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 2.0 16V on eBay

A dying breed, an unmolested pre-93 Volkswagen is a rare find. An unmolested 16v GLI is even rarer. A favorite of VW enthusaists, the 16v GLIs and GTIs are the top level of performance offered in the MK2 (at least in the US). The 1990 model sported the 134 bhp 2.0 16v (it was 1.8L on earlier GLIs) mated to a quick ratio 5 speed gearbox making these cars are a blast to drive. The GLI also offered Recaro sport seats, BBS RA alloys and a GLI trim package that differentiated it from your every day GLI, Recaro Seats. 109K mileage, well maintained, new studded snow tires,sunroof w/ deflector. One small dent on left rear door, one small dent under trunk lid, one crack in windsheild on passenger side, right rear ext. door handle needs work.

Sellers, sellers, sellers…if you’re going to quote what makes your car special and then not have those items, don’t quote them. Case in point; “BBS RA alloys”. Yes, the GLi came with them but no, the wheels on this car are not RAs. They appear to be RZ alloys, probably off a Corrado. It’s a minor point, but it shows a lack of attention to detail in ownership. That’s backed up by the “quick ratio 5 speed” quote. Steering boxes are quick ratio, gearboxes are close ratio. But ultimately, you’re not buying the seller or the description, so perhaps neither of these things matter but I do have to admit they bother me.

The car shows signs of use, but overall presents decently for a driver. The 16V specific air dam needs to be replaced but last time I bought one from the dealer it wasn’t too pricey, there are some dents, but the important stuff is there. Critically for these cars, it’s unmodified. While it would carry more weight if it was a GTi 2.0 16V, at below $4,000 this car appears to be appropriately priced considering it’s current condition. It sure would make a fun daily driver!

-Carter