2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition

This car sold for $7,000.

I have to admit that when I initially heard the details of the 337 Edition GTI, I was very excited. To me, it seemed like Volkswagen had finally gotten the message and brought us a modern interpretation of the car that I loved, the 1990-1992 GTI 2.0 16V. After a period of low performance 4-cylinder variants, the pokey 1.8T was now pumping out 180 horsepower and matching torque – finally, the car had the go to match the show. While the VR6 had continued into the fourth generation GTI, the accompanying weight, luxury items and electronic throttle meant that while horsepower numbers went up, the seat of the pants kick and thrill that was the hallmark of the original and 16V GTI – and even the Mk.3 VR6 – had been replaced by a stout highway cruiser. As if to answer critics and revisit the original formula, in 2001 Volkswagen introduced a stripped down, turned up version of the GTi called the 25th Anniversary edition, celebrating the original 1976 launch. For me, it was a return to form for the original hot hatch with some great updates. Unfortunately, it wasn’t heading to the U.S., because of course we didn’t receive the GTI until the 1983 model year. But U.S. fans were taken care of too when the nearly identical GTI 337 was launched. Outside, it got some awesome shot-peened BBS RC wheels that looked stunning compared to the rather bland wheel styles that had adorned the GTI since the BBS RMs on the 16V. Behind those wheels were beefed up brakes and red calipers, because red is of course faster (or, slower in that case?). It also sported a new body kit that highlighted the lower stance – hunkering the GTi down over those great wheels. After a period of hidden tailpipes, a polished exhaust tip emerged from the rear valance – a nice change for sure! Inside, special details like brushed trim, red-stitched shift boot and special “Golf Ball” knob for the 6-speed manual and some awesome Recaro seats greeted you. And to keep weight down, no sunroof was offered. This was a sporty car that went like it looked for a change! Limited to 1,500 examples, it was an instant hit and apparently a good bet for a future collectable:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 25th Anniversary Edition

Porsche likes to celebrate and over the years they’ve produced a lot of special and commemorative editions. Some of those are really special in that they provide both unique aesthetic enhancements and also improvements to performance. Some, however, are entirely aesthetic. In earlier years those aesthetic variants abound. The one we see here, a Satin Black Metallic 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 25th Anniversary Edition released to celebrate 25 years of 911 production, actually is one of my favorites. I must admit though that I prefer it mostly due to the model on which it’s based rather than anything particular to the Anniversary Edition itself. But that’s ok because it makes for a very attractive package.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe 25th Anniversary Edition at Chequered Flag

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1975 Porsche 911S 25th Anniversary Edition

By now, Porsche has become pretty well known for producing commemorative edition models to celebrate a variety of milestones. Mostly they are differentiated by unique interior and exterior combinations and built in pretty low production numbers. The one we see here, a 1975 Porsche 911S 25th Anniversary Edition is, I believe, the first commemorative edition Porsche produced, and it’s the first time I’ve come across one. First, we must distinguish this from the 25th Anniversary 911, which was produced in 1989 as a means to commemorate 25 years of 911 production. Those were available as a Coupe, Targa, or Cabriolet, and came with either a Satin Black Metallic or, more commonly, Silver Metallic exterior and Silk Grey leather interior, along with a host of interior upgrades. The model we have here, on the other hand, was to commemorate 25 years of Porsche production in general. 1063 were produced as either Coupe or Targa and each came with a Diamond Silver Metallic exterior and Blue tweed interior. Mechanically there were no changes from the standard 911 as they featured a 2.7 liter flat-six delivering 165 hp through a 5-speed manual transmission.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Porsche 911S 25th Anniversary Edition on eBay

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337-off: 2002 Volkswagen GTis

Let’s discount, just for a moment, the reputation of the fourth generation water-cooled, front engined platform from Volkswagen. Yes, they’re known for not having the best build quality, and they were a bit pudgy. The electrics were sketchy and Volkswagen’s venerable 1.8T, which found its way into nearly every VAG product in the late 90s and early 00s, is certainly not without fault. But in many ways, the Mk.4 platform offered some exciting options for the Volkswagen faithful. First, the introduction of the turbocharged engine into the platform redefined the possibilities of the hot hatch. It was available not only in the top-spec GTi, but you could get a 4-door 1.8T, too – a first for Volkswagen, who had offered hot 4-door hatches in Europe but not the U.S. previously. Then, in 2002, Volkswagen upped its game even more with the introduction of the 25th Anniversary Edition in Europe. “But the GTi didn’t come out until 1983” U.S. fans said, forgetting that 1977 was the launch year of the 1.6 original in Europe. It seemed, for some time, that the U.S. would get snubbed again. After all, it wouldn’t be very smart for them to offer a 25th Anniversary Edition of a car that didn’t exist here, and “19th Anniversary” doesn’t have the same ring. But then, at the New York Auto Show in 2002, Volkswagen surprised U.S. fans by offering the near-identical package to them. The name was the GTi 337 Edition; the name harkened back to the original project code for the Golf GTi. Beefed up with 180 horsepower, a 6-speed manual, an awesome set of Recaro seats, aero tweaks and with some awesome shot-peened BBS RC wheels, it was an instant hit. Volkswagen sold 1,500 of these models to U.S. fans, and then when they had sold out, recreated the magic in 2003 with colorful options in the 20th Anniversary Edition. Today we’re looking at the 337 though, and I’ve found three for sale in varying states. 13 years on, are these hot hatches still appealing?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Volkswagen GTi 337 on eBay

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1989 Porsche 911 25th Anniversary Edition

Of all the sports car manufacturers, I think Porsche loves special editions the most. Racing focused editions, touring editions, anniversary editions, they’ve done them all and they’ve done them well. I’m a big fan of the 991 50th Anniversary edition, I’d go so far as to say I think it’s the best looking 911 ever made but not necessarily the one I’d want over all others. That would be the 930 Turbo but these days I’d say I have a better chance of owning the former given where the market is headed. I suppose it makes sense then that I’m such a fan of this car, the 911 25th Anniversary Edition.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 911 25th Anniversary Edition

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2006 Audi S4 25th Anniversary Quattro

During our recent “4WD Week” I wrote up a 2007 S4 DTM edition, a car that while attractive I felt was pretty overpriced. In fact, I said that even though it was a limited edition I didn’t think it was nearly as desirable as the 2006 run of 250 25th Anniversary of Quattro S4s. These S4s were really like a diet RS4, gaining suspension upgrades, revised exterior pieces and some special interior treatments, and importantly a revised rear sport differential that really transformed the car’s handling. Additionally, the limited S4s got the best looking wheels of the bunch, special Ronals that appeared on both the Ultrasport Titanium package for the A4 and on this car in normal silver. More than just a limited edition sticker and special color (I’m looking at you, Lime Rock Park edition M3), this car was a culmination of lots of little changes that made for a bridge model between the normal S4 and the RS4:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Audi S4 25th Anniversary Quattro on eBay

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