The 1991-1992 GTI followed the same basic recipe as the 1987 model we saw this past week, but everything was turned up a few notches. Starting in the mid 1990 model year, all US bound A2s received the “big bumper” treatment; new smooth aerodynamic covers front and rear. To help to differentiate it a bit, the GTI’s blackened arches were widened. Filling those arches were new 15? wheels from BBS. The multi-piece RMs were lightweight and the perfect fit for the design, echoing other contemporary class-leading sports cars such as the M3. Volkswagen color-coded the mirrors and rear spoiler to match the car, as well. VW also gave the GTI a fresh face with more illumination; quad round lights filled the grill, and foglights illuminated the lower bumper. Prominent GTI 16V badges still encircled the car.
Power was up to match the heightened looks. Now with 2.0 liters of twin-cam fun, the GTI produced 134 horsepower at 5,800 RPMs and 133 lb. ft of torque at 4,400 RPMs. Coupled to the close-ratio 5-speed manual, that was good enough to drop 0-60 times below 8 seconds. That may not sound like much today, but at the time it was another league of performance compared to the typical economy car. Holding you in place were the same heavily-bolstered Recaros that special editions like the ‘Helios’ 1989 Jetta GLI Wolfsburg had enjoyed.
It was a recipe for success, but these cars were also relatively expensive in period, and fell into the global recession time frame which affected sales of nearly all European marques drastically. The general consensus is that around 5,000 of the last of these GTIs were imported, putting their rarity on the level of the M3. But because they weren’t M3s, there are far less around today to enjoy and few turn up in stock configuration for a myriad of reasons. It’s always a bit of a joy to see one arrive in the feed, though, and for me none moreso than the signature LB6Z Montana Green Metallic:
In a recent ad campaign, I’ve been interested to see Volkswagen roll out its older Jettas to somehow link their DNA to the new model. That’s an interesting ploy, since most people I know who have had experiences with a Jetta of this ilk usually remember the calamity rather than the positive aspects of the model.
Back in March, I took a bemused look at the confusing Jetta lineup by considering the oddly placed Carat model. It fell somewhere in between the GL and Wolfsburg model, yet most of the major items remained optional. Today, we get to look at the base model – the GL. The GL and Carat shared the same motor and running gear, but instead of the ‘upscale’ wheel covers borrowed from the Passat, the GL had steel wheels with center covers and trim rings. It was one of the better looking wheel options Volkswagen had at the time, and though it was the base wheel it somehow looked neat. Inside the seats were not quite as upscale-looking as the Carat, but otherwise equipment on the two was basically the same. But there remains an inherent draw to the second generation Jetta even as a base model, and this clean GL looks ready for some serious swapping action:
As Paul said, “It’s back!” The awesome BBS and Callaway modded GTi is back just in time to fulfill your Christmas wishes! I know I’d certainly love to have it under my tree. Bidding reached into the $20,000 range with the reserve still on last time around, failing to sell. It’s already hit $10,000 this time with 4 days to go. What will it take to buy this incredible Mk.2?
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a turbocharged night!
Do you ever wonder what happens to all of those wild magazine cars? You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones you flip to first, creations that make you wonder what the motivation of the builder was? Honestly, most fade into obscurity – but once in a while one pops up again for sale, and today’s GTi EVII built by Guy Light is one of those cars that may just may you say “Oh, yeah….I remember that!” It’s been a full 25 years since this car was new and a flash in the pan. Light chopped the top off the car, added a body kit and some great BBS wheels and Recaro seats, and Viola! He made the Mk.III Cabrio prototype. Seriously, look at this car – if it doesn’t scream Cabrio to you, I’m not sure what would. Reading through the period article about the car, it was certainly an interesting and unique vision with an extraordinarily limited scope. The part that I found most fascinating? Light offered to charge individuals a staggering $13,000 – on top of the price of the car – to complete the conversion. Aren’t you surprised that you don’t see more of these floating around than the original prototype?
There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of “To make a small fortune in racing, you have to start with a large one”. While it’s true that any track-related activities are generally a one-way flow of cash – out – from your bank account, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be a millionaire to go have a lot of fun. One of the more affordable platforms that budget weekend racers took to in the early 1980s was the then-new Volkswagen GTi; with solid aftermarket support, a light and nimble chassis and and crash it, walk away ability, the inexpensive Volkswagen was a natural track candidate. It’s become rare to see either of the first two generations showing up at the track these days, no surprise as many are 30 years old at this point. But once in a while, one that has undergone development and is a tidy package pops up, and today’s 1985 GTi is just one such example:
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:
I am not sure what it is, while it is hard to find a clean MK I GTI.Â It is exponentially more difficult to find a MK II in that sort of condition.Â I have my theories as to why but the fact of the matter is that cars such as this are rare.
From the seller –
“Up for auction is my 1986 GTI. This is a great original GTI. When was the last time you saw one Handles like a go-cart with Koni shocks on all four corners. Shifts are crisp and smooth with the Neuspeed short shift kit. Stops well with 4 wheel disc brakes. Interior features grey cloth sport seats with Red stripes. The exterior is Tornado Red with front and rear spoilers, black wheel house flares and tinted windows all around. Absolutely no rust, car has always been in CA or AZ. Original paint still shines. Interior front driverâ€™s seat shows slight wear, no wear in passenger seat or backseat area. Door panels, dashboard, headliner and carpeting are all excellent. I have the original window sticker and build sheet, also the ownerâ€™s manual and service manual. Car comes with an extensive amount of service history. The car has 101k original miles and is in very good shape for a 25 year old car. It has an aftermarket radio/cd player in the dash but I have the original radio. It has a performance cat-back exhaust system, K&N air filter, upper and lower front strut bars, and rear upper strut bar. Car could use an A/C recharge and tires, but otherwise is in great condition. GTI enthusiasts take note!!! There are not many of these left out there in this condition. Experience Fahrvergnugen for yourself!!! You won’t regret it.”
It’s all there.Â Is it a garage queen, no.Â But this GTI could be a great driver or the basis for a fairly straight forward restoration.Â There are 12 bids thus far, bidding sits at $1.9k with the reserve not met.Â If you are truly interested in this GTI you have to look at the buy it now of $3,995 as bidding may well exceed that.Â I mean, this is no time to be cheap…
We’ve featured a few clean Scirocco’s lately, however, I was thinking to myself the other day that it has been a while since I’ve seen a relatively clean MkII Scirocco 16V. Thanks to our reader Larry for pointing out this clean MkII on cars.com. Other than the overkill stereo, this particular Scirocco looks relatively unmolested.
The seller states:
IMMACULATE 16 Valve Scrirroco that you MUST see to believe!!! ONLY 46K miles. 99 Percent stock with the exception of upgraded audio. Great driver and/or show car!!!
Purists may appreciate the Mk1 Scirocco better, but I always preferred the rounded edges of the MkII better, much in the way I preferred the last of the Alfa Romeo Spiders they sold here in the US. Given that Volkswagen won’t import the new Scirocco to our shores, here’s your chance to relive a little bit of that magic, albeit at a higher price one would expect.