1996 Volkswagen Jetta “Trek” Edition

The year is 1997, I’ve recently turned 11, and mountain biking is my thing. My 21 speed Trek is my ticket to freedom, and adventure, I’m old enough to now be allowed to ride it anywhere in my small town, and strong enough to take it on some of the more aggressive wooded trails. One day while out for a ride a car blows past me, not anything out of the ordinary, just a Mk III Jetta. But up on the roof rack, well, there sat a pristine Trek with one of the freshest paint jobs I’d ever laid eyes on. If Google had existed I would have gone straight home, and looked up all the pertinent information about this uber cool bicycle, and known that it was a special edition in partnership with Volkswagen. Instead, it wouldn’t be until I accompanied my parents to a local VW dealership that I would come to learn about the Jetta Trek edition.

Click for details: 1996 Volkswagen Jetta TREK on Cars.com

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1997 Volkswagen GTI 2.0

One of my favorite cars that I’ve owned was my 1998 Volkswagen GTI 2.0, or two point slow, as some would call it. It wasn’t the fastest of most luxurious car I ever owned, but it was a comfortable cruiser, was fun in the corners and was reasonably economical. It was also much more reliable than my MkIV GTI, which was interesting, as the MkIV was built in Germany and the MkIII was assembled in Mexico. A friend of mine bought that car from me and it is still humming along, without skipping a beat. I don’t see too many MkIII GTIs that are in good condition and haven’t been modified, but this one for sale in Wisconsin is a claimed one owner car and looks reasonably well kept.

1997 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

1997 Volkswagen GTI in excellent condition and well maintained. One owner, comes with custom rims. This is a cash only transaction.

As is the case with many cars we feature here at GCFSB, it would have been nice if the seller provided better pictures and a more thorough description. This looks like a solid car though, one worth kicking the tires, and I’m pleased to see that the owner didn’t go overboard and put some ridiculously large diameter wheels on it, instead opting for a more period correct size BBS rim. With regards to value, I’d say this car is worth around $3,000 to $4,000 as it sits, providing there is no surprises lurking underneath.

-Paul

1998 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6

Known as the Vento in Europe, the Volkswagen Jetta III, as it was known in the US, was introduced at a time when US sales were at their lowest and it appeared as if VW was considering pulling out of the US market. This car, along with the third generation Golf, was credited for keeping the flame alive on these shores. This generation Jetta became the best selling Volkswagen by the time the production run ceased in 1999.

The MkIII Jetta brought about many refinements, including a more streamlined look, safety features such as airbags and anti-lock brakes and, for the first time, the addition of a six cylinder engine. The recently introduced 2.8 liter VR6 found its way under the Jetta’s hood beginning in 1994. Thus equipped, this car could scoot to 60 miles per hour in under seven seconds. While they were great performers in their day, few survive in good running order. This Jetta GLX VR6 for sale in Florida is the last year the hot version of the Jetta MkIII was produced.

1998 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 on eBay

1998 VW Jetta GLX VR6. One owner, 69k ACTUAL miles, leather, automatic, sunroof, keyless entry, fog lights, spoiler, alloys, Bose, etc. Showroom Condition. Clean Carfax. Made in Germany. Last year of the classic body style.

A MkIII Jetta or Golf is hard to come by in good nick. The glaring problem for this car, at least for me, is the lack of a manual transmission. The Volkswagen VR6 is arguably one of the best engines of the last 25 years and frankly, it deserves not to be saddled with a slushbox. Other than that, this is the best Jetta GLX I’ve seen in a while. One error in the seller’s description is the country of origin. This particular Jetta was built in Mexico, not Germany. This is readily apparent from the VIN starting with the digit “3.”

At almost $6,000, we’re a bit on the high side for a MkIII, as that kind of money will get you into a similar vintage E36 3 series. Two very different cars, but in all honestly, it depends on what you’re looking for. Having owned a MkIII GTI with the 2.0 liter engine, I can honestly say I miss that car. At the same time I owned that car, two good friends of mine had MkIII Jettas; one a 1997 Trek and the other a 1998 Wolfsburg Edition. Seeking this GLX brings back a lot of great memories.

-Paul

1998 Volkswagen GTI VR6

I’ve been banging on for quite some time about how much I dreaded my 2000 Volkswagen GTI 2.0, or “Satan’s own ride” as I called it. From day one, it was electrical problems, trim items falling off, you name the issue, this car had it. Just thinking about part on that car would would make it break. I was quite surprised, given this was a GTI built in Wolfsburg, Germany. Nevertheless, I traded it in one day after the warranty expired. The car I had before the 2000 GTI was a Mexican built 1998 GTI 2.0. I liked that car much better. Even though I only had it for one year, it had no issues and was, in my opinion, more fun to drive than its MkIV counterpart.

I still long to have my red 1998 GTI back, and every time I see a MkIII, whether it’s the 2.0 or the VR6, it brings back good motoring memories. It’s hard to find low mileage MkIIIs these days, but here’s a good driver for sale on Long Island.

1998 Volkswagen GTI VR6 on eBay

We are proud to offer this very clean 1998 Volkswagen Golf GTI VR6 5-Speed hatchback with 111k miles. These are becoming harder and harder to find in good condition and this is a very nice example. This one has some of the “Driver’s Edition” options such as the golf ball shift knob and red stitching on the steering wheel, shift boot, and emergency brake lever. This GTI has been very well maintained and it shows. Everything works in this vehicle and it drives amazingly well for the year. The tires are all fairly new. The tailgate is a bit rusty (very common on these), but this is easy to swap out for a new one. This GTI is completely stock aside from an aftermarket air intake (sounds beautiful). Please see all pictures for exact condition. It is a very clean vehicle overall. Feel free to give us a call with any questions or to make arrangements to come see this vehicle.

This car has the usual rust issues on the tailgate and a few other cosmetic issues that could use some attention. If you could snag this car for around $3,500, I would consider it well bought. The VR6 is one of those legendary engines and provided the car checked out okay mechanically, it would be a lot of fun on the cheap.

-Paul

Not 508 Compliant: 1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin VR6

I love odd cars. Everything from the Citroën XM to the NSU Ro80 gets me going. So anytime one of these wildly colored Volkswagen Golf Harlequins come up for sale, I take note. I loved and miss my MkIII GTI 2.0 to this day. A much better drive than the subsequent MkIV I owned and chuckable in a similar manner that my Cooper S is (albeit with less sharp steering and suspension reactions). Here is what could possibly be the only VR6 equipped Harlequin for sale up in Massachusetts over on VW Vortex.

1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin VR6 for sale on VW Vortex

The seller states:

Hi Everyone, after a lot of debating with myself I am selling my harlequin. I have owned it for 5 years and during that time i have basically gone through and done everything (including many upgrades) that ever needs to be replaced or breaks. Everything was done the right way, no shortcuts, I had planned on keeping this car for the long haul but i don’t have the time to enjoy it like it should be. The Car has been put away for the past 8 winters in dry storage, oil changed every 3k or yearly whichever comes first (I have hardly put 2k on the car for the past 2 summers.)

The car is an absolute blast to drive and turns more heads then a ferarri (no lie). Car is very reliable and ready to go!

Here are the specs:

1996 Golf Harlequin #19/264
Pistachio Green Base

Engine
o VR6 Swap with ~138K
o Recent Timing Chain Service with All Hardware, Water Pump, Thermostat <10K o Mk4 Metal Head Gasket o Gruvenparts Crack Pipe o Yarrowsport Billet Belt Tensioner o Autotech 10lb Steel Flywheel o Black Forest Industries Stage 1 Poly Motor Mounts Trans o 02A Rebuilt with New 1st, 2nd, and Reverse Syncros. <10K o TDI 5th gear (for highway cruising) o Clutchnet Stage 2 Clutch (375 ft-lb) o Peloquins Differential o New Empi Driveshafts <10K o Black Forest Industries Stage 1 Poly Trans Mount Suspension o Complete VR6 Suspension Swap o Koni Yellow Adjustable Shocks and Struts o H&R Race Springs o R32 Front Control Arm Bushings o All Suspension Bushings Replaced <15K Exterior o Euro Bumpers o Hella Dual Round Headlights o OEM Fog Lights o New OEM Front Fenders o New OEM Hatch Brakes o Mintex Red Box Pads <10K o New OEM Rotors <10K o GAP Braided Stainless Brake Hose o ATE Super Blue Brake Fluid Wheels/Tires o VW Monte Carlo 17” rims o 205/35/17 Falken Azenis RT615 Tires (less than half worm) Im sure there are more things i have forgotten. Asking: $10500 OBO

The seller is pretty honest and lengthy in his description and the car does look to be in good shape for the mileage covered and the fact that it is a Northeastern vehicle. $10,500 is steep for a MkIII Golf of any sort. If it was more around the $7,500 to $8,000 mark, I’d be tempted. The market for these outside of the Volkswagen community seems to be thin from what I can gather, but I’m sure there are folks out there who are eager to get their hands on what was an interesting marketing stunt by one of the world’s largest automakers.

-Paul