1984 Volkswagen GTI

When I first saw this GTI, I thought “that’s a beautiful Mk1 GTI,” immediately followed by “they want $15k with 216,000 miles?!” which is the exact response the seller is discouraging in his ad, as I later found out. What I also found out as I read further and drooled over the pictures was that this GTI has just about everything new on it. Seriously, it’s like new under there with a rebuild with a fresh bottom end, all suspension, rebuilt brakes, and an interior redone in new-old-stock GTI red cloth. It’s pretty much perfect, and the mudflaps put me over the damn edge (I put some on my E28 M5 this winter and am now obsessed). This is the best non-original, like-new GTI out there.

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Wagon Week: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

$_57 (4)

When I think roadtrip vehicle, my mind immediately goes to the frugal and capable Jetta TDI. When driven carefully, they can far exceed their standard MPG ratings while swallowing tons of gear. All this with class-leading comfort and style in the interior. My main gripe is the unattractive front end, but in my dreams I just throw a TDI Cup front end on it, creating a seriously good-looking wagon. This 2009 Sportwagen has a lot of positives – low mileage, 6-speed manual, panoramic roof and premium sound are all boxes I’d want ticked. The glaring downside is the rebuilt title, which we know is always a big liability. A full inspection could suss out if the driver’s-side collision really was minor and if everything is good to go. Rebuilt titles mean low resale values – maybe not ideal if you sell it in the future, but if everything checks out it creates an insane deal on an ultimate roadtrip machine.

Click for details: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI on eBay

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2001 BMW 740i Sport


The E38 is one of my favorite sedans of all time. The E39 gets a lot of love as “best ever” thanks to its monumental M5, but the contemporary 7er is the perfect blend of the simple, sharp lines descending from the 80s classics with modern features and aggression. The Sport package, introduced in 1999, backed up its Shadowline trim and M-Parallels with a new transmission and suspension and is absolutely the way to go with E38s. Some came with 6-speed manuals, but this is one of the few instances where I find a 5-speed auto to be perfectly suitable. Today’s example looks fantastic in black on black, but suffered a front end collision – apparently just requiring a front bumper and headlight – that caused the insurance company to total it. It’s all repaired now and looks great, but title issues are always a little sketchy. Clearly the seller was not worried about resale value, and if you don’t care either this no-reserve auction could be an amazing deal for one of the best full-sized sports sedans ever.

Click for details: 2001 BMW 740i Sport on eBay

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