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Tag: Volkswagen

2002 Volkswagen Golf GTI 25th Anniversary Edition

Time for another edition of “Very niche knowledge of German car facts that almost no one will know.” We of course all know about the 2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition that was sold in the US to celebrate 25 years of the GTI, only for it to be one-upped by the GTI 20th Anniversary edition literally a year later to celebrate 20 years of the GTI in the US. The interesting thing about the 337 Edition was all 1,500 in the US and all 250 examples in Canada were only offered in a single color: Reflex Silver Metallic.

However, the 337 was itself a reaction to a special model in Europe called the 25th Anniversary Edition, because while that was true for Europe and not true for the US. In addition, Europe had two more color choices in addition to Reflex Silver with Tornado Red (clear coat peeling was no extra charge) and today’s color – Diamond Black. To go even a step further, the right-hand drive UK cars all had a special plaque on them that individually numbered each car but for some reason, they put the plaque on the fuse box cover that can only be seen when the door is open. I wish I was making that up.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Volkswagen Golf GTI 25th Anniversary Edition at 4 Star Classics

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1977 Aquila

Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something; exotic(ish) looks on a pedestrian budget. And strangely enough, some kit car and limited-manufacture cars have begun to be considered collectable in their own right.

You might not have heard of the Aquila before, and that wouldn’t be a huge surprise – there are just a claimed 137 total that were built in the late 1970s. Like many kit cars, they are based on a pretty standard Volkswagen Beetle platform, but the styling borrowed heavily from Paul Bracq’s BMW Turbo concept – though many assume it was supposed to be the M1. These are far more rare that the M1, though. Does that make it more desirable? Well…no, not really. But it’s still pretty neat to find one! Let’s take a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Aquila on eBay

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1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

The big problem with pay mid-teens for either the neat European Corrado 16V or the Nugget Yellow G60 I just looked at is, of course, that you’re into SLC territory. Mind, you, perhaps not the nicest SLC out there – but they’re within reach. Today’s example falls into exactly that category, as it’s priced right under the asks on the last two Corrados. Is it the one to get?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay

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1973 Volkswagen SP2

Volkswagen do Brasil’s attempt to revise the Karmann Ghia Type 14 took two very different directions. Both were based on the 1600 wagon, but they took very different directions. The Karmann Ghia TC looked like a restyled version of the original, while the SP2 looked a bit like a Type 4 and a 928 had a wild child.

‘SP’ referenced São Paulo where the SP and SP2 were produced. The early model had a 1.6 liter flat-4, while the SP2 moved up to a 75 horsepower 1.7 air-cooled flat-4 mounted in the rear. The proportions of the body styling seemed to suggest the opposite though, with the long, low hood and hatchback GT profile looking more like a traditional sports car than any VW had before. Other period designs were borrowed – the Volkswagen 411, the Porsche 924 and Audi’s 100 Coupe S all had similar angles.

Only about 11,300 of these ultra-rare, Brazil-only SP2s were produced. They’re about as legendary as air-cooled VWs get in the U.S., so when one pops up for sale it’s worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Volkswagen SP2 on eBay

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GTI Double Take: Modified 1983 and 1984 Volkswagen A1s

The black A1 GTI sold for $11,500 on October 30, 2021.

While not the fastest or the prettiest car Volkswagen ever made, the GTI represents the ethos of VW’s 1980s philosophy of cheap, fun-to-drive, and eminently practical cars for consumers. As they did when new, the first generation GTI also represented a car which gave much faster cars a run for their money. True, the 90 horsepower under the hood won’t scare a supercar. But what this car lacks in straight-line performance it more than makes up for in value.

You see, over the past few years we’ve watched the fan-favorites and driver’s cars from the 1980s increasingly price themselves out of the range of most enthusiasts. The esoterics are also forged in unobtanium today, and while there was a period where you could snap up cheap 80s products in Europe and import them, they’re going away, too. Sure, the M3 and 911 led the charge, but today a clean 190E 2.3-16 or Quattro will set you back some serious bucks. And then when you do get one, you need to worry about collector insurance, expensive and hard-to-source parts and whether you bought in a bubble.

The solution is still the giant-killer GTI. Find a clean one, and you’ll have a car that can be driven at 10/10ths still today and generate plenty of smiles, yet is relatively cheap to buy and very cheap to run. You’ll get thumbs up just like the 911 driver will. Maybe even more, honestly, because when was the last time you saw an A1 cruising around? Today I have two possibilities, from wild to mild. Which would you choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen “GTI” on eBay

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