We all know that while it’s nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice and the seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Cabrio calls it “one of the nicest in the country.” Let’s see what you think that might be worth.
A few of you took umbrage last Friday at the thought of using a pickup truck as a daily driver. Well, ahem. The justification was that a truck could be conceivably less efficient or perhaps more shit-kicker than your tastes may allow. The thing is, the 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Daytona we considered had enough of pretty much everything, save for a back seat, to make any commute a good time. With the entry cost of that commute being $16,900, however, a majority of you deemed the Daytona an “E-ticket ride” and gave the truck a 77 percent No Dice loss.
So, I had a nasty bout of food poisoning over the weekend. I’m sharing this with you not because it has anything to do with the cool 1995 Volkswagen Cabrio we’re looking at today, but because I could use a little sympathy. Also, stay away from grocery store shrimp cocktail!
Of course, nothing makes me feel better than to see a well-executed reimagining of an already pretty cool car, and that’s just what this Volkswagen appears to be.
The convertible version of the Golf debuted in 1978 on the MKI platform as the Cabriolet in certain markets and as the Rabbit Convertible here in the U.S. Here in the States, the model would out-live all other MKIs by almost a decade, finally ending its run here in 1994. The MKIII Cabrio debuted the following year with the intervening MKII having been passed over for droptop glory.
While the MKI cars were once derided for being the chosen rides of sorority sisters and Mean Girls wannabes, the MKIII Cabrios never seemed to be tarred with the same stigma. In fact, few people probably gave — or give — much thought to them at all. The advent of BMW’s down-market 318i convertible probably had something to do with that.
That was obviously not the case with the present owner of this car, who self-identifies in the ad as a “36-year-long VW enthusiast.” That enthusiasm is evident in this Cabrio which has gone through extensive modification of most of its bolt-on or screw-in-place pieces. On top of all that is what looks to be a very handsome BMW Imola Red paint job that the ad says was a bare-metal respray. The coolest thing about all of the work done to this car is that it all looks like it could have come straight from the factory. There’s nothing here, save for perhaps the badge-delete grille, that screams someone else’s “unique” taste. In fact, I think the Audi A6 door handles are an exceptionally nice fit.
Under the hood lies a 1.8 liter turbo four out of a 2002 GTI. That has 90,000 miles under its belt and enjoyed a major service just 2K ago. Dual intercoolers boost the charge upstream while an aftermarket downpipe and custom exhaust handle the aftereffects. The ponies are routed through a Sachs clutch and Corrado G60-sourced five-speed gearbox.
Keeping all that nice and tidy is a coil-over suspension setup with Neuspeed swap bars front and rear and an R32 big brake upgrade. Where the rubber meets the road there’s a set of 17-inch BBS baskets that the seller says are JDM and hence rare in the States. Those are fitted with 215-35-R17 Hankook skinny jeans.
You might think that, with all the exterior and under the skirt updates that the interior might have gotten the short shrift here, but that’s not the case. The front buckets have been replaced with a set of sport seats out of an MKII GTI and all of the seats have been reupholstered in blonde leather and suede. The dash has been updated to the later dimple pattern unit and there’s a Neuspeed three-spoke wheel for all your steering needs. An obligatory custom stereo has been added as well.
There’s so much more going on with this car. That engine bay looks like it came from the factory and appears clean enough to eat off of if only my stomach were up to it. All of the other mods seem well-chosen and together make for a unique and, probably easy to live with car. Top that off with a clean title and what complaints could we have?
Well, there is the fact that the MKIII Cabrio is not the most beloved of VW models. We should also consider that we don’t get to see it with the top up, although as it’s described as a “Hartz stay fast custom one-off red top triple padded” I don’t think we need to sweat it.
The only other thing that could stand in the way of a happy marriage between what looks to be a well-sorted car and a new happy owner is the price. The seller is asking $15,500 for the car as it sits, or about four times what your average ragged-out MKIII Cabrio might bring. This is not your average Cabrio, however, and we now need to decide if it deserves an equally non-average price. What do you think, is this cool custom worth that $15,500 asking? Or, for that much would you expect gold-plating in place of Imola Red?
H/T to Don Reage for the hookup!
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