The narrow-angle of Volkswagen’s VR6 engine gives it an iconic appearance. It also has a pretty unique sound as well. That engine is wrapped in today’s Nice Price or No Dice GTI, and we’ll now have to decide if its price makes it an iconically good value.
Lats Friday we looked at a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible and I mentioned that the second car I ever owned was a ’66 Mustang. The seller of our pony asked a cool $18,000 for the seemingly tidy ride which initially made me rue having sold mine for a mere pittance all those years ago. Then I saw the 57% downvote loss the car earned and I felt a little better. You guys always have my back.
A note from Rob: Last week we changed the long-running name of this series from Nice Price or Crack Pipe to Good Buy or Goodbye. The reason behind the name game was to remove an arcane drug reference that was also racially insensitive.
The thing was, Good Buy or Goodbye just wasn’t doing it for many long-time readers. Some of you rightfully complained that the options were too similar sounding and hence were confusing. Upon reflection, we concurred. A few of you hit me up and suggested that we use Nice Price or No Dice instead. I didn’t have to think very long and hard about it, I mean duh, that’s great. Thank you to all who suggested it
So, welcome to Nice Price or No Dice. And now, without further ado, on with the show.
As one might expect with a new Golf having just hit the stage, there’s also a new GTI just waiting in the wings. It will come with a 241 horsepower turbo four under the hood. It also gets front facia driving lamps that make it look like radioactive bees have established an outpost beneath the car’s bumper. Sadly, the U.S. won’t get those crazy bee lights for another whole year.
Until then, we can make do with this 2000 VW GTI VR6 since that’s the kind of thing we do.
The VR6 first appeared in the MK3 GTI as an upgrade to the 16V four. The narrow-angle six-cylinder dropped the zero to sixty time by about a half a sec over that four-pot. At 130 miles per hour, the top end was about on par.
The engine was improved in the MK4 GTI, making 174 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, the latter available starting around 3200rpm. One place where the MK4 GTI didn’t make an improvement over its predecessors was in its durability. This version is reputed to suffer a number of fiddly issues any one of which might make ownership a bit of an adventure.
That being said, this fabulous factory orange over tan edition has traveled a remarkable 223,000 miles. That’s got to amount to something since few people would have stuck it out had it been breaking down at every side-eye.
The seller calls the car out as having a clean title and being in “good condition.” It rolls on factory five-spokes, but those have been painted black and are each missing their center caps.
The bodywork appears to be in great shape, not evidencing any major dings, dents, or road rot. The glass is likewise intact and without issue and the plastic headlamp covers are clear as that vodka you’re sipping for breakfast (hey, I’m not here to judge.)
On the downside, the front valance is cracked and could stand a replacement. Also, am I the only one who finds that Bill Murray window sticker on the back kind of creepy?
Other issues become apparent when you open up the doors. The leather seats are covered—well, sort of—by wrinkly snoods. That doesn’t bode well for the quality of the upholstery below.
The steering wheel also carries an aftermarket cover and I’m sure if such a thing existed for the door pulls the car would have that too as they are pretty grimy. At least that’s the case on the driver’s side.
A single DIN head unit gives you back some space in the dash, right above the panel for the automatic climate control. Above all that sits a power moonroof which might help in airing out if the car is funky.
Other than that, the seller says the car is clean, inside and out. They don’t give us any under-hood shots so there’s no way to tell how well that VR6 has been kept, nor is there any info on the maintenance of it or its accompanying five-speed manual gearbox.
Oh well, when the asking is less than three-grand, I guess some accommodation must be afforded. That’s the case here as the asking price is $2,900, and it’s now incumbent upon you to say whether that’s a fair price for this GTI. What do you think, does that seem like a deal to get yourself into the VR6 crowd? Or, is that too much considering what hiding inside?
H/T to Frank D. for the hookup!
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