Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

There are certain cars that go under the radar until there are so few left that people begin to take notice. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe VW Cabrio might just fall in the category. That is, if you don’t categorically reject its price.

I have to give props to yesterday’s custom 1992 Buick Roadmaster limo. Yes, its $25,000 price may have dunned it to a massive 74 percent Crack Pipe loss, but despite its limited audience and general ungainliness, you just have to love it when someone takes something that’s already excessive and then just makes it more so.

In that way, yesterday’s Roadmaster was like one of those weird-ass cocktails with a freaking cheeseburger as a garnish—it’s ridiculous and you wouldn’t want anyone to see you working one, but you still kinda want it.

If we’re comparing cars to cocktails, which it appears we are, then what do you think would be the boozy aperitif one might equate to this 1999 Volkswagen Cabrio? I’m going with the salaciously named Sex on a Beach as it’s somewhat amusing and is made with Peach Schnapps—a German beverage. The convertible Golf is also a pretty solid beach car, even facilitating surfboard portage with racks that can be fitted to windshield header and roll hoop when the top is down.

Advertisement

These’s another consideration about these Golf-based drop-tops other than their alcoholic analogs, and that’s that they might be cars to pick up on the cheap as aspirational investments.

Convertible models of many cars seem hold their value better than their tin box counterparts. That’s because the unique experience of open top motoring tends to outweigh the floppy driving experience cutting the roof off occasionally affords.

Advertisement

In the VW’s case, a good bit of the closed car’s torsional rigidity is maintained with the built-in B-pillar roll hoop. This also allows for a proper seatbelt mount, and a generally quieter driving experience top-up as the roof has another place to rest its weary bones.

This 1999 Cab comes in Desert Wind Metallic over a beige cloth interior. The MK3-based Cabrio was introduced in 1994, and carried over all the way to 2002 even though the rest of the Golf line had moved to the MK4 design in 1997. To make the models gel better, the Cabrio received the MK4's nose and steering wheel in ’99.

Advertisement

Powering the car is 115 horsepower 2-litre SOHC four cylinder and that’s paired with what the ad claims is a new five-speed gearbox. The clutch in between is new as well, as is the exhaust.

The bodywork, and perhaps more importantly the top appear to be in excellent condition for the car’s claimed 199,000 miles. Smart-looking alloy wheels dress things up a bit, as do what appear to be aftermarket black framed headlamps.

There’s some de-lamination of the clearcoat evident on the corner of the hood, but the paint otherwise looks solid in the provided pics. Tip to us all, for maximum sexiness, take your beauty shots after a gentle rain shower.

Advertisement

The interior shows its age a bit more than does the exterior. Everything’s reasonably tidy, however the cloth on the driver’s seat evidences years of butts, and it looks like the outside bolster is breaking down beneath from their application. Passenger and back seats look good, and there’s a fancy modern stereo in the dash. We don’t get to see the car with its top down, but these models do have a much less prominent bustle than the earlier Cabriolets when the top is stowed. Rearward visibility is much improved as a result.

The seller claims that the car ‘runs very well’ which is a pretty solid advocacy of its use. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all we get in the functional description. No history, no maintenance receipts, no nothin’. We do at least get the important fact that the car comes with a clean title.

Advertisement

But it’s all okay since the asking price isn’t going to break the bank. That’s $3,000 and here’s where we come back to that initial assertion that these cars are potential investments. They are cheap, they have unique attributes by virtue of their convertible nature, and considering the ubiquity and interchangeability of Volkswagen products, parts should never, ever be a problem. But will they eventually start climbing back up the value ladder?

What do you think, is $3,000 a fair price to either get into a future classic or just enjoy a modestly powered four-seat convertible for as long as you need? Or, does that price make it so this Cabrio has no future?

Advertisement

You decide!

Mobile, AL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to EdHelmsBakery for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.