People love the VW Caddy, but at here in the States that means living with a car that’s at least 32 years old. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe custom Jetta is only a fraction of that age, but does it come with a price that’s just as lovable?
Have you ever noticed that it’s our imperfections that make us interesting? Not flaws like being an asshole or anything, but those slight deviations from the norm that make us unique and ingratiating.
It’s those unique aspects that also cause us to gravitate to in the cars we love. Maybe it’s the slight imperfection in the leather trim obligated by its hand stitching, or maybe a chrome shift knob that’s unbelievably hot after being left in the sun, but inarguably still oh-so cool at the same time.
Last Friday’s 1988 BMW E30 Touring was a car that I think we all can agree neared perfection in its presentation. After all it was an E30, a Touring model, and had that panacea for all that ails you under its hood; a modern but still pushrod small-block Chevy V8. Was it in fact perfection? Well, not quite. It wasn’t brown, it was someone else’s project, and most importantly, its price tag put it in the same league with many more capable cars. In the end that’s what dropped it in a 54% Crack Pipe loss.
Circling back to the idea of perfection, can you think of a mainstream car that was damn-near perfect in any aspect? I would aver that the 1999-2006 VW Jetta neared perfection, at least aesthetically. These Mk4 models were the first to move away from the “Golf with a boot” look, and the result was a car that was both distinct and distinctly handsome. I mean wagon or sedan there’s not a bad angle anywhere on the car.
That however, hasn’t stopped people from monkeying with them. As example, here we have a 2005 Jetta TDi/stick-shift that has been completely denuded back of the B-pillar and converted into a Caddy-like pickup truck.
Now, this is not just some backyard yabbo hack… Well, to be honest I don’t know where the work was done. My point though is that this trucklet is built out of a kit that you can buy off of eBay from one of the founders of Factory Five Racing. Mark Smith is no longer with FFR but instead has founded Smyth Performance, which builds these kits which as an offshoot of a stillborn mid-engine Jetta project.
The kit is a mixture of metal and fiberglass pieces and is said to be easily installed without the need for special tools or even a high school diploma. Here it’s been applied to a 2005 Jetta with a TDi and a five speed. The work has been painted a medium gray and all the lights save the ones in front have been murdered out. And yes, those are first-gen Ford Explorer Sport Trac tail lights. I know you were trying to put your finger on them.
Sweet TSW wheels fill the wells and the build looks okay from all angles. In fact, the seller says it makes for a nice show truck. Add to that a reasonable 126,000 miles on the clock and a claimed 40mpg and what’s not to like, right?
Well, take a look at the title status in the ad. Yes, just like last week’s custom Chevy Suburban SS this truck has a lien against it. Now, does that mean you’d have to cage match some moneybags in order to buy the car? No, it just means that you’re not getting the title until the seller gets it from whomever holds the lien. It’d be best to Lojack the seller before making it rain on him to ensure that he does just that.
How much would that cost? Well, the seller’s asking $11,000 for the car. The Smyth kit is a good $3,750, and a decent paint job is got to be at least that. The rest would likely be the wheels and the cost of the TDi Jetta (what does one of those go for these days now that they ‘ain’t makin’ ‘em anymore?’) to meet that amount.
What do you think, does $11,000 seem like a fair price for this Jetta pickup? Or, does that have you lien-ing the other way?
H/T to K_Choppa for the hookup!
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