For $2,500, Is This 1991 VW Jetta VR6 A Steal, Or A Scam?

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

When you take a look at today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Jetta you might be impressed by its overall condition, its BBS wheels, and its VR6 engine swap. You might then look at its price and wonder, what the hell’s going on here?

Have you ever left the house wearing mismatched socks? Typically it’s not a big deal as your shoes and pants will cover the fashion faux pas. That’s usually the case until the day you realize you’re also wearing sandals and shorts. Where do you hide your shame then?


This was the impression left by yesterday’s ‘unicorn’ 1990 Range Rover Classic, owing to its beige interior with jarringly discordant jet black seats. The mixed up color scheme was only one of the diesel-powered wagon’s issues. Another was its $21,500 price tag. That was seen by an overwhelming 87-percent of you as egregious, and that rare Rover rolled over in a Crack Pipe loss.

Today, on a very special episode of Nice Price or Crack Pipe, we’re going to do something a little different. We’re going to take a look at this 1991 Volkswagen Jetta with a VR6, but instead of judging its price we’re going to decide if it seems like it’s possibly a scam.

Why? Well because the $2,500 asking is so obviously bait-worthy. It’s also a lot more fun than just racking up Nice Price votes from everyone but the eight or so of you who automatically vote the minority just because you’re contrarian and want watch the world burn. You know who you are.


Okay first off, the car. This is a Mk II four-door, in arctic white over a grey cloth interior. The bodywork looks free of major flaws and the car sports an aftermarket grille with roundies, a GLi spoiler in back, and BBS wheels on its upgraded five-lug hubs. The car also sits low but not crazy so, on a set of added coilovers.


Under the hood lies a VR6 engine. Which one? I don’t know, the plastic bit that covers it and is embossed with something like DOHC 2.8 has gone missing, so it’s anybody’s guess.

That freedom from over does allow an unfettered view of the natty red spark plug leads and associated MDS coils. Next to the VR6 sits a manual transmission. The ad claims that the car ‘runs and drives fine.’


Pop open a door and you’re confronted with one of the nicer Mk II interiors you’re likely to find. The seats, front and rear, are in remarkable shape, as are the door cards and dash. On the down side, this is a 1990 car and hence sports the annoying door-mounted shoulder belts. There’s also a couple of missing trim pieces in here, but nothing to get your panties in a bunch over.


Mileage goes undisclosed and there are no wipers on the car so you won’t be adding to that mystery number in the rain either. According to the ad the title in clean and in the pictures it’s carrying Arizona plates.


Okay, so here’s the deal—that’s a lot of Volkswagen for $2,500. Hell, the wheels alone are probably worth at least half of that. Add in the reasonably tidy VR6 installation and you’ve got to be asking, what’s the catch?

The car is ‘offered by owner,’ however the phone number provided as contact is for a body shop in Phoenix called Dejavue Auto Werks. Yep, spelled just like that. Now, the seller could work there. He could even own the place for all we know.


The question is: why is he selling this Jetta for so cheap? Is it haunted? Is it marred by some crazily obdurate funk? It’s impossible to tell, but we’re going to have a vote on what’s possibly the likeliest of reasons for this seemingly amazing deal, that it’s a scam. Maybe somebody has an issue with that bodyshop and wants to flood their phones for a day or so. Perhaps it’s one of those dealios where they want you to send them a deposit in an escrow account—of their choosing—and then hey’ll ship the car to you for viewing. Yeah, right.


I don’t know if it’s any of these things. It might just be a great deal on a nice old Vee-Dub. Still that’s what we’re here to find out, and I want you to weigh in on whether you think it’s the deal of the century, or a shady scam. Let me know if you’ve come across any other recent car ad scams as well. We need to get to the bottom of this!

So, what do you think, is this VR6 Jetta a bargain, or is it most likely bogus?

You decide!


Phoenix, AZ Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to twowheelsev for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.