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

Custom paint on a car is nothing new, and custom under-hood colors are more common today than ever. It is strange however that the customizer of today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe VW R32 decided to go with a mountain cabin motif for its engine bay. Does its price however, warrant getting your pines in a knot?

You know what you get when you buy a really cheap Ferrari? That's right A FERRARI. Yesterday's 1975 Dino 308 GT4 wasn't badged as such, but it was close enough, as was its price as the Bertone beauty (hey, it's growing on me) took home a respectable 75% Nice Price win. Hell, even if you had to sell everything in order to keep it on the road, forcing you to sleep in it, you could still lord that over others by saying do you sleep in a Ferrari?

Hopefully you won't lose sleep after seeing today's custom 2004 Volkswagen R32, which has been blessed by the turbo fairy, and carries what appears to be strangest place to find wood since Avalon harbor.


Actually it's not real wood under hood. But then you know that. It's a bunch of metal parts painted to look like lumber, just like the fancy dashboards of old. Part of that woody metal is the heavily modded intake system that incorporates an HPA Motorsports intercooled turbo kit which the ad claims offers 400 horses at the flywheel. More HPA goodies are claimed to have been poured into the narrow angle 3.2-litre V6 allowing it to cope with all the pressure. That engine is claimed to be 33K fresh, while the car itself is said to have racked up 52,000 on its clock.

Just so everyone's up to speed, the R32 was Volkswagen's GTI that shows us its TTs, as the Haldex-derived all-wheel drive is shared with the Audi sport coupe. The engine, all 3,189-ccs of it pumped out 240-bhp stock, so if the seller is to be believed this one should be a screamer. It screams through a six speed stick which - if every other VAG manual I have ever operated, including the Golf R I had a few weeks ago, are example - is going to be rubberier than Gumby on a bender.


When new, the most common comparisons to the R32 were with the Subie STi and Mitsu EVO. How did they stack up against one another? Well, I'm sure you're all familiar with the movie Pulp Fiction and two of the main characters - Jules and Vincent. The STi and EVO are each like Jules and Vincent; ominous, hair triggered, prone to explosive violence, and the foot fuckin' masters. The R32 on the other hand is more like the gentleman who comes to their rescue after Vincent redecorates the back seat of their lo-fi Nova with Marvin's brains. Winston Wolfe, or The Wolf, is just as deadly, but not quite as quick to anger, a little more thoughtful, and a lot more dapper than the two hit men.

Dapper or not, the first thing that should be brought to light about this particular matte blue R32 is the fact that it comes with a salvage title, apparently having been in an accident that was bad enough to do damage to the front clip, off-side fender and door, as well as require the total write-off of a then $30K+ car. Of course the airbag deployments have a big say in that as from what I understand that's about four grand worth right there. Some insurance companies will write salvage cars while others consider that title to be the kiss of death.


The airbags appear to have been replaced on this one's interior, and the Konig seats look purposeful and as cosseting as a pair of leather Snuggies. The rest of the inside on these cars is pretty much standard Golf, which means it's reasonably roomy and practical, if that's your bag.

On the outside it's been given massive 18-inch BBS wheels and Continental meats, along with a drop in ride height because that's how all the cool kids are wearing them today. That's made possible by a set of KW Variant adjustable coilovers. Up top, incredulously, is a Thule rack for all your dog terrorizing enjoyment.

And then there's that knotty pine decor in the engine bay. That has got to be an even more WTF visual upon popping a hood than finding a possum nest or the realization that your car is rear-engined. Who does that? Did this guy wake up one morning and say I'm just oaking for some underhood wood? Regardless, it looks pretty cherry. Or, maybe walnut.


Either way, it'd cost you $20,000 to get wood from this R32. Now, KBB lists the R32 in excellent condition - albeit without all the mods or the salvage title - at under $18K. That means that you'd be getting thousands worth of parts and work for only two grand, which of course would be the offset for the snafu'd title.

What do you think, is this woodie worth branching out to the tune of twenty grand? Or, is this an R32 that you'd be a sap to buy?

You decide!


Dubuque Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Jake for the hookup!

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