For $4,200, This 1989 VW GTI 16V Could Blow You Down

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Volkswagen’s GTI is the dictionary definition of a Hot Hatch, and over the years that definition has been all over the Scoville scale. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe GTI is one of the hotter ones, featuring VW’s 16V mill and an aftermarket turbo, but will that help its price define value?

What’s the famous line from Field of Dreams; “build it and they will come?” Well, that rang true for the builder of yesterday’s Factory Five Racing 818S as fully 58% of you were ready to come and get it at its twenty-five grand price. That of course was as long as it was someone else’s money.

One of the big plusses for that kit car yesterday was the fact that all the hard work on it had already been done. You know, that’s why I don’t like buffets: you have to get up, carry your own plate over to the food, load it all up yourself, and then cart it back to your table to eat. Nobody ever even gives you a tip for all that hard work. Eff that, Jimmy.


Instead, I like to go out to eat at places where you can just sit your butt down and everybody does the work for you. On a similar note, I like this 1989 VW GTI 16V because it looks like all the work has already been done too.

Volkswagen’s mantra for building the Mk2 GTI - and its Golf base - was bigger is better. That however, initially didn’t apply to the horsepower ratings of either cars’ many available mills.

That all changed with the introduction of the 16V. Hey quick quiz: what is generally regarded to to be the first mass-produced 16-valve powered car? That’s right, the Triumph Dolomite Sprint. I knew you’d get that.


VW’s 4-valve per cylinder engine came in 1.8 and 2-litre displacements initially, and here in the U.S. we got the bigger one. That produced 134-bhp and was introduced here in 1990 along with a spate of visual changes to the GTI that included bigger bumpers and quad headlights in place of the Jetta-shared glass bricks of the earlier cars.


This is an earlier car, but it has had all the good bits and more appended. The engine does not just sport the 16V head, but a Garrett T03 turbo as well, which feeds its charge through a discreetly mounted air to air intercooler.


The front bumper has been perforated to allow for more airflow to that charge cooler, and there are quick release pins holding the whole thing on allowing easy access. The grille and headlights are mounted in an aftermarket nose above that, while wrapping around the sides and back is an AutoTech body kit.

Overall the body looks ready to play, and there’s new paint to go along with the rebuilt motor. The interior is a time capsule of ‘80s Teutonic design and remarkably the seats, door cards, and dash all look to be in exemplary condition. The velvet headliner does look a little funky, however.


The car has 135,000 miles on the clock, but if the pics are accurate those miles don’t show. Much of what would wear out has - according to the ad - been replaced, or upgraded. One of the coolest of those upgrades is a set of sweet BBS Baskets that the seller says will come with the car at its $4,200 price, or without for $3,000. The lower price means you have to BYOW a set of 4 by 100s, but that does seem like a fair price for the inclusion of the BBS rollers.


What do you think, based on the ad is this custom turbo 16V GTI worth its $4,200 asking - with those wheels? Or, has this modded VW been too far redefined to ask that much?

You decide!


Kansas City Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Panacheful for the hookup!

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