Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe GTI is literally just what the doctor ordered, That’s because the turbo’d car was originally built for a SoCal Sawbones. Will however, its current condition and price make it the cure for what ails you?
Pretty much all of Sweden lies at a latitude farther north than any part of the contiguous U.S.. However, if you wanted to get close then I guess Montana is pretty good place to get a similar experience - cold winters, lots of trees, maybe a moose or two - and that’s why it wasn’t shocking that last Friday’s 1973 Saab Sonett had taken up residence there. What was even less shocking was that the small Swede came away with an overwhelming 88% Nice Price win for its pocket change price. They’re just that twee.
Jalop Matt Lake actually lives a couple of doors down from this car - no word if Matt’s from Sweden too - and sent me a bunch of pics of it that indicate it’s rougher than we might have thought from the ad, but it still looks like a deal to me. Thanks again, Matt!
That little Sonett was Saab’s idea of a sports car in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a breed of car that while once popular, saw its ranks decimated by the arrival of the “Hot Hatch.” Okay, here’s a question for you, when you think hot hatch, what car first springs to mind? No, not a Ford Pinto Sportback! That’s a different kind of hot hatch. Sheesh!
What you should have been envisioning was Volkswagen’s gift to the ages, the GTI. Yes, it was neither the first nor the fastest hot hatch out there, but it was the car that for many defines the category. Not only that but this 1983 GTI might just redefine the marque for you as it’s now a turbocharged and intercooled (air to water) superstar car.
The ad claims the original mods were done in the Nineties for a Doc in SoCal by a guy named Ron Wood. Now, don’t worry, according to the ad that Wood is a “VW guru” and not the current Rolling Stones and former Faces/Jeff Beck Group guitarist. Back when itwas first modded the car was white on rice, but has since had some of its original black bits put back on, including the fender flares and Euro-style bumpers. A period-correct airdam taunts curbs from below the front one.
It’s the engine that really should make this a golf ball to drive though, and that’s a 2.0 3a “Bubble Block” that is fed by a Callaway Stage III turbo/intercooler kit. The boost is adjustable via a glovebox-mounted controller and the 8v head is running big valves and a “custom ported” intake to take advantage of all that yummy air that’s sent their way.
The engine is said to be fairly fresh, while the 5-speed is claimed to be even younger at less than 500 miles old. That gets a Quaife LSD to manage the torque distribution out to what look to be BBS wheels wrapped meatily around 16V-sourced disc brakes. There are a bunch of other mechanical upgrades and refreshes as well which should keep this GTI in the run for a while.
The interior is freakshow red, which just how some of these cars came back in the day. One thing that Volkswagen thought Americans wanted in their cars was color-coordinated interiors, and so that’s what we got in the Rabbit and GTI. This one both adds and subtracts from that. There’s an equally-hued 6-point cage, while in back there’s a repositioned battery and acres of faded carpet where the back seat and boot cover once lived. Missing also is the driver’s side under-dash cover so it’s a bit wiry over there.
Buying the car also gets you a copy of the old EUROPEANCAR magazine where it was featured it in a cover story. That kind of cult of celebrity doesn’t really affect value, but it is a fun bit of the car’s history and nice to have. In fact, in my mind this whole GTI package would be nice to have, although I need your help in determining if it’s $8,500 nice.
What do you think about $8,500 for this Doctored GTI, does that seem like a hot deal for this hot hatch? Or, is that price just bad medicine?
H/T to Bigblockbear for the hookup!
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