I Need An Old Volkswagen GTI And So Do You

I know you’re in pain. Years of indignities, losses, betrayals and broken promises have left you empty and wondering if there’s anything left to be hopeful about. I feel much the same. But come with me. There is a better way. We can find peace together, in an old Volkswagen GTI.

Some GTIs are better than others, yes. The modern one happens to be quite excellent. The original is, some might say, the most fun to drive. But the second-generation GTI, made in the 1980s through the early ‘90s, is a wonderfully small and light thrill machine as well—unencumbered by the weight and soullessness found in today’s automobiles.

Here on Petrolicious is Andrew Tucker. He lives in Great Britain and drives a 16-valve 1990 Golf GTI. It is a model he grew up with and once aspired to own himself. It has been painstakingly maintained and still has its original clutch and gearbox, and 1.8-liter 139 horsepower four-cylinder engine. Most everything else is from the factory too, he says.


You don’t need Bluetooth or GPS or radar cruise control to make you happy. You don’t need excessive horsepower or absurd modifications. You can live a simpler, better life; you can go back to what it is pure and good, and you can be more than just your mistakes.

You need an old GTI. We all do.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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Epic Failure

The Mk I/II were great.

The latest are just too complicated/heavy.

EDIT: Begin flaming me.