The Volkswagen Golf Harlequin is a blast of color on our monochrome automotive landscape. Finding one anywhere is rare, and this 1996 Golf Harlequin for auction on Bring a Trailer is begging to spice up your neighborhood.
The Golf Harlequin is one of the rarest cars produced by Volkswagen. It’s a car so weird and rare that I’d call it the ‘holy grail’ of Golfs. The striking color scheme actually has some history, beginning with the Polo Harlekin:
That circus of a car was designed to showcase Volkswagen’s Baukastensystem — a modular system that cut the Polo into four categories. Customers configured their Polos through a color-coded system to select the desired drivetrain, equipment, options and paint color. The Polo was a visual representation of that system, and the cars came painted in Ginster Yellow, Pistachio Green and Tornado Red.
While we did not get the Polo Harlekin, we did get the paint scheme on the larger Golf. It’s believed only 264 of these exist in America, and you’ll probably have better luck finding an actual unicorn than a Golf Harlequin for sale. I tried searching for another for sale in the States and came up empty.
The base color on this Harlequin is Tornado Red with the rest of the colors filling out the palette.
It’s been driven 79,000 miles but looks remarkably clean for its age. Part of that is because it’s spent most of its life in Alabama and Georgia before the seller purchased it from the original owner in 2011. It then did a stint in Ohio before finally arriving in California. Check out those sweet plates!
The Harlequin theme continues inside, as the vehicle’s occupants sit in gray buckets with funky patterned upholstery.
Entertainment comes in the form of a cassette deck.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter inline-four that pumps a modest 115 HP to the front wheels. Documentation showing recent services is included.
Another bonus is that it’s stock. Some of these end up slammed and stanced, so it’s nice to see one preserved. The buyer also gets all of the car’s documents, including the original window sticker.
The best part is that since this Harlequin already has the better part of 100,000 miles under is wheels, you can drive it without worry. Street park it, hell, daily drive this thing for the whole world to see.