Your dead project. Give it to me.

April 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Seeing a car that has been lost, abandoned – heck, not even titled by its current owner – leaves most car-shoppers checking the box next to ‘not interested.’ For me, I see a wounded critter, a vehicle that could some day be great if someone hadn’t grazed it with some buckshot, or possibly, a mallet. That is why today’s project car find is none other than a MK2 Volkswagen GTI.

Why do I like this car? Well, it’s cheap – as in, $1,000 OBO cheap. The motor has already been swapped out for a lower mileage 2.0 8V, which, although severely overmatched by the MK3 platform it was made for, supposedly works well in the lighter MK2 shell. Plus, it’s largely bulletproof and responds well to a turbo kit, so you could do far worse.

I don’t care for the hood graphics (we get it, you bought a German car, long live the king, or Hitler, or someone), but that’s a quick fix with some rattlecan paint. In fact, why not just paint the whole thing flat black in your backyard, preferably on a breezy day with a high pollen count? Ya know, to give that paint some texture.


Minor minuses come with this car, such as the lack of a title, or history of any kind. Plus, it looks like it’s limping, thanks to some finely-cut springs. But hey, we’ve all seen an attractive girl wearing a cast – amirite ? That metaphor may not work in this case, since eventually a cast comes off and there’s a brand new arm underneath; this car’s prognosis may not be quite so rosy.

Enough with the back and forth: it’s $1,000, likely cheaper when you low-ball the guy with various offers of cash and used kitchen appliances. It’s got a motor, seats, a roof and some killer single-round H4 headlights, so you can see the deer in the road right before you total your uninsured purchase and Bambi gleefully limps away.

Check it before you wreck it – 1991 VW GTI, German flag on the hood, for less than the price of some Apple products.