Insecure? Don’t Read This. Pair of manly VW Cabriolets

I never really understood why these cars were regarded, as the British might say, as a “hairdresser’s car”. They handle well, have a classic Giugiaro design, and allow wind-in-the-hair fun for you and 3 friends. They’re also the easiest remaining way to get into a Mark 1 VW. Interestingly, the market seems to agree – there are plenty of Cabriolets out there, some with performance upgrades going all the way to turbodiesel and 16-valve GTI engines. I guess that means it takes about 20 years for the market to forget who originally drove these cars. Having driven one of these (as a rental in Germany…. yes, triple-white, and no, I don’t have any issues related to that), I can vouch for the fun-factor.

Anyway, let’s move on to our subjects. On our first car, it looks like someone’s been working to erase the, um, femininity of this car, from which you can benefit. The seller has added an H/P cam, crank, and exhaust, along with suspension from Neuspeed and a K&N air filter and aftermarket wheels. Set up with the quad headlights and black paint, this car actually looks pretty aggressive. Priced fairly competitively at $3000, you can find it in Rogers, AR (near Fayetteville).

1989 VW Cabriolet black right

The whole car looks very clean, although with the seller rating the condition of the top as “average”, you may want to count on replacing it in the next couple of years. It does have a decent list of new parts, including a brake master cylinder, and looks to have a very straight body. Looks like a fun weekend toy with some useful extra power.

1989 VW Cabriolet black left

As often happens, when I’m looking around there is usually more than one car that looks like a decent candidate. Here’s another cabriolet, looking really good in dark green (and avoiding the more obvious cheerleader colors). Also priced at $3000, and with under 100K miles, you can find it in Chesterton, IN (near Chicago).

1989 VW Cabriolet green left

This car looks really clean too, almost too clean (and with too low miles) to have been winter-driven. That said, the seller does mention a second set of wheels, implying that the wheels currently on the car carry winter tires. Like the other car, it’s also equipped with a 5-speed transmission, and wears the attractive 4-light grill. Looks like Buffy will need to learn to shift for herself if she wants a car for graduation.

1989 VW Cabriolet green engine

The engine also looks as tidy as the functional 4-cylinder VW engine can look – again, almost too tidy for a winter-driven car. While lacking the performance modifications of the other car, that might be more appealing to folks who need to pass smog inspections, and the low mileage for its age is also a plus. Ever owned one of these? Drop me a line in the comments to let me know what the weapon of choice is to fend off testosterone-fueled, backwards-ball-cap types in their jacked up Escalades and lowered Fox-body Mustangs.

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One Response to “Insecure? Don’t Read This. Pair of manly VW Cabriolets”

  1. Dan Says:

    Wow dude – 2 in one day. I had one of these too, an ’81 that I bought in ’85. It was a lot of fun, especially with the top down and had wild striped cloth seats. A lot of cowl shake and squeeks though. I sold it to my Dad 2 years later when I bought my first new car, a GTI, and he still has it as a summer driver. It still only has about 70,000 miles on it. No major work other than a new top ($1000!).

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