Build or Buy: Yet AnotheR VW R

We’ve been on a bit of an “R” streak recently. Maybe it’s dreams of 4motion all-wheel-drive pulling us through the snow. Or doing doughnuts in empty snow-covered parking lots (we’d stay fully inside the car though). But really, the reason we’ve featured so many Volkswagen R models is they’re popping up faster than Baby Yoda memes. We featured a MK7 and a MK6, and today we have excellent examples of the iconic MK4 R32 to share with you. But do you build, or buy?

Argument: Build
Article: 2004 Volkswagen R32

If you haven’t noticed, it looks like R32 values are on the upswing. A couple of perfect examples sold for over $40,000 at auction recently, so if the $7500 asking price for this rather rough R seems a bit high, you can get an idea of what a restored version could go for.

How rough is this R? There’s some rust around the windshield, the leather seat bottoms are torn, and the exhaust downpipe is broken at the flex junction, just to name a few things. But the car runs, drives, and stops, it just really loud according to the seller. On the positive side: it’s been chipped, coilovers, and a bunch of other upgrades.

So if you’re in the market for a cheap R32, take a look at the VWvortex classified ad or the seller’s Craigslist ad for more information. The car is in central New Jersey.

Argument: Buy
Article: 2004 Volkswagen R32

Ahh, the joys and heartache BringaTrailer.com can bring to car nerds. The trouble with falling in love with a car listed there is the low starting price almost never stays low (as the $40,000 R32 link above illustrates). So it’s interesting to note that the current bid on this 4motion hatch is less than this week’s “Build” car: $3232.00 at 1 pm EST on Sunday 1/19. But with the auction open until Thursday 1/23, the price will definitely rise.

So what are you getting with this R32? Positives are it’s a rust-free car. It has upgraded wheels, tires, and brakes. There’s a suede/Alcantara steering wheel with blue stitching. And overall the car appears to be in excellent condition. Minuses? One scuff is noted on the rear bumper. The suspension bushings should be replaced. The soft-touch plastics are peeling (no surprise there). And there are few other odds-and-ends that need attention. But nothing major.

This 2005 Black Magic Pearl R32 is in Henderson, Nevada. Check out the bringatrailer.com auction for more details.