Find Of The Day: Salvaged GTI 16V

It’s Monday one again (ed note, this story was supposed to go out Monday, but it being Canadian Thanksgiving and your editor being workshy, it didn’t get done. Unfortunately, that means the car has since sold. I apologize for the delay, but you still get a gallery of a pretty rad GTI and some interesting info about the market), so ease into out of your week with our Find Of The Day. Today’s car is a bit of an icon; a Mk2 GTI 16V. It’s the car that earned Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award way back in 1986. And this one is a very nice example, with one not-so-small issue.

We’ll get this out in the open right away: this 1989 Volkswagen GTI 16V has a salvage title. WAIT! Don’t close this tab just yet. If you take a look through the included vehicle history report, you’ll see the car was in an accident back in 2001. It was listed as having “minor damage” but was totaled by the insurance carrier. Basically, if the car was worth, say $1500 back then and repairs were $1501, off to the scrap heap it would go. Luckily someone saw the value of the car, and they repaired it.

Not sold on this salvage-titled car? Get this: this car has been driven over 60,000 miles since the accident. If there were major issues with this GTI, it would have found its way to a pick-a-part lot long ago.

Still not convinced? Take a look at the photos. The interior is in great shape for its age and mileage. Yes, the front seats are probably not original since there’s no bolster wear. But it looks original down to the OEM VW “Design” radio. The exterior is also in very good condition. Sure the trim is tired and a bit worn, but this car has over 150,000 miles.

With any salvage-titled car, there are some things to look into. There are a few items painted black that we believe were body-color from the factory: the strip under the front grille, and the front and rear aprons. Best to do your homework on this one.

If you’ve been searching for a Mk2 GTI 16V, the prices have been rising. A car with a salvage title traditionally sells for less than a clean-titled car, so this one might (have been) in your reach. Take a look at the eBay auction for more information; the winning bid was $4,500, and the reserve has not been met. This 1989 GTI 16V is in Miami, Florida.