Ratty Rescue: Crudola Imola

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for a VWVortex member to take in a down-on-its-luck car and bring it back to its former glory. Today’s Ratty Rescue has seen better days. This 2003 GTI is a 20th Anniversary model: #630 of only 1,000 made.

The 20th Anniversary Edition GTI is really something special. The styling enhancements play on the model’s rich history. It has a stylish body kit, a more aggressive front bumper lip, polished tailpipe, red-lettered badging, Recaro seats, and special interior trim. Under the hood is the 1.8T engine cranking out 180HP sent through a 6-speed manual transmission. Hardcore GTI enthusiasts quickly snapped up all 1,000 models.

This Imola Yellow model is really rough around the edges. The seller, VWVortex member vwr321985, has a brief description of the car in our classifieds: 185,000 miles, it does not start or run, it has a clean title, the driver’s seat has a tear and a few other things. The real story here is in the photos.

Sadly, many of the exterior 20th AE bits are missing: the alloy wheels, the red badging, the lower lip (although it says it’s included in the sale). The wheel blocks imply the parking brake may not work. The paint appears to be good condition, the body is dent free, and no rust is visible.

Inside is more of the same. The seat bolsters are rough. One interesting thing: the passenger seat’s flip-forward handle is on the inside of the seat. Huh? A single-din radio replaces the double-din unit, and I can’t help wonder how it stays in place. Under hard acceleration does it slide out towards the back of the car? There’s also a wire here and there that appear to have broken free from behind trim panels.

While this write-up may be a little harsh, it’s not intended to be. For 185,000 miles the body shell is in pretty good condition. It simply shows the wear a car goes through in nearly 200,000 miles. This car was loved at one time. Maybe the seller ran out of time or interest (or money) and has every intention to restore it. Regardless, it can be a great car once again.

Check out the ad in our classifieds for more info. Contact vwr321985 for more information; asking price is $3000. The car is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.