Ratty Rescue: Green GTI

To any Volkswagen lover, the three greatest letters you can read after “For Sale” are G, T, and I. This week’s Ratty Rescue is not just any GTI, but the famed “Motor Trend Car of the Year” MK2. For just a bit of green, you can park this hot hatch in your driveway.

We’ve covered the GTI extensively: take one basic hatchback, swap out the drivetrain for something with more power, add some suspension enhancements, and you’ve got an inexpensive car with serious performance chops. When Volkswagen introduced the GTI there wasn’t anything else like it on the road. It’s one of VW’s most iconic vehicles.

The MK2 GTI took the original model’s formula and built on it. It’s a little more refined, a bit bigger, and offers more performance. The second-gen hatch gathered praise from all the media. Sure there are cars from that era that are faster, or more luxurious, or handle better, but the GTI wraps all that up in a practical and affordable package. It’s a “have your cake and eat it too” kind of car.

VW’s Montana Green paint wraps this 1992 GTI 8V: a color is so 90’s it hurts. It’s seen better days for sure, but a color sand and fresh coat of clear will get it shining like it did years ago. A bottle or two of Back to Black will restore the body trim (or use black shoe polish).

Inside everything’s intact. Sure there’s some wear, but nothing terrible. The driver’s seat is worn. The dash has some cracks. And the seller says the headliner’s a bit rough. The mechanicals are in very good shape: the seller says the car “runs like a top.” The 8-valve engine was rebuilt in the last 10,000 miles.

There are two big pluses to this car: it’s originally from CA so it’s completely rust-free, and the owner has extensive documentation. Too bad it wasn’t owned by a little old lady who only drove it on Sundays.

One last great selling point: the price. The seller is asking $3000: quite good for a car that only needs cosmetic work. You can see the car yourself in Lakeland Colorado. Or check out the Denver’s Craigslist ad.