It’s time once again for a faithful VWVortex member to help save a fallen German. Today's ratty rescue is one of Volkswagen's most iconic autos: the MKII GTI. This model is perhaps best known for winning Motor Trend's Car of the Year award way back in 1985. MT was smitten with its torquey engine, upscale interior, and perhaps most of all, its lively handling all wrapped in a sedate hatchback body. "Sensible fun" is what they called this second generation sporty Golf.

The first and second iterations of the GTI have become collectible classics. Now you can own one too. This 1991 GTI is a real diamond in the rough. To start, it's an 8V model with a manual transmission. Since it's a later MKII it features the updated trim with the dual round headlights and separate fog lights, revised body trim, and, of course, the big bumpers. The car is finished in GTI-appropriate Tornado Red paint with period-correct teardrop alloy wheels.

Inside, this hot hatch has a black interior with red accents, the nicely bolstered sport seats, and crank windows. No finicky power windows to futz with here. And, although its hard to tell from the photos, this appears to be a non-sunroof model; a plus for taller drivers.


Overall, the car is a perfect candidate for a first time restorer. To start, the seller says all uninstalled parts are included in the sale. No need to go tracking things down and rack up credit card debt. Additionally, the engine mounts were replaced, and, with the exception of some bolster wear, the interior looks to be in very good shape.

Some low points: well, there's some rust. And paint fade. And I'm betting those teardrops are in need of refinishing. But all-in-all, this is an incredibly complete car. And have I mentioned it's only $499? Well, $650 in the ad in our forums, but $499 in the Craigslist ad. You can work that out with the owner.

To rescue this car, you'll need a tow truck or vehicle transport; the car is in Detroit Michigan. You can see the VWVortex classified ad or the Detroit Craigslist ad for more information.