Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Holding it down for German engineering since 87 yaaaa! Autoweek vol3

After the LGC moved on to greener pastures, I picked up a 1988 VW Golf GTI. I was working with a car wholesaler and picked it up pretty much at cost (for him) which was $1,500.

I know most people would scoff at this car, but I liked it. Perhaps due to the contrast effect and my previous car. More likely, however, it was due to my appreciation for being able to see beyond face value and size up potential.

Going on looks alone, a fair amount of people would consider this car butt ugly and never give it a second thought. Peel back the boxy exterior and you will find something rather revolutionary. VW engineers were pretty far ahead of the ricer curve, putting out an affordable, fun to drive pocket rocket. In fact, a recent issue of Automobile magazine placed the GTI among twenty cars which changed the way consumers think about cars and you don't see status like that every day (fugly looks or not).

As for interesting back story, my most memorable experience with the GTI was losing it when I was sideswiped by a drunk driver late one night while out looking for a Mother's day card. I was cruising along when WHAMO! I got sidechecked to the next lane by a Jeep which kept on truckin. I gave pursuit, flashing my lights and laying on the horn. A mile or so later the jeep pulled over.

The driver asked me what the problem was and I replied "nothing aside from the fact you just hit me." He opened his door to get out to assess the damage and fell out of his seat. He was more sauced than Courtney Love at a roast. He tried to leave the scene, but I busted out my ninja like skills and snacthed his keys from his ignition before he could make his getaway.

I proceeded to call the cops on a payphone. He proceeded to hang up said payphone.

I proceeded to call again and he proceeded to charge me like a bull.

I stuck out my elbow.

He ran into ye olde elbow and fell backwards.

We exchanged pleasantries.

The cops came.

He went to jail.

My GTI went bye bye, but not without blessing me with a nice insurance check. Actually I was able to keep it for the check less $100 and I did, banking on the fact that I could get at least $100 for it at the auto auction. I was right. It sold for close to $1,600, more that what I originally paid for it it the first place.

It was sort of my automotive giving tree.

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