We've been buying and selling Volkswagens since 2013. For years the stigma surrounding these cars was the tired idea that they're all beat and they're all too expensive to fix. And really, for years, that stigma held pretty true. These "economy cars" went through a period of decreased value, and during that time tended to pass though too many sets of hands eager to do their own work without the knowledge to back it up.
The result has shown itself in years of beaten down daily drivers coming through our shop. It's helped us build this business. But it's also given us an increased appreciation for the true clean examples that we come across. Like the 2000 tropic orange 12v vr6 GTI I daily drove (and then regrettably sold) that came complete with a binder detailing all work that had been done and a code reader that we still use to this day. That's one of those cars that got away. We know what that feels like. So it wasn't happening twice.
We took a ride up to see our friend Brandon - a lot of you are familiar with his wookie rescue chronicles - with the intention of purchasing a mk4 R32 that needed some work. We knew this car was there, and planned to check it out, but never really thought much would come of it. We couldn't have been more wrong with that thought.
Walking in, it was pure infatuation at first sight. Everything on this car is exceptional. The engine bay looks like it hasn't done a day of work in its life. The interior appears nearly untouched in most places. The steering wheel leather still holds its matte finish, inside still has that new car smell.
The reflex silver paint has very few imperfections. The Aristos are some of the cleanest you'll see with factory finish. This R has seen 48k miles of love. It truly is a one of a kind example of an iconic car.
And the drive...oh man the drive. We all know the feeling of the sloppy shift box often found in these cars. The creaks, rattles and random noises that arise due to years of parts coming off and going back on. What few of us get to experience is the feeling of these cars the way they were meant to be. Effortless shifts, a smooth ride and driving characteristics that elevate the car to a level not often attained by an "economy hatch". And that classic vr6 sound that pairs so well with the factory exhaust. It really is a different experience when these cars are right.
This industry has a way of dulling your senses to things that should be so cool. Cars come and go, and most don't garner much attachment as it's all part of the game. But this R32 will be different. We're happy, and proud, to have owned it. I can personally still vividly recall how our first R32 purchase went down. Cars like this allow me to appreciate how far we've come. Bringing this one in was, and will continue to be, a milestone moment for me and for One Love.
But, all good things must come to an end. For now, this R32 resides in our showroom, on display for others to enjoy when they stop by. The miles won't go up - we'll save that for the next owner. It'll be paired with our collection of R32 memorabilia and will make for a great piece for an enthusiast ready to enjoy the best of what Volkswagen had to offer in 2004.