Fun and Sun at the Pick`n Pull

Well folks, I'm at it again; traipsing around the country, buying up half dilapidated, German cars. This time I took a pass on the fine Bavarian leather and back seat martini coolers. For the reasons behind this decision see post 2.3.2008. Other reasons not stated in the previously mentioned post include:
  • The evils of high mileage, automatic, German transmissions.
  • The unbearable temperature of black leather that has set out in the sun.
  • The price of tires for rare, 16", BBS rims.
  • The curiosity of owning something else.
Oddly enough, the seed for this latest acquisition was planted by my father (unbeknownst to him). I was on the hunt for a mid 1960's station wagon at the time (see first post). In an effort to talk me out of purchasing a large behemoth of poor, American build quality, my father mention in passing a 1984 Volkswagen GTI that was on the same listing as a 1967 Dodge Monaco Wagon that I was trying to get his opinion on. The seed was sown.

After months of looking I finally found an admirable candidate in Berkeley, CA. It took about a month of e-mailing back and forth and some squibbling on the price and even then I only agreed to come out and look at it. I was pretty nervous as you can imagine. In merely going out to look at it I would already be out the cost of the plane ticket (for which I hadn't purchased a return ticket). Should I have decided against the purchase I would be taking Amtrak back to Utah. Not to mention the fact that I was traveling with the cost of the car in cash in my pocket. I flew out to San Francisco International where my cousins were good enough to pick me up and drive me over to a shady part of Berkeley at 9pm. The guy wasn't there so I ended up riding BART back up to Berkeley in the morning which worked out better in the end. Despite the broken and nearly unusable front seats the car was everything the seller said it was, and I bit the bullet and bought it. That's when the adventure began....

To avoid driving the car for 14 hours while trying to sit on seats that were little more than a mess of foam padding with sharp frame rails protruding, I nipped on down to the local Pick`n Pull in Fremont. I figured that my chances were slim that they would even have a 1984 VW GTI, let alone one with usable seats, but I might as well give it a try. This was my first trip to an actual Pick'n Pull so I really wasn't in on the procedure. Apparently, you have to pay to even get in to look at what they have. So, it's like a two dollar gamble. They may have it, they may not. You have to go in and look because they don't know. I paid my $2.00, they stamped my hand and gave me a map. I would say this place was about 10 acres. They had it organized by car size and continent of origin. GM/ midsized; Asian/compact; etc... As I looked at this map I realized that the "Mixed European" section is really small and the furthest away and I started hiking. 15 minutes of walking later and the first car to greet me on the corner of the "Mixed European" section was a black, 1984 Volkswagen GTI with nice, blue bucket seats! The hand of providence. Packing those seats back out of there was another ordeal, but at any rate I had seats to drive home on and off I went. The car drove wonderfully and I didn't have one problem. I stopped at my parents home on the way back to spend the weekend and show of my toy (I was really the only excited one, but they pretended and that was nice of them).
"Hot Hatch"
A little info on the car:
  • The Mk1 Volkswagen GTI, is considered the first real successful sporty economy car.
  • GTI's that were sold in the U.S. were actually assembled in Westmorland, Virginia with the drive train being imported from Germany.
  • The Sept. 2007 issue of Automobile Magazine's "25 Top Cars" list the Mk1 GTI under the sub heading of "Drivers Cars", next to the Porsche Carrera.
  • The 1.8 liter engine has mechanical fuel injection and produces 90 hp, and 115 ft/lbs of torque.
  • The transmission is a close ration 5-speed with no overdrive.
  • My car comes with no factory options except for A/C and a leather wrapped steering wheel.