Friday, November 25, 2011

1996 Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Edition - #143 of Just 264 Built

Back in the early 1980s I had a roommate who had a Saab 96 that looked like this car. We called it the "Circus Car".

Ronnie's Saab was many different colors because Ronnie tended to drive into things. (To be fair, things - a motorcycle and a Buick - drove into him a couple of times, too.) This VW came from the factory looking like this.

This is a Volkswagen Golf Harlequin Edition. The story is that Volkswagen created a few of these cars to display at auto shows. The idea was to show off the colors available on the Golf. Apparently a large number of people (or their seeing eye dogs) thought the cars looked good, so Volkswagen built some for public consumption. 264 to be exact, and they were all sold in North America.

The Harlequin Edition came with a multicolored body, multicolored upholstery, silver faced gauges and upgraded wheels.

Underneath all those colors is your basic 1996 VW Golf GL; a nice car that's affordable and a lot of fun to drive. (And looks perfectly fine in just one color.)

The Harlequin Edition Golf is one of the rarest VWs ever produced. The problem is, most people will have no idea this is a limited edition car. They'll probably think you have a Golf with a salvage title.

If exclusivity is your thing and you don't mind explaining your car to the unknowledgeable (which would have included me until tonight), this is a cool car to have. (And it even comes with a Betty Boop steering wheel cover and floor mats...)

Located in Monroe, MI, click here to see the Craigslist ad.


bluetoes591 said...

For years there was one of those in my neighbourhood. Haven't seen it in quite awhile though. An odd idea if there ever was one.

Max Power said...

My local (and now defunct) VW dealer, GC VW in Floral Park NY had one in the showroom back in 96 for like a year. They had the toughest time selling it. When I bought my then new 99 GTI from another dealer, Scott VW in Providence, they had two of them as dealer cars that they used for various purposes. Again, becuase they could not get rid of them when they were new.

Seems like they were a great idea with a bunch of people stating that they would love one at the auto show but when push came to shove, there was no chance in hell that they would be seen in one. Not too different as what happened with the Aztek.

One question has always lingered with the Harlequin for me...if an owner gets a ticket, how does the police describe the color?

rose said...

Saw 1 at vw show Had custom plate said "color blind" pretty much sums it up....

Jon said...

My daughter has described similar color schemes as "Unicorn Vomit."

Your average teenager would not often be asking their parents "to borrow the car," unless they were going to a Phish/Deadhead "Jam" band concert. You can also bet that this car will diminish your child's chances at getting a date for the High School Prom.

How any product manager could have given the OK for this vehicle is beyond my comprehension. Aside from the Crayola company or terrible 80's comedians (Carrot Top or Gallagher), I can't imagine who they had in mind for their target audience. I would love to read the notes from the product planning meetings.

While VW would regain the cuteness crown with the New Beetle in 1998, this just seems like a waste. VW would have had far more success by limiting the number of colors and/or focusing on graphics.

Max - I'm with you on the ticket question... maybe they could fill in "Every one" or "All of them."

Anonymous said...

my dads is the one with the plate that said colrblind it gets alot of comments from my friends also

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