Perfect Mods: 1995 Volkswagen Cabrio 1.8 Turbo – Sold?
September 29, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Volkswagen convertibles don’t exactly have the image that lends itself to high performance. Plenty of stereotypes exist with regards to the sorority sisters driving to the big game in their Volkswagen drop-top, an image that many drivers would like to avoid. But with the right amount of performance and style, just about any preconceived notions can be erased as this heavily modified 1995 Volkswagen Cabrio originally listed in September 2021 on Craigslist goes to show us. The Cabrio resides in Washington, D.C. and is equipped with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from a 2002 GTI, and has an asking price of $15,500. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide is hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, as it lists a standard model with the wheezy 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood as selling for $2,425 at “High” retail.
The Mark III lineup of Volkswagen products was memorable in some ways, forgettable in others. The best part about them, in my opinion, was how easily parts swapped between the various models. If you wanted a Jetta with a Golf front end, no problem. If you wanted to drop a VR6 from a GTI into your Passat, easy-peezy. If a turbocharged or supercharged engine was on your list of must-haves, you can even go back a generation and grab an engine from a Corrado G60 and drop that into your commuter car. It’s a wonderfully flexible chassis with a huge aftermarket and a fairly rabid community of enthusiasts who pride themselves on going lower and faster than the next guy. The Cabrio has not been immune to the charms of the MKIII generation, with plenty of owners sourcing European-market parts like bumpers and lighting along with aggressive suspension setups and engine swaps that yield far more power than University Becky ever thought possible.
The producer of this famous mid-1990s Volkswagen Commerical “Pink Moon” produced describes how this commercial was his favorite one:
I speak from some experience as the car that broke me into the hobby was a 1999 Jetta that I mildly obsessed with. It had some of the modifications I’ve referenced here, but the Cabrio on display on craigslist goes much, much further. The car sports the desirable European-spec bumpers; a Jetta front end with upgraded lighting; Recaro seats from a second-generation Jetta; staggered BBS wheels; H&R coilovers, and much, much more. Of course, the biggest upgraded is the turbocharged 1.8 liter engine from the MKIV chassis, which is famous for its easy tunability and ability to deliver monstrous power with an ECU reflash alone. Once you add that plus basic bolt-ons, you have a front-driver making monstrous power. The seller has invested in some additional upgrades, like a custom exhaust and a Revo tune, along with an upgraded clutch and lightened flywheel. The asking price may seem like a lot for a Cabrio, but I can almost guarantee it would be extremely difficult to replicate this build for the money requested here. Would you rock a convertible like this? Good luck with the purchase if you would!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Very rare find 1995 VW Cabrio with a 1.8 Turbo engine that was done the right way. The best of the best parts were installed on this car. One of the cleanest in the country. Always garage, never seen rain or any bad weather. Owned by a long time VW enthusiast (36 years) Rarely driven sits in the corner of the garage with a battery tender and parked on padded pads with my other VW’s.
Full bare metal respray Imola Red BMW M3 color
Audi A6 door handles
VR6 Front Lip
Euro rad support
Euro fenders (real deal) with smoked turns
Euro trim all the way around
Euro headlight switch
Smoked E-Code Jetta headlights (Jetta front end conversion)
Hella smoked rears Vortex Long Fog lights
Hartz stay fast custom one off red top triple padded
Porsche 930 rear Turbo emblem
MK3.5 dimple dash conversion
MK3.5 dimple top/leather front and rear door cards
MK2 Recaro front seats recovered in tan leather with suede inserts rear
recovered in tan with suede inserts
Homelink system from the Passat molded in mk3 sun visor
Early 90s Neuspeed steering wheel
New OEM black carpet
Black/Red stitching leather shifter boot and e brake
Suede black headliner
Euro low rise rear e-brake console
Bosch gauges in cup holder (Boost/Volts)
VW Monster mats
17″ BBS RS827 Fronts 17X8 Rear 17X9 These are ultra rare JDM wheels made for VW only a handful in the country.
Front and rear spacers
Neuspeed rear sway bar
Neuspeed upper strut bar
R32\AUDI TT 12.3 FR BIG BRAKE KIT
5 lug swap
Corrado G60/VR6 O2A
Sachs sport clutch
Corrado trans brace
2002 GTI 1.8T SWAP with Revo Tune
Drive by wire
Techtonics Tuning Downpipe
Custom 2.5″ exhaust with Borla muffler
90K on the motor
All service parts done less than 2k mils ago. (Water pump, timing belt etc)
Duel inline custom 1-off intercoolers
Liqui Moly Oil and factory filter always used
Custom trunk set up with 12” subwoofer and amp
Pioneer Bluetooth/USB/AUX deck
Focal speakers throughout the car
Matching red boot cover for top and with matching bag
Factory space saver tire with tool kit
All keys, books and records”
Do you have a Volkswagen Cabrio story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!