It really wasn’t a bad car. In fact, this 2001 VW Golf was the best car I have owned so far (my first new car) and it has served me well for almost three years and nearly 60,000 miles. I had fallen in love with them in Europe. When I got my Golf I was in my last semester of architecture school, had a solid position in a firm waiting upon my graduation, and was in dire need of reliable transportation. My RX-7 had long since seen its better days as a daily driver, so it got relegated to position of dedicated race car for autocrossing. I really wanted a GTI, but I knew what I could really afford at the time. So I made that trip to the dealer, said I want a silver GL with black interior, gas engine, and 5 speed tranny. The cheapest VW in the US market. I leased it. Payments were easy, insurance was cheap, and it got MUCH better mileage than my beloved rotary. And I LOVED the car. I drove and drove and drove. Sure I could have gotten a Civic or a Focus cheaper, but neither of them had that solid feel of the Golf or had many of the options the Golf included as standard. In my opinion, VW still has the best damn base stereo package … 8 speaker, superb-sounding stereo in this “lowly” Golf. I was happy with my decision.
But auto lust got the best of me this week. Silly me, I drove by the VW dealer last weekend and spotted two 20th Anniversary GTIs on the lot. One in Black Magic, the other in Jazz Blue. So I stopped. I wandered around them both, trying to catch the drool on my shirt lest it fall upon the sacred finish. It didn’t help that VW had sent a letter promoting a killer deal that would get me out of my lease up to 12 months early. So I begin running some numbers. Hmm … this is sounding possible. After the Labor Day holiday I ring up my insurance agent. Hmm … my premiums are well under my expectations. So I skip lunch and head to the dealer to drive one. I like the blue one, but the black is so much more my personality. And when looking at cars such as this, it’s important to get one that fits, right? It just looks classy and elegant. The blue struck me as too “boy racer-ish”. Anyway, I drove it and pulled back on the lot with a grin on my face that would make that damn Cheshire Cat proud! “Are you interested in talking numbers?”, the saleswoman asked. “Why, yes, but I’m on my lunch break. Can we talk tomorrow?” This was Thursday. Friday, after work, I go see her. We bat around the numbers for a while until I like what I’m seeing. I fill out the finance app, and whaddya know … I’m picking up a Black Magic 20th Anniversary GTI at 10 AM this morning! :eek: Kinda blasphemous considering I took my handle from the geometrics of rotary engines. Bah! So what. I’ll have one of only three of these GTIs in my town. Besides, there are too damn many RX-8s around here now, and I’m definitely in no position to spend over $30k on a car. :rolleyes:
As I write this, the reality of it hasn’t completely hit me yet. I will put my planned motorcycle purchase on hold. And I’ll have to reconsider my trip to Europe next year. But, what the hell. I want it. I can afford it. Right time, right place. Ah, well, so it goes. That’s what I get for growing up in a car family. I have no doubt I’ll use my free tank of gas before tomorrow. And my brother has already designated the GTI as our official transportation to Indianapolis for the USGP. Damn moocher.
I’ll miss the ol’ silver Golf … but not for long.