Someone Just Bought A 30-Year-Old VW Jetta For More Than A New GLI

VW Jetta GLI BaT VW Jetta GLI BaT

$32,250 will get you a fully loaded 2020 VW Jetta GLI, or this 1989 Jetta Trophy.

$32,250 is a high-end price for a new Volkswagen Jetta GLI. That will get you a fully-optioned GLI Autobahn edition with the seven-speed DSG gearbox, the digital cockpit, adjustable suspension, and leather trim galore. Here’s the thing – we aren't talking about a new Jetta. This is the price someone paid for a 30-year-old model from 1989, and in fact, it appears it wasn’t even a GLI. More on that in a bit.

First things first. When the heck did the A2 Jetta get so valuable? This Bring a Trailer auction just ended today and yes, the selling price for this Midnight Blue example topped out at $32,250. It’s not just any old Jetta though, as this car looks to be a proper time capsule with just 21,495 kilometers (13,356 miles) showing on the odometer. It’s basically a brand new car inside and out, from its Recaro seats and factory BBS wheels to the 1.8-liter 16-valve engine under the hood. Even the shift knob for the five-speed manual looks like new.

However, there’s more to this car than just its like-new condition. The car is listed as a GLI Trophy, but in reality, it’s just a Jetta Trophy. That shouldn’t suggest it’s inferior in any way – the Trophy was a limited-edition trim exclusive for Canada, with just 500 built. The Trophy had plenty of swagger with the wheels, seats, badges, and the exclusive Midnight Blue finish that adorned all 500 Trophy models. It also featured that rev-happy 16V engine under the hood, developing 123 horsepower (92 kilowatts). These days, such power is relegated to plebian economy cars, but in 1989 that wasn’t such a bad figure for a small, front-wheel-drive sports sedan. So while it’s “just a Jetta” it’s also one that’s exceptionally rare, and buyers responded.

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Scrolling through the comments section, the final bidding was apparently rather dramatic. A bidding war ensued between BaT users Serialcollector and moby242, who at one point claimed to be “out” before dropping a bid of $25,750 to escalate the war. Later on, moby242 claimed to be on a dial-up internet connection and asked how the auction was going. A few minutes later, the winning $32,250 was dropped. We suspect moby242 knew exactly how the auction was going, and had no intention of stopping.

We don’t follow the classic Jetta market too closely, but if this isn’t some kind of record sale, it has to be close. What say you, Motor1.com readers? Is this selling price the stuff of madness, or a well-deserved amount for a rare and exquisite piece of VW performance history?

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