As it is my white 1986 Volkswagen Polo that most readily drives me to writing, I was in luck to find this earlier example on an inspection station forecourt today. Well, there are also multiple dealers nearby and a carwash, but I think it’s the yearly roadworthiness inspection that has been the closest eminence for this humble blue two-door saloon. The plates are gone, and the car looks like a future project, one that has sat for a while. Funnily enough, at the very station I struck a deal on mine.
Looking at the front, it’s clear that the Polo is a couple years earlier than mine, possibly 1982-84. These had had square headlights, no wheelarch trim, and were still sold under the Volkswagen Derby name in Germany like their Audi 50 related predecessor.
It is likely that the engine here – if it has one, as the front looks suspiciously high – is smaller than mine, meaning it could be propelled by a 1100cc engine. That would give it 50 horsepower. Mine has the bigger 54 horsepower unit, and by 1986 the smaller engine was a properly piffling 1,05-liter one with only 40 horses. Even in breadvan Steilheck form the 1,05 car could only just hit 60 mph under 20 seconds. This one should be a lot brisker.
This shot reveals the owner has similar plans as I, meaning the Pierburg 2E carburetor is to be replaced with a more reliable Weber carb. The car seemed to have 66k and change on the odometer, which is probably on its second round by now, judging by wear.
The sides and doors of the Polo are dented and rusted, but given enough will and time, it can be made into a nice useable lightweight classic. It already proclaims “Classic” on its trunklid, so it’s pretty adamant about that.