Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan S

Volkswagen Tiguan is a a modest-looking but sharp driving little SUV  | Volkwagen photos
Volkswagen Tiguan is a a modest-looking but sharp driving little SUV | Volkwagen photos

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a modest-looking compact SUV in a market in which extravagant styling and trim are major selling points. The interior is pretty standard stuff, too. Nothing to get excited about.

But what Tiguan lacks in panache it makes up for in drivability. This is what Volkswagen does well, presenting a car or SUV that feels solid and performs above par. The 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four is lively, the steering is quick and precise, and the handling is surperior for this popular class of little truckette. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 3 – Jerry Seinfeld Porsche auction

The blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was the top seller at more-than $5.3 million | Bob Golfen photos
The blue 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder was the top seller at more-than $5.3 million | Bob Golfen photos

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is a long-term Porsche addict with an enviable stable acquired with the riches earned from his stage and TV career. Seinfeld was never all-that public about his classic Porsche obsession, but neither was he secretive; even a casual watcher of the Jerry Seinfeld show could identify Porsche posters on the walls of his TV-studio/New York apartment. Continue reading

Driven (briefly): A conquering Titan, plus off-road wagons 

The Nissan Titan Pro 4X won the Extreme Off Road category |  Mark Elias Media Services photos
The Nissan Titan Pro 4X won the Extreme Off Road category

(Editor’s note: Our staff recently did a series of brief drives — either around 30 miles on pavement or on a short but challenging off-road course — in several cars during the media day at the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle awards program held in the Phoenix area. Here are Bob Golfen’s impressions of four of the vehicles he drove during that program.)

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Pick of the Day: 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

The Karmann Ghia coupe wears a fresh orange paint job
The Karmann Ghia coupe wears a fresh orange paint job

The sporty Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is a hand-built German GT car that is reliable and easy to work on, and usually available at an affordable price.

The Pick of the Day is a 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe that represents the final design for these iconic and stylish cars, still brimming with Italian-design panache even though they gained U.S.-mandated impact bumpers and enlarged taillights. Continue reading

My Classic Car: Orson’s 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

Orson couldn't afford a real woodie, so he built his own
Orson couldn’t afford a real woodie, so he built his own

I always  wanted to own a woodie wagon but I never could afford one, I thought.

So I got the idea of using the next best thing — a Volkswagen bug. It had the running boards and outside fenders and look of the vehicles from the ‘40s. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition

The Volkswagen Thing is reputed to be an authentic and original Acapulco Edition
The Volkswagen Thing is reputed to be an authentic and original Acapulco Edition

There’s something about these little beach cars that get people excited. The Fiat Jolly, with its wicker seats, cutaway doors and fringe top, is the sunny poster child of this quirky collector car niche, but there are a few other European models that have been fashioned into seaside cruisers. It’s easy to see why. What could be more fun?

The Pick of the Week is a rare find, what is said to be a totally authentic and documented 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition. The vast majority of VW Things were of the standard setup -– strange unto itself -– while only around 400 Acapulcos were built during a three-month period in 1974, according to the listing on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

The Volkswagen Cabriolet is a preserved survivor with  only 14,000 miles on its odometer
The Volkswagen Cabriolet is a preserved survivor with only 14,000 miles on its odometer

Model year 1979 marked the end of importation for the beloved VW Beetle. After being produced in Germany continuously since 1946, this was it for the U.S.-legal version.

It also was the end of an era, and Volkswagen celebrated by offering the Cabriolet as it’s single Beetle offering for ‘79. These cars were still handmade by the Karmann factory, and fit and finish were superb.

The interior looks to be in decent condition
The interior looks to be in decent condition

The Pick of the Day is a silver-over-black 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet in time-warp condition with only 14,000 miles showing on its odometer. The VW is offered by a private seller in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, who has owned the car since the 1990s, buying it with 12,000 miles and driving it sparingly ever since.

The car has been consistently garage kept, the seller says in the listing on ClassicCars.com, and the photos show a car that appears to be in very good driver condition.

The final edition Beetle Cabriolet was based on the Super Beetle, which offered improved suspension and more storage, as well as a bit more performance. These last cars also offered fuel injection, which makes the car more drivable and easier to maintain.

The convertible tops are masterpieces of craftsmanship, equal to the top on a Rolls-Royce Corniche. That makes it both a nice open car and a very civilized closed car when the top is up. With this century’s Beetle now in its second generation, the market for the original, rear-engine cars is likely to continue their popularity.

A final-edition Beetle Cabriolet makes a perfect first-time classic car that delivers fun and affordable ownership in equal proportions. Every part is available and just about anyone can work them with a decent set of tools and John Muir’s How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive guide to maintenance and repair “for the ‘compleat’ idiot.”

During the past decade, VW convertibles have done well at auction, and low-mileage cars like this one tend to sell for serious money at such auctions as Barrett-Jackson and Mecum. The asking price for this VW is a reasonable $14,500 or best offer, and it looks like a good deal for such a low-mileage example.

According to Jay Leno, every classic car collection should have at least one Volkswagen, and this car would be a good candidate to fill that Beetle-sized hole.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Forrest Grove Concours to show 22-mile 1964 VW Beetle

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1964 Volkswagen Beetle with 22-miles | Forest Grove concours photos

Among the anticipated 300 collector cars entered in the 44th annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance, July 17 at the Pacific University campus in Oregon, is a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle with 22 original miles.

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Pick of the Day: 1969 Volkswagen custom transporter

The modified Volkswagen  bus in its natural habitat, on the beach
The modified Volkswagen bus in its natural habitat, on the beach

Now that summer has officially started, what better way to hit the beach than in an imaginatively customized VW bus transformed into an open-air dune buggy.

The Pick of the Day is a 1969 Volkswagen custom transporter in sunny yellow for sale in Southern California, of course. The unique beach cruiser will definitely turn heads, and everybody would be begging for rides. Continue reading