The first generation Golf (sold as the Rabbit in the United States) was an unexpected hit for Volkswagen and replacing was a Herculean task for designers. The automaker wisely picked an evolutionary design over a revolutionary one, a philosophy that has characterized the Golf through over three decades and seven generations.
The second-gen Golf was bigger, more comfortable, generally faster and more modern-looking than its predecessor but it was still instantly recognizable as a Golf. The mk2 lineup quickly gained the same range-topping GTI and GTD-badged models as its predecessors an armada of limited editions including the Atlanta, the Manhattan, the Boston, the Madison, the Pasadena, the Memphis, the Fire & Ice and the Wolfsburg Edition, just to name a few.
First-gen Golf values have skyrocketed recently. Less than ten years ago, a first-gen diesel-burning Golf could be picked up for the value of its weight in scrap metal. Now, comparable models are selling for four-digit figures and fully restored examples are becoming increasingly common.
A quick look in the local classifieds reveals the second-gen Golf is about to hit rock bottom. Rough examples range from free to a handful of euros, while clean, well-sorted models with low miles max out at about €1,500 (roughly $2,000).
Not taking GTI, GTD, Rallye and Country models into consideration, will the second-gen Golf become as desirable as its predecessor, or will collectors continue to invest time and money on first-gen models?