Perfectly Ordinary: 1988 VW Polo


I’ve never seen one of these on this side of the ocean. Yes, it’s later than most cars we feature on Barn Finds, but with this Polo being so unusual in the USA and it being so well-preserved, we felt it might be of interest. Thanks to Cam for the find! The little VW is located in Labelle, Florida, and is for sale here on eBay with a clear Florida title. Bidding is currently at just over $3,000 but reserve is not yet met. Somewhat smaller than the Golf/Rabbit, this Polo features a 1,043cc gas engine and was originally sold in Ipswich in the UK. With less than 38,000 miles and looking almost brand new in pictures, this is an almost perfect example of a 1988 minicar. The question now is, what is the interest level in a perfect example of a perfectly ordinary car?


I had to look really hard to find faults; apart from a frayed warm air intake hose and a few scratches on the back of the back seat, there really wasn’t much to complain about! I could easily believe these pictures were taken on that dealer’s lot back in England in 1988.


Even the interior looks perfect, apart from having the steering wheel on the wrong (right) side for this market. So tell us: are you more interested in a pristine example of a very ordinary car, or a tatty example of a very special car?


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  1. john

    First this car must have a story. That story might be the interesting bit. Polo’s of this age have yet to develop a “classic” image in europe. So $3000 is a lot in our terms. But if you have the courage to keep it, and keep it mint, for maybe another 15 years, this prolific selling little hatchback might be worth something.

  2. redwagon

    i’m sorry. you will do this polo but would not touch the citroen c6 that was for sale, and legally registered in the usa on ebay last week?

    i do not understand editorial decisions.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      That Citroen is very interesting, but we try to stick to a little older stuff. Feel free to send in any cars that you think everyone might find interesting though.

      Like 2
  3. Rob K

    Wow, that’s pretty mint for its’ age. Same colour and age as my Mk2 Golf GTI. These Polos were affectionately known as “Bread van” Polos because of the square rear end. They used to be very common, but have become much rarer over the past few years. Not sure about the price tag though. It doesn’t look like it has seen much use since it was imported, maybe there were some issues with registering it in the USA.

  4. Lewis Adams

    I live in the UK town where this was originally sold

  5. MikeH

    I own a ’93 Polo hatchback with a 1.4L gas engine. It is a blast to drive! It’s not a Mini, but it’s damn close. And–it’s a VW–it wants to be driven. It’s in France, but I’ve considered bringing it to the states.

  6. jim s

    is the speedo in MPH because it was sold new in the UK? yes this does interest me depending where the reserve is. parts might be hard to get and if you need to pass a smog test all bets are off. nice find

  7. grant

    LOL Jamie, this site has featured multiple Chevettes, a couple Fiestas, and an honest to goodness are you freaking kidding me Yugo. No need to apologize for this one, its different, and cool. With that said, Jesse, same as above, bring on the Citroen…

  8. RickyM

    Agree with Rob; these are rare over here in the UK now ! Would love to know why someone took the trouble and expense to export it to the US. Interesting to see that it has not be registered yet so could be as Jim S says, maybe did not pass the tests. Could probably have got more money for it in the UK where spares would be more plentiful.

  9. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    I have secretly wished VW would import their supermini to our shores. Guess I should just buy this and get it out of my system…

  10. Mark Aitken

    Brilliant memories, ran a 84 model of this car in 95/96 & it always started first time, so reliable even when almost all Gaskets were leaking Oil down the Block, ended up using cheap Tractor Engine Oil as it was leaking out as quick as I could pour it in! Wasn’t as Mechanically minded then so as Long as it started I wasn’t stripping it for repairs! I’d have another in a heartbeat. Mine was registered as A512PNS

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