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Thread: Looking for some advice - 97 Golf CL

  1. #1
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    Looking for some advice - 97 Golf CL

    Ok a bit of background first. 18 years ago I bought my first car, a Dragon Green 1997 Golf Mk3 CL 1.8l manual 5-door which I had to wait three months for get it brand new off the boat. She has been my daily commuter ride for the last 18 years and has done 240,153km. It has lived outdoors all its life so the clear coat has almost completely peeled off the roof, is peeling badly on the bonnet and is starting to bubble in a couple of other areas. There are the usual parking lot dents and scratches. She is mechanically ok and has been very reliable over the last 18 years but needs a bit of tlc to get her back to good operating condition.

    We have recently purchased my brother's 2007 Golf Mk5 TDI, which my wife loves and is now her daily ride, so the 2011 Caddy Life TDI is now my daily ride. So the question is what to do with the my 97 Golf CL?

    The logical part of me says she would make a decent low cost first car for somebody so sell her. The sentimental part of me says that I should retire her from daily service with a plan of restoring her to original factory condtion at some stage in the future. The problem is that I have no space to store/park her (especially with a 96 Vento automatic on its way from Melbourne as Daughter No 1's first car), limited time to work on her (we have 3 teenagers plus 2 preschoolers) and limited funds (the Vento needs some work to get her roadworthy and to good operating condition, the Caddy could do with some better shocks, a nice set of VW OEM 17 inch wheels and a reversing camera).

    Thoughts and advice would be appreciated.
    1997 Golf CL, 2011 Caddy Life TDI, 2007 Golf TDI, 1996 Vento GL (red), 2008 Skoda Octavia TDI
    1996 Vento GL (white) - RIP

  2. #2
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    Three cars is enough, time to move the old girl on feenix

  3. #3
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    Cheers and thanks for the feedback it is appreciated. Yes it is the logical thing to do and my mulling over Christmas and New Years has come to the same conclusion.

    I know in 10 years time (when I will hopefully have the space, time and the money to consider restoring VW) I will regret the decision to sell my first car. My wife has been good enough to say that the proceeds from the sale of my Golf can be spent on the Caddy (I am eyeing off some nice VW OEM mag wheels or possibly a reversing camera) but I probably will use the money to do some maintenance on the Vento when it arrives (auto transmission service, change the belts, change the waterpump, get the aircon working).
    1997 Golf CL, 2011 Caddy Life TDI, 2007 Golf TDI, 1996 Vento GL (red), 2008 Skoda Octavia TDI
    1996 Vento GL (white) - RIP

  4. #4
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    Sounds like a good candidate for a vr6 conversion..... is there any rust in the shell or just failed clearcoat
    mk3 Golf VR6
    mk6 Golf GTI
    mk7.5 110tsi 6sp
    Skoda Octavia RS245 wagz

  5. #5
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    Body is rustfree (there is currently one paintchip on the rear driverside door that I need to get around to hitting with touchup paint), both front quarter panels have a parking dent each near the headlight and there are a couple of parking dents on the rear bumper. The big issue is just failed/failing clearcoat. While it has spent almost its entire life outdoors, it spent its early life in Western Sydney (Hills District, Richmond/Windsor then Penrith/Blue Mountains) and then down here in Canberra since 2001.

    If I cannot find a new home for it, then I will drive it up to my parent's place in Sydney and mothball it there for a few years until I have the time and money to restore it.

    There is really nothing special about this car other than I have owned it since day one and therefore, in my thinking, the way to do it justice is to keep it as a CL with 1.8l and with the aim of restoring it to the showroom condition that it was in when it left the Wolfburg factory, came off the boat and the dealer handed me the keys of it 19 years ago. In 11 years I can get Historic Car registration for it
    1997 Golf CL, 2011 Caddy Life TDI, 2007 Golf TDI, 1996 Vento GL (red), 2008 Skoda Octavia TDI
    1996 Vento GL (white) - RIP

  6. #6
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    The way you describe the car, 5 door CL, peeled clear (needs a full srepray as the paint now has faded due to failed clear) it is probably the most unwanted spec'c mk3 right now. The sentimental value is what it really means to you, but financially it will be very expensive to restore back to original condition, and even then its a 5 door CL. I would estimate the body work and the respray would cost in the region of 3-5k.

    Its up to you at the end of the day but it will be nowhere near financially viable.
    8v Ibiza GTI > 8v mk2 Golf GTI > mk3 VR6 > 8v Ibiza GTI > 2D CL+vr6...

  7. #7
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    can confirm, own a 5 door peeled clear GL, is most unwanted spec mk3
    Mk3 2.0. Mk3 VR6 CC. Future Mk2?

  8. #8
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    CLs are even more unwanted bt42,was just offered one with gearlinkage probs for nix and turned it down,it was blue with peeling clear.
    f74 I'd keep it without doubt.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice guys, it is much appreciated.

    Total agree that there is nothing special about a 5-door Golf CL with peeling clearcoat. I think Mk3s are at the bottom of the value curve at the moment, give them 5-10 years and they will then be seen as a classic VW, the last in the line of the original Golfs and actually be worth more than they are now, especially the VR6s (so take care of them guys and gals).

    Any time and money spent on restoring my 97 Golf CL will be all about sentiment and have very little to do with financial viability. Rationally, it would be better for me to put the money into the daughter's 96 Vento GL even though it would probably is not in as good a mechanical condition as my Golf CL. I am more likely to see a financial return on the Vento and it is probably more valuable as a restoration project (due to the limited numbers that came here to Aus) than the 5-door Golf CL.

    I will make a final decision before the first weekend in February as we are due to drive up to Sydney to see my parents. That would be the best time to drive the Golf CL up to Sydney to be mothballed at my parent's house if that is the decision I make.
    1997 Golf CL, 2011 Caddy Life TDI, 2007 Golf TDI, 1996 Vento GL (red), 2008 Skoda Octavia TDI
    1996 Vento GL (white) - RIP

  10. #10
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    Flew down to Melbourne and picked up the '96 Vento GL from my brother's mechanic (he was good enough help me pick up the Vento from the auction yard and get it ready for the ferry trip back to Canberra). Here is a photo of it in the auction yard:



    I got it for a good price but needs a bit of work to get it roadworthy then a lot of work to get it into good condition.

    It did the 700 km trip back without missing a beat and much more effortlessly than my Golf CL. Note to all, do not buy HiFly HF201 tyres (I asked my brother's mechanic to get two cheap tyres to replace the bald front tyres). They were decent around town but when you are doing 110 kph up the Hume Hwy they give you some white knuckle moments as you crest hills and exit curves.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for some advice - 97 Golf CL-photo-1-jpg  
    Last edited by feenix74; 19-01-2016 at 11:34 PM.
    1997 Golf CL, 2011 Caddy Life TDI, 2007 Golf TDI, 1996 Vento GL (red), 2008 Skoda Octavia TDI
    1996 Vento GL (white) - RIP

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