After Volkswagen’s roaring success with the MK1 Golf, it became apparent there was a gap in their product line – an affordable ‘three-box’ sedan (or “saloon” car as we know it in Europe). Volkswagen’s competitors such as Ford, and BMW, were still offering traditional saloon cars, and there was still a huge market for them. This gap in VW’s product-line was particularly apparent in their North American market, where customers were slower to catch “hot hatch fever” than their counterparts in Europe.
The simple solution for the German manufacturer was to take the tried and tested MK1 Golf, and effectively graft a trunk onto the back (Ok, it wasn’t quite as crude as that – but not far off). Thus the VW Jetta was born! The Jetta was an instant smash hit in the USA and became the best selling European car over the pond.
In 1984, VW released the MK2 Jetta, which again was an overnight success, and again became the best selling European car in the USA. The car was a big improvement over the MK1 (notably being able to seat five people rather than four) and featured updates to the suspension, drive-train, sound proofing, and overall styling. In terms of mechanicals, like it’s baby brother (the MK2 Golf) it was available with both petrol and diesel engines, was front-wheel-drive and had modern independent rear suspension. In 1988 the MK2 Jetta engines were upgraded to having fuel-injection.
Though not as well known in Europe as the trusty Golf, the Jetta has been a hugely successful car for Volkswagen. It’s now in its seventh generation (albeit it’s not always been called the Jetta) and has sold over 10 million units!
Luke has a bit of history with retro VW’s. He’s had a MK3 Golf GTI and also still owns a hugely modified MK2f Polo. He recently bought this stunner of a Jetta, and has big plans. He’s already got the car sitting nice and low, and we absolutely love the super-rare Hella DE font grill. Read the interview with Luke to find out what he’s got stored up for this Jetta…
Please note – photography credit here goes to Josh Edward Media.
Volkswagen Jetta Coupe MK2 (1991)
- The car is on a new set of Coilovers and Luke is due to swap the springs out for a firmer spring rate allowing him to achieve the wheel fitment he wants.
- The car has a set of 3 piece Work VS-XX fitted. These are a very rare spec in 4×100, originally made in Japan this set was imported from Russia by the previous owner.
- The car has a Nardi Gara steering wheel fitted, Luke points out that the steering wheel is nearly as old as he is!
- The was recently treated to a rare "Hella DE" grill on the front.
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car?June 2020!
- What made you buy this make and model in particular?I’ve wanted a Jetta coupe since the first time I saw one in person which was 2016 at FittedUK show, not sure who’s it was but not seen another in person since except for David Norris’. I’ve always preferred MK2s over MK1s and especially big bumper cars. So when this Mk2 coupe came up for sale in really nice condition with Pearl Grey Metallic paint I had to have it. This being a 1991 and a pretty late model has the advantage of being CE2 electrics so a Mk3 golf engine is pretty much just plug and play too.I had my Mk3 Golf GTI 16v Anniversary Edition along side my modified Mk2f Polo Coupe so put that up for sale to go for the Jetta. The Golf sold in just two days and I put the deposit on the Jetta the next day.
- What's it like to drive?It’s really nice to drive actually and I quickly grew to love driving a LHD car. It’s low and slow so not thrilling to drive like my supercharged polo (when it’s on the road) but it is really comfy, even with the static lowered suspension.The car gets daily driven and I’d happily drive it anywhere. When travel restrictions are a bit more relaxed I want to do a road-trip through France, Belgium and Holland. I want to pay a visit to the dealership that sold this car new in Holland 30 years ago. It’s still a VW main dealer and I even have the original dealership key tag with the car.
- We can see you've started doing some mods to the car, and applying your personal touch – what have you done exactly?So far, I've made changes to the suspension, the wheels, the front grill, and an aftermarket steering wheel!
- What have you done to the suspension?The car is on a new set of Coilovers and I’ll be changing the springs out for a firmer spring rate so I can get the wheel fitment I would like as well as changing the bump stops.
- What have you done with the wheels & tyres?I’ve got my set of 3 piece Work VS-XX fitted to the car, a very rare spec in 4×100 as Work discontinued this spec in the past; this set is actually about 20 years old. Originally made in Japan this set was imported from Russia by the previous owner.
- What have you done with the interior?I’ve fitted my Nardi Gara steering wheel which I’ve run on my Polo, my Golf and now this. It’s a wheel I’ll always keep and take from car to car. The steering wheel is nearly as old as me.
- Ok, so what are the future plans in terms of modifications?Next up is to get near lip-to-arch fitment on the rear wheels while staying static. I’m getting the back wheels split and wider lips added so the wheels will have more dish too.Front wheels will be spaced more but stay tucked in the arch so I can stay low and static.I also need to raise the engine to give me a bit more clearance and a chassis notch.
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?For the right price, anything is for sale!
- And you mentioned you've got some other nice cars tucked away – tell us about those…I’ve got a Mk2f polo Coupe that I’ve had for about 5 years and I’ll never sell. It’s got a huge list of modifications I’ve done but to be brief it’s running a fully forged supercharged G40 engine, Gaz Coilovers, OMP 6 point cage, rare AC Schnitzer 14×7 alloy, 300mm Raid HP steering wheel, custom bumpers etc etc… the list goes on!
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?Probably an old school RWB Porsche 911 if money was no object!