This post comes from Autoblog Open Road, our contributor network. The author is solely responsible for the content, and any opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Autoblog and its editors.
We had zero dollars to our names, but we had plenty of time to kill, so we wandered to our usual spot. It was a used car lot full of domestics, things like Z24s, IROCS, trucks galore graced the showroom. Then in the corner, tucked between a maroon K car and some sort of Oldsmobile, she stood, unique in stance and size, she was small, square and absolutely perfect. The GTI has been an obsession of mine since that faithful day, in fact my brother and I, who have similar interests in many things, decided on the spot that as a duo we would buy that fine piece of German engineering. Being older and of actual legal age to drive, he got first dibs on the beauty. He took great care of the little Rabbit, tricked it out with 1992's finest stereo equipment, upgraded the throttle body, threw on a sweet sounding exhaust, and beat the living mess out of her 90+ horsepower. The stories we can tell, but shouldn't, are the many reasons why my older brother and I reminisce so often about my first love.
Once I got the keys to the '84 GTI, she was a tad bit beaten and broken, but then again, she should be given the number of streetlight races we subjected her to. Through second gear we could beat, or nearly beat, most cars. Rolling in a 5.0 didn't matter, you were going down. In fact, money was usually won by that pearl wolf in sheep's clothing. I drove her to the point where she couldn't be driven any longer, so many clutch cables replaced, not one electronic still worked, she leaked every liquid known to man, which eventually made her a hazard to drive and sadly we parted ways for an embarrassingly low price of $500. She served her purpose, the GTI infused my very being with the obsession of German cars, more specifically made by Volkswagen (I can throw an Audi or Porsche in there too since they're all siblings).
So it's not that I don't like Volkswagens. In fact, I absolutely love them and in the 20 legal years I've had the pleasure to drive a car, roughly 16 of those years have been behind the wheel of a Volkswagen. Currently I'm cruising in an Edition 30 GLI, bright red and in perfect condition. One of my kids will earn that car someday, they just have to wait 10 years, however in that time, I wonder if that GLI will be special enough to fuel one of their Volkswagen obsessions.