1990 Volkswagen MK2 Golf Gti 16v GTI Engineering RE 2100

Highlights


  • Comprehensive history file
  • Always garaged
  • Magazine feature car
  • Significant bodywork restoration in 2010
  • Just 3 owners from new
  • In current ownership for 30 years
  • MOT until May 2023


The Appeal


When someone mentions hot hatches, what’s the first car that springs to mind? 

For many of us it’s the Golf GTI - it’s Genesis for the breed. Now in it’s 8th iteration, the first two models are still the ones that petrolheads lust after. The Mk1 for its simplicity and purity, the Mk2 for moving the game on even further with a 139 bhp 16v power plant.

Of course, for many of us, the Mk2 Golf GTI was also a car of our youth - one we’d tinker with, modify and try to make just that little bit quicker than the neighbour’s Astra GTE. 

But the absolute King of options was to send it off to GTi Engineering to have them work their magic on it. Offering packages from a mild tune and tweak to a full-on engine rebuild, their work is legendary in the VW community – and the cars are extremely rare now.

What makes this particular GTI so unusual and desirable is the combination of the all-singing, all-dancing top-of-the-line RE2100 tuning package, a number of other well chosen modifications and the fact it’s been in the hands of its current owner for some 30 years.

If you love 80s hot hatches, and Volkswagens in particular, then you’ll know that this is one of the most sought-after machines on the market.

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The History and Paperwork


  • First registered in August 1990
  • MOT until May 2023
  • Just 3 owners from new (confirmed by the V5)
  • Current owner since 1992 / c.16,000 miles
  • RE2100 conversion completed in late 1995 c.42,000 miles
  • All original invoices and documentation from GTi Engineering included
  • Always garaged and registered as SORN for 6 months each year through winter
  • Featured in October 1996 edition of ‘Golf magazine’
  • Featured in July 2017 edition of ‘VW Driver’
  • VW service history until 1993
  • Basic fluid/filter servicing completed by owner
  • Maintained by local independent specialist
  • Original handbooks included
  • Only selling as storage is now needed

The Interior


  • Full Recaro interior with complementary grey, blue and purple cloth
  • Electric height adjustment on front seats (not connected)
  • Recent headlining refurbishment
  • Italvolanti steering wheel – recently retrimmed
  • Grey carpets and door cards to match seats
  • Manual slide/tilt sunroof
  • Period Panasonic radio/cassette
  • Bespoke rubber mats

If you’ve ever sat in the cabin of a Mk2 GTI, you’ll already know they’re solid inside, constructed using good materials and with a perceived quality far in excess of their peers. 

In this car, the original seats have been replaced with deep-sided Recaro buckets, trimmed in grey/blue/purple cloth. They’re in excellent condition, displaying hardly any wear at all. 

They have manual slide adjustment, but electric height adjustment. The current owner has not connected the height adjustment feature, but this would be a simple matter of running a power lead.

It was noticed during the photoshoot that the headlining was starting to sag slightly at the back. However, since the shoot, the owner has had a professional upholsterer removing the headliner shell, separating the material, cleaning , re-gluing and refitting it. (Photo in gallery of the repaired headliner).

Overall, the interior is in excellent condition, with the door cards, trim and controls all very tidy and clean Of course, as much of the interior is original and this is a 32 year old car, there is some light wear on the controls, but much less than you’d expect in a  car of this age. 

Period touches such as the door-mounted wing mirror adjusters, manual sunroof and period radio-cassette lend the cabin a charm and character very much of its time. 

All of the controls and instruments work as they should, and overall we would describe the condition of the vehicle’s interior as excellent.

The boot area is in similarly good condition, with the carpet showing very little sign of wear, and a full-size spare and toolkit being present and correct under the floor panel.

The Exterior 


  • Alpine White paintwork with contrasting black trim
  • Significant bodywork restoration in 2010 by local body shop
  • Classic 15” OZ Polaris alloys (full set inc. spare)

The first thing you notice about the car is how well it looks for a 32 year old car. 

It’s incredibly straight and tidy, with very good paintwork. Alpine White has always suited the GTI, and it’s no different here. It’s clearly been well cared for, with good shine on the paintwork and a nice sheen to the black plastics. 

Under the fuel filler flap, there is a small bubble in the paintwork, which the new owner may wish the address, but other than that and the odd very minor blemish, it’s all in great condition.

In 2010, the current owner sent the car to a local bodyshop to undergo a reasonably significant restoration. 

The O/S quarter panel was renewed, along with the rear hatch, both sills and both front wings. As far as we could see, the work has been completed to a very high standard and has been seamlessly integrated into the existing bodywork. 

Riding on classic 15” OZ Polaris alloys shod in Yokohama Parada Spec 2 tyres, it looks every inch the fast-road car and has a spot-on stance.

Underneath, the car looks very straight, tidy and clean. 

We saw no evidence of any damage or corrosion, only some light surface corrosion. The recent MOT test included an advisory note in regard to corrosion to an area of the front sub-frame. 

It should be noted from the photographs that the vendor has had this corrosion cut out and new metal welded in, treated and coated. We would describe the underside as very solid and in good condition.

The Mechanics 


  • RE2100 engine conversion at c.42,000 miles
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Dyno-tested 190+bhp
  • Covered less than 6,000 miles since 2013
  • Upgraded sports suspension, brakes and exhaust
  • Upgraded headlights

One of the key differentiators when driving the RE2100 over a standard 16v GTI is the power delivery. 

While a ‘normal’ 16v delivers most of its power north of 5,000rpm, with this GTi Engineering upgrade, the power comes in at 3,000rpm, providing a much more tractable drive that’s significantly quicker in real-world driving conditions and on track.

It easy to see why this is the case when you look at the list of modifications fitted as part of this tuning package, and as complimentary upgrades fitted by the owner. 

The changes made to the standard drivetrain include, but are not limited to, the following: K&N high-flow filter, Miltek manifold, Jetex exhaust, Schrick 260-degree cams, uprated crankshaft, rebore to 2.1 litres, alloy pistons, modified injection system, modified distributor, re-profiled valve seats, gas-flowed cylinder head, gas-flowed inlet and exhaust manifold. 

As part of the tuning package, the block has also been repainted in deep blue.

Keeping all of those angry horses under control is a significantly upgraded suspension and braking system. While the rear brakes are standard 16v GTI items, the fronts are Tarox drilled and grooved discs with Mintex 1144 Fast Road pads. 

Working with the uprated Eibach springs and Koni adjustable dampers, they give a level of control and driver involvement far superior to that of a standard GTI.

The current owner tells us they have changed the oil every 5,000 miles like clockwork, always using Mobil 1. They’ve also upgraded the lighting system, as the standard GTI headlights aren’t particularly good. 

They have had the headlight loom upgraded and the car now runs 100W spotlights and 100/80 headlights, offering a much cleaner, brighter light and increased range.

Summary


In the car world, we often talk about unicorns. 

The reality is, not many cars actually are that rare. 

Most models were made in their thousands, or even tens of thousands. As such, even with quite exotic models, there are usually plenty of them about, even if they are tucked away in private collections.

That’s where something like the RE2100 comes in. Yes, it’s “just a Mk2 GTI”. But it’s also much, much more than that. Think of this as a super-limited special edition. The kind of thing Prodrive used to do for Subaru Imprezas. 

We don’t know how many of these cars are left on the road, that haven’t been crashed or hacked up as donors, but ask yourself - when was the last time you saw one? 

Quite simply, this is an incredibly rare car. It’s not only very rare, but it’s presenting in near time-warp condition, with tasteful and worthy modifications and upgrades that enhance rather than detract from the experience.

Having been carefully stored, looked after by a specialist with no expense spared, and generally cherished and treasured for the last three decades, even the most cursory glance over this car tells you it’s something very special indeed.

The owner describes it as a “rocket ship”. Well, we’re afraid we’d have to disagree. 

Of course, this is a quick car. But it’s so much more than that. This is a hot hatch legend. 

In fact, it’s a unicorn.


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1990
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model MK2 Golf Gti 16v GTI Engineering RE 2100
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 156,001 Miles
  • Engine size 2100
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Wales
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
31 bids
  • Du•••• £15,000 28/06/22
  • ma•••• £14,500 28/06/22
  • Du•••• £14,000 28/06/22
  • ma•••• £13,000 28/06/22
  • Du•••• £12,500 28/06/22
  • ma•••• £12,000 28/06/22
  • Du•••• £11,500 28/06/22
  • ma•••• £11,000 28/06/22
  • Du•••• £10,500 28/06/22
  • ma•••• £10,000 28/06/22

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