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Someone Created Their Own Volkswagen GTI Harlequin

Here’s something cool: I was walking around during Monterey Car Week, and I was in a parking lot for one of the many car-related events, and I stumbled upon this. What you see here is a fairly recent Volkswagen GTI that’s been converted into a Volkswagen GTI Harlequin.

For those of you who have no idea what a “Harlequin” is, allow me to refresh your memory: In the 1990s, Volkswagen created a series of Golf Harlequin models that were produced in four solid colors, then had their panels swapped around so that each Golf was a weird multi-colored vehicle. Some of these were used to promote the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and then sold thereafter; others were simply shipped directly to dealers. While the Golf was made in Mexico (and perhaps only sold in North America), Volkswagen also made a Polo Harlequin in Europe. I saw one, once, at a rest stop in Italy in 2010. That was a great moment for me.

So, anyway, I’m walking around during Monterey Car Week, and I spot this: a modern-day Harlequin. Obviously, Volkswagen doesn’t make anything like this anymore, so, clearly, the owner of this car made custom modifications. It looks hilarious, and it’s unusually faithful to the original Golf Harlequin, in the sense that it seems to have used the same colors: A turquoise green called Pistachio Green, a yellow called Ginster Yellow and a red called Tornado Red. The original Harlequin also had a fourth color, Chagall Blue, but it appears the owner of this car nixed that color and instead kept the top half of the car in the original GTI color, which appears to be black or dark gray.

Truthfully, this could all be a wrap, and it might just be a fun “Monterey Car Week” joke for car enthusiasts, but I don’t really care — I love the idea of paying homage to the Golf Harlequin, and I’m thrilled that someone did this.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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