Prototypes are white unicorns for gearheads, not just because of their rarity, but also because it’s nearly impossible for private individuals to get their hands on them, though, sometimes, it does happen, as is the case of these two VW Corrados.
The shooting brake-style VW Corrado Magnum Sport Kombis are believed to be the second rarest versions of the German firm’s late 1980s to mid-1990s sport compact car in existence after the prototype convertible model that rests at the brand’s museum.
These two prototypes that remind us of the VW Polo Mk2 and the Honda Civic Mk3 hatches from the 1980s with some Audi lights thrown into the mix, were reportedly commissioned by Volkswagen after the launch of the Corrado in 1988. The Germans hired Marold Automobili GmbH to build a more practical wagon version of the coupe under the Magnum codename with the intent of developing as many as 200 units for Europe.
But VW eventually decided against it and pulled the plug on the project, as Pasmag reported back in 2015:
“The vehicles were abandoned by Volkswagen and held by Marold, which eventually put the duo up for public sale. It put out ads for the pair at an astounding asking price of 3.2 million Deutschmarks, or over $2.2 million, which included all the paperwork, technical documents, wind tunnel test results, construction documents, German TÜV road safety appraisals and even prototype tools. The cars failed to sell, and disappeared off the map for some time.”
Some 17 years later, former VP of the Corrado Club of America (CCA) and avid fan of the series, John Kuitwaard, stumbled upon a VW Vortex forum post by member “Torsten” mentioning the two prototypes, which led him to German used car site mobile.de, where to his surprise, the two prototypes were listed for sale.
“[Torsten] had posted a link on VW Vortex, but it’s funny, I had a friend who also posted saying that I would love to own these cars because he knows how passionate I am about Corrados,” he told the magazine. “I ended up buying them!”
Kuitwaard said that in all likelihood, the two cars were heading for destruction, had he not bought them. “For lack of a better term, [I bought them] from a junkyard in Germany,” Kuitwaard explained. “I slightly believe that the cars were supposed to be dismantled and crushed. I since found out [from an insider at VW] that the VIN numbers on both cars have even been removed from Volkswagen’s database.”
That was only the beginning of his story as Kuitwaard had a hard time bringing them to the States. “[Originally], I applied to have the cars brought into the U.S. under a ‘Show and Display’ waiver for cars that aren’t U.S. Legal. When I finally submitted my application, it was denied because they were seen as Volkswagens and weren’t considered ‘special enough,’” he says.
Kuitwaard didn’t give up though, as he knew that he had a second option, by waiting for the two 1989 models to qualify for the 25-year import rule. He was able to transfer and store the Corrado Magnum Kombis in the Netherlands where he had relatives. In 2014, he was finally able to bring the cars to the States.
After all that trouble, you’d think that, if anything, Kuitwaard would at least keep one of the cars in his possession, but apparently, not all love stories end with “and they all lived happily ever after”, as he sold both of them (or consigned them) to LuxSport, which has listed the two prototypes for sale with an asking price of $49,995 for each one.