This Polo from 1995 looks like a driving spare parts store. Of course we‘re talking about the Harlequin edition of the VW compact, whose colourfully painted panels caused the whole world to groan.
VW Polo Harlequin: the accidental 90s icon
Was What did it all mean? A red roof, yellow and turquoise doors, and blue wings? VW actually just wanted to show off its kit system, and involuntarily became a 90s style icon. Even without anything special under the bonnet. Most commonly, the Polo – which boasted a meagre 60 BHP – was powered by an antique 1.7 litre aspirated diesel engine, another relic of the 1990s.
Another name that belongs in that category is rockstar Jon Bon Jovi. His name was immortalised by a special edition 3rd generation Golf. Other cult bands such as Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones also met the same fate, degraded by lending their names to different VW lines. How could they!?Aftermarket radios, and exhausts that point to the sky
A further example of tastelessness was bestowed upon us by the invention of the compact disk: good old cassette decks were torn out of cars all around the world and sold for a couple of quid to the nearest scrap dealer, all because they couldn‘t play CDs. In their place came plasticky Kenwood or JVC aftermarket installations, with their frantically blinking digital displays. Everything a big punch in the gut for believers of „original is best“. Viewed as especially cool were graphic equalisers, compatibility with extra amplifiers, and of course, bass.
Loudness was not just something for a car‘s interior in the 90s. This was the decade of the exhaust mod. Everyone surely remembers those „DTM style“ exhausts, whose tailpipes speared upwards at the end. Why? It sure wasn‘t anything to do with better sound, as most just sounded loud. I mean, how was it ever going to sound good, coming out of a “souped up“ BMW 316i compact with aftermarket angel eyes?
The 90s were also the decade of the seat cover, which only had one benefit – when your car ended up on the scrapheap, it did so with pristine seats. Famous, and still in use today are lambskin steering wheel protectors, and those little blue “fresh sport“ fragranced trees.
You‘ll find further curiosities in our gallery.