WHY IT’S RAD!
The Mk3 Polo was the first-ever VW to receive the Harlequin treatment, and this one is particularly special as indicated by the included factory certificate identifying it as #0306 of the initial 1,001 made. In total, only 3,100 would be partially hand-built in Wolfsburg, and we estimate there’s fewer than 5 or 6 in North America. Here’s your chance to be Number 7.
We’ve featured another 1996 Polo Harlekin (that’s the German spelling you’ll find on this Euro market-only car), listed by the same seller; check it out here. Where that car’s base color was Pistachio Green, this one started life wearing all Flash Red as identified by its rockers, C-pillar and roof. Shortly after the paint dried, factory workers would have begun removing panels and replacing them according to a chart that ensured no adjacent pieces of sheet metal shared the same color. Weirdly, Harlekin buyers had no say in what base color their car would be painted; after signing a purchase agreement, they’d wait until delivery before finding out.
Two sets of wheels are included; the car's original factory items, and the BMW 5-series items shown in most photos (fitted with the help of TA Technics 4x100 - 5x120 adapters, and wearing new Nankang rubber). While the car lacks the cool Hella Magic Color lenses of the previous Polo Harlekin, it retains the very RAD factory Harlekin tailgate decal the other was missing. Removed side door moldings give the car a cleaner look.
Recent metal work included fitment of new front fenders (in the correct original colors, of course), replaced due to rust at their bottoms. Likewise, rockers/sills have also been replaced for the same reason, as well as incorrect jacking by previous owners. The seller says that the car is now very solid with no other areas in need of corrosion repair.
Inside, the car sports unique Harlekin-spec “Joker” upholstery on seats and headrests, as well as a blue leather-rimmed steering wheel and a special factory shift knob which were also exclusive to these limited-production models. Although there’s not much to go wrong (all Polo Harlekins were pretty low-spec), the car retains full functionality, as well as a crack-free dash. Note also the factory AM/FM cassette deck.
Mechanically the car is said to start easy, idle well, and run smooth throughout the rev range. Steering, brakes and suspension are reportedly sorted as well, and the seller notes recent work including new ball joints and an oil change. Be sure to check out the new Harlekin-themed TA coilovers in the photo gallery; each corner wears a different color to complement the patchwork exterior.
Sale includes the aforementioned factory letter, all tools and manuals/booklets, and all receipts from previous work. Though the car is currently in Belgium, the seller (a vehicle importer) offers the winning bidder at-cost shipping with port collection as well as titling assistance. If needed, inland delivery can be arranged as well.
BMW 5-series wheels (OEM items also included)
Factory AM/FM cassette deck
Harlequin-spec "Joker" interior