Harlequin Golf

Autoblog asks has the Harlequin Golf returned? What's a Harlequin Golf? That's one there at the right. Not some redneck assembly of junkyard parts, these were actually made this way. Here's the deal:

.. these cars ... feature body panels painted in Pistachio Green, Ginster Yellow, Tornado Red, and Chagall Blue. Building four single-color cars and then exchanging their body panels was how these Harlequins were produced, and Volkswagen did this for approximately 275 cars that were sold in the U.S. as 1996 models. A Harlequin model's rocker panels, rear quarter panels and roof reveal its original color.
I love oddball rare cars like this. There's a certain appeal to a rare, low production car. I had never heard of the Harlequin Golf, but I think it's pretty cool.

What got Autoblog wondering was the new VW comercial announcing the return of the VW Rabbit in the US. The Rabbit was the original US name for what the world knew as the 'Golf'. It became the Golf here as well in generation 2 and now with the introduction of generation 5, it's back to the Rabbit. In the commercial, a white Rabbit and a black Rabbit go into a tunnel, evidently do what Rabbits do, and come out with several grey Rabbits trailing behind, including a multicolored white/grey/black one.

Check out the Harlequin Golf registry and the Harlequin Golf photo page (with the Harlequin Beetle from Mexico and the Harlequin Polo that started it all in Europe.) too.

10 Comments

I guess I wouldn't lose this in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

I think it looks cool in limited numbers. If everyone had them we probably wouldn't see them like the WWII ship camoflauge, (sp). Anyway, I like it and nice commercial too.

I just think the thought of VW workers taking these cars apart and putting them back together all mixed up is cool. Of course, it was before anything was put on the body like the interior, engine, etc. but it's still a funny picture to imagine.

I agree. It's kind of amazing too that it was cheaper to have guys take cars apart and put them together again than tape stuff off.

The reality may have been that they did that anyway. When my Dad worked a temp job at the Jeep plant in Toledo, the doors and stuff were put on the cars, they were dipped and painted, then the doors came back off. They went along one line to get the windows, trim, seals and stuff while the body went along another and got the interior put in. They came back together down the line.

It's easier to paint the car all together, but easier to put the doors together off of the car and easier to get the seats, carpet and dash in the car with no doors.

Still required a bit of coordination they weren't used to.

Who'd a thunk it? BTW - We're thinking there's a possiblity of coming down earlier. J's sister is having surgery tomorrow and will be house ridden for four weeks.

Ok. Grab your stones and prepare to throw them at me:

That thing is about as ugly as the Volkswagon Thing!

What is it with them Germans and their wacky ways?

Sometimes I'm surprised by the posts that generate the most discussion. Ambassador Osama? No comment. Multi-colored VW? Let's talk!

Jeff - I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that I think that the Thing is cool too. Not beautiful (nor is the Harlequin), but cool. A 4 door convertible styled with a straight edge, what's not to like?

Yeah, I thought the same thing about comments a few times. The Bin Laden one takes a conviction which means you have to understand it fully to be behind it which means for me I have to read it two or three times. Sometimes I'm too lazy to do that! A conviction on a car doesn't really matter cause every body can be right with that one and be ok. Just look at thunderbird people! Just kidding.

In 1996 my twin and I bought a harlequin golf.  We named him Harvey and enjoyed driving him for 4 years. Unfortunately this was our first expierience with leasing a vehicle and we had to release Harvey back to the dealership.  While driving him we had many cars pass and repass us trying to get a picture, but we never had anyone dash out in front of us at a stop sign, just imagine trying to explain that they didn't see us coming:) He was a great car and we would buy another tommorrow if we could.



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  • In 1996 my twin and I bought a harlequin golf.  We named him Harvey and enjoyed driving him for 4 years. Unfortunately this was our first expierience with leasing a vehicle and we had to release Harvey back to the dealer...

    Harvey's drivers
    Harlequin Golf
  • Yeah, I thought the same thing about comments a few times. The Bin Laden one takes a conviction which means you have to understand it fully to be behind it which means for me I have to read it two or three times. Somet...

  • Sometimes I'm surprised by the posts that generate the most discussion. Ambassador Osama? No comment. Multi-colored VW? Let's talk! Jeff - I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that I think that the Thing is co...

  • Ok. Grab your stones and prepare to throw them at me: That thing is about as ugly as the Volkswagon Thing! What is it with them Germans and their wacky ways?...

    Jeff Morris
    Harlequin Golf
  • Who'd a thunk it? BTW - We're thinking there's a possiblity of coming down earlier. J's sister is having surgery tomorrow and will be house ridden for four weeks. ...

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