In 1995, the special edition Volkswagen Polo Harlekin (the German spelling for Harlequin) made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Inspired by an ad for a multicolored 1964 Beetle, VW planned a small production run. The market went wild for the patchwork quilt color scheme, and the German automaker ended up building more than 3,000 of these funky hatchbacks.
According to Volkswagen U.S., an original Harlequin with manual transmission would have been priced around $13,000. With three days to go in the auction, a 1996 Euro version is hovering around $10,000 on Rad for Sale, Radwood’s site for ’80s and ’90s-era cars and accessories. Said to be one of only three or four in North America, you won’t see many of these on the road. The automaker teased us with a return of the Harlequin paint scheme earlier this year; sadly, it was a one-off.
The interesting thing about this car is that it was fairly labor-intensive. Each Polo was painted with one base color: Pistachio Green, Ginsberg Yellow, Chagall Blue, or Flash Red (which was a bright crimson and called Tornado in the U.S. market). Then it was pulled from the production line and disassembled by hand, then reassembled with swapped-out body panels from other colors in a predictable, meticulous pattern. An additional layer of intrigue: the blue and green shades were not available as a paint color for this car in Mk3 Golf form in North America.
This particular Radwood version has a Pistachio Green body shell, as evidenced by the green roof, C-pillars, and rockers. The hood, rear doors, and rear bumper are Flash Red; front bumper, front doors, and tailgate are painted in Chagall Blue; and the front fenders and radiator grille frame swathed in Ginsberg Yellow.