Yesterday’s Specials…VW Polo Harlequin

Decisions, decisions. There you are in the dealer showroom, one hand clasping the brochure, the other hand clasping a cup of coffee so hot that it must have been brewed using molten lava. You enjoyed the test drive, you’ve accepted the finance deal and have ticked all the options. There’s only one thing left to do – decide on the colour.

The brochure offers you an array of colours to choose from, including solid, metallic and pearlescent. After what seems like an eternity, you’ve narrowed the choice down to four. Ginster Yellow, Chagall Blue, Pistachio Green or Flash Red. Sensing indecision and fearful of losing the deal, the helpful salesman offers you an unbelievable solution. Why not have all four? It is at this point that you should glance around the showroom to locate the nearest exit, before making your excuses and running for the door. A four colour car? What is this, circus time?

To most people, the idea of a four colour car is some kind of sick joke. The kind of vision that wakes you in the middle of the night and leaves you in a cold sweat. But believe it or not, there are approximately 3,800 people across the world for who this vision is a thing of beauty. How do we know this? Because approximately 3,800 people bought a VW Polo Harlequin.

Volkswagen Golf Harlequin
Toys R Us

The Polo Harlequin was officially launched at the London Motor Show in 1995. The purpose of the launch was to assess the public’s reaction to such a bold colour scheme, so you can blame the Brits for the fact that a few months later in 1996, the Polo Harlequin went on sale. Based on the 1.4 CL, the Harlequin featured a bespoke interior and ‘sports’ bumper.

Harlequin customers were still treated to a somewhat lucky dip style delivery process. In the showroom, they could spec the colour of the roof, rear pillars and sills, but the rest was down to the guys in Wolfsburg to decide. You can almost hear the hilarity and joy as the chaps on the production line bolted the car together, “zose krazy Britisch viv zer krazy senz of humor”. Apparently this added element of surprise was all part of the sales package. However, I’d imagine the biggest surprise would be reserved for the moment the buyer arrives at the showroom to pick up their new Polo. This is the exact point that the fact that they actually did tick the Harlequin box dawns on them.

VW Polo Harlequin Rear
I see your true colours shining through

But let’s look on the bright side. When you come to your senses and decide to sell it on, there’s a ready made list of buyers in the form of children’s entertainers, party shops and Noddy impersonators. It also bypasses the ‘laid up on the front garden’ look when it reaches bangerdom and most panels have been replaced.

And for all of the obvious flaws, it must have a certain amount of collectability in 2010. There appears to be none for sale in the UK today, so they’re either locked away in private collections or owned by loving drivers who cherish them and couldn’t bear to part with them. Let’s also now forget that VW were so inspired by the Polo, they went on to launch the Golf equivalent, of which there are rumoured to be 260 or so in existence. There are even rumours in Wolfsburg that VW is planning a Tourareg Harlequin – surely the ultimate car for the daily school run. No chance of children being ridiculed for their parents’ choice of transport.

But one final question. Just what colour do the DVLA list a Harlequin on the V5 document? Maybe, rather like the 2010 UK General Election, the DVLA just can’t decide what colour it is. A case of a hung Harlequin perhaps?

Thanks to vwpoloshow.co.uk for the helpful information and to Wikipedia for the images.

Further waffle you might like

Facebook Comments

comments

ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

30 comments

  1. June 19, 2010
    brendon sloanes

    I have a polo harlequin which is for sale bought it five years ago for fun only done 1,000 miles since , in really good condition , due to the kind of car cant get a guide on price its a 97 p reg.Interesting blog majorgav good luck for the future.

    Reply
    • June 19, 2010
      MajorGav

      Good luck with the sale. I guess VW forums and Pistonheads would be your best bet?

      Reply
    • July 18, 2010
      Joe

      Hi there,
      I would be really interested in buying your Harlequin… is there anychance you could get back to with a price. thanks

      Reply
    • August 16, 2010
      laura deuchars

      i’m interested in buying your harlequin brendon can you get back to me with a price i used to own one and im on the look out for another one i really miss my old harlequin cheers

      Reply
    • August 21, 2010
      james potter

      hi brendon,

      i would be really interested in your Harlequin. Are you still selling it? If so could you please email me some pics to potter247@hotmail.co.uk

      thanks!

      Reply
    • November 6, 2010
      Matthew Eyre

      Did you ever sell your Polo Harlequin?

      Reply
    • February 20, 2011
      ves

      Hello, do you still have the harlequin and is it still for sale?

      Regards

      Reply
  2. June 30, 2010
    Greg

    Brendon,
    What country are you i with your Polo?

    Greg

    Reply
  3. July 28, 2010
    david graham

    VW Harlequin for sale cica 60K miles September 1996

    Reply
    • August 9, 2010
      Elaine

      How much are you looking to sell the harlequin for? And where abouts do you live? Thanks.

      Reply
  4. July 28, 2010
    Angela Twine

    I too have a Polo Harlequin that I would like to sell 96 P reg. The MOT has run out. Good little runner but needs some TLC. Can sell with Teddy bear alloys if the price is right. Brand new lexus back lights and a brand new battery. Can supply photo’s if interested. We are looking for around £700 with the teddy bear wheels but are willing to negotiate. We are in Winchester, Hampshire.

    Reply
    • August 21, 2010
      james potter

      hi angela,

      i would be really interested in your Harlequin. Are you still selling it? If so could you please email me some pics to potter247@hotmail.co.uk

      thanks!

      Reply
    • September 14, 2010
      mariamac

      i am looking to buy a harlekin
      #mine has just been stolen am very sad

      Reply
      • September 28, 2011
        Joseph

        Should be easy enough for the police to find it…

        Reply
  5. August 11, 2010
    HarlequinVentoVR6

    Hi Angela Twine Have you got an pics of your Harley polo looking for one for the last couple of months now and havent found one
    Living in Ireland so can collect it 😀
    Send pics to

    VR6twinturbo@gmail.com

    Reply
  6. October 31, 2010
    Jen

    Hi I have to sell my lovely 1996 Polo Harlequin because she has just failed the MOT and needs about £400 spent on her because I can’t do the work myself. She still purrs alnog because I have looked after her and changed the cambelt at the right times etc: Body work has just a little rust on one rear wheel arch. Alloy wheels and interior original. I’ve had no lick finding out her value either, but with 197,000 genuine mileage of which I have done over 100,000 and a good recon gearbox she still drives well. I have reluctantly put her on ebay, (2 days to go!)but would really like some advise on her value. Anyone out there who could help? Please email me asap. Thank you jen_vize@hotmail.com

    Reply
  7. July 15, 2011
    Sergio

    It’s comming back the new polo mk6 harleqin allready on sale in Europe.
    http://www.avto.net/_AVTO/ad.asp?ID=4643063&show=1

    Reply
    • July 16, 2011
      MajorGav

      My goodness – you’re right! I fully expected this to be a joke! 😉

      Seems that they have a sense of humour in Slovenia. The Polo Harlequin is back!

      Reply
    • September 16, 2011
      graeme

      Very nice !

      Reply
  8. September 14, 2011
    Eric Stratten

    French aerospace/publishing/car company, Matra, did something similar (with the aid of artist Sonia Delaunay) to their quirky but clever M530A way back in 1967:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tautaudu02/5609955513/

    Reply
    • September 15, 2011
      MajorGav

      Now you see, THAT is lovely…

      Reply
  9. December 14, 2011
    JoAnn Lovegrove

    Hey, I am in florida.. Looking to buy a Harliquin. Name your price and send some pics.. thanks Jo- carjoa@netzero.com

    Reply
  10. March 3, 2012
    Graeme

    as per DVLA colour is classed as multi ! I have had mine for 12 yrs great car only covered 43k since new

    Reply
  11. September 7, 2012
    john bertram

    been looking for a harlequin for a while if anybody is selling one please call john on 07899012238thanks

    Reply
  12. January 19, 2014
    DAVID

    Hola a todos, desde Pampona vendo mi maravilloso polo Harlequin muy bien cuidado. davidliberalg@hotmail.es

    Reply
  13. January 26, 2014
    Ryan

    Hi harlequin fans i have just acquired one and selling if anyone is interested give me a call on 07891430708 if you are interested? how much are these worth now

    Reply
  14. August 27, 2015
    Kate

    I have a Harlequin Polo ’96 that had just passed another mot in perfect condition. It has been in only one family and has done 76k. We love this car but unfortunately just cannot hold onto it anymore ?. Please get in touch if you know anyone who loves Harlequins & is looking for a beautiful Harlequin in original/excellent condition that is based in the uk. Big thanks,
    Kate

    Reply
  15. November 5, 2015
    Manda

    The Harliquin is listed as multi colour on the V5 document.

    Reply

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *