Bought this on eBay as a rolling chassis. The chassis had only 6172 km's (only about 4k miles) but no motor or transmission. I thought it was probably one of the only ones in the country. AS IT TURNS OUT, the car was once upon a time a prototype built by VW Which had a two cylinder diesel injection engine along with G40 super-charger, called Öko-Polo (Eco Polo in English). The vehicle was reported to go 100 km on only 3 liters of Diesel fuel. The two cylinders operated simultaneously in a pumping fashion (kind of like a tractor engine). There was a special additive tank under the hood which was filled with a fuel additive that mixed with the diesel fuel producing an exhaust that could be filtered by the special catalytic converter under the car. The vehicle also had no clutch pedal, but instead an electronically activated clutch controlled by a microswtich in the shifter knob. To disengage the clutch, the knob was lifted, to engage the clutch it was pushed back down. The entire area under the hood was coated with a sound deadening and heat resistant foam substance to quiet the loud 2-cylinder diesel, and keep vibrations down.
At the time of my purchase, all of these things had been removed from under the hood. Since only 75 of these cars were produced, it would have been impossible to source an original engine and the related parts, after all it was a prototype. Fortunately, the sheet-metal was identical to the normal gas powered Polos readily available in Europe, so I decided to pursue installing a gas engine and sourcing all the parts I would need to build a functional polo here in the US.
Thanks to Steven Elliott of Scotland, I was
able to get the polo project under way. Many others helped as the project
went along. I kept near-daily updates on my progress as much as I could.
Check out my page on the
Polo Project! Steven wrote the first page, and
I continued the progress as time went along.
Bear in mind when I got started with this project, I had absolutely no idea how rare the car actually was. I knew there some weird things about it, and these issues were all answered by folks who came across the page. This polo is one of only 75 cars, and the only one in the US, I'm very proud to have made it functional again. I look forward to bringing the Polo to VW Shows and events and sharing the car with fellow VW enthusiasts out there.
Here is a picture of the polo as it is now:
As I was going along I was emailed a copy of a magazine article from a German magazine, Auto Zeitung, published in March, 1989 which contained all the information I could ever want to know about this rare and special vehicle.
The article is all in German, but take a peek at each page anyhow, and then flip through the Polo Project pages, and note all the nuances about my car that made it an Eco-Polo. Each thumbnail will open a very large scan (about 800K) of each individual page.
Click here to go back.