Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG Lead

In automotive circles, the rarer the model is, the better. But one-of-a-kinds (or in this case, two one-of-a-kinds)? Those are the Holy Grail – the ultimate. If you’re scratching your head at the images before you, you’re not alone. Unless you’ve been scouring VW/Corrado forums, or attended Waterfest’s 20th anniversary show last year, chances are you’ve never heard of these two cars. They are perhaps two of the rarest Volkswagens in existence.

On the inside, they look identical to a Corrado. Outside they look like a wagon, but with a badge up front that’s distinctly non-VW. The two cars drawing all this attention are called the “Corrado Magnum Sport Kombi,” built by Marold Automobil GmbH (MAG) in February and March of 1989.

Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 11Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 9

The Magnum project was VW’s attempt at a larger capacity, shooting-brake version of its sporty Corrado. Production on that car was limited in its own right, but the original plan for the Magnums, according to sources, was to develop as many as 200 models for the European public. When numbers didn’t add up, Volkswagen pulled the plug on the project in 1991 and Marold was left with two ultra-rare Corrado concepts and zero plan.

Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 14Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 8

The vehicles were abandoned by Volkswagen and held by Marold, which eventually put the duo up for public sale. It put out ads for the pair at an astounding asking price of 3.2 million Deutschmarks, or over $2.2 million, which included all the paperwork, technical documents, wind tunnel test results, construction documents, German TÜV road safety appraisals and even prototype tools. The cars failed to sell, and disappeared off the map for some time.

That was until John Kuitwaard came across an interesting post in 2007 by VW Vortex forum member “Torsten” that led him to mobile.de.

Being the former VP of the Corrado Club of America (CCA) and owner of a steady stream of Corrados since 1991, when Kuitwaard found out about this unheard-of pair, his interest piqued.

Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 7Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 5

“[Torsten] had posted a link on VW Vortex, but it’s funny, I had a friend who also posted saying that I would love to own these cars because he knows how passionate I am about Corrados," he recalls. "I ended up buying them!”

That stroke of luck saved the Magnums from imminent destruction, which could have been just moments away.

“For lack of a better term, [I bought them] from a junkyard in Germany,” Kuitwaard muses.

 Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 2Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 13

“I slightly believe that the cars were supposed to be dismantled and crushed. I since found out [from an insider at VW] that the VIN numbers on both cars have even been removed from Volkswagen’s database.”

VW officials we approached had no recollection of the vehicles, despite their obvious history as a pilot project for the brand. Untangling the web has been an extremely difficult task, but that mystique only adds to the Magnums' cool factor.

 Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 12Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 10

After purchasing the cars in 2007, the next step for Kuitwaard was getting his newly acquired gems home, which turned out to be much more difficult than he anticipated. The cars received their European TÜV road certification, but because they are prototypes, they weren’t U.S. legal.

“[Originally], I applied to have the cars brought into the U.S. under a 'Show and Display' waiver for cars that aren’t U.S. Legal. When I finally submitted my application, it was denied because they were seen as Volkswagens and weren’t considered ‘special enough,'” he says.

 Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 9Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 1Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 3

The next alternative? Luckily, Kuitwaard has family in the Netherlands who were able to hold onto the cars. In 2014, he celebrated their 25th birthday, that all-encompassing magic number which makes them a “classic” in the automotive world – and more importantly, an easy reason for him to import them to their new home.

As an OEM enthusiast and meticulous caretaker, Kuitwaard’s Corrado Magnum Sport Kombis made their show debut last year at Waterfest 20 in factory-finish condition for all eyes to see. His plans for them? “Nothing,” he says. It’s a fitting tribute to what could have been a beautiful reality for the rare sports car.

OWNER: John Kuitwaard
ENGINE: G60 1.8L supercharged I-4 HORSEPOWER: 160 HP
TORQUE: 166 LB-FT

Double Trouble 1989 VW Corrado Magnum PASMAG 4

More Vehicle Features

Straight Line Kryptonite: Pat Cyr's DMCC HSD F20C Corolla AE86

In DMCC, Pat Cyr is one of the crowd favorites thanks to his aggressive driving style and his mean green Corolla. Cyr has been piloting his Corolla since he started in DMCC and over the years the car has been…
Read More

Expertly Cultivated: Mark Arcenal's 1972 Nissan Skyline GT2000 Hakosuka

Expertly Cultivated: 1972 Nissan Skyline GT2000Nissan Skylines are considered to be unicorns of the car world, particularly in the U.S. Never officially sold in North America before the R35 reprise in 2009, the brand was idolized by teens across the…
Read More

Rugrat: Sean Driscoll's 2004 Scion xB

Written by Dave Pankew | Photos by Edwin Villanueva There isn’t much you can tell me about kids that I haven’t heard already. Either from my parents or some miserable ex that whined and moaned about poppin’ out some rugrats.…
Read More

Panda, Panda, Panda: Ikeda Masataka's 1983 Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86)

This is the sort of place that you’d blow straight past in a matter of seconds, without so much as a second thought. You wouldn’t even stop here for a snack at a convenience store, because, well, there isn’t one.…
Read More

Six Fo’: Lane Wakeland’s Stanced Powerstroke

One of the coolest things you can experience as an enthusiast is looking back to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned. Depending on how you work, it could be looking back on the same build through…
Read More