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: "I'd walk away - I loved my 85 GTI, (and my family has owned an original Beetle, 5 Rabbit/Golfs and 2 Passats) but once it crossed 150K, it was just to expensive to continue the affair. The problem with a car that age (as scarabic has pointed out), even with a relatively young engine, is all the other stuff that doesn't even fail, per se, but just reaches the end of its useful life. Brake discs and rotors, shocks and struts, shift linkage, CV joints, instrument lights (you don't even want to guess the labor charge to pull apart a dashboard and replace a 50-cent bulb, not that it's a critical repair) and on and on.
If I had $6K and a car older than say, 7 or 8 years, I'd rent a Sawz-All, chop the roof off the existing car, drive my new convertible into the ground (we did this with a '79 Rabbit) and put my remaining $5950 down on a new car or something used coming off lease with a manufacturer's warranty. If the payment is still too high, I'd look for something else. $6K will buy you a mid to late '90s Honda Civic, for example."