The Polo Harlequin was really built, in very, very small edition, please have a look at this model..


Harlekinbanner Variante 41

joes garage joes garage want to show you:  Since 1995
Germany's most colourful car - straight open: polo harlequin - English version
>   statistics, analysis, the latest informationen and more obout Polo Harlequin
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13 Years of Harlequin
Harlequin Photo wanted   displaying your photograph
Summary   all vehicle numberplates known to me

Originally the idea was to show with the help of a kit system with components such as "Engine and Chassis", "Interior", "Optional Equipment" and "Paintwork" that the Polo can be put together individually. In 1994, this was also optically shown in an advertising motive.
building block
Each building block was represented by a colour, which is how a four-coloured model was created. Anyone who owns this telephone card, which can be seen here, owns a rarity. Please have a look at this master model.
telephone card
This car was really built! (In very, very small edition).

In those days, market research showed that there was a real potential for a four-coloured Polo, which prompted the design of a new model, now with a blue roof and a yellow bonnet. In 1995, a second master model of the Polo Harlequin was presented at the IAA, the International Frankfurt Motor Show, which was the one that was actually built in the end.
As planned, the multi-coloured one proved to be very popular and, as Wolfsburg were faced with an unforeseen problem, many more than the originally planned thousand were built. Volkswagen were confronted by customers requesting a red or a yellow roof and so the four models known today were finally designed. Version 3 for instance, with a blue roof and a yellow bonnet, is definitely the first Harlequin ever to have been built.

As rumour has it, a Wolfsburg Volkswagen dealer reacted first and at lightning speed distributed Harlekins he had put together himself before the Volkswagen Group had had a chance to react but, in my opinion, this piece of information should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, in a closed-down paint shop, seven Wolfsburg mechanics started to disassemble uni-coloured red, blue, green and yellow Polos from ongoing production. Afterwards, all parts were put back together according to a set pattern, until it became a four-coloured car. In this way, the four multi-coloured Polo varieties known today were built.
four of a kind
Originally limited to 1,000, most probably 3,806 were delivered according to my last findings. Because I have no contrary evidence, I dare to claim that only the first thousand of these special edition cars received a certificate and a key ring with consecutive serial numbers,
keylabel 0464
given the fact that only one thousand had originally been planned. Unfortunately, all the others did not receive this "extra".

When ordering a Harlequin, the customers' colour requests could not be taken into account as the production process did not allow for this. So, if someone ordered a Harlequin, he did not know which colour version he would finally receive.
Wolfsburg are unable to answer my question regarding the number of cars actually delivered: "...Unfortunately we are unable to answer your question as our statistics only record data relating to the total series of models. We regret that it is impossible to provide statistics showing individual models and equipment varieties, considering the large number of possible combinations and data. Please accept our apology!..."
On my [ Statistics Page ], I extrapolate an estimate of the number of cars produced in one variety or the other. There is nothing more I can do as Wolfsburg are keeping a tight lid on this information, too. (They should have employed me. With my love of statistics we'd be better off now - only joking!)
On the whole, I consider all my information to be fairly reliable and I regret that, in this age of computers, where other useful and useless statistics are being maintained, it is impossible to find out about the quantity of items produced. If anyone knows of anything more reliable or has anything lying around at home relating to the sources mentioned below, please come forward - I will pay top rates!.

Last but not least: The Polo Harlequin is not a McDonalds promotional vehicle. When the Harlequin was first launched, McDonald's offered stickers in different colours in the shape of doors, wings, etc, to be collected, stuck on a card and used to enter in a competition.
This way, 500 cars found their owners.
McDonalds vehicle
The draw itself was a gimmick, which I find somehow, suits MD. In the end, the winners' joy was as great as the resentment of those who spent a lot of money on their Polo, only to be asked: "I say, won it from McDonald's?" But that's all there is to it.
So far, no one has outed themselves on my site as a McDonald's-Harlekin-Owner yet. So, if any (former) MD-PH-Owners read these lines and remember any additional details, I'd be pleased to receive your message.

In the case of the Polo, the name Harlequin stands for the multi-coloured outfit. But there aren't just multi-coloured Polos. Some time ago, I discovered one Beetle-Harlekin and two Golf-Harlekins with German numberplates. The research I conducted as a result showed that there are two hundred officially produced Golf Harlekins in the US as well a similarly limited edition of the VW Beetles in Mexico. Photographs proving this can be seen on [ these pages ]. In addition to this, there is a variety of cars resprayed by individuals, which resemble the original sometimes more, sometimes less.

Of course I wish all car owners a pleasant and accident-free drive!

Joe Schoenfeld
text & layout
© 1998-2008

13 Years of Harlequin   this car was really built
Harlequin Photo wanted
Summary   all vehicle numberplates known to me

You are welcome anytime if you would like to become immortal by displaying your photograph on my website. For this, you don't necessarily have to be the owner of a Polo-Harlekin, you can also make your mark with your picture as a guest. You must go online if you would like to send in a photo of a car not yet shown on this website. I will take care of the upload and the necessary formatting myself.
I remove or make illegible any numberplates that may point towards the identity of the owner. No vehicle licence number is published in full!
In order to make selection easier, I would like to ask you not to send any more than three photographs per vehicle. Ideally, pictures are sent via e-mail but if you have no e-mail address you can also send your photos by post. This also applies to those among you who do not own a digital camera or a scanner.
Starting from 2004, a small prize will be awarded for the nicest photos. Reason enough to show off your Polo-Harlekin in the best light. I recommend pictures that don't show the car at too close range. Shots with a nice background work particularly well.

Many visitors of my site ask me why some cars are shown several times. Simple. Someone who is not the first owner and who can't find a picture of the previous owner or owners on my website can do so with his own photos. If, for instance, someone is the fourth owner and I did not know the car so far, he could theoretically ask for four photos to be listed.
I will not pass on any pictures sent in and those selected for the website can be replaced or renewed by the owners at any time. A photograph will remain online in any case.

With my best intentions, I continue to wish for many photos to arrive from this country and from abroad. On my / our website, the Harlequin Family always shows itself from its best side and who else could help me with this but you!

Thank you very much for all the photos sent in so far!

13 Years of Harlequin   this car was really built
Harlequin Photo wanted   displaying your photograph

These statistics take into account all vehicle numberplates known to me, collated in three tables. Table 1 splits and sorts all numberplates into reliable and unreliable information. Those cars of which I know the full registration number are shown in the column for reliable data, while all other vehicles are shown in the column for guesswork.
The information relating to numberplates of previous owners is also very useful to avoid double entries in the database. However, if anyone does not wish to provide this information, he is at liberty to do so.
In the second table I count the colour varieties provided to me, putting those into relation to the total quantity. The resulting percentage figures my show a trend showing the numbers sold in the different colour varieties. Because I know approximately ten percent of all the vehicles, the information shown in table 2 is of course not yet representative.
Table 3 at the end of this site shows the towns or numberplates named most frequently. This is a filtered hit list of reliable data from table 1 and is purely for pleasure.
Cars registered outside Germany are listed at the end of table 1. I also know the full details of the reliable numberplates but these cannot be found completely on any of my pages.

If you want to have a look please klick [ statistics ]
(Sorry, the statistics you can see only there.)