There is actually a funny story that goes along with it too.
So my dad woke up at around 7 in the morning (early for him) and jumped into his porsche after having his square meal consisting of a cup of coffee. he probably tried racing everyone he met on his way to the auction. He sometimes gets a bit excited and thinks that everyone on the road wants to race him. I don't try to spoil his fun. Anyways, so he gets to the auction at around 8 in the morning, an hour before it starts. He buys his ticket to enter the selling floor. Unfortunately, it turns out that this location only accepts dealers and dealer guests onto the floor. They failed to mention this when he bought his ticket. Frantically searching for someone to act as a guest of, he was able to track down a middle eastern man. After a few quick exchanges they were on their way onto the selling floor.
My dad quickly went over to the Jetta and gave it a look over. It passed his visual inspection, so he called into his buyer (a mexican gentleman that we always deal with), to tell him to go ahead with the bid. Now, our buyer was unable to go to the actual auction, so he was bidding from the internet back at his "office." I am surprised that the place even HAS an internet connection, but that is besides the point.
The bidding starts on my car. My dad, having already told our buyer our limit, watches the car selling price start to rise. He looks to the side of him, and realizes that the middle eastern man who he had come in with was bidding against us!! Of course, my dad just stood there silently, hoping that the guy would give in. The price kept getting bumped from this friendly (and now, under the circumstances, evil) man standing next to my dad. Each bump was met with an internet bid. Finally, at $2300, the guy couldn't take any more. He threw his hands up in the air in defeat. I personally would take this as a sign that he wanted to bid again, but I guess that the auctioneer saw that he was giving up. Going once, going twice, sold to the internet bidder #XXXXXX... and the car was mine.
All said and told, it should work out to $3000 after the auction fees, buyer fees, towing costs, repairs, license fees, and whatever else might come my way. I will be sure to post lots of before and after pics when I go home to visit this summer.
Until then, I will just have to study up on TDI-specific driving techniques.
I never thought of 1998 as old for a car, even less so for a diesel as long as it's not rusted, and that the frame is straight, as stated befor make sure to keep an eye on the timing belt! also don't be suprized if the shifting linkage gets sloppy and needs the plastic linkage replaced, the struts tend to wear out quickly, and cv joints, at least on the older ones tended to wear out quickly, but as long as you change the timing belt on a TDI every 80,000 miles or whatever it is now, and keep it's fluids full the engine will last the rest of your life.
most of those parts seem to wear out around every 70-80,000 miles in my expearince, VW's in my mind are heavy cars, thus more stress on the cv joints, and more stress on the struts, the shift linkage wears out mostly with use I think, and it's not hard to change, just another thing that has to be done.
It wouldn't suprize me at all to see an engine like that last 300,000 miles befor needing a head rebuild or replaced, and 600,000 befor needing a compleat overhaul, but diesels tend to turn slower, and the fuel also acts as more of a lube then gasoline, so there should be less wear, and then they are higher compression so everything is built like a tank, between those things, the engine just lasts longer.