I’m a huge Rabbit Pickup fan, and frequently startle the people around me when I see one as I excitedly point out “Look at that! That was my first car! Yes, that weird little Volkswagen. It was awesome.” Despite coming from Florida, today’s Caddy is pretty exceptional, sporting Mk3 running gear and full interior, taking the OEM+ concept to a wonderful extreme. Adding a turbo to the 2-point-slow should certainly help this pickup’s gittyup, while Weitec coil overs and upgraded brakes should help turn what was a fun driver into a moderately serious weapon. The Rabbit Pickup should never be taken too seriously, and the bold blue helps with that, but overall this is one of the more exceptional Caddy restomods I’ve seen.
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As I continue my search for a van to support adventures without breaking the bank, it’s fun to happen upon examples like today’s which have good bones and a little work to be done, all at a reasonable price. This van was acquired by a VW tech from an older guy who had bit off more than he could chew, and now it has a rebuilt engine and restored running gear. The Westfalia interior pieces will need work to be fully installed and operating, but on a clean van like this from a seller that sounds like he’s expecting something along the lines of $10k, it’s a heck of a deal.
Click for details: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
When certain dream cars end up way more expensive than you ever thought they’d be, you’re forced to decide if you’ll wait until you make tons of money (which may never happen), or make some compromises and try to get an example you can enjoy as soon as possible. Maybe it’s just a high-miled chassis with a rebuilt engine, but when those are going for as much as a brand new GTI, what do you do? The ultimate value-killing rebuilt title is a big gamble, but with 70k miles enjoyed post-rebuild and a reserve of “well below $30k,” it may just be the best overall value for a Westy Syncro out there.
Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay
It’s hard to believe, but it’s approaching two decades that the “New” Beetle has been with us. What debuted as the Concept 1 at the 1994 North American International Auto Show begat the New Beetle for the 1998 model year. This revival of an entry-level motoring classic was offered with a 2.0 liter inline-4 or a 1.9 liter TDI engine initially, with a hotter 1.8 liter turbocharged petrol unit arriving shortly thereafter. Everyone from college kids to retirees began snapping these up in their quest for a little bit of nostalgia. These were not the most reliable of Volkswagens, suffering a lot of the same trim and electrical glitches that plagued the car they were based on, the MkIV Golf. A few years on, you could buy one for a song on the used market, and demand for new ones started to wane.
Enter the A5 based Beetle which debuted in 2011 for the 2012 model year. This was a larger, more powerful and feature laden car than its predecessor. Its appearance was meant to ape a bit of the cues from the original Beetle, with a modified roofline and available steel wheels with chromed trim rings and hubcaps. We’re a few years now into the current generation of Beetles, and this 6-speed manual example with low miles comes to us by way of our friends at Euro Automotion in Happy Valley, Oregon.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle at EuroAutomotion
I wonder if the A2 GTi is really as near extinction as I’ve claimed it is. I mean, sure – there are still countless A2s cruising around on Raceland coilovers with too many stickers on a 45 degree on the rear windows with VR6 or 1.8T swaps and too-wide BBS RSs. There are even more crumbling in their decaying potential, smashed and grabbed by owners with the promise that they’ll be something again someday. But clean, original and unmolested GTis? Now, that’s quite rare. Especially rare seem to be the very early models, the 1985 and 1986 1.8 8 valve model. While the GTi was much more fun when the valves were doubled, the original model still sported a higher compression motor capable of making the tossable A2 an entertaining ride. When I was in college, I had a 1984 GTi and worked with a guy who had inherited a 1986 model without knowing or really caring what it was. He told me that it wasn’t running right and asked me to take it for a ride, which I was happy to do. A quick run through an on ramp and onto the highway with a quick blast up to illegal speeds confirmed my belief that he wasn’t much of a Volkswagen connoisseur – it was easily quicker than my ’84 model, especially above 40 m.p.h., where my Italian tuneup yielded smooth and responsive power. No one will mistake the GTi for a Lamborghini, but in terms of sheer enthusiasm, the 1.8 mill is a motor that encourages thrashing – perhaps an indication as to why so few are left today: