Showroom Fresh MKI 1978 VW Rabbit For Sale

I am amazed that cars like this still exist.  Especially in the VW community that has long embraced the idea of heavily modifying their cars.  This trend of stock being a good thing is a welcome sight.  This Rabbit is an excellent example of what these cars looked like new.  With only 24k on the ticker that is not an exaggeration.


From the seller -

“Up for auction is my prized possession, 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit C.  This is an Original, Unrestored vehicle with only 26,092 documented miles!  1.6L CIS gasser with 4 speed manual transmission.  I purchased it from the original owner in October 2008 in Athens, Ohio with 24,448 miles.  The original owner is a retired Math professor at Ohio University in Athens.  This was the FIRST and ONLY car he ever purchased/owned.  The low mileage can be attributed to the small college town where walking or public transportation are the primary methods of travel.  The previous owner’s sale to me was due to his eyesight, which no longer afforded him the opportunity to drive.

This German-built Rabbit has a build date of 7/1978, and was originally sold at Paul Raitz Volkswagen in Athens, Ohio on September 26th, 1978.  As you’ll see in the pictures, the original owners manual and maintenance booklet are present and included.  At the time I purchased the car, they were wrapped in plastic and mothballs in the glove box.  The only work I’ve performed on the car in my 2½ years of ownership has been the following:

1.)   Tune-up shortly after purchase (plugs, wires, rotor, cap, fuel filter, & battery).

2.)   Extensive detailing.

3.)   Replaced the lower front spoiler as the original had cracked.  A NOS item was used.

4.)   The rare OEM VW roof rack was also added, and is included.

5.)   Replaced Headlight Switch.

6.)   Muffler was replaced as the original had rotted from the inside out (fairly common).

Some of the unique features include the original manufacturer’s sticker still on the lower left corner of the windshield, the original VW/Audi windshield wipers, the original paint code and instruction stickers in the trunk area, and the (now rare) CIS adjustment key!

What this car needs … realistically, nothing.  It honestly rides like a Cadillac.  As you’ll see in the pictures there are two small dings in the driver’s side door.  One was there when I purchased the car, the other I just noticed.  Unfortunate, but fairly minor considering the age and condition of the car.  I chose not to address this to keep the originality. The finish on the wheels has been touched up.  Had I kept the car I would’ve liked to either refinish them, or replace them with new OEM units.  The tires are in very good condition with plenty of tread and no dry-rot.  However, I couldn’t find a manufacture date and speculate they’re older.  They are not original, but the spare is, and unused!  The current battery is a Duralast brand unit.  Prior to delivery, the battery will be replaced with a brand new OEM Volkswagen unit.

If you’ve come across this auction, you’re probably a Volkswagen, European, or vintage car enthusiast.  It’s my opinion that this is an investment/museum quality vehicle.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find an early, German-built Rabbit (Golf 1) that’s as clean and unmolested as this.  The car was professionally appraised in 2009 and scored 145 Excellent marks, 3 Good+ marks, and 11 Good marks. The original detailed copy of the appraisal will be included with the sale.  It has been a multiple award winner at local shows since 2009.  It’s a solid class winner and repeat candidate for Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards.  If you’re looking for a show car that’s Original and ready to go, this is it!”

I am not sure the last time I saw a Rabbit in this kind of shape, late 80′s maybe.  If you are a sucker for stock vintage Volkswagens this is made for you.  Books, history, records, and stock through and through this VW has everything.

Thus far there have been 26 bids so there has been interest.  With a few days to go and no reserve this car will sell to the highest bidder.  My guess that bid will be in the $7.5-8k range.  Here is hoping it goes to a good home.

~Aaron.

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3 Comments on "Showroom Fresh MKI 1978 VW Rabbit For Sale"

  1. Larry says:

    The color is less than ideal, but on this car, it works. Incredible condition and mileage. This would be a neat car to buy – extraordinarily rare to see them like this!

    Of course, I would consider selling selected body parts to score a first-generation Scirocco S (preferably in silver) in this condition and mileage…

  2. Aaron says:

    Bidding is up to $9k with a few hours left. Wow!

  3. Larry says:

    Someone bid it up from $5800 to $9000 in a few minutes this morning (using 16 incremental bids). Kind of curious…as if they were trying to drive the price up. Hmmm…