In the world of race cars, there’s something that gives enthusiasts like me raised hairs on the back of the neck. ‘Body in white’ cars are cars that were never sold to the public, but turned directly into racers either by a third party or by the manufacturer itself. What is extra special about them is that as more or less dedicated race cars, they were often sent with less options or even devoid of items that racers love to rip off. It might be no interior, less wiring, or a lack of undercoating but it all translates to the same thing – less weight, faster lap times and more wins. Today’s Volkswagen Golf may look like a run of the mill pocket-rocket racer that someone built in their garage, but it has an interesting history:
All posts tagged GTi
When Paul sent me the link to this GTi, I knew instantly that I recognized it. We write a lot of cars up here, but some stand out – in this case, this car followed up two record setting GTis that I wrote up, but unlike those this one seemed stuck in no-man’s land. It wasn’t restored but also wasn’t quite as nice as the other two low mileage examples. Despite the lower asking price, no one jumped on the potential of this car at $6,500. Nearly exactly one year later, the car is back. It hasn’t remained static, gaining a touch over 6,000 miles – but strangely, the price has increased to $7,000. Given that the other similar condition Diamond Silver 1984 struggled to make $5,500, it’s hard to see why this one will hammer for more.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen GTi on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site January 4, 2014:
There are very few race cars that I instantly fall in love with. A vast majority of them I see as very cool or with unique aspects, but often I’m left feeling as though I would do something – or many things – very different than the builder. But the moment I laid my eyes on this Rabbit, I fell instantly in love. Now, truth told I had already been thinking about an early Volkswagen race car – this time around, my thoughts lingered on some of the Scirocco SCCA racers. Hunkered down with all-too-awesome gold BBS magnesium wheels and a deep air dam, they just look spectacular to me. That feeling instantly transferred to this Rabbit. One of the earliest imported to the U.S., it’s the desirable Swallowtail model which looks much closer to the original Giugiaro design than the later U.S. built examples. There’s something that’s so pretty, so delicate about the early Golf/Rabbit design. It was refreshingly different from what Volkswagen had produced up to that point, but it was also purposeful in its design. With light weight and a dose of sport, these early Rabbits paved the way for what would become the performance arm of Volkswagen, centered around the A1 based GTi. But even before the GTi hit these shores there were plenty of racers that saw the opportunity to race the Rabbit on a budget. This early build was competitive right through the 1980s; in fact, I bet with the right driver it would still be close to the front today:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay
Very recently, Hagerty ran an article in which it declared the Mk.2 GTi an endangered car. It is undeniable that the amount of clean and original second generation GTis is dwindling. For years, they were just like the E30 BMW – a popular tuning platform, with lots modified to inches of their life and even more wrecked or neglected by owners. Funnily, when you speak to people that owned them, nearly all wish they had them back – but unlike the budding E30 market that is fulfilling those dreams, it seems hard to come by a Mk.2 GTi for sale that isn’t a wreck. This is especially true of the very early 8V models; in my comment on the Hagerty article posted on our Facebook page, I asked when the last time someone had seen a clean and original ’85 or ’86 GTi around. The answer, unsurprisingly, was that there just weren’t many left.
As if to answer my question, though, mere weeks after that post the market is delighted to welcome this gem. True, this is not an original 1985 GTi – it’s better. It’s a lot better. Why? Well, not only was this a joint adventure between Volkswagen and BBS, but turbo wizard Callaway joined the party as well. The creation has left this Mars Red GTi better than original, and with only 48,000 miles on the clock is probably also one of the cleanest early Mk.2s out there:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen GTi Callaway Turbo on eBay
How many times can you own an automotive legend on a budget? Normally on Friday, I try to look at some screaming deals in the German automotive world; but in terms of all around reputation, the original GTi is on par with cars like the Porsche 911. It was hugely influential not only on the market but on enthusiast’s expectations of what their everyday car could deliver. Practical, fun to drive, quick and relatively inexpensive, the Golf GTi is heading into its 7th iteration with the same basic formula as the original. Original, honest A1 GTis are now hard to come by, and this survivor is one of the better original examples we’ve seen with complete records and maintenance. Bidding is on its way up, but compared to some other German legends this car will remain a serious bargain.
The below post originally appeared on our site October 16, 2014:
You may remember this great looking, original and rare color combination GTi from last week. Although the car sold, the buyer failed to come through, so you get a second chance to pick up this awesome timepiece of history. Opportunities to own what many consider legendary cars don’t come along often, and usually aren’t very cheap – but these original GTis if left unmolested and in good shape like this one are near certain to appreciate over the coming years and offer you the chance to drive one of the best regarded cars ever made without breaking the bank. This car has some unbelievable records including a handwritten log from the first day of ownership by the original owner, and outside of the replaced windshield and gas cap, and a few mechanical parts is 100% OEM. This is a truly impressive survivor, and the seller has extensive shots that document the condition both above and below the car.
You can contact the seller if you’re interested directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.