1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI

It’s been 15 years since I traded in that piece of crap 2000 Volkswagen GTI. I haven’t had the nerve to buy another Volkswagen since, but this isn’t a problem since the Scirocco and Polo GTI are conveniently omitted from the US product lineup. I am convinced to this day that VW had hired away some Fiat assembly plant workers back in the dark days of the 1970s and would employ them on the line when the Germans went on holiday. There was no other way of explaining a car that would self destruct in front of my own eyes. It also made me pine for the simpler days of the car we see here, the original Volkswagen GTI. This 1984 GTI for sale in New York reminds me of the example fellow GCFSBer Brian owns, albeit in stock form. For a final year Mk1 GTI, rarely do they get this nice and it has just the right amount of mileage and patina that won’t deter an enthusiast from using it as intended.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI on eBay

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1983 Volkswagen GTI

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When I met Lon, he was in Washington on his yearly pilgrimage to see friends and search for rust-free Mk1 Volkswagens. He lived in Iowa and had a farm filled with interesting VW breeding experiments. GTIs mated with trucks, diesels injected wherever possible, etc. He knew that our sweet little truck was getting more than a little rough around the edges – a cracked exhaust manifold was the final need that broke my dad’s patience – but he also looked at it with the same optimism and appreciation that I did. I was just a couple of months into having my driver’s license, and the passing on of my beloved Rabbitamino was hard to swallow. Lon seemed to be the right person to pass it on to, someone who would make it better and give it a new life in a way I wasn’t prepared to do. The pain of loss was dulled when he let me drive the Mk1 GTI he had already picked up on his trip – a low and tight little mongrel featuring a Quaife differential and a short-geared diesel 5-speed. Howling through the gears and hitting fourth before 40 mph, he offered to trade me the GTI and its trunk full of VW race parts for the truck and a little cash. 16 year old me was not in the driver’s seat for our family’s car choices, however, and my dad wanted another truck. We ended up with an incredible Toyota 4×4 that is still kicking ass and taking names, but that drive in (and missed chance at) Lon’s sweet GTI has always stuck with me.

Thus, the Mk1 GTI is still a bucket list car for me, but I’m thinking I need to either jump on one soon or cross my fingers and hope I win the lottery down the line. This beautiful Royal Red example has covered roughly 2k miles in the last 9 years after the owner bought it in Chicago and took it to New York to tuck away, drive on weekends, and take to shows. It’s not completely original – new snowflakes have been acquired by the owner over the years, and it has a stainless steel Techtonics exhaust – but it’s damn close. We’ve seen impeccable, fully restored GTIs, but original examples like this carry an extra air of gravity and provenance. Whatever the seller invested 9 years ago, I’m guessing it was a heck of a lot less than the nearly $10k the auction is reaching.

Click for details: 1983 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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1982 Volkswagen Jetta CL

Edit: Though the original listing has this car as a diesel, some eagle-eyed Facebook fans noted the spark plug leads. Looks like this is a case of mistaken identity! -ed

While it looks like the Volkswagen emissions scandal might have killed off the diesel engine in the US market (at least for now), I doubt it will kill the idea of oil burners with the People’s Car badge worldwide. VW has been committed to this engine for quite some time as we can see with this impossibly mint condition 1982 Jetta CL Diesel. While you might still run across a first generation Golf or GTI on the street from time to time, a first generation Jetta is much more rare, whether in two or four-door form. This four-door Jetta CL Diesel for sale in Germany comes saddled with the 3-speed automatic gearbox, which certainly won’t win you any stoplight races, but if its preservation class you are seeking to participate in, you’ll wow the crowd at your next local meet.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Jetta CL Diesel on Classic Trader

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1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet

There are few cars, past or present, that do not have a stigma attached to them. The Toyota Prius is for dope smoking activists who are under the impression they are helping the environment. Range Rovers are for trophy wives. Mustangs are for people who enjoy burnouts at Cars and Coffee and jump the median strip or crash into a crowd upon leaving the event. The Volkswagen Cabriolet? The stuff dreams are made of for high school girls and the official sponsor of sororities across the country. Right? Too harsh of an assessment? Well, if I was ever going to question my masculinity, I’d do it with this 1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet. In black over nicely contrasting white leather, the Snowflake alloy wheels and 5-speed manual gearbox set this one apart from the usual cruisers equipped with the 3-speed automatic. This example for sale in Florida is about to hit 80,000 miles and quite frankly looks like it just rolled out of the showroom. I wouldn’t mind tooling around in this drop top this summer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Cabriolet on eBay

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1984 Volkswagen GTI

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When I first saw this GTI, I thought “that’s a beautiful Mk1 GTI,” immediately followed by “they want $15k with 216,000 miles?!” which is the exact response the seller is discouraging in his ad, as I later found out. What I also found out as I read further and drooled over the pictures was that this GTI has just about everything new on it. Seriously, it’s like new under there with a rebuild with a fresh bottom end, all suspension, rebuilt brakes, and an interior redone in new-old-stock GTI red cloth. It’s pretty much perfect, and the mudflaps put me over the damn edge (I put some on my E28 M5 this winter and am now obsessed). This is the best non-original, like-new GTI out there.

Click for details: 1984 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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Revisit: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger

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Growing up, tuner VWs were the coolest cars out there to me. I spent hours rewatching the Hans Dahlback videos, and though Eurotuner was entertaining, it felt more legitimate when Road & Track did features with companies like Oettinger or HPA. Carter featured this Greek Golf, complete with Oettinger engine and full Zender bodykit and Turbo wheels. Some great translation errors like “modificated” and less than complete pictures don’t help the fear of buying a car from a country more financially screwed than the US in the Great Depression. I hope it’s legit though, as this would drop the jaws of any American VW enthusiasts. The marks against it have conspired to make the seller drop the price from $15k to $8,999 while driving it some 3km, a brutal 40% drop in what he thought he could get for it. Considering the prices we’re seeing on nice, stock Mk1s, if you can get this safely into the US for under $12k all in you’d have a great car and not a bad investment.

– NR

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Golf Oettinger on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 4, 2014:

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1984 Volkswagen GTI

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The Volkswagen Mk1 GTI is quickly ascending the classic car ranks and dragging what used to be the most fun performance value available into a serious investment. We’ve seen nice examples come from Windy City Motorsports before, but today’s GTI comes from one of the owners personal garages and features an impressive lineup of modifications. The updates are mostly period-correct, and while they remove any claim to originality, they come together for a beautifully impressive package.

After buying the GTI from its original owner, the seller stripped it down and repainted it, opting to remove the fender flares. Most people want to make their sports cars wider, not narrower, but I can’t argue with how great the gold BBS RSs look on a clean body. Lots of other parts were smoothed out too like shaved side reflectors and fender antenna, with tidy Euro bumpers and a Zender roof spoiler yielding a GTI that is somehow even crisper than the outstanding factory appearance Giugiaro blessed it with. The interior is similarly spruced-up 80s with a suede headliner, all-new carpeting, and serious-but-clandestine stereo upgrades. The main performance upgrades are in the suspension, but to call the original 8V engine untouched would ignore the considerable work done replacing pretty much every auxiliary item, gasket, and line.

With just 52k miles, this would be a big-buck GTI no matter what. The well-chosen and comprehensive upgrades come together for a beautiful GTI with enough small touches to keep even the most die-hard VW fan poking around in awe for hours.

Click for details: 1984 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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1980 Volkswagen Rabbit

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This Mint Green Rabbit was an estate find and the title is still in the original owner’s name giving you the chance to be just the second owner after 35 years. Its condition is almost as mint as its exterior, having covered just 46k miles in those three and half decades. It’s not perfect, with a few small rust corners that show repair/repaint attempts and a fading hatch, but overall it’s a very pretty 4-door Rabbit. Somewhere along the lines it sounds like the original manual was swapped out for an automatic transmission, a questionable choice but somewhat in accordance with its history of low use by old folks. The color, the vintage, and the condition make it the perfect car for the well-coiffed hipster or a nostalgic grandma.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

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1977 Volkswagen Rabbit

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Looking at what the Volkswagen Golf has become today, it’s rather remarkable when you look back at the Giugiaro-penned two box design of which it originated from. This 1977 Rabbit represents the earlier years of the Mk1. It’s a very simple car, with few options or adornments. However, you can find beauty in its simplicity, from the pressed steel wheels to the slimmer Euro bumpers. For sale in Georgia, this original VW was purchased new in Pennsylvania and is up to date on its servicing. For the vintage VW collector, they rarely come nicer than this.

Click for details: 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

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1983 Volkswagen GTI 16V

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When I first glanced at this GTI, I thought “Oh man, what a clean and stock Mk1 GTI!” The exterior is pristine and retains the beautiful and original Snowflake wheels, with the only subtle modification being European bumpers. Peak inside the doors and under hood, however, and it becomes clear that while it is extremely clean it is certainly no stock or ordinary GTI. A full rollcage has been installed with all but the driver’s seat removed, revealing a GTI that has been extensively and purposefully built as an autocrosser. The chassis reinforcement is necessary thanks to new suspension, brakes, and above all a rebuilt 16V from a Mk2, installed in 1997. It’s lived with a single owner its entire life, an extreme rarity among GTIs. Since the swap, it’s covered about 4k miles, likely most on the autocross course, and has fewer than 100k miles total. The condition, care, and modifications come together to make a beautiful little GTI that will be a hoot on the back roads or around the cones, as long as you’re willing to spend top dollar and drive alone!

Click for details: 1983 Volkswagen GTI 16V on eBay

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