1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup G60

Often we complain about the numerous times German manufacturers have failed to send models enthusiasts want to U.S. shores. But in the case of the Volkswagen Pickup – affectionately nicknamed the “Caddy” after the model that was released later in Europe – was first debuted out of the American Westmoreland, PA plant. The chassis was lengthened and unique bodywork and rear axle were fit, and the Rabbit Pickup was marketed as a comfortable, car-like utility vehicle. Between 1980 and 1982, Volkswagen even offered the Rabbit “Sportruck”. While most would presume this was primarily an appearance package, the Sportruck actually was quite a bit more sporty than the diesel options in the rest of the lineup. You got a 5-speed manual (opposed to 4) hooked to a 1.7 liter 8V, a front spoiler and special “Rally” wheel trim, along with a 3-gauge console and bucket seats with a Scirocco steering wheel. It wasn’t a GTI, but it was a half step in between.

This Caddy, though it isn’t one of the Sportrucks, is a huge leap for Caddykind:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup G60 on eBay

1983 Volkswagen GTi

I’m going to take a slightly different tack from Nate’s post yesterday on his equally immaculate Royal Red GTi. I owned an A1 GTi once. It was one of the worst automotive decisions I’ve ever made. Back in 1998, I bought a non-running, rusty and very tired black over blue 1984 example for $300. I had every intention of “restoring” it to back good condition, but I was 21 and a poor college student and it was 14. But it wasn’t the age (or the mileage, Indiana), it was how it had been treated in that 14 years. After all, my current Passat is 14 years old and while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty damn nice. Heck, my M3 is 13 years old and basically looks and drives new. No, age was much harder on the cars of the early 1980s; plastics weren’t as durable as they are now, nor was paint. Metal was more rust prone and the electronics were no where near as reliable even though there were so far fewer in the car. To back my GTi up, you could simply look through the crease in the bodywork between the taillights and the rear floor where there was no longer metal. Every single bushing was gone, and what was left vibrated like an unattended paint shaker at Home Depot set to high. The paint was ruined – the car had clearly been hit at some point, so the passenger door and fender were a different shade of black than the rest of the car, which could more be described as dark gray spread very thinly over light gray primer. One time it started itself, which was a bit scary. Another time, it refused to start because the starter had removed itself from the transmission, but only enough to jam the gear into the flywheel.…

1987 Volkswagen GTi

Do you remember the first of the second run of the GTi? Not many do. It seems almost as though there was a jump straight from the original A1 chassis in 1984 up to the GTi 16V. Even then, finding the first of the 16V cars has become extremely tough. But the 1985-1987 8Vs? They’re just about gone. I remember wanting one with a passion; I had a 1986 Westmoreland Golf, and the GTi seemed like a pretty big step up. It was, in 1985 – selecting the GTi kicked your price up 30% from $7,000 to $9,000 automatically. For that additional amount, you got the HT high compression motor churning out a nice round 100 horsepower. But from a street credential standpoint, it wasn’t the 15 horsepower jump that was important; it was the 14″ alloy wheels, the rear spoiler, the red stripes, and that magical “GTi” badge surrounding the trim on the car. You also got a close-ratio 5-speed transmission, sport seats and a multi-function computer. This was high-tech stuff back in the day! GTis also sported 4-wheel disc brakes, an upgrade over the A1 chassis, along with dual sway bars and a leather wrapped steering wheel – a huge improvement over the stock (and very plastic) wheel in my Golf. But the 8V GTi was completely overshadowed in 1987 by the launch of the dual-cam 16V model. Now with 40 horsepower more than the standard Golf, it was a serious upgrade befitting its new $12,500 pricetag. Once in a while, though, a standard GTi pops up and reminds me of a simpler time:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

1986 Volkswagen GTi

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

1987 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon

The B2 Quantum has always been an interesting car to me. As my first car was an Audi 4000CS quattro, there were aspects of its Volkswagen sibling that I really liked. First, while I wouldn’t say that the Quantum was more handsome than the 4000, it was certainly more distinctive looking. There are some downright odd angles on the Quantum, but somehow the design pulls it off. It’s also more rare to see them, or at least it felt so when I was driving around in the 4000. Then there were more practical things; for example, unlike Audi who ran the odd 4×108 pattern for slightly larger brakes, the Quantum stuck to smaller stock and retained 4×100 mm wheels. That made upgrades a bit easier and gave the Quantum a signature look with the GTi-sourced snowflake wheels. You could also get the 5-cylinder in front drive sedan configuration with the GL5; it was something Audi offered early on but had dropped, instead having only the Coupe GT be the front drive 5-cylinder. But the real trump card for the Quantum was undoubtedly the Syncro Wagon, as there was no Audi B2 wagon available in any configuration:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro on eBay

1984 Volkswagen GTi – REVISIT

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:

Feature Listing: 1984 Volkswagen GTi – REVISIT

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.…

Feature Listing Updates – New Lower Prices on Survivor GTi and Low Mile Corrado

The seller of the two recent fan-favorite Volkswagens has been in touch and lowered the price on both offerings; the GTi is now listed at $6,500 and the Corrado is listed at $12,500. He’s included links to more photos on each car, as well.

You can contact the seller if you’re interested directly at jimmyzslc@yahoo.com.

Click Here For The GTI Post

Year: 1984
Model: GTi
Engine: 1.8 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 104,500 mi
Price: $6,500

Click Here For Additional GTI Photos

Click Here For The Corrado Post

Year: 1992
Model: Corrado SLC
Engine: 2.8 liter VR6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 36,750 mi
Price: $12,500

Click Here For Additional Corrado Photos

-Carter…

Feature Listing: 1984 Volkswagen GTi – REVISIT

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 jimmyzslc@yahoo.com.

Click Here For Additional GTI Photos

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

Isn’t it amazing how far cars have come? Just yesterday, I was walking with my wife and we were talking about the cost of living today versus when our parents were our age. Certain things are significantly more expensive proportionate to what income was then; housing, for example, and utilities are – at least where we live – much more expensive than when our parents were young. In the early 1980s, the housing market was such that an average amount of money today would have bought you a real mansion – or in some cases, you could have easily owned two or three houses for the same amount as a not particularly extravagant home today. But then you turn to computers, phones, and music technology – remember the CD collection that you used to have?…

1984 Volkswagen GTi

It’s not often that lightning strikes twice, but today we get to look at another well preserved first generation GTi. Last week I highlighted an example with a bit more patina but well presented; today’s car is another one that we’ve written up that defies belief. There’s a reason that these cars are so well regarded by the automotive press and automotive fans; they’re amazing cars that make you smile. They punch far outside of their weight class – a do-everything automobile, most people that have owned them (this author included) drove them with aplomb – clipping apexes and lifting wheels, nearly daily redline-runs and antagonizing every “sports” car you could find. That likely explains why so few remain in the condition of this car:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTi on eBay