1987 Volkswagen GTI 16V

1987 was the year that the GTI started its climb up the weight and complexity scale with the addition of the PL 1.8 liter double overhead cam inline-4. Now with 123 horsepower, Volkswagen continued its mid-80s trend of charging the customers about $100 a horsepower, resulting in a $2,000 increase in base price to correspond with the 21 horsepower jump. New “Silverstone” alloys which had debuted (like the motor) on the Scirocco were still 14″ x 6″, but looked the part with their signature teardrop machined look. Also carrying over from the Scirocco was the Fuba roof-mounted antenna; something which would become a call sign for fast VWs for the next two decades. The lower valences, both front and rear, were painted matte black, further highlighting the red-stripped bumper covers and accented by a deeper front spoiler with twin brake ducts. The red theme carried over to the “16V” badges surrounding the outside and highlighting the inside; a new red-stripe velour and leatherette sport interior kept the passengers planted. While the 21 horsepower increase didn’t sound like a lot, the 16V was a case of a car which outperformed its numbers on paper and felt much quicker than it might have appeared. 0-60 was gone in a tick under 8 seconds and the GTI would gear-out at 124 mph. Car magazines proclaimed it the best GTI yet, though many pointed out that it was also getting quite expensive. Though still popular, not quite as many of these A2 GTIs seemed to hit the market, and finding clean, original examples today like this beautiful Red Pearl Mica example? You guessed it, exceptionally hard.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen GTI 16V on eBay

1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet

The first water-cooled entrant into the Volkswagen world had remarkable staying power, just like its air-cooled brethren had before it. Construction of the first models began back in 1974, and though the convertible version didn’t begin production until five years later, the renamed (but largely unchanged) Cabriolet wouldn’t wrap up production until an amazing 1993. Granted, by that point the Cabriolet was more niche model and nostalgic throwback than practical transportation, but nonetheless it was an impressive return on investment in the chassis design that 19 years later it was still being produced. And, if you want to count the reworked South African version, technically the Mk.1 was still available for sale until 2009!

What we have here is one of the later U.S. specification Cabriolets. In 1988, Volkswagen updated the look of the aging model (which, incidentally, had just been lightly refreshed in 1985 and renamed Cabriolet from Rabbit Convertible) to the “Clipper” models. Signature would become the four-headlight grill, deeper and smoother front fascia, wider fender flares and side skirts. The Cabriolet became the first Volkswagen model to sport an airbag as standard in 1990, too, as well as a new knee protection bar to the lower portion of the dashboard. 1990 also marked the change from the ex-GTI CIS motor to the Digifant electronic fuel injection. The more upscale models, like this “Best Seller”, also received the 16V model “Teardrop” alloys making for a slick looking package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet Best Seller on eBay

1988 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16V

The introduction of the DOHC motor into the Volkswagen lineup may not have heralded a massive increase in power; on paper, the 21 horsepower bump from the RD 8 valve 1.8 liter inline-4 to the PL 16V of the same displacement was pretty modest compared to the massive leaps of today. But in a 2,000 lbs car, the 20% bump in thrust meant that the new Jetta GLI 16V for 1987 felt like the rocket ship its tach acted like every time you stabbed the throttle. To match the additional power, Volkswagen offered many upgrades over the standard 8 valve GLI in 1987, the only year they were offered together in the U.S. market. A deeper front lip spoiler with brake ducting and rear spoiler added boy-racer looks. Though the wheels remained 14″x6″, the new “Silverstone” design you know as “Teardrops” looked cooler than the bottle-cap inspired design on the 8V. A swept-back Fuba roof-mounted antenna continued the speed theme and became the signature Volkswagen look for some time. Inside 16V badges on the dash and a higher red line prepared you for the thrill ride while heavily bolstered half-cloth, half-leatherette Recaro Trophy seats hugged you. And to show how fancy you were to your friends, this Volkswagen included a lit key fob – the first I can think of for a Volkswagen. The Jettas were also marketed upscale of the more boy-racer GTI (a trend which recently has been reversed), so options included power windows, air conditioning and a sunroof, and the model carried over from 1987 largely unchanged into 1988. They were a cut-rate M3 to an entire generation that was never able to even contemplate new BMW ownership, and became wildly popular as a result:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16V on eBay

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup GTi

Volkswagen of America’s small pickup truck offered a unique experience at the beginning of the 1980s; basically, the front half of the pickup was a Rabbit, which meant relative comfort, reliability, easy of use and driving and good fuel economy. In back, Volkswagen stretched the wheelbase nine inches and swapped in a tubular axle supported by leaf springs giving the pick up 1,100 lbs of payload capacity and a six foot bed – not too shabby! They even launched a “Sportruck” model, which gave you bucket seats and some really trick decals that covered most of the side. You also got some amazing options for the period, like a tachometer (wooooow) and a 5-speed transmission. However, the mix of 1.7 liter, low compression 8V motors available weren’t exactly going ignite your enthusiast dreams. 78 horsepower channeled through the manual would return a not particularly stunning 0-50 time of 9.7 seconds. 60, you’ll remember, was illegal in the United States at that time, so why bother designing a car that could approach it?

But Westmoreland, PA produced some other neat Volkswagens around the same time, though – notably, the U.S. finally got the higher compression, higher output GTi. Though Volkswagen themselves never combined them, that hasn’t stopped some enterprising individuals:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

1987 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 16V with 53,000 Miles

As I talked about in a post last April, the 1987 Volkswagen GLi 16V had some unique trim features. 1987 was the sole year in the U.S. that you could buy both a 16V and 8V GLi. Upgrading to the DOHC motor got you a rear spoiler and deeper front spoiler with integrated brake ducts. Though they were the same 14″x6″ size of the 8V model, 16Vs got the signature “Teardrop” alloys (though their actual name is Silverstones). Inside you got some awesome Recaro seats in place of the normal sport seats, and the more luxurious GLi models had many power features available. Both 1987 models retained the earlier split front door window design and narrow door trim as well as the 7-bar grill, but the 16V GLi also got a roof-mounted Fuba antenna. That particular 1987 I looked at in April was in awesome condition with near 140,000 for, so this one should be spectacular with 90,000 miles less:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 16V on eBay

Sporty Soot: 1987 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 16V Ecodiesel

With the exception of the short-lived Jetta TDi Cup Edition, Volkswagen has denied U.S. fans something that it’s offered in Europe for several generations – the sporty versions of its diesel products. They go as far back as the mid-1980s and made lots of sense in European countries were greater fuel economy trumped the need for speed. But that lack of importation hasn’t stopped some from creating their own anti-sleepers. What started life here as an early Jetta GLi 16V has gone through a unique swap to an equally if not more rare Ecodiesel-spec 1.6 turbo motor. You get the sporty look and interior from the GLi with all the clatter and fuel economy of the diesel:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Jetta GLi 16V Ecodiesel on eBay

1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V – REVISIT

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Our reader Larry noticed the nicely restored 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V we wrote up earlier this month is back up for auction, with a Buy It Now price of $5,000. At that price, you couldn’t replicate the condition of this model and it looks like a good deal. If yesterday’s mint black Scirocco 16V got you excited but is too rich for you, here’s a cheaper way::

The below post originally appeared on our site April 11, 2014:

Click for more details: 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V on eBay

Last week, Nate wrote up a great Tornado Red Scirocco 16V, and while I disagree with his claim that it’s more attractive than the Audi Coupe, otherwise we see eye to eye – these are great little performance hatchbacks that can be run on a budget. Unfortunately, nearly everyone in the VW world already discovered that and finding clean, unmolested examples is quite difficult. Nate longed for some teardrop wheels on his example, and I’m happy to oblige with today’s super clean example, replete with the nicer Euro-bits, too:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

1988 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V

Last week, Nate wrote up a great Tornado Red Scirocco 16V, and while I disagree with his claim that it’s more attractive than the Audi Coupe, otherwise we see eye to eye – these are great little performance hatchbacks that can be run on a budget. Unfortunately, nearly everyone in the VW world already discovered that and finding clean, unmolested examples is quite difficult. Nate longed for some teardrop wheels on his example, and I’m happy to oblige with today’s super clean example, replete with the nicer Euro-bits, too:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

1986 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V

It’s been about a month since we last wrote up a Scirocco 16V, a neat economy hatchback with plenty of 1980s character and styling. The 16V was and still is a perennial favorite of the VW crowd, who generally modify them to make them better performers and turners. Few seem to remain in pristine, original shape anymore – and this isn’t one of them, but it is a first-year model with some tasteful modifications that might be a good canvas for the VW loyal:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V on eBay

1978 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel L

When one talks about dream Mk.1 Volkswagens, the Rabbit Diesel L usually doesn’t come to mind. Typically folks want an early gas model or the GTi, but this diesel may just sway a few people. Period correct (and back in vogue today) respray in brown over tan interior with a cabriolet body kit, this diesel looks neat and is sure to save you lots and lots of money at the pump. If Volkswagen was still importing Rabbits to the U.S. in 1991, this is what they would have looked like:

Year: 1978
Model: Rabbit Diesel L
Engine: 1.6 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 59,566 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel L on eBay

I am selling my fully restored 1978 VW Rabbit Diesel. Runs and drives perfect.

The engine was replaced with rebuilt 1.6 L diesel engine and 5 speed manual transmission. New water pump, timing belt, bearings, piston

rings ( GOETZE brand), and new injectors. 59400 miles on the car, but only 500 miles on the rebuilt engine.

New battery, and heather core. No A/C.

New clutch, and clutch cable.

New (Brembo) front brakes and pads. new rear break shoes and wheel cylinder. New master brake cylinder, and emergency brake cable.

New struts (Sachs) and struts mounts on front, and new rear struts. All new wheel bearings (front and rear).

Nice 14″ aluminum wheels taken from 1990 Jetta with good used tires. Alignment and tire balance done.

Custom bumpers, grill, and double euro headlights (replacement H4 bulbs).

Car painted.

Interior looks great. New brown carpet, with original tan headliner, and clean tan leather seats. Two small cracks on dashboard (see picture).

Original radio, new door speakers. GTI console with gauges oil, temperature, and voltage.

For additional information call 330-328-4178

There is no doubt that a tremendous amount of work went into this L, and that’s pretty atypical.…