In the early 1980s, there were precious few options for open-air German motoring. Sure, there was the tried and true Mercedes-Benz SL; a luxury car aimed more at boulevard cruising and polo club grand-standing than the Sport Licht moniker would indicate. Porsche’s 911 Cabriolet was certainly more sporty, but also too expensive for most to contemplate as a fun second car. BMW and Audi? The latter was over a decade away from having a factory convertible, and the former took until the mid-80s to introduce its drop-top 3-series. For the plebeians, then, the only real option was Volkswagen’s Rabbit convertible.
Rabbit Convertibles were produced by Karmann in Osnabrück, Germany – about a two and a half hour drive west from Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg plant. As they did with the Scirocco, Karmann’s distinctive badge adorned the model, here on the front fenders. The intensive construction process laden with chassis strengthening and bespoke items like the added roll-over bar meant that VW’s normal production line couldn’t handle the task. Although these were the heaviest of the A1 models, compared to today’s metal they were downright lithe; a manual early Convertible like today’s, even with air conditioning optioned in, weighed less than 2,300 lbs. While never the most powerful in the lineup, the light weight and manual transmission made the original Rabbit convertibles one of the more entertaining ways to experience compact German engineering and open-air motoring in the notoriously malaise early 80s.
While the persona surrounding the model, and more generally the people who bought the model new, tends to steer away from the typical ‘enthusiast’, the Rabbit Convertible has nonetheless moved solidly into collector territory. It’s a smart-looking, practically packaged and fun to drive convertible that can be run on a budget, fit four people in relative comfort and generate smiles throughout. In a world of increasingly serious automobiles, the Rabbit Convertible and Cabriolet models were just simple fun.…
My love for the Mk1 Volkswagen body styles is well-documented, and it extends even to the little-sister Cabrio. Today’s has covered a shockingly-low 28k miles, mostly as an RV attendant. Top to wheels, it’s a gorgeous example of 80s Volkswagens. We’ve all had the convertible argument, and while many still frown upon them, the extra fun can’t be denied. My hierarchy may start with the GTI closely followed by the Caddy, but if a Cabriolet were going to be in the collection, a low-mileage Wolfsburg is about as good as you can get.
They may not be exactly your cup of tea, but Syncros are like Faberge eggs; you just have to accept that somewhere someone wants to pay a lot for it. Today’s lacks the camping ability of the Westy, but makes up for it with outstanding mechanicals, the heart of which is a Subaru SVX 3.3l boxer six. Add on some bigger brakes and transmission mods and this box-on-wheels must move pretty well. With 115k miles on all pieces, this is a great van.
In the 1980s, the minivan was billed as the next big thing. Smaller and more fuel efficient than full sized vans more suited to commercial work, this new vehicle segment was the ideal solution for the family seeking to break from the traditional wagon mold. But, as the saying goes, if it ain’t new, it’s through. Soon came the SUV craze of the 1990s and consumers seemed to never look back. Sure, there are still plenty of minivans on the market, but most are bought for practicality than a lifestyle statement anymore. And save for the compact Mazda 5, gone are any interesting choices like the Dodge Caravan Turbo, the mid-engined Toyota Previa or this van, the Volkswagen Vanagon.
The Vanagon was an evolution of the basic box formula of the T2 Transporter/Bus that hippies knew and loved. Towards the end of the model run in the late 1980s and early 1990s, more luxurious trim packages, Syncro four-wheel drive and an updated front fascia were the order of the day. While this particular Vanagon isn’t a Syncro, it’s a sharp looker with under 80,000 miles on the clock.
Model: Vanagon Carat Wolfsburg Edition
Engine: 2.1 liter flat-4
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 77,600 mi
Price: Reserve auction
Hello and thanks for having a look…If your checking this Vanagon out, you know them and what their all about..This Tornado Red Carat Weekender with Z bed and Jump seats is truly one of the last produced. It came with both badges Carat and Wolfsburg. Research says it was due to the rare Color combo of Interior package and Color itself. I have owned many Vanagons and will honestly say it has been one of the best.
The water cooled Volkswagen crowd was, for many years, a fickle bunch. If it didn’t say “GTi”, “GLi” or “16V” somewhere on it, it just wasn’t really considered to be very cool. In the past few years, though, things have changed and appreciation for the broader range of models has increased. While at one time if you didn’t have a GTi you weren’t part of the “in” crowd, the VW shows have increasingly filled with more obscure models as owners try to find more unique survivors to stand out. This 1983 Scirocco Wolfsburg Edition is the perfect opportunity to show up your friends at the next Volkswagen meet:
Model: Scirocco Wolfsburg Edition
Engine: 1.8 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 6,484 miles
Price: No reserve auction
This is quite possibly the finest original, unmolested 1983 scirocco left in existence. This rust free car has 6,484 actual miles! The car runs, drives and smells like the day it was new.
The car was purchased new 30 years ago in July of 1983, driven very little, then stored for 26 years. I purchased the car from a collector in Los Angeles 4 years ago with 4,700 miles on it. The original factory window sticker and owners manuals are with the car as well as the original spare tire and tool kit which has never been used or out of the car. The cigarette lighter and ashtray are in unused condition as well. A new set of P185/R60-14 Toyo Eclipse tires and a new battery were installed in the last year as well as a fresh oil change this month. The car needs nothing. The car has never been detailed and does not need it, It has never been dirty.
Since we’ve had a few good examples of basic German motoring featured here at GCFSB this week, I figured we should continue the trend and highlight Volkswagen’s attempt in the 1980s to bring back some of that original Beetle magic, the Fox. Offered from 1987 through 1993, the Fox was manufactured in Brazil, where it was also sold as the Volkswagen Gol. The lowest priced vehicle in Volkswagen’s lineup at the time, it was powered by a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine with 80 horsepower and a four or five-speed manual transmission. Restyled for 1991, the Fox would survive for only two more years in the US marketplace. This low mileage 1993 Fox four-door represents the final year for the Fox here in the US.
1993 Wolfsburg Edition Fox 4-door sedan. Bought it three years ago with 30K original miles. This has been my daily driver up until I purchased a replacement vehicle three months ago. Before I continue, let me address the value of this car. If you are thinking that you will e-mail me offering a Kelly Blue Book price or something similar save your time and don’t. When I bought he car I paid more than book value for it. It’s a unique vehicle in great condition with low miles. These are not the vehicles that show up in KBB or any other standard car value service. A car similar to this one went for 6K on the popular “bay” auction site last year. I’m not asking anywhere near that. If you are still interested, please continue reading.
This Fox runs and drives excellent. I have replaced many parts including both fuel pumps and all fuel hoses, the ignition switch, valve cover gasket, front brake pads, rotors and hoses, battery, and more.