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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Sportruck

Over the years, VW has always offered unique, and often rare trim packages for their lineup. The Sportruck was one of the coolest examples of these packages offered on the Rabbit Pickup from 1980-1982. While this package to many just looks like a huge decal on the side, the package for the Sportruck is quite extensive.

Outside you’ll find body side moldings, the ‘Sportruck” graphic, special “rally” style wheels, and a front spoiler. On the interior the Sportruck got many of the treatments from the GTI parts bin, with the 3 gauge center console, bucket seats, and MK1 Scirocco 3 spoke sport steering wheel. The drivetrain was the 1.7l 8v with a wide ratio 5 speed, these truck were by no means rocket ships, but they got along much better than the other caddies of the same generation.

These rare birds are one of my favorites, and this Black over Autumn tan truck for sale in Grass Valley, California is a clean example of 80’s awesome.

1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Sport Truck on eBay


1981 VW Rabbit Sport Truck

This is a Rare VW Sports Truck affectionately called a “Caddy” with easy to remove Fiberglass Tonneau Cover. Runs and drives great. All original right down to the original working Clock.

Engine Sounds Good, Smooth with Plenty of Power, Nice Sounding Exhaust (does not smoke)

Compression Even at 155 lbs (New Spark Plugs)

5 speed Transmission (smooth shifting, quiet in all gears)

Clutch Feels Good (no chatter, good release point)

Factory Air Conditioning. (works great)

Great looking original Paint, some chips and scratches, no major rust. (See Pictures)

Bed is Nice with Little Wear. (See Pictures)

Original Interior and Glass is exceptional. (See Pictures)

Rear Sliding Window.

Sport Package Gauges, Oil Temp, Volts and Clock.

Sport Decals

Dual Sport remote Mirrors

Blaupunkt Cassette AM FM Radio

Carpets are Original and Nice. (See Pictures)

Issues I have found;

Speedo Works fine, Odometer is stuck at 62,599 Miles

I have no idea what the actual mileage is; Carfax may give some indication? I recently bought from Estate Sale.

Compressed Motor Mount, engine vibration at Idle (compressed meaning rubber mount is hard. Timing belt and mount would be recommended)

Headliner gone? Drivers Door Pad has small flaw (See Pictures)

Dash has one small flaw (See Pictures)

Discolored Drivers Arm Rest (See Pictures)

Front Rubber Bumper Corners Missing.

Needs Clips for retaining Horn Button

Small Dent on Tail Gate above left bumper tip (hard to see, small, only dent)

Add this to the list of “Cars I want to own”. These things are so cool, not just because of the options they piled in to it, but because they’re rare. Aside from the swallowtails, these are arguably one of the rarest MK1s out there. With the prices of caddies on the rise, I would expect this truck to go in the $5K range, even with all of the issues the owner points out.




  1. KevinR
    KevinR October 4, 2012

    I lusted after one of these for a very long time and finally purchased a really rough one about 10 years ago. While it is a great deal of fun and gets lots of attention, there are things a potential buyer should know before taking the plunge.

    It’s a unibody truck, so if you overload the cargo bed you will crack the paint and possibly create a crease in the body at the base of the b-pillar. There is very little room in the passenger compartment so if you are big or tall, you probably won’t be comfortable.

    Everything from the front doors forward is pretty much the same as 4 door Rabbit, so that area doesn’t present too many problems. However there are a lot of pickup specific and Sportruck specific parts that are simply No Longer Available. If restoration is your goal, plan on spending a lot of time in salvage yards. Also, come to grips with the notion that you may never find some of the parts. These include: egg crate grill, tan interior components, rear bumpers, inner end caps on the rear bumper, tailgates, most of the rear suspension components and the list goes on…

    This one appears to be mostly complete and in relatively good condition. It’s a good starting point for a project vehicle.

  2. Larry
    Larry October 5, 2012

    It’s not a “Sportruck” – it’s a “SPORTRUCK”

  3. Larry
    Larry October 7, 2012

    This SPORTRUCK brought $6600, with 10 bidders placing 18 bids, and a bit more than I would have expected also.

  4. 123
    123 November 21, 2012

    Looks like a very rare steering wheel, I never saw this one in yellow color.

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