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1981 Volkswagen Polo


Stemming from the Audi 50 and built to be an ultra compact economy car, the VW Polo fits that bill perfectly. The only thing smaller than the size of the car is the displacement of the engine, a 0.9 liter carbed four cylinder. While it was an economy car at heart, VW used the Polo as a test bed for many of the technologies that made their way in to later cars, like the supercharged G40 which later grew in to the G60 found in the Golf Special, Rallye Golf, and stateside, the Corrado G60.

The Polo was never sold here in the states, but a few enthusiasts have brought them here, and every so often they pop up for sale. This clean low mile example for sale in York, Pennsylvania will insure that you stand out at the local VW show.


Year: 1981
Model: Polo
Engine: 0.9 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 57,000 km (35,418 mi)
Price: $6,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Volkswagen Polo on VW Vortex


That time of year. Getting the urge to move onto something else. I have owned this car since 2007. It is a ton of fun and gets lots of looks, even from people that have no idea what it is. I am really looking for a fun car I can take the whole family in if I want.

1981 VW Polo imported from Germany.

0.9L 4cyl w/ 4spd transmission

Runs great, always starts reliably. Even after being in storage all winter. It does need a new heater core. It is currently out and the lines are looped. These do not require you to pull the dash, it is accessed under the rain tray. The body has some rust issues and shoddy repairs. All in all not bad, but is a 32 year old body. Interior only has one problem area on the driver side seat bolster. I have spare material that you could repair it with if desired.

It is lowered on a cup kit of some sort and has Borbet Type C 14″ wheels on it. Also have the stock steelies for it. I have a spare motor as well. A 1.3L with a VWMS manifold and twin weber carbs.

$6,500 OBO would consider trades for a E36 M3  Located in York, PA.


As painfully slow as these cars are, they are a hoot to drive. Just allow plenty of time to merge on the highway, or any road for that matter. In reality though, you don’t buy a car like this for speed, it’s all about the rarity and the cool factor.  Having seen this car in person, I can tell you, it draws a crowd, and sparks conversations. The cool factor alone is worth its weight in gold, couple that with a legal Pennsylvania registration, and you have a pretty good deal at $6,500. Let’s face it, you couldn’t import this car for near that price.



  1. Raymond Lombardo
    Raymond Lombardo August 3, 2013

    I may be ignorant of the market for these, but I am not seeing the value at $6500 for a VW that while rare in the US, has rust issues, needs a new heater core, and is probably unlikely to keep up with modern traffic. To take another example of what this money buys, there is a 533i on another website that is a far more compelling in terms of the driving experience, and is in far better shape, for the same price.

  2. brian
    brian August 5, 2013

    you could pick up a fox body mustang on craigslist for around a grand, that’ll keep up with traffic, and is a riot to drive…but that really isn’t the point.

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