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57k-mile 1984 Volkswagen GTI

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Mk1 GTIs are garnering the most love they’ve received since their world-changing introduction, mainly due to the bloat and over-regulation of modern cars pushing many enthusiasts to look backwards towards simpler and more fun automobiles. When it comes to simple and fun, few can match the original GTI. Today’s example comes with a shockingly-low 57k miles, but they have not been pampered. It will need some love to become perfect, but its low mileage provides a solid base to build up an amazing GTI.

Year: 1984
Model: GTI
Engine: 1.8 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 57,500 miles
Price: Reserve still on at $4,050

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

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This car lived most of its life in California (I have carfax copy which shows service records). It moved to South Carolina in 2012 then to Harrisburg, PA in early 2013. It has the original paint with no rust. There are the typical parking lot imperfections in the paint and a small amount of fading but overall the original paint looks great. The car is unmodified. It has stock exhaust, intake, suspension, wheels, tires, brakes, etc. The only things that are not original are the reupholstered seats. I think the seats are the originals but are now covered in a different than stock material (see pics).

1.8L 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual, am/fm cassette, crank sunroof, new battery from Advance Auto ($100), tires have plenty of tread, Air Conditioning blows very cold, car steers straight, stops perfect, etc.

I have a receipt for $2240 in maintenance items dated 8/24/2012 at 57,048 miles. That receipt (see pic) was for a new timing belt & water pump, new rear brake drums, air conditioning Freon, new front brake pads, front strut inserts, rear shocks, replaced front brake calipers, radiator flush. The car only has 500 additional miles since then. Included in the price is an original owners manual and some extra seals, instrument cluster, etc.

The only things wrong with the entire car are:

* The Tach does not work, but a spare cluster is included. Not sure if it just the cable to the back of it, or the entire Tach needs replaced?

* The Dash Board has a crack in it, and a few holes (one the size of a someones finger poking down through it, with some spider effects near it and a couple much smaller holes)… see pics

* Due to the age and someone with fat fingers, the Carfax is clean but it does have a warning *Mileage Inconsistency* (“the mileage reported here conflicts with this vehicle’s odometer history. Ask a mechanic or seller to confirm the actual mileage – this entry may just be a clerical error”) – in Someone in 1997 entered the odometer at 150,799. The car was in California until 2012 and in early 2012 the mileage was reported at 56,

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As the bidding shows, even GTIs that need some love are getting plenty in the form of demand. The exterior is still eye-catching and VW Mk1 parts, be it OEM, junkyard or aftermarket, are plentiful. We’re going to need to start investing in these while they are still moderately reasonable, before every GTI is a $10k minimum!



  1. m491
    m491 June 27, 2013

    My first new car, minus the sunroof. With that said the interior redo is a giant miss for me. The original interior has to be part of the deal if the reserve is approaching $5000 or higher. The exterior looks great but since that interior has been redone it might really be closer to a 157,000 car than 57,0000. It is great to see these cars enjoying the interest of late. It won’t be too long before their values reach their original MSRP of $10,000.

  2. KevinR
    KevinR June 27, 2013

    The car looks to be pretty nice, especially when compared to some of the other cars on the market. But it’s still in the “driver” category. Plus there are some significant faults as well.

    Non-original seat upholstery and headliner and the damaged dashboard are all major hits to the value of the car. The air conditioning appears to be aftermarket so parts availability may be an issue. Assuming the tach in the spare cluster is good, there is still a significant amount of work required to swap it into the car’s original cluster.

    Everyone says their tires are good, but they don’t provide enough detail. What brand are they? What size are they? What is the tread depth? What is the DOT date code on the side? These become important because the 185/60R 14 is getting harder to find. A set of Michelins in that size will run about $600 or so installed.

    Then there’s the issue of the mileage discrepancy on the CarFax report…

    Given all of the above, I’d want to be all in under $5,000 on this one.

  3. Larry
    Larry June 27, 2013

    There are plenty of warning signs here. As appealing as finding a low-mile MkI GTI is, run away.

  4. Richard K
    Richard K June 27, 2013

    I have a 84 with over 360K miles on it. I am on my second used instrument cluster and odometer has stopped working on this one too! (original plus 2 replacements so now on 3rd odometer). These are notorious for stopping due to a problem with the gear mechanism coming loose on the shaft (fix is documented on VW Vortex for others with this problem). As such, I would tend to believe that this car has more than 57K on it and that may be a replacement cluster.

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