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Convertible Week: 1988 Volkswagen Cabriolet

While the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia might be a bit obscure when it comes to Volkswagen convertibles, the Cabriolet based on the Mk1 Golf/Rabbit is anything but. For years, this affordable drop top runabout brought open air German motoring to the masses, as one would expect of the People’s Car. Nearly 400,000 were built from 1979 all the way up to 1993, when the MkIII Golf debuted. Many of these Cabriolets were used as daily drivers, leaving a relatively small amount of mint condition examples out there. However, this car for sale in Pennsylvania has covered under 100,000 miles, a complete history and looks sharp with its white over red color combination.

Year: 1988
Model: Cabriolet
Engine: 1.6 liter inline four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 97,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction

1988 Volkswagen Cabriolet on eBay

You are bidding on a 1988 Volkswagen Cabriolet. 4 cylinder, fuel injected, 5-speed manual, air condition, cruise control, am-fm cd radio. My wife’s pleasure car for the last 12 years. We have never driven this car in the winter. Just a summer time, top down car on the weekends. 97,000 miles. Complete owner history. Original window sticker & lots of paper work. Mostly original paint but does show touch ups, scratches & dings. No rust ever. Nice original interior that does show some fading. Runs, drives, handles, stops very well. No issue car with an exception of non working AC which we have never looked into as top was always down. Overall a nice driver. Sold as is with no warranty expressed or implied. Preferred payment is cash in person or wire transfer & any check will need cleared before pickup. If you would like to schedule an appointment to see car in person please call Kurt at 717-490-1604. I am located in East Earl, PA 17519

The Cabriolet is probably one of the last open roofed vehicles I’d consider buying, but once I saw that car, I was hooked. Yeah, it’s a bit of a chicks car, but it’s one of those cheap and cheerful cars you can’t help but love. While the seller has a reserve, a Cabriolet in this kind of condition will probably fetch somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000.



  1. KevinR
    KevinR May 2, 2013

    I bought an ’87 Cabriolet for my wife when it was new. We still have it and it is still fun to drive. Sadly (for me) ours is not as nice as this one. For those with manhood issues, just think of it as a GTI with a convertible top.

    This one appears to be in excellent condition, but there are a few nits to pick. The grille is an aftermarket part, not a VW original. Given the stock nature of the rest of the vehicle, it makes me curious. The coolant reservoir looks to be original to the car, so a careful inspection of the cooling system would be in order. I’d be willing to bet the air conditioning has not been converted from R12 to R134, so any work to repair the system is going to be expensive. A new top will run about $500 to $1500 depending on the material chosen and who does the labor, so be sure the top is in good working condition or adjust your bid accordingly.

    A couple of general points about these cars: mechanical parts are no problem to find and pretty much anyone with basic mechanical knowledge can work on them. On the other hand, many of the rubber and trim pieces have gone NLA. Some of the rubber is starting to be reproduced, but the pieces can be incredibly expensive. The correct tire size is 185/60HR 14 and that size is beginning to be in short supply as well, especially from the traditional tire makers.

    I tend to agree with Paul on the price estimate.

  2. Aaron
    Aaron May 2, 2013

    As always, good stuff Paul. This one is a Boutique Edition which adds to the rarity and does nothing to dispel the chick factor.

  3. Larry
    Larry May 2, 2013

    Growing up in the 80’s, this was THE car the all the daddy’s girls got for their 16th birthday. “Yeah, it’s a bit of a chicks car.” That’s the understatement of the year, Paul. With all that mental conditioning in my formative years. no matter how many 16V, 2.0T and even VR6 swaps, I read about, I will never be able to take the VW Cabrio seriously.

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