1980 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel

There’s restorations, and then there are restorations. This Mk1 Rabbit (Golf) falls into the latter category. A labor of love by its owner, this German built Rabbit is about as close to buying a new Mk1 as you could get.

The seller states:

A weekend project that turned into an obsession, here is the result of three years of work on a car I intended to keep forever and built accordingly.

This is a German built car which was purchased and imported from Canada. I purchased the car from a couple in Palatka Florida who had brought it from Washington State where I suppose it originally made its way into the US.

No expense was spared in this restoration which involved over $9,000 in new German parts. Absolutely no re-built or used components were used for the assembly. For example, the CV axles are OEM Lobro units running about $400 per side. The brake calipers and master cylinder are new (not rebuilt) Ate units. There are over $300 in new nuts and bolts each matching the original hardness grade and yellow zinc plating other than the addition of stainless wherever strength isn’t required. Below is a list of some of the major parts that have been replaced though there are many more.

The paint is a single stage PPG Urethane in the original color. To be honest I feel that the paint is the weakest point of the car when compared to the thorough mechanical restoration. There are a few minor dents that the shop didn’t get completely out as well as a few places that could use more polishing. The most noticeable area is probably along the bottom of the rear hatch where you can see some waviness. There is also a small dent on the left side of the front skirt which occurred during the restoration on a lift that I never got around to addressing. In short, the paint is not concourse but still quite good by most collectors standards.

As you can see in the pictures I have not yet found an original Becker radio to install. The dash panel for it is in place and has the hole plugged with a vanity panel. The antenna mounting hole on the left front wing is plugged with the NOS VW rubber plug used on cars sold without the radio option.

The second item I never found was a new sun roof seal. The sunroof operates perfectly but I’ve sealed off the gap with polyurethane flashing adhesive until a new seal is found. As you can see in the pictures I did this very neatly so that you cannot tell by looking at it. If you are fortunate enough to find a new seal you would only need to pull away the adhesive and install it.

The mileage (or kilometerage) on the Odometer is accurate. Since the restoration I have driven it about 200 miles to ensure everything is operating correctly. Since every consumable component on the car is new down to the little light bulbs behind the dash you will not find any problems to speak of. The car runs and drives as flawlessly as the day it left Wolfsburg.

This car is bio-diesel ready meaning that all fuel hoses are J30R9 grade and the injector pump has been updated with new Viton seals.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call me at 352-562-2412 as there is too much to write without this becoming an essay.

New major components (I’ve noted the brand wherever I could remember):

Rear Suspension:
Spindles
Wheel bearings (Timken)
Brake drums (German Ate)
Brake Cylinders (German Ate)
All drum brake hardware
Parking Brake cables (GEMO)
Rear axle beam bushings (polyurethane upgrade)
Brake hoses
shocks and springs (sachs)
All hardware (original spec hardness and coatings)

Front Suspension:
Control arms (OEM)
Control arm bushings (OEM)
McPherson struts (OEM Sachs)
Strut bearings (FEBI)
Wheel bearings (Beck Arnley)
CV axles (OEM German Lobro)
Brake calipers (NEW OEM German Ate zinc plated)
Brake pads (OEM)
Brake hoses (German Febi)
Ball Joints (Beck Arnley)
Tie rod ends (Beck Arnley)
All hardware (original hardness and plating)

Engine and Trans:
All engine oil seals
All engine mounts
Injection pump resealed with viton gaskets (bio-diesel approved)
Glow Plugs/ relay
All fuel hoses replaced with Goodyear J30R9 (bio-diesel approved)
Metal fuel pipes
Clutch
Clutch cable
Transmission end cover
Transmission fluid (redline synthetic)
All Transmission mounts
All gear shift bushings/linkage
Throttle cable
Metal reinforced rubber valve cover gasket
valve cover studs with stainless nuts
Camshaft oil baffle insert update
Oil pan
All coolant hoses including NOS expansion tank hose
Hose clamps (Swedish ABA)
Timing belt
Timing belt tensioner
Water pump German Ate
accessory belt (NAPA lifetime)
Alternator (BOSCH)
Brake Master cylinder (German Ate)
Coolant expansion tank
heater core
heater valve
Vacuum pump diaphragm and check valves
Vacuum hose with check valve (NOS a rare find)
Rain tray (NOS VW )
New horn (German HELLA)
Exhaust system after down pipe (OEM)
Exhaust pipe hangars (OEM)
hood bumpers (NOS)
new MANN air Filter
new Mobil 1 oil filter
new Bosch fuel filter

Electrical:
Head lights Halogen bulbs
All light bulbs including dash

General:
Tires (Firestone FR380)

At the time of writing this, there’s a little less than four days left and no bids, with a starting bid of $8,000. There are much worse cars you could purchase for $8,000, and probably none are in such good shape as this diesel Rabbit. This car would garner more attention, of course, if it was a GTI, but then again, that’s part of the charm of this particular ride.

-Paul

1981 Volkswagen Brasilia

In the early 1970s, Volkswagen sought to develop a new line of cars for the Brazilian market, based on Beetle architecture that offered a bit more space and practicality. Thus, in 1973 the Brasilia was born, which bore resemblance to the 412. The Brasilia utilized the 1600 engine from the Beetle and remained in production until 1982, having been produced in Mexico and in Nigeria in kit form. Here is a very clean, original example that made the rare trek into the US.

1981 Volkswagen Brasilia

The seller states:

VW Brasilia for sale, the only reason I’m selling this car is because I need tha money, this is a very rare and unique model built in Brazil and Mexico, now in very high demand worldwide by those that truly want something different, A very rare opportunity to buy one of these in the US.

They were only sold in Brazil and Mexico and were never imported to the US, there is only four of this known registered in the US, now you can have the 5th. this car is all original, only have a paint job thats was made profesionally, only 48,000 original kilometers, that’s 29,800 miles, this car was stored 23 years for and old man who bouhgt it brand new, use it for jus a few years and store it, everything work great, engine is almost new, heather work good, absolutely no rust, never been involved in a car accident, has brand mew tires, the only modifications that have been made to the engine are; new electronic ignition system replacing the old points system and a new oil pump with filter, this parts are original bosh bought in a vw dealer no aftermarket parts, everything else is original.

This car is currently registered in Mexico, but can easily registered in the US. I’m asking $12,000 OBO or I can accept a car about the same price in trade in, this car has a great value for those who collect antique cars or love VWs, old bug.com has one of these for sale in 12,750 and not in the same conditions as this.

There’s no denying this is probably the best Brasilia you could buy in the US currently, however, $12,000 for what is essentially a Beetle in disguise is a tough pill to swallow, at least for me, no matter the condition. WIthout a doubt, its presence is rare in this country and could be worth a lot to the right Volkswagen collector.

-Paul

1980 BMW 735i Touring Prototype

I’ve admitted it before, I’m not a big fan of sport utility vehicles. Coming across this rare BMW prototype reminds me why I like wagons so much. I remember seeing this 735i Touring on eBay about a decade ago, and now it’s current owner in Newton, Massachusetts has it up for sale again on eBay, with no reserve.

The seller states:

1980 BMW 735i Touring with 9,042 miles today. This is a Euro model and eBay does not like the VIN which is WBA68410007432544 It was built in June 1980 and is titled as a 1981.

Per the site stationwagon.com http://www.stationwagon.com/gallery/198x_BMW_735i.html

“This car was built on the BMW production line for display at the Frankfurt Auto Show. There were only two cars made like this. It was built on the 735i chassis – and is a European model. This was never a production car. Details include – – 8,179 original miles, tan cloth interior, a manual sunroof and windows, roof rack, alloy wheels & automatic transmission. The car was imported to the US and brought up to DOT and EPA standards in Ohio.”

This car was purchased on eBay in 2000 with 8,179 miles and was amongst a collection of approximately 100 cars owned by a noted collector in New Hampshire. It was then purchased in 8/2003 with 8,300 miles from the collector’s estate sale until it was purchased by me in November 2010 with 9,002 miles. I had service performed on the car, tuned it up, replaced mechanical and safety items and brought the car back onto the road. It runs and drives fine. It is currently inspected and on the road with a Massachusetts December 2010 inspection sticker. I would have no hesitation using this car as an everyday vehicle.

Unfortunately I do not have the space to keep it unless I give it to my 16 year old as his every day car and sell his. This rare beautiful vehicle deserves better than that. The negatives to the car are: 6 spots where the paint has lifted and there is surface rust underneath. Also the straight pipe in the exhaust is rusty. It was able to pass inspection but I don’t know how many more years it has left. There is a small rip in the center armrest in the rear seat. I have tried to clean up the interior but it hasn’t been warm enough since I purchased the car to do an outstanding job.

The starting price of this auction is $7,000 with no reserve. Given the history of this vehicle, and based on recent sales of clean E23 7 series, I’d take a stab and say anything in the $10 to $15k range would be realistic. Unlike an M1 or Z8, the desirability and value won’t ever be as high, but there’s no denying the historical significance of this vehicle. Given that it was built on the BMW assembly line and foreshadowed BMW Touring models to come, it deserves to be preserved for future generations. Having visited the BMW Museum in Munich two years ago, and after seeing the exhibits, it would be great to see this prototype in such a collection.

-Paul

1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

Every morning on my way to work I am confronted by the ubiquitous Toyota Prius screwing around in the left lane and holding up traffic. Now, I’m all for more efficient vehicles, but driving a penalty box like this on a daily basis might lead me to mental instability. While this vintage S class isn’t faster than a Prius, it will certainly get you there in style and last a whole lot longer.

The seller states:

This is an exceptionally clean, well cared for, smoke-free Mercedes. Accordingly here is a list of the good and also things needing attention: All the glass is in great shape. The car idles, runs and drives out as I feel it should – strong oil pressure, strong battery and charging system, no overheating, no brake pull or alignment issues! The factory original color gold metallic paint is in great overall condition and still holds quite a shine. I find NO rust spots on the body or door panels. Absolutely superior chrome and exterior trim all around, too! The front fenders, doors, rear quarters and floor pans are all solid; in fact the entire undercarriage is in great condition for a 30 year-old car! The factory wheels are straight and true. They’re wrapped with 205/70R14 radials with at least 80% life remaining.

The upholstery is all-original with the pictures giving a very accurate view of its clean, solid, superb condition. Often, you’ll find worn springs and disintegrating cushion material on these cars. This is NOT the case here. Hop in and feel comfortable sitting on these firm seats for hours. About the only flaw is a worn spot on the driver’s backrest that doesn’t warrant much attention for now, you’ll see it in the pics. The heater and A/C system work, but could use a refrigerant recharge. There’s no evidence of any water leakage on the perfect headliner. All the gauges and exterior lights are bright and true. The former owner switched out the original factory AM-FM Becker stereo for a nice Blaupunkt many years ago. It works great and the low-key appearance keeps the classic vibe in place. The jack, spare and tools are in the trunk.

The W116 S class has never been the most desirable Mercedes out there. This final year W116 with its impeccable condition should bring top value to the right buyer, whether they are a Mercedes-Benz fan or they are looking to avoid the stigma that comes with driving a green vehicle. One thing is certain: whereas the Prius needs a new battery every so often, this S class will surpass the hybrid’s durability and cachet, while the owner can take heart in knowing he’s helping the environment by keeping an old car running, thus saving energy that is exerted during the manufacturing process. You also have to love the fact that the front bumper on this Mercedes probably weighs as much as a Prius!

-Paul