1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

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When I saw the first picture and almost $16k asking price for this beige Rabbit Pickup auction, I thought it was yet another grossly optimistic seller shooting the moon for a wealthy ’80s VW fan that doesn’t exist. It just looked like another slammed Caddy on black wheels, and the weird and vaguely inappropriate intro in the description doesn’t really help. A closer look at the extensive work and the quality inside and out – if you can sort through the horribly formatted ad – starts to paint a very different picture. A rebuilt stock 1.8 and 5-speed are from 1986 Golf (my Rabbit Pickup had the same swap), and the whole undercarriage looks better than new. Recaro Trophys from a MkII and door cards and carpet from a MkI Jetta highlight the very clean interior. Refurbished black Snowflakes and a duckbill spoiler bring some OEM+ to the party, and LED head and tail lights are surprisingly attractive and unobtrusive.

From 20 feet away it looks like a budget slammer, but up close it looks like the “showstopper jaw dropper” that the seller describes. If it was white or black on silver rims, it might look like the classic clean German style. Maybe that’s the point, a play on the Caddy slammer scene while actually keeping most of it restrained and well-chosen. I’m still not sure if that makes it worth $16k.

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1980 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

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Last month we featured a rare Sven Hedin edition of a VW LT28 Westfalia. It had a lot of style and promise, but looking deeper past the Playmobil-esque lines showed a van that needed serious love and effort inside and out. Today’s 1980 model look to be cleaner throughout, though the single exterior shot leaves plenty of opportunity for hidden blemishes. The interior while still heavy on the 80s style, is notably better and doesn’t have the saggy-bags on the wall. Under the hood it has a recent turbodiesel heart transplant from a 96 Volvo. Despite originally living in the other Vol-car, these DT24T engines were actually built by Volkswagen from 1982-1992 and are as close to OEM+ as you can get for the LTs. With both the turbo and the intercooler, it pumps out over 120hp, a big improvement over the original 74hp. With highway capability, a dated but ready-to-use interior, and a simple, clean exterior, this is a great plus-sized alternative to the standard T3 Westy.

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1980 Porsche 911SC Targa

Back to reality. After a slew of very high-dollar Porsches we’ll come back down to earth to return again to a perennial favorite the 911SC, and what has been a consistent feature of late in the reasonable value camp with a 911SC Targa. The great thing about Porsche is that even though we have stepped away from their supercars and vintage racers, it doesn’t mean that we’ve completely dissociated ourselves from the roots of those machines. While we certainly won’t see much shared DNA between a 911SC and the 918 Spyder there is still shared heritage and we certainly would find links between the early 356 and 911s within even a basic 911SC like the one we see here. And compared with many of the previous examples this one even comes in a really nice color. Here we have a Petrol Blue Metallic 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Maryland, with 81,345 miles on it.

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1980 Volkswagen LT45

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You can’t really buy American firetrucks and drive them personally. Forest service greenies or the chief’s Blazer, maybe, but our real fire trucks are fricking huge. Euro firetrucks operate in much more confined spaces (and budgets), meaning they end up with sweet conversions like this 1980 Volkswagen LT45. Something like the T3’s big brother, we’ve seen a Syncro LT45 before that looked like it was ready to roam the desert because it knows that winter is coming. This is no Syncro DoKa, but it is a dually 5-speed diesel van that could serve many uses. It currently has the hose reels, but unless you want those the seller says he’s pulling them out. The seller seems confident that $16k is his price – do low miles and rarity counteract the generally rough appearance?

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1980 Porsche 911SC Targa

Following on the heels of yesterday’s fantastic Black and Tan 3.2 Carrera, we’ll step back one model to the 911SC to take a look at an example much more suited to providing weekend enjoyment without concern over the high initial cost. While there are certainly important differences between the 911SC and the 3.2 Carrera, for many buyers choosing between the two models might come down simply to the best available car at the best available price. This could be especially true for buyers who are new to the marque and want their first experience of an air-cooled 911. The one we see here, a Black Metallic 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa with Tan interior and 70,675 miles on it, checks a lot of similar boxes to yesterday’s Carrera, though in most every regard we have to bring our overall assessment down a grade or two. This has clearly been a 911 that has been used, but it still presents well for its age, which suggests it has seen appropriate care over its life. And, of course, that use results in a much lower cost of entry: while the Carrera sat with an asking price of $80K, bidding on this auction sits at a very reasonable $21,100. The seller’s reserve has not been met so that price will have to come up, but we’re still a ways away from where this 911 becomes overpriced.

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1980 Volkswagen Brasilia

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Paul has featured a couple of Brasilias here before, but its small original market means we almost never see them in the US. This one has made its way to Florida and looks to be in great shape after just 66k miles. The ones Paul featured were 2-door shooting brakes, while this one is the slightly less elegant 4-door. Interior and exterior look extremely nice, even in the frunk. It’s pretty much a Beetle but with a lot more practicality and a bit less cuteness. Who needs cute when you can be funky and rare?

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1980 Volkswagen Vanagon Adventurewagen

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Over the last year I’ve really come to appreciate the high-top Vanagon. With a very different approach and look from the Westy, it’s taking the VanLife game just a little further. This early 1980 model has covered less than 50k miles with its air-cooled 2.0-liter. There’s no explanation as to why it has only covered an average of 1300 miles a year, but it looks the part. The two-tone yellow is going to make you the quintessential ray of sunshine that comes when people see awesome Vanagons on the road. Inside, the redone interior is pretty amazing with a very early-80s brown and beige color scheme and as high quality of work as I’ve seen in any Vanagon. With reserve-on bidding starting at $7k, it’s nice enough to go much higher than that.

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1980 Porsche 911SC Weissach Edition

Porsche has a way of pushing the boundaries of taste when it comes to their special edition models. In some ways, I can understand this. For the most part, many of Porsche’s special edition or commemorative edition models are distinguished solely by their cosmetic differences – typically in the guise of special exterior colors and unique interior combinations – relative to standard 911s. But in many cases the interior choices seem very much outside the norm, or at least of limited desirability. Boundaries do need to be pushed in order to stand out, but for a marque with such a long and storied history I half expect something a little more classic. I’m not sure there is any better example than the 911SC Weissach Edition. These models were produced in limited numbers (408 in total) to celebrate Porsche’s Motorsports team fittingly located in Weissach, Germany. Exterior color choices were both excellent and eye-catching: Platinum Metallic or Black Metallic with each sporting Platinum Metallic painted Fuchs wheels. The interior was equally eye-catching: Doric Grey with Burgundy carpeting. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the Weissach Edition interior, after all I love a bright red interior, but I do think it might take some getting used to. Either way, it is a unique looking 911 and like any special edition there aren’t many of them around. The one seen here is said to be a Platinum Metallic example and sits with 139K miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 911SC Weissach Edition on Excellence Magazine

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1980 Volkswagen Vanagon Country Camper

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This new year, I pledge to do a LOT more camping. A boat trip to Alaska will guarantee an uptick, but here’s a new Vanagon variant to help lengthen those road trips. This 1980 2.0-liter Vanagon was converted by Country Home Campers, an outfit that did Westfalia-like conversions for some 30 years. It certainly looks like an 80s country home inside, with some nice wood paneling and faux-leather vinyl seats. The air-cooled four has been rebuilt and cosmetically it looks very clean throughout, if not beautiful. The camper top doesn’t reach as far as the Westy’s, allowing for a little moonroof action for those in the front seats. It may not be the most desirable Vanagon, but it has a lot of capability and a low, no-reserve auction.

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 500SLC

Rallying and Mercedes-Benz are terms that don’t seem to go hand in hand, but at the end of the 1970s, a most unlikely contender would emerge on the scene. The C107 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC 5.0. This homologation special would do battle in the 1978 World Rally Championship. Later, the car would become known as the 500SLC. What differentiated these from a normal C107 SLC? A brawnier V8 engine with 240 horsepower, aluminum hood and decklid and a small rear spoiler on the edge of the trunk. The 500SLC would bring to the fray a 4-speed automatic, replacing the 3-speed automatic that did duty in the 450SLC 5.0. Only 1,636 examples of the 450SLC 5.0 and 1,133 examples of the 500SLC would be produced, making this 500SLC for sale in California quite special.

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