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.
Here’s a doozy, folks – a 1991 325i that’s covered just 20k miles. The car didn’t cover much ground in its first decade, after which it went unregistered and unused for the better part of 15 years. It was then picked up by a Pittsburgh auto dealer who is now liquidating his stock for retirement. He’s letting it loose with no reserve, as well as the other car on his eBay profile right now – a Ferrari yellow convertible Cadillac Allante. We talk about rare cars here, but that Allante – whew!
For being such a fun little bronze coupe, this thing sure hasn’t found much love. It is in pretty much brand-new shape though, especially after a repaint to correct years of sitting – perhaps it was the automatic transmission? Whatever the reason, it’s time for it to find a home that appreciates what a lovely representation this is of the E30 breed. It should be on the road, daily driven by someone who likes driving but needs shifting taken care of.
After a day of reflection on independence, I see no better vehicle to represent the ideal than a good, clean Westfalia. Cars in general embody independence, the ability to get in and go, but a Westy means you can go and maybe decide to not come back. Many people live in Westfalias full time, exploring the world and staying in new zipcodes while their pop-top home stays the same. While many command serious new-car money, this 1984 example looks to be an incredible deal. If you can make it through the intimidatingly-long description, you’ll find that this van has been loved, gone through, and updated by someone who knows their stuff and truly cared about making a great, functional camper. This is the kind of independence I want in my future, and if bidding remains at such an approachable level, maybe it will be!