A Tale of Two Caddies, 2/2: 1983 VW Caddy

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Part 1 of 2 in the Tale of Two Caddies was an example in beautiful simplicity, cleanliness and originality, right down to the tan on tan and base stock wheels. Today’s Rabbit Pickup is quite the opposite, a full-on show car with tons of modifications. Not all are tasteful, but there are some truly great bits. Besides the drool-worthy BBS wheels, 16V swap, and Wilwood brakes, the owner has gone to 11 by retrofitting Subaru Brat jump seats and a ragtop. It appears no expense has been spared, so while some may balk at $15k for a Caddy, soak in some of the details before you judge.

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Year: 1983
Model: Rabbit Pickup (Caddy)
Engine: 1.8 liter 16-valve inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 66,000 mi
Price: $14,900

Click for more details: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

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We at Windy City Motorsports are very pleased to offer for sale this awesome 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit “Caddy” custom pick up truck.

***This Cad has been part of my private collection for years, but limited time and space has forced me to thin out the collection. Countless hours and $$$ have been spent so far and this is an excellent opportunity for the right buyer to take advantage of this amazing truck.

***FREE US SHIPPING Is Included In The BUY IT NOW Price!
***Always Rust Free Body & Undercarriage
***New Ice White Paint
***66,xxx Miles Are Believed To Be Original
***1.8L D.O.H.C 16 Valve Motor
***5-Speed Manual Transmission
***Custom Intake With Yamaha R1 Quad Carb Setup
***The NOS Solenoid Squirts Fuel Into The Intake When The Cruise Control Button Is Depressed For Cold Starts
***Edelbrock Aluminum Choke Cable Custom Mounted Into The Cigarette Lighter Location
***Remote Oil Cooler & Aluminum Radiator
***MSD High Output Ignition & Brand New Distributor
***Stainless Steel Fuel Lines Throughout, H.O Fuel Pump & Fuel p.s.i Regulator
***Raceland Coilover Suspension
***Wilwood Billet Aluminum Disc Brakes With Cross Drilled Rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, & Proportioning Valve
***BBS RS Style Wheels
***Professionally Installed Sliding Canvas Ragtop
***Custom Retrofitted Subaru Brat Rear Jump Seats
***Custom Plexiglass Subwoofer Enclosure With Blue L.E.D Accent Lighting
***Mind Blowing Triple Train Horn With It’s Own Air Compressor (Between the jump seats)
***Line-X Heavy Duty Bedliner
***E46 M3 Carbon Fiber Fender Grills
***Cabriolet Front Bumper & Grill Conversion
***Rear Bumper Delete Roll Pan
***Full Cabrio Body Kit Included With 4 Fender Flares & 3 Side Skirts (required to fit the Caddy)
***2 Tailgates Are Inlcuded (not painted)
***H4 Headlight Conversion With HID Bulbs
***L.E.D Light Strip Over The Roll Pan & Under The Upper Bed Sides
***Red/Blue Police Lights Hidden Behind The Grill With Flush Mounted Control Unit
***Hard To Find Kamei Upper Grill Spoiler (not installed)
***Smoked Front Turn Signals WIth Stainless Steel Mesh Overlay
***Gas Hood Lift Strut Conversion
***Dynamat Heatliner
***Neuspeed Strut Brace
***Optima Red Top Battery With Aluminum Mounting Tray
***Alpine Double DIN DVD Head Unit
***Custom Door Panels
***Kenwood & Precision Power Amplifiers Hidden Under The Seats
***2 10″ Subwoofers Ported Into The Cabin
***Custom Center Speaker Enclosure
***AutoMeter Gauges Mounted Into The Cabrio Center Console With ARC Audio Equalizer
***MOMO Corse Leather Steering Wheel
***Recaro Seats Custom Trimmed In Genuine Alcantara Suede & VW Motorsport Embroidery
***Full Alcantara Headliner & Rear Trim
***OMP Racing Harnesses With Harness Bar
***Power Window Conversion
***White Face Gauges
***Powder Coated Aluminum Golf Ball Shift Knob With Suede Shift Boot
***AutoTech Aluminum Pedal Covers (not the cheap Chinese crap)
***Lloyds Plush Floor Mats With “16 Valve” Embroidery
***Chrome Plated Door Latches
***Sliding Rear Window
***Way Too Much More To List

*********As with most custom vehicles, there are a few bugs that still need to be ironed out. I do not have the time to finish it and have taken this into consideration with regards to the actual selling price. Please read the condition report for details.

***Since I really do not want to sell the truck, and am out of space, I am NOT interested in any trade offers. Also, there is more than double the asking price invested in this truck and no low ball offers will be considered or responded to.

Sure, there are about 20 examples of overwrought showcar excess here, but overall it’s a very cool Caddy package. Do away with the awful license plate and LEDs (unfortunately the M3 gills probably aren’t going anywhere) and you have a beautiful 16V Caddy with a rag top and jumpseats! Just under $15k looks like an owner who is reflecting upon the build receipts a little too much, but with how much clean standard Caddies are going for these days, it’s not out of line considering the cleanliness and quality of the swap and features. My Rabbit Pickup had an 8V 2.0 and it was still a blast – this car will have a driving experience to back up the looks. I love it, and if I could I would daily drive the s*** out of this thing.


A Tale of Two Caddies, 1/2: 1980 VW Caddy

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As I discussed the ins and outs of acquiring your first drivers license with one of my athletes this morning, I was unexpectedly overpowered by fond memories of my first car: a 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup. The smells, sounds, and feel of packing my 6’4 frame into the tiniest of trucks all rushed back. I loved that truck, and was truly crushed when my dad decided we could no longer put any more money into it. Luckily it went to a great VW collector from the midwest who ventured to the Pacific Northwest every so often to visit friends and find some rust-free chassis to play with. Diesel versions are beginning to pull some serious money as their insane gas mileage and imminent utility find resurgent appreciation in the face of scarcity, but gas versions seem to be one of the few German cars from the 80s that can still be had for crazy cheap. Today’s has covered an insanely low 42k miles and it shows. Completely straight with a fresh coat of Mexico Beige, as perfectly subtle as the little truck itself.

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Year: 1980
Model: Rabbit Pickup
Engine: 1.6 liter gasoline inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 42,000 mi
Price: No reserve auction

Click for more details: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

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Welcome eBayers! Thanks for checking out my ad. First of all I want to point out that this is a NO RESERVE AUCTION and the starting bid is a penny. Someone is going to own this truck after the weeks run. With that said please realize that any bid could be the last and the last bidder owns the truck. Any questions or inspections need to be answered before the end of the auction.

Okay, with that out of the way let me describe this truck to you folks. This is a 1980 VW Pickup with a 4 cylinder gas, fuel injected engine. These were also known as a Rabbit Truck because of the obvious similarities. This is really a clean and nice rust free little pickup. I was told that the miles are actual, but can’t vouch for a 33 year old rig with a 5 digit odometer so you be the judge. I am selling the truck as EXEMPT MILES.

The paint is fresh and done in the striking and factory shade of Mexico Beige. Funny thing about beige cars. They always seem to be well cared for. Maybe because they were like the ugly Charlie Brown Christmas tree or something. People felt sorry for them so they made sure and change the oil?? Just a thought. Anyway for the most part this car is no exception. It looks great, and runs great too. The engine starts easily with no hesitation or smoke. It does not drip oil or run warm on hot days either. The transmission is smooth and all the syncros are smooth and nice. The clutch is strong and chatter free. The tires are almost new. The brakes stop straight and true. The shocks and struts are all good and the Volkswagen drives straight down the road without any wondering.

The interior is where this little truck could use some love. It is all cosmetic, and wouldn’t be as bad if the rest of the truck was not so nice. I almost took it to my guy and let him go to town, but thought maybe I would leave it for the next guy or gal and let them put a few personal touches in there. The seats are ok but a little tired like the carpet. The door panels need some clips and the radio is vintage and not in the good way. The speakers are trash. The dash is cracked and covered in fuzz the headliner is non-existent, not that there was much to them anyway.

All of the gages work properly though, and the heat and fan and wipers and headlights. There is a small bullseye in the windshield and the passenger wing window is plexiglass. One of the lenses of the rear lights is cracked, but still works. The windshield washer bottle is broken from age.

This truck is a keeper though. The kind of vehicle that you give a name too and keep forever. Hopefully this little pound pooch finds a good home for a good long time. Its new owner will get a dependable little worker-mobile with lots of life and style too. This VW has all of the vintage appeal and legendary reliability that people want and it is not going to break anybody’s pocketbook either.

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I will own another one of these some day. They are too much fun and surprisingly useful, if a little cramped on the inside. It is becoming harder to find nice examples, but this low-mileage sweetheart in Portlandia would be a great buy. Despite hot bidding, the price is still extremely reasonable and will probably stay that way. While the diesels are cool, the ease of engine swaps in these is tempting; you could go TDI or hot minitruck if you pleased, as we’ll see in the second installment of this Tale of Two Caddies…


1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Sportruck

Over the years, VW has always offered unique, and often rare trim packages for their lineup. The Sportruck was one of the coolest examples of these packages offered on the Rabbit Pickup from 1980-1982. While this package to many just looks like a huge decal on the side, the package for the Sportruck is quite extensive.

Outside you’ll find body side moldings, the ‘Sportruck” graphic, special “rally” style wheels, and a front spoiler. On the interior the Sportruck got many of the treatments from the GTI parts bin, with the 3 gauge center console, bucket seats, and MK1 Scirocco 3 spoke sport steering wheel. The drivetrain was the 1.7l 8v with a wide ratio 5 speed, these truck were by no means rocket ships, but they got along much better than the other caddies of the same generation.

These rare birds are one of my favorites, and this Black over Autumn tan truck for sale in Grass Valley, California is a clean example of 80’s awesome.

1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Sport Truck on eBay


1981 VW Rabbit Sport Truck

This is a Rare VW Sports Truck affectionately called a “Caddy” with easy to remove Fiberglass Tonneau Cover. Runs and drives great. All original right down to the original working Clock.

Engine Sounds Good, Smooth with Plenty of Power, Nice Sounding Exhaust (does not smoke)

Compression Even at 155 lbs (New Spark Plugs)

5 speed Transmission (smooth shifting, quiet in all gears)

Clutch Feels Good (no chatter, good release point)

Factory Air Conditioning. (works great)

Great looking original Paint, some chips and scratches, no major rust. (See Pictures)

Bed is Nice with Little Wear. (See Pictures)

Original Interior and Glass is exceptional. (See Pictures)

Rear Sliding Window.

Sport Package Gauges, Oil Temp, Volts and Clock.

Sport Decals

Dual Sport remote Mirrors

Blaupunkt Cassette AM FM Radio

Carpets are Original and Nice. (See Pictures)

Issues I have found;

Speedo Works fine, Odometer is stuck at 62,599 Miles

I have no idea what the actual mileage is; Carfax may give some indication? I recently bought from Estate Sale.

Compressed Motor Mount, engine vibration at Idle (compressed meaning rubber mount is hard. Timing belt and mount would be recommended)

Headliner gone? Drivers Door Pad has small flaw (See Pictures)

Dash has one small flaw (See Pictures)

Discolored Drivers Arm Rest (See Pictures)

Front Rubber Bumper Corners Missing.

Needs Clips for retaining Horn Button

Small Dent on Tail Gate above left bumper tip (hard to see, small, only dent)

Add this to the list of “Cars I want to own”. These things are so cool, not just because of the options they piled in to it, but because they’re rare. Aside from the swallowtails, these are arguably one of the rarest MK1s out there. With the prices of caddies on the rise, I would expect this truck to go in the $5K range, even with all of the issues the owner points out.



1982 VW Rabbit Pickup

Often times cars come along and you wonder how they came to be so ridiculously priced. The VW Caddy is one of those cars. Back in the ’90s when I was searching for my first car, I wanted a 2 door Rabbit and lusted after a GTI. Every Wednesday I would go through the Want Advertiser and VW pickups were everywhere, often dirt cheap, but at that time they were the red headed step child of the MK1 family. When I think back on how plentiful and cheap they were, it’s tough for me to fathom an almost $7000 price tag. When you really think about it, all of the reasons it makes no sense are all of the reasons they are so collectable now.

For the longest time no one cared about these trucks and overlooked them in favor of the hatchback models, sending many of these trucks to the junk yard. If they weren’t just discarded, body rot was the second leading cause of death. These trucks had a lot of rot issues, mainly with the strut towers. Born and raised in California, this ’82 Caddy has managed to avoid the fate that many of its siblings succumbed to. This low mileage Cashmere White truck for sale in Chicago, IL is a great example of a survivor, and would make a great driver or restoration project for the true MK1 enthusiast.

1982 VW Rabbit Pickup on eBay


We at Windy City Motorsports are very pleased to offer for sale this hard to find and super clean 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Caddy Pick up truck.

***Super Clean & Rust Free California Truck It’s Entire Life

***Original Body & Paint

***Many New Parts. Including……

…..New fuel pump

…..New tires

…..New spark plugs, cap, rotor & wires

…..Fresh oil & filter

…..New carpet

…..New headliner & more

***Original California Blue Plates & Included

***The odometer shows only 72k miles, but cannot be verified to be actual

***Fires Right Up & Runs Strong

***Facetime Users Please Contact Us For A “Virtual Walk-Around”

***Inexpensive Nationwide / Worldwide Delivery is Our Specialty!

Please review all of the photos, and feel free to contact us with any specific questions or concerns you may have.

***We sincerely appreciate your interest, and hope to add you to our quickly growing family of 7,200+ satisfied customers!

Please Note…..In order to protect both the seller & the buyer, we require that all interested buyers either include a phone number with your offer, or contact us prior to making an offer. Given certain buyer contingencies, we are unable to accept any offers until the full details of the transaction are shared. 1-866-605-4866


I’m pretty partial to this truck for several reasons, but first and foremost, I love Cashmere White on MK1s.  All of my early GTIs have been this color and to me it doesn’t get any better.  That alone isn’t really a good reason to spend $6900 on a 30 year old VW pickup.  While in good shape and with only 71K miles, it certainly isn’t perfect.  The cracked dash, issues with the paint, and overall condition of this truck keep me from thinking it’s worth anything close to that.  With cleaner examples going in the $6000-$6500 range, I’d be more apt to pay around $5,000 for this truck, but with the MK1 VW market swarming with buyers for nice clean cars, this truck will likely fetch close to asking.


All go and no show: 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup with brand-new turbodiesel swap

We’ve got some great Mk1 VW-love going on at GCFSB right now, so best to keep it going with this impressive 1981 Caddy. As previously noted, my first car was a 1981 Rabbit Pickup, and I loved it to death (literally). Hilarious nimble and surprisingly useful, I would own another one in a second. If I couldn’t go for the extreme dream (mid-mounted 2.0T with AWD…), this Caddy would be the way to go. This is no rebuild swap – it’s housing a 2009 TDI that was inserted into a 60k mile Caddy and with custom plumbing and gearbox. The septuagenarian seller asserts it’s scary fast, but he’s done in a way only a 70-year old could/would: it looks completely stock. Unassuming and worn original red paint, some normal VW wheels, and a camper shell hiding a diesel that can probably handle GTIs (or more) all day every day. No sparkles, no dubs, not even a duckbill spoiler. Just a kickass little truck that can haul ass and get 50mpg.

1981 VW Rabbit Pickup with TDI swap for sale

A thorough description:

I have placed at auction my excellent, stock appearing, but highly modified 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup (“caddy”). It is similar to the tan 1981 that recently sold on eBay for $12,000. This exceptional truck wears its original red paint–nothing better for knowing exactly what you’re getting. This rust-free VW is just a bit more oxidized than the other one and the interior not quite as “luxuriously deluxe” as that one, but in most other respects this VW is superior. Judge for yourself. Let me begin with a general description and then move to specifics. The mileage on the body is estimated at 60K–true mileage unknown. Continue to read–it gets better.

This pickup has a new (as of 2009), not rebuilt, German 1.9 turbo diesel engine. Unlike the recently auctioned tan model, this one is both turbocharged and inter-cooled and that, friends, makes a world of performance difference. Like the other one, this VW also has a five-speed transmission but this transmission is new—assembled by hand from the racing parts bin of a leading supplier of VW racing transaxles with all new racing quality gears. The gear ratios were matched to the torque characteristics of the 1.9TD engine and the final drive ratio is taller increasing the ease with which this exceptional vehicle gets down the freeway (lower cruising rpm). And the clutch and struts are new as of right now.

In addition to being both turbocharged and inter-cooled, my “caddy” is air conditioned and has a “topper” or “shell” color matched to its VW 14 inch white rims mounted with nearly new tires. The VW also features a Sirius capable radio. The external mirrors are chrome Porsche units. The bed has a sprayed-in liner. The seats are covered with top quality sheepskin. The seats themselves are new.

A couple of other distinctions between this VW and the tan one recently sold (which, incidentally, is also an exceptional vehicle and well worth the selling price.) As all of you diesel fans know, the injection pump is critical here. When we were building this truck, I sent the pump to Giles (http://www.performancediesel.ca/performance.htm) in Canada who may be the word’s leading diesel pump builder. He matched the pump to the engine and specifically to the turbo plus water to air intercooler and even to the new injectors which Giles procured for us to make sure that the injectors and pump were appropriately matched. This was VERY expensive but well worth the investment. This new German 1.9 engine, new performance injector pump, new turbo, and custom water-to-air intercooler system represent the highest quality street performance equipment that money can buy.

In the process of building this truck (2007-2009) I learned a lot about inter-cooling. I am no expert but Turbo Lab folks of Orem, Utah (http://www.turbolaboratories.com/) are experts and they did all the work. In fact the cost of inter-cooling this little truck alone would be about half what the lucky buyer of the tan VW paid. If the serious bidder needs to verify the work Joe did on this VW pickup I suggest you contact him directly. He is my friend and a hard working businessman and technical specialist so don’t waste his time but I don’t believe he would mind taking a short call. Only contact him to verify what I am saying but not to explain everything he did. I can tell you most of that and invite your written questions. This is a serious vehicle and you deserve good answers to your questions. Turbo Lab does excellent aluminum fabrication work and there is a lot of handiwork in this truck. Because the caddy has a cast aluminum, large capacity oil pan, Joe worried about the possibility of rock damage on the road. So he custom fabricated a thick aluminum rock guard that protects the pan. It is easily dropped for access to the drain plug.

The exhaust work was the design by an exhaust specialist in Orem, Utah who does his own mandrel bending work. Rather than neck down the system when it exists from the down tube, it was decided to retain the same 2 ¼ inch tubing all the way from the turbo outlet, to down pipe, to the new muffler and out, exiting under the rear bumper. This was all custom work. At first there was concern was that the 2 ¼ pipe might be too big. But the 1.9TD puts out a lot more exhaust than a 1.6NA or even a 1.6 turbo engine. The exhaust is just one of many reasons why this truck is such an awesome street performer.

The new drive train and general mechanical renovation was done in 2009-09 by Thomas Jencks, a hard headed German, VW factory certified, mechanic now with his own garage in Alpine, Utah. He removed the old 1.6 NA diesel and transaxle, assembled and installed the new 1.9TD engine and transaxle conversion and set up the turbo intake and exhaust (down tube) but the vehicle was taken to Turbo Lab for all of the turbo and intercooler work including the aluminum ducting. But Thomas went over the entire truck replacing everything that looked the slightest bit used or untrustworthy. The list is long. You can also talk to Thomas (write me for his number). Thomas is cautious, methodical, and detail-oriented and his work shows it. An illustration of his craftsmanship is that there is built into the front bumper is a single electrical 110 female plug that in turn is wired to a built in slow charger for the battery and to a block heater. For anyone from a cold part of the world, this means that you just plug it in at night and start it in the morning—no fuss, no worry, no wear and tear.

So that is my description. Now a bit about who and where I am and why I am selling. I am a retired university prof who decided to volunteer at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. We’ve been here six of an eighteen-month assignment. The VW Rabbit pickup is at my home in Provo, Utah about an hour south of the Salt Lake International airport. I have a $15,000 bill I am facing for a new roof on our condominium and for a replacement heating/AC system. I am selling the pickup because I am not using it and this bill won’t wait forever. And to be honest, at 70-years-young, this little pickup is too much for me to handle. It is seriously fast. It may look like your grandfather’s old “caddy” pickup (not really) but it blows the doors off everything but Porsches and Vettes. And still gets 35 to 50 mpg depending on how heavy your foot is.

When the truck was finally finished was exactly a couple of weeks after my wife and I moved to New Zealand. The only person to drive this truck after it was built is our daughter, Margaret. When we left for Wellington, I gave her the truck. She is a professional photographer and drove the truck to wedding shoots with equipment in the back. We had the pickup delivered to her by carrier to her home in Boston. The truck was never driven much nor hard nor pulled anything. But when she moved her business (http://www.unusuallyfine.com/#/page/86b9/sara–dave/) to Brooklyn (NYC) and wisely decided to return the truck to me, again by carrier. I was in the USA briefly in November and drove it twice for a total of perhaps five miles. Then we left again for our new assignment with the United Nations in Geneva. We just have not been in the USA very much of the past four years. Hard to estimate exactly how many miles the pickup has been driven since the rebuild—I am going to guess at less than 2,000. I might be off because it could be 1500 or 1000–but that is the range.

I have a long history of buying and selling on eBay. I like good, clear communication. (You may use donholsinger@gmail.com) I want you to be sure about this truck before you buy it. It could be used as work truck or a daily commuter. I just don’t want you to be surprised. It is not a new vehicle and whoever ends up with it should be a person who has some mechanical sophistication and wants a vehicle to interact with not just drive only for the sole sake of transportation. Buy a Tacoma for that. Because I am in Geneva, you are going to see only one photo at first. Then when my Provo friends are able to get more additional photos, I’ll post them, too. I’ll keep this on eBay to give you time to think, plan and get ready for it. When the bidding is finally over, I’ll need a $1,000 non-refundable deposit by PayPal or bank transfer within 48 hours or the sale is off. The full sale price will be due from one week of sale—no exceptions. Let’s keep this sale a pleasant experience for all sides. Transportation is the responsibility of the winning bidder but again we’ll help in every way possible. Obviously the truck can be loaded onto a car carrier, covered or open, and delivered almost anywhere in North America.

Like the girl in the lead photo, this awesome Caddy is unassuming yet attractive. For reasons listed on the ad (paint rub, etc) the price has been reduced to a Buy-It-Now of $10,500 and bidding is hot with 17 bids pushing it to $6,400 for now. The reserve is somewhere below the BIN, but anything under $10k seems very reasonable. The seller references a similar, non-turbo diesel swap Caddy which recently sold for $12k, and the 172k-mile TDI swap Caddy I wrote about in January had a BIN of $9k. With a new engine and just 60k on the chassis, this truck is going to be fun for decades. It’s great to see these keep coming up because it makes me think I might have a chance to poach one some day.


13k Mile ‘ish 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Caddy For Sale

I am not sure what my fascination is with these cars, er, I mean trucks.  They aren’t fast, they aren’t pleasing to the eye, they are just cool I suppose.  Cool is a difficult thing to quantify and varies wildly from person to person.  I guess in this focus group of one that is what matters most.

What we have here is a stock 1980 Caddy with 13k or so miles.  I say “or so” as you never quite know with the older 5 digit VW odometers.  But from the looks of the vehicle that claim seems plausible.  The LEER canopy is a nice touch of 80’s goodness.

1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Caddy:

From the seller –













With cars like this you have to assume they have more mileage than the seller claims and current bidding seems to agree.  Even if everything points to the lower number.  This Caddy is sitting at $2k with all kinds of time left.  With no reserve I can see this Caddy fetching $3.5k.

My hope is this Caddy finds a good home and the new owner does not hack it to bits.  This is a very nice car as she sits and will make someone a capable driver for years to come.



1981 VW Rabbit Truck with TDI swap

I love the VW Caddy, and not just because it was my first car (though that certainly has something to do with it). The oddity, the 80s-ness, the practicality, and their playful driving nature make them a unique proposition in the weird car world; that is, one that makes total sense. A clean brown example was at my mechanic’s this morning and, in light of dropping off the pinnacle of my car ownership for yet more work, provided a nice moment of reflection on my roots. This red beauty on eBay is the beneficiary of a comprehensive restoration, including a TDI swap from a 1997 Passat. Worthy of respect in the more common state of grmiy workhorse, Caddys this nice are worthy of a few extra looks. It’s unclear how many miles the TDI has, but even if it were the 172k the chassis has covered, that’s barely broken in by diesel standards.

1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Truck with TDI swap for sale on eBay

Nailing it in the quality department, the price runs a bit astray with bids starting at $7k and an $8,995 Buy-it-Now. Objectively reasonable for a 35mpg fun commuter that can haul some miscellany, nine grand is way up there on the Caddy-Price spectrum. I’d give him $7k for a job well-done in making a unique car truly great.


Low-mile White/Black Diesel/Gas Caddies for sale

As I’ve mentioned before, my first car was a white caddy.  It was an awesome little car, light enough to be fun, plenty weird, and irrefutably German.  Mine had a later 2.0, but these two options on eBay right now have very different motors but are each uniquely desirable.

The first is a very clean white diesel LX.  Mechanically, if you’re looking for an efficient and utilitarian car with personality, this is the one.  A Euro-market 1.6l diesel with just 60k miles and Jetta 5-speed gearbox highlight the restoration, along with a clean paint job.  I could do without the wheels, but this is a great (if plain) Caddy.

Next up we have something a little more fancy.  This black 1981 Sportruck is a little more Dubby, blacked out with quad rounds, lowered on some prettier 5-spokes, and supplemented with just about 16v-Scirocco everything.  It’s been thoroughly gone through top to bottom and is more show car than econo-commuter, but would still be a great little driver. Would have been nice if he provided more than thumbnails, though.

The diesels definitely command a premium these days, and this restored white LX is reserve-not-met at $5,600 with less than a day left.  The black one is just r-n-m at just over $2k, but should go up a bit in the 3 days it has left.  If it could be had for $5k or less, it would be a great purchase, and is probably the one I’d rather have.


Restored and TDI’d 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup

Ah, the first car.  Like the first love, it will always be special, though these cars are pretty special anyways.  Most of the time when you mention “Volkswagen Pickup” to anyone you get a scrunched up face and inquiries as to what the hell you’re talking about.  What I am talking about is an awesome little car.  In addition to its unique nature, my Pickup (known as the Caddy in the rest of the world) had great steering feel, a peppy engine, and an 1800 lb curb weight that made it plenty of fun in curves.  Eventually too many things went wrong and we had to sell it for something more reliable, but it went to a VW nut in Ohio, so I feel okay about it.  This example, for sale on eBay and located in Arkansas, is what I would have loved to do with my little Rabbit.  The ad says it’s been restored and it looks pretty nice inside and out, but the key here is a 1.6l turbodiesel.  Many Rabbit Pickups came with diesels, but those are known as, well… slow.  Real slow.   The turbo on this one sounds like it makes it a lot more fun while still returning Prius-like gas mileage.

I’d want to correspond with the seller a bit to get a better idea of the specifics than the ad provides, and “restored” may be a slight overstatement, but it looks like a clean and solid example of a fun car.  Useful, fun, and most of all unique, a truck like this is absolutely on my “must-own-again” list.