1989 VW GTI w/ Turbo’d ABA

We’ve seen some pretty serious vintage VWs here recently, including the restored MkI Scirocco and tuned MkI GTI, both in the $14k-range. While those are lust-worthy and amazing VWs, that is a hell of a lot of money for 25-30 year old Volkswagens, cars that are supposed to be affordable and tuneable German machinery.

Which brings me to today’s MkII GTI, the kind of car that shows the level of fun possible with moderate investment in a VW. Turbo fun on the torquey ABA 2.0 and “almost-there” aesthetics for under $3,000 is what Volkswagen tuning is all about.

From the seller:

Up for sale is my 1989 Volkswagen GTI. The 8v, 2.0 liter ABA engine currently has right around 57k on it. The chasis has about 177k on it. The car is in remarkable shape. The body is near perfect. No dents, dings, scratches. The car has a borgwarner t3/t4 S200 .60 trim turbo currently running right around 6 psi. It also has a Revtec FMIC, Blitz BOV, and Eurosport exhaust. It runs great and makes good power. The front left wheel bearing (which I have) needs to be replaced. It has Weitec springs and Koni shocks. The paint is faded on the roof, but is very alive on the rest of the car. The hood is now primed black. The interior is also in good shape. It has Monaco seats, and a Momo wheel. The sunroof works, but leaks a bit when closed, i’m sure it needs new seals/stripping. It also needs a headliner. Its a very solid car, and I would certainly trust it to drive anywhere. Its great to drive, and gets a lot of attention. It has no AC, but the heater works perfectly. The car has been very well maintained. I only used royal purple when doing oil changes. Thanks for looking!

57k miles on the new ABA! Yes, there are some minor, non-mechanical issues to deal with like a leaky sunroof and lack of headliner (both common GTI afflictions), but I consider those part of the fun part when you’re getting a swapped and turbo’d GTI with a lot of quality cosmetic things going for it, e.g. wheels, straight body, and perfect single-crosshair and GTI-lined grill. This is MkII Volkswagen at its best, with some great work already accomplished; a little work and personalization could make this a show-worthy VW with a fraction of the investment of any other comparably-fun German auto.

-NR

1990 Jackrabbit (GTI based) VW

No matter how big of a car enthusiast you are, there’s always going to be some obscure vehicle you stumble across from time to time, having no idea it existed. This is one of those vehicles. According to the seller about 25 were made by Herb Adams VSE, also known for his customization of various GM products.

The seller states:

1990 Jackrabbit Very rare, One of 25 that were produced by Herb Adams and VSE in 1990. This car is built with it’s own steel tubular frame. This car is very comfortable to drive,and you will love the way this car handle,and it is fast,at 1500 pounds with a 1.8 liter 16V fuel injected engine with a 5 speed transmission,out of a 1987 VW scirocco with less than 20k miles. This car is in “EXCELLENT OVERALL CONDITION.” Car comes with a tan canvas bikini top. You can drive this car cross country with no problems.This car is all up to date. Car has a very good heater for a Convertible. This car is title as a 1983 VW Rabbit GTI.

It is impossible to place values on cars like these, since there are so few and never come up for sale often, but $6,800 seems a bit steep for a kit car, in my opinion. According to the promotional video below, 0-60 mph arrived in 9 seconds, which is surprising given the car only weighed 1,500 pounds. For someone living near the ocean in a warm climate, this might be an attractive alternative to your typical VW dune buggy.

-Paul

1984 Volkswagen GTI: Featured in Performance VW

The kind of Mk1 Volkswagen GTIs available these days usually fall into three camps: well worn out examples, clean originals and those that are heavily modified. The vehicle listed here has been a labor of love for a friend of mine in the Boston area who has been active on the Volkswagen scene for years. For me, this car has just the right mix of modifications and originality that I would be looking for.

1984 Volkswagen GTI on VW Vortex

The seller states:

84 GTI cashmere white with blue interior. Featured in Performance VW, February 2009.

Engine:
2.0 ABA (recent swap 5/10)
Head ported, and valves done (5/10)
T360 trim turbo (new 7/10)
AWIC
ViPEC v44 standalone, installed and tuned at Diebold Autosport
many new parts done at time of swap (radiator, gas tank, starter, braille battery etc…)

Transmission:
020 CHE with peloquin diff
empi axels

Wheels & Suspension:
5 x 15″x7″ mirror polished Zender Turbos with Toyo Proxes 195/45/15
H&R Coilovers (installed 9/10)
H&R Swaybar/Scorocco K-bar

Body:
Clean original paint (some marks, and such, but it’s original)
Happich pop-outs
All seals & stripes replaced
Powdercoated bumpers

Interior:
Custom upholstered recaros (stock seats included)
Rare Zender/momo steering wheel

This car was essentially rebuilt this summer, and is finally where it should be.

$14,000 obo

Two of my favorite things about this car are the amazing custom upholstered Recaros and that Zender steering wheel. Knowing the owner of this vehicle, I can affirm that this car has been maintained to the same high standard as my vehicles have been, which means obsessive, regular cleanings and an impeccable maintenance record. The other good thing about this car is that unlike low mileage Mk1 GTIs that haven’t been exercised regularly or that you would be afraid to drive around the block, this example has been driven (albeit not on a daily driver basis). The neighborhood of $14,000 might seem high for a Mk1, but if I was going to drop that kind of money on one of these, it would have to be the best. And this one, in all honesty, is.

-Paul

Affordable (?) 2006 VW GTI RSS for sale

It doesn’t please me to say that the MkV GTI never did it for me, though I know I’m not alone in this feeling thanks to styling that was simultaneously overly bold (the front end) and completely unimaginative (the rear). The MkVI has proven that the V was a sort of ugly-duckling phase, maturing into a handsome and sharp package. That said, the MkV is remarkable for its reintroduction of energetic fun to the GTI, and mechanically is not far behind the newest generation. This platform is ripe for modification and today we have an example on eBay that has some of the most popular mods you’ll see in your European Car or local Dubfest, including a VF Engineering/GIAC turbo kit and Stasis chassis upgrades. All of this with a Buy-it-Now of under $15k, and I’m thinking this is a lot of bang for your buck.

Work from VF Engineering outlined by the seller:

GIAC “RSS” GTI

2006 Volkswagen 2.0 TFSI Golf GTI 6-speed.

Engine and Transmission:
Stock engine and transmission. No internal modifications.
VF/GIAC RSS Turbo system
GIAC Flashloader for switchable ECU program modes for different fuel qualities
Garrett GT28RS Ball bearing turbo
High flow OEM replacement “rail” pump
High flow OEM replacement FSI fuel injectors
AWE full turbo-back exhaust

Chassis:
VF-Engineering 3-piece replacement engine mount set
STaSIS Engineering Touring Suspension

Performance as measured (at the wheels) on a Dynojet 224XLC
Multiply figures by 1.15 to convert to flywheel values

336 whp, 283 wtq on 100 octane at 17 psi “Race fuel mode” (Red on dyno plot)
300 whp, 281 wtq on 91 octane at 17 psi “Pump Gas mode” (Blue on dyno plot)
(torque limited for reliability of stock engine internals)

If anyone has some info on buying modified cars and would like to share in the comments, that would be great.

My personal take is that even with 75k miles on a tuned car, I think the new VW/Audi platforms are supposed to be pretty robust and getting 300 whp on pump gas for $15k is a recipe for fun. Complaints are few from this peanut gallery and center on the exterior; it might be my perfect MkV with a quieter take on the slick white/black exterior and a TDI Cup front bumper. Plaid interior and a good old-fashioned stick shift emphasize that this is a no-nonsense car, ready for some affordable back-roads fun (not counting tickets).

-NR

B-e-a-utiful 1984 VW GTI

The MkI GTI in Mars Red is like rosso corsa Ferraris- sure, they look great in other colors (I could do white or black), but they just look right. Today’s low-mileage example has had the benefit of a recent respray and redone interior too. First-gen GTIs don’t get much better than this.

It won’t take much to make this baby perfect. I probably would have gone for the black/plaid interior if I had my druthers, but that’s negligible in the face of how nice the seller has made this car. Don’t know what his reserve his but he says he’ll take significantly less then $10k. With only 106k miles I’d say it could go as high as $7k, but getting into a Mk1 this clean for around $5k would be a great, and really fun, deal.

-NR

1991 GTI VR6 Swap For Sale

The MkII GTI has always been in an odd no-man’s land for me.  I respect the styling and the large tuning community of it, but any time I consider one myself, I wonder why I wouldn’t just get a MkI.  When I see an example like this, however, I start to covet them a little more.  They may not be as pure and old-school as the original, but they’ve got some serious style, a bit more “grown-up” cred, and can obviously more readily accept modern parts.  Case in point, this fast 1991 with a healthy dose of modification that stops short of going overboard.

1991 VW GTI VR6 for sale on Craigslist SF

Despite a misunderstanding of quotation marks’ function, the seller provides a good rundown:

HI I have a 1991 gti white with about 70K on the engine. This car is faster then my 2004 vw r32. I have about $6500+ into this car not including labor or the car itself. Most if not all the parts on this car have under 500 miles on it including wheels and tires. This car can be a show car the way it sits.
ENGINE “less then 500 miles on engine parts”
The engine has 268 cams, lifters and springs to go with the cams. The intake manifold is shaved and painted black and the spark plug wires run under it ” for a cleaner look”.
The engine mounts have BFI inserts. ” they are stiff”
Corrado radiator and fans with there own relay set up
Samco hose kit
Neuspeed P-flow intake
Brand new cats
New magnaflow muffler and resonator the car is quiet but still sounds like a VR6 and you can hear the cams lope.
Fairly new clutch
SUSPENSION/wheels
H&R ultra low coilovers from a mk3 vr6 jetta “stiffer springs” “less then 500 miles on them” the car is stanced out and can be more to your liking
BBS RM’s fresh powder-coating 15×8.5 REAR, FRONT 15×8 flat black faces with gloss black lips…… both front and rear have good size lips. brand new bbs bolts.. these wheels are worth about $2,000
ALSO has BRAND NEW disc breaks all the way around.
INTERIOR
Is in good shape has recaros out of another mk2 gti
MK3 guage cluster.
everything on the inside works.
BODY
Also has keyless entry
Has the dual-round headlights with badgless grill, also have quad-rounds that come with the car.
led tail lights ” doesn’t look as cheap as you think”
16v fender flair all the way around
The paint is about a 7 out of 10 stock alpine white paint and the body itself has some dents ” its a 19-20 year old car”
The powder-coated BBS RMs look about as perfect as you could get. I love older German cars in white, and the VR6 must make this the right kind of handful.  $8500 is a bit steep for a MkII Volkswagen, but this appears to be a well put-together total package.  Sure, there’ll probably be several similar GTIs if you go to a local VW show, but maybe that’s just a testament to how well this package works.
-NR

1982 VW Rabbit Truck for sale

This Rabbitamino is just about exactly what I would have liked to have done with my first car, a white 1981 VW Rabbit Truck.  The light pickup body and communicative steering made me first enjoy “driving slow cars fast,” as I once heard it aptly put.  And slow they usually are, fitted with anemic but efficient gas and diesel engines.  This seller solved that with plenty of go-quick bits from GTIs and Sciroccos that conveniently follow the VW tradition of LEGO-like parts interchangeability.

1982 VW GTI Truck for sale on Madison, WI Craiglist

A detailed but concise description from the seller:

Up for sale is my 1982 VW Rabbit Sport Truck. This is a super rare truck that is in awesome shape. The original 1.7 motor has been replaced with a single ohc 1.8 gti motor with a g-grind cam. Also has the gti trans, scirocco brakes with stainless steel brake lines, corrado recaro seats. The interior of the truck is in really nice shape with the exception of the headliner which I removed because it was falling down. The paint, as typical with this gen vw, is fading but there is hardly any body rust, no bed rust, no strut tower rust. Almost new winter tires on 15″ wheels to fit the scirocco brakes. I just had brand new 2 inch exhaust installed from the header pipe back. I have a matching tailgate but the handles does not work, I also have a bumper with hitch ball mounts. I love this truck I just need something with more seats so the kids can cruise with me.

Despite Wisconsin roots, notorious for devouring all things metal, this GTIchero has minimal rust and none in the most common problem areas.  The pictures show a pretty beat tailgate because the original has a broken latch, but that’s an easy fix.  For $3600 this would a fun, efficient, and useful little truck.  I love the style, the big steelies, the great interior, the OEM+ upgrades.  Well done to the seller, and cheers to whoever buys and appreciates this funky take on the GTI.

-NR

1983 VW GTI Widebody for sale

Here’s a wee beasty, the likes of which you don’t see very often.  We all know the magic that surrounds the Mk1 GTI, but this has to be magic turned to 11.  A custom steel widebody kit has been grafted on, leaving it with the same classic silhouette but shifting it much lower and much wider.  This is no Heidi Montag though, as it comes with content to back up the extremely modified looks.

What the seller has to say:

My 1983 VW Rabbit GTI (Wide body) is up for sale.
This car was fully restored. Has steel wide body hand made. Fender flares are extended 3” each side. This car is in perfect condition runs great. I drive the car to work every day. The reason I am selling this car is because I have another toy. I have no room for this one in the garage. I will be honest with you I have autocrossed with this car and this car is amazing.
Engine: 16v
Auto tech cams
Valve Springs
Lifters
Titanium Retainers
New stock pistons
Crankshaft
Bearings
Transmission: Euro spec transmission with diesel 5th gear
Gears are heat treated
Peliquen LSD
Transmission is brand new has only about 2000 miles on it.
Brakes: Stock brakes on front
Rear 92′ Jetta GLI disk brakes
Exhaust: Techtonics full exhaust with race downpipe
Techtonics short shifter
Techtonics K bar
Techtonics ECU
Interior: 92′ Rabbit Cabrio dash with center console
Corbeau A4 seats
6 point roll cage
Spare tire area has been removed to make more room for fuel cell.
Momo F1 steering wheel
92′ Jetta GLI gauge cluster with working FMA
Exterior: Euro front end with badgeless grill
Euro tail lights
Rear wiper has been removed
Wheels: 15×8 Sport max one piece wheels
Suspension: Neuspeed race spring with Koni adjustable

That’s a pretty serious upgrade list.  Some power, some brakes, some suspension with a dash of style thrown in.  It sounds like it’s been well taken care of, but the generality with which the mileage and condition are described necessitates further investigation.  That said, it’s a Mk1 VW, so even if/when things go wrong, there should be an reasonable fix.  The seller’s testament of daily driving is a positive note.  I always love the no-bumpers look, and the widebody intrigues me and certainly makes a statement, though something about it strikes me as not perfect.  I think it might be the side sills and width of the front spoiler; I’d prefer the fender flares by themselves.  Overall though, this is a very impressive Mk1 and must be an intense amount of fun.

Bidding is hot, with 20 bidders pushing it around $3.5k currently, but the reserve is not yet met.  Considering clean Mk1s are pushing into the $4ks and $5ks, if this can stay under $7000 I think it would be a good price for a well put together, unique, and fast Mk1.

-NR

Euro-spec 1978 GTI for sale

We all love a good GTI, especially the first generation.  The Europeans got the revolutionary hot hatch a few years before the States, and also benefited from an even greater sense of “less is more” with the Euro version.  Of course the US bumpers weighed down the ends a bit, as well as a clunkier, rectangular light setup instead of the classic Euro quads.  Today we have an imperfect-but-enticing Euro-spec GTI for sale in the SF Bay Area, in need of a little work but with a lot of great bits providing the foundation for a great A1 GTI.

1978 VW Euro-spec Golf GTI for sale on Craigslist

A list of mods from the seller:

2.0L Audi 3a Bubble Block
8 Scirocco valve head
Scirocco Intake Mani
Dual Downpipe
TT Race Header
TT Low temp fan switch
High-flow cat
Replaced Vaccuum Lines
TDI 5spd transmission
Strong Clutch
Weitech TX Height and Dampening Adjustable Coilovers
Nuespeed Fr Tie bar
Neuspeed Fr and Rear Sway Bars
Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines
Brand new bfg tires on oem 14×6 Snowflake rims
Have all fender flares (currently off the car)
Euro Duckbill front spoiler
Fenders Rolled for 15×8 Widened Steelies (not included)
Euro Bumpers (not running rear)
Euro Quad Headlight Setup
Euro Taillights
Euro Cluster (kph, speedo is not hooked up)
Euro Gti Grill badge
Euro Golf Gti hatch badge
Black interior
Radio Delete Panel
Glass in great shape
Current Registration
That’s a lot of great mods for $2700, and I like that he ends his ad with “Cash Talks, if you seem like you’re going to take care of it thats more important than the money.”   This is definitely a guy who had a fun Mk1 project and is looking to pass it on to a kindred spirit.  The Audi 3A block originally came with 115hp, probably more now thanks to the upgrades, and either way a significant improvement over the original mill.  Sitting low on Weitech coilovers, I really like the subdued grey color scheme and roof spoiler.  It’ll need some work to be perfect, but I think this would be a really fun GTI with a great Euro-theme already established.  And you know what?  I kind of like that it’s a dirty little monster.  If I had a little more in the bank, I’d go offer $2500 and have some fun.
-NR

63k-mile 1984 VW GTI

Beauty may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but A1 GTIs are so gorgeous.  Something about the perfect little two-box shape, wide fenders, and sharky little nose get me going.  And yes, they’re on just about everyone’s short lists for best-handling, most fun, and most influential cars.  I had the chance to get a lowered, diesel-geared and Quaife-diff’d orange one from the guy who bought my Rabbit Truck, but my dad (I was in high school) had already decided a Toyota pickup would be more reliable and useful.  But I digress.  If I had $5k to spend on a fun little car right now, a clean Mk1 GTI would be where that money went.  This beautiful, 99% original example is for sale in a hot eBay auction with 32 bids at the time of writing.

It’s not perfect, but that will hopefully be a benefit as it will keep the price within the VW stratosphere (though the fierce bidding may threaten a reasonable sale price).  63k miles is awesome, and despite a few imperfections, this thing is superb.  A well-maintained GTI with lots of life left in it?  Worth quite a bit of money to me.  If you’ve been waiting for the right one, jump in with the dozens of other bids…

-NR