Custom 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

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This crazy, custom Rabbit Pickup popped up a little while back but the auction ended before I was able to get it up here. As the seller states at the end of the ad, clearly this truck was NOT built for speed or performance, but to be a wild-looking showpiece. Stretched and slammed with countless custom touches, there is some outstanding craftsmanship, though the interior leaves a bit to be desired. While I love the grey-green exterior that puts a slight mellow on the exterior aesthetics, I think he was going for a similar look inside that ended up just looking kind of faded and old. I love that ragtop though. Overall this is just a weird personal challenge completed that will turn heads wherever it goes, even if it goes rather slowly due to an awful turning radius and meager diesel power.

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1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Diesel

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I love Rabbit Pickups, and they’ve experienced a bit of a renaissance here in the Bay Area with more and more moseying by on the road. Perhaps the newly-rich hipsters are realizing how cool they are and plucking them from around the country. Demand has risen to the point where some jokers think a diesel and a crappy respray can demand $15k, but it seems like the ridiculous prices may just be encouraging other silly sellers as opposed to truly elevating prices. This one doesn’t have an extensive history but it does have some nice parts, namely a 1.9-liter turbodiesel upgrade and some large, late-model VW wheels.

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Double Take: Volkswagen Transporter Diesel Pickups

I’ve seen a few DoKas running around this area recently, and can’t help but smile every time they rumble by. My affinity for Vanagons is well documented on this site, but the truck versions are a great mix of funny proportions, classic style, and no-nonsense pragmatism. With that combination, any engine other than a small four-cylinder diesel would seem excessive. Luckily we have two clean examples coming from the same seller in New Jersey that – considering how small the niche market of T3 Diesel Pickups is – provide interesting options for the buyer to decide on. Double cab or single? All-original or spruced up? Turbo or no? Crazy-low mileage, or just very low? Tough choices in this Transporter Pickup Showdown!

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Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen T3 DoKa Diesel on eBay

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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Turbodiesel

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Turbo’d Rabbit Pickup diesels are becoming quite a thing, as they are regularly showing up for sale and make up a large percentage of the little Rabbitaminos for sale in general. Some opt for the later 1.9-liter TDI, but this one appears to be an original (albeit refreshed) engine with a turbo bolted on. It surely boosts performance but sends the mileage up a bit as well, returning an astonishing 50-60 mpg. With a fresh coat of a gorgeous Mazda green and very nicely reupholstered Jetta seats, this little Caddy flies under the radar but hides a serious performer. All this comes for what, compared to some Rabbit Pickups, is a downright reasonable price.

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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Diesel

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When you see copies of your first car on the road, do you get pangs to drop everything and go buy one? I do, and will always feel fortunate that my first year of driving was spent in a car as unique as Rabbit Pickup. Look around at the trucks available today; even the well-reviewed “small” Chevy Colorado is a pretty substantial beast. How great to be able to throw your stuff in the bed of a truck that weighs about a single ton, gets 45 mpg, and looks as good as a Mk1 Rabbit? Unless it’s a mediocre example for stupid money, I’m itching to get back in one. Today’s bronze Caddy gets me all hot and bothered as it looks exceptionally clean and comes with some serious Mk2 upgrades. The turbodiesel 1.9 liter is a significant improvement over the 1.6 non-turbo from a decade earlier, and this one also comes with the seats, steering wheel, and transmission from the donor 1992 Golf. The side graphics (which almost give a wood-panel look on the bronze paint) and front bumper delete help to make this funny little truck extra-unique.

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1955 Mercedes-Benz 170 S-D – REVISIT

We used to run a feature called “Heap of the Week”, and while it’s something we decided we weren’t generally known for, it was a fun feature. It allowed us to look at vehicles that had potential or were potential struggles; rare cars or just cars that are rarely seen. It’s another expression of automotive enthusiasm – anyone can walk down to a Porsche dealership with enough money and buy what will certainly be a classic someday if you keep the miles low enough and condition good. However, to take something neglected and return it to pristine shape? That’s the domain of a different type of enthusiast, one who sees the potential through the years of neglect and anticipate a result that could be considered near impossible. There’s also a different sect of enthusiasts who appreciate patina; the worn perfection of years of neglect, but also the specter of countless stories. Throw a particularly rare model into the mix, and you have what could potentially be a show stopper:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 170 SV-D on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: Unusual E30-off

Okay, if the Brabus-off from earlier was a bit…well, odd, I have another pairing that’s a bit unusual too; though, to be fair, only 50% of this duo is really unusual. I’m guessing it won’t take much much imagination to guess which of these cars is the odd man out. Today we have a Hartge modified 323icamino, and to compare in the unusual tuner world, a Japan-only model of the E30 built by Alpina – the B6 2.7. Let’s start with the RanchE30o:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 BMW 323i Pickup on eBay

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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

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I’m a huge Rabbit Pickup fan, and frequently startle the people around me when I see one as I excitedly point out “Look at that! That was my first car! Yes, that weird little Volkswagen. It was awesome.” Despite coming from Florida, today’s Caddy is pretty exceptional, sporting Mk3 running gear and full interior, taking the OEM+ concept to a wonderful extreme. Adding a turbo to the 2-point-slow should certainly help this pickup’s gittyup, while Weitec coil overs and upgraded brakes should help turn what was a fun driver into a moderately serious weapon. The Rabbit Pickup should never be taken too seriously, and the bold blue helps with that, but overall this is one of the more exceptional Caddy restomods I’ve seen.

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#Fail Friday: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup+

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My one main complaint with my 1981 Rabbit Pickup was that the passenger compartment was a pretty tight squeeze between the low roof and too-close rear wall – beyond that, it was a hilarious, competent, unique, and fun-to-drive car. Today’s oddball Frankenstein monster fixes my one gripe by melding a Rabbit Hatchback with a Pickup, creating a Crew Cab Caddy reminiscent of Rutledge Wood’s limo on Top Gear America (I don’t blame you if you haven’t seen it). While the extra legroom and seating for four are nice additions and it allegedly runs and drives, this is clearly a half-baked project with many, many needs. The seller thinks its rarity makes it as valuable as a top-notch Caddy, but it would take a lot of time and money to make it even presentable.

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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup TDI

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Today we have a sweet Rabbit Pickup that has gone through a complete restoration and updated to a rebuilt 1997 TDI motor from a Passat. These were efficient little buggers in the first place, but now it’s got a little more power while maintaining the best gas mileage of any truck out there. It may not be the most attractive Caddy we’ve seen, as the emblemless grille and tacked-on hood scoop scar the front while the innocuous grey has that slightly dull finish marking a budget repaint. But the interior is quite nice with Recaros and a nice wood wheel-and-knob combo, underscoring the fact that this little pickup is built for comfort and utility. With just 15k miles on the renewed package, the seller is looking for top-Caddy dollar, asking $11,400.

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