What a Drag: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup ABD 2.1 16V

Way back in time, before the proliferation of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – indeed, before the Internet really got off its feet at all, dreams were made not with by-the-minute browser refreshes eagerly anticipating the next clever comment or picture of someone eating an avocado. If you weren’t actually traveling the automotive scene, you were totally reliant on your monthly delivery of new automobile magazines. In high school, I had at one point four different subscriptions and poured over the details of every single car that graced the pages of what was my Bible. But it was in the mid 1990s that I stumbled across a magazine that really spoke to me much more than the BMW-loving Car and Driver or the fairly vanilla Automobile; I found a copy of European Car. It was a complete revelation to me, to see the cars that not only I dreamt about but could actually afford parts for. Nearly as good, if not perhaps better, than the feature articles were the advertisements. The “Dr. Feelgood”s of the European tuner scene, companies like Techtonics Tuning and Total Audi Performance spoke to my specific needs in ways that the mainstream magazines couldn’t. And within those advertisements, one particular company became something of a legend among a small group of friends who all shared the enthusiasm for Volkswagens. That company was AutoBahn Designs, better known as ABD Racing – and what they had created was an absolute monster. In the days before the ubiquitous VR-swap for VWs, dropping a 16V into the nose of your car was about as hot as you could get. But ABD took that recipe to the next level with a custom-built 2.1 16V with massive compression and side-draft carburetors. But it was really what they put it in that set them apart, as ABD chose a Caddy for the massive build. The result, stripped out, painted up and dominating the import drag scene, still gives me goose bumps when I see it all these years later:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup ABD 2.1 16V on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 1984 Volkswagen GTi

When I was young, my family traveled out to Michigan. The year was 1984, and on the trip we went to see some vintage car racing as my father is a pretty big Shelby nut. There were plenty of Cobras and GT350s ripping up the track with V8s bellowing away that day, but what stuck in my mind more was a demonstration that was put on by Volkswagen of America. There were 5 or 6 then-new GTis that were put through their paces, and the particular corner we were sitting at had the train of these hot hatches popping over curbs, dangling a wheel in the air as they slithered through the corners. Sounding more like a pack of angry hornets, they made more of an impression on me than the rumbling Ferrari-killers, and to this day I still smile and think of that day every time I see a GTi. More than once in my ownership of a 1984 example, I even tried to imagine the train of GTis racing around that course on my daily commute to school to the chagrin of all of the other drivers on the road. But the best way to contemplate that magical day in my memory is to check out a race-ready Rabbit:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Volkswagen GTi on eBay

Continue reading

1980 Volkswagen Rabbit

s-l1600 (6)

This Mint Green Rabbit was an estate find and the title is still in the original owner’s name giving you the chance to be just the second owner after 35 years. Its condition is almost as mint as its exterior, having covered just 46k miles in those three and half decades. It’s not perfect, with a few small rust corners that show repair/repaint attempts and a fading hatch, but overall it’s a very pretty 4-door Rabbit. Somewhere along the lines it sounds like the original manual was swapped out for an automatic transmission, a questionable choice but somewhat in accordance with its history of low use by old folks. The color, the vintage, and the condition make it the perfect car for the well-coiffed hipster or a nostalgic grandma.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

Continue reading

1977 Volkswagen Rabbit

635794023986583977

Looking at what the Volkswagen Golf has become today, it’s rather remarkable when you look back at the Giugiaro-penned two box design of which it originated from. This 1977 Rabbit represents the earlier years of the Mk1. It’s a very simple car, with few options or adornments. However, you can find beauty in its simplicity, from the pressed steel wheels to the slimmer Euro bumpers. For sale in Georgia, this original VW was purchased new in Pennsylvania and is up to date on its servicing. For the vintage VW collector, they rarely come nicer than this.

Click for details: 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay

Continue reading

Low Mileage 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit L – REVISIT

We featured this 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit L at the end of last year, but it’s worth another look as you don’t see nice non-GTi Mk1s in such good nick. Offered at no reserve, this Rabbit has been well-cared for by a noted Volkswagen enthusiast and GCFSB follower. If you’ve been looking for a unique Mk1, time to get your bid in on this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit L on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 13, 2014:

Continue reading

1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

$_57 (5)
“Looks good, runs good” is the perfect opening line for this ad in its simplicity and lack of hoity-toity grammar. No matter what people try to charge for them as time goes on, Volkswagen Rabbit Pickups will always be about honest practicality. No frills, no big tires, no in-dash DVD players. These trucks are about getting you from A to B faster and carrying more stuff than a bike could. And probably using less energy as well, especially with these diesels that approach 50 mpgs.

This red on red example is very straight with good paint, a nice spray-in liner that will battle the elements and rust, and a clean interior (other than some hidden, reportedly beat seats). The seller has done his part to address any leaks and squeaks, and prior to him there was an alleged rebuild around 30k miles ago. 160k is pretty early for these diesels to need much attention, but with a new owner willing to address any further drips and noises that arise, you can be sure the motor will keep going until we finally burn this green and blue sphere to dust.

Click for details: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

Continue reading

1983 Volkswagen GTI

$_57 (2)

When I think about simplifying my life, one of my largest hurdles is what would I ever do with the E28 M5? Acquiring it realized a major life goal, and I still love it every day, but as life goes on will I always have the means to give it the (financial) love it deserves? When I imagine a world where I could do without its sound, rarity, story, looks… where was I? Oh, right. If I could let go of the things that are unique to the M5, a Mk1 GTI is where I’d head. Yes, it would still be an 80s German toy, which is not exactly “simple” to most, but it would provide legendary driving enjoyment without requiring regular valve adjustments and insanely priced out-of-production parts.

While GTIs have been steadily gaining in value, for the moment they’re still within reason. This extremely clean example received a new paint job last year, matching classic silver with some serious blue accents that provide an interesting counterpoint to the typical red striping. The hood stripe doesn’t quite do it for me, but I absolutely love how rally’d-out it looks from behind with the painted rear window surround and “Rabbit” mudflaps. It has a few needs that should be attended to sooner than later – but this GTI is an ideal candidate for some inexpensive home-wrenching and some massively rewarding driving.

Click for details: 1983 Volkswagen GTI on eBay

Continue reading

Custom 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

$_57

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.

Click for details: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

Continue reading

1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Diesel

$_57 (3)

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.

Click for details: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

Continue reading

1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup Turbodiesel

$_57

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.

Click for details: 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on eBay

Continue reading