Monday, June 20, 2016

Auction Watch: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI

Find this 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI here on eBay bidding for $4,150 with auction ending Tuesday.


 From eBay listing:

Item specifics

Condition: Used
Seller Notes: She is a used car and, as such, has normal wear and tear.
Year: 1983 VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): 1VWDC0171DV074473
Mileage: 88,900 Interior Color: Red
Make: Volkswagen Number of Cylinders: 4


Transmission: Manual
Trim: GTI Body Type: Hatchback
Engine: 1.8 liter Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: FWD Vehicle Title: Clear
Options: CD Player, Sunroof Sub Model: GTI
Fuel Type: Gasoline Exterior Color: Silver
For Sale By: Private Seller

You are bidding on a 1983 Volkswagen GTI. The original hot hatch.

I purchased a 1984 GTI brand new. It was my first new car and what a thrill it was to drive. Despite her 90 horsepower engine – she was considered quick. Still feels quick today. Why? She weighs only 1,800lbs.

You can toss this GTI into corners with aplomb – floor it in every gear (without discernable torque steer) and average 30 mpg doing so.  

If you are reading this listing, you already know iconic nature of this car. GTI’s have their own cult following. One that I espoused. Sadly, I must let mine go. I am restoring three other cars currently. She deserves to be with another enthusiast that will restore her (or drive her as is). She is certainly a dependable daily driver.

Driving the MKI GTI reminds you why these hot hatches were so darn successful. There is no ABS, traction control or other electronic aids, just light weight and ample power to put a huge grin on your face. And everyone seems to know what this car is – judging by the number of thumbs up and smiles I get when I take her to town.


88,900 original miles (due to age title may say mileage exempt), thus cannot guarantee mileage
Silver over red interior
Manual crank sunroof
Five original GTI rims
Front and rear seats in very nice condition
Starts on the first turn of the key
Shifts excellently
Runs great, does not smoke 
Brakes work very well
Emergency brake works well
Glass is in fine shape
Aftermarket Alpine Radio
Many extra parts included (see pictures)-  red dash (no cracks), two additional used rims, rear wiper container (not cracked), one additional used setback, additional red console with gauges, additional electronic parts 
Tires in great shape
No A/C
Rust free!!!

Membership into the GTI cult is free, btw. Parts for the Rabbit are plentiful on Ebay.

Here is a great blurb about the collectability of the car written by Curbside Classics:

When the GTI did debut in the US for 1983, it had several significant enhancements from the base Rabbit. Foremost was the 1.8-liter 90-hp fuel injected engine that featured redesigned cylinder heads and a higher compression ratio.  In addition to the engine (bored out and 22% more powerful than the standard Rabbit’s), GTIs received a close-ratio 5-speed transmission, a free-flow exhaust, and a suspension featuring recalibrated struts, stiffer springs, and front and rear stabilizer bars.  Clearly, this was a serious effort at a performance car. 
The GTI could reach 60 mph in about 10 seconds – not noteworthy today, but impressive by 1983 standards, and the fastest Volkswagen made until that time. However, the car’s most compelling performance attribute was its handling.  The un-boosted steering provided exceptional feel, and the suspension components produced a rare combination of high capabilities and reasonable comfort.  GTIs were literally cars that could be raced on the weekend, and then driven to work in perfect comfort the next day.
Everything meshed together in this car’s performance attributes, and its driving experience could be summed up in one word: Fun.  After a decade of steadily vanishing fun, fun was back in cars, thanks to the GTI.
Visually, the car was still 90% Rabbit, but details suggested it was something more. A front air dam, fender flares, and 60-series tires on snowflake-pattern alloy wheels (from the Quantum) gave the car a more aggressive stance.  Black-painted bumpers and trim, and subtle red GTI badges (the grille-mounted badge is missing on our featured car) completed the package. 1983 GTIs were available only in white, red, silver or black.
Inside, some GTIs received eye-poppingly vivid red (called cordovan in VW literature) upholstery, while others had a more subdued midnight blue interior. Less noticeable features included a newly designed steering wheel, full instrumentation, and a unique dimpled shift knob. 

This is, remember, a no reserve auction. The last bidder wins.

Now for the legalese: This is a no reserve auction. The car is not new, it is used and sold as-is, where is. We encourage email questions and inspections. My rating is important to me, as is your satisfaction. But, although she can be driven as is, I envision a restoration for the new owner.


  1. Looks like someone painted the dash. They never came in black. Should be red. Too bad it doesn't have A/C.

    1. You could probably get some SEM vinyl paint and repaint it red. At this point it is probably 50 shades of red in the interior.

      The AC on the GTI is a poorly executed afterthought bodged together at Westmoreland. The one to have is a non-ac, non-sunroof car

      Tip to seller: take a few minutes to clean the crap out of your car and take a rag to the engine.

      - Gianni-mous


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