Thursday, September 6, 2018

Callaway Turbocharged: 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI

A brand new Volkswagen Golf will set you back at least $20,910 before taxes, license, registration, etc etc and a GTI starts at $26,415 and something called a Golf R will cost at least $39,785...and I'm certain they are nice cars with all of the safety, convenience, and Apple car play that you'll ever need...but they don't have a golf ball shifter knob and will be worth 1/2 of what you paid in 3 I'm going to recommend a classic Golf for half the price to start.  Find this 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI offered for $15000 near Portland, OR via craigslist.

From the seller:
1983 VW GTI 
condition: excellent 
cylinders: 4 cylinders 
drive: fwd 
fuel: gas 
odometer: 116000 
paint color: silver 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
type: hatchback 
This shockingly rare GTI is in incredible condition. Never wrecked, no rust and rare as hen's teeth. Clean and clear Oregon title. Runs and drives beautifully with LOTS of new parts and recent restoration work.

Ultra-rare Callaway Turbo kit in excellent condition, intercooled and sounds AWESOME! The car pulls HARD the way an 80's turbo does - like an on-off switch. It's hilarious!

Gorgeous all-original interior, everything works. Cool, period Hella steering wheel. Stock golf ball shift knob hasn't been polished smooth!

Perfect condition aftermarket GTI look-alike RML wheels are 15" and wider than stock, new Kumho Ecsta 195 50 15 tires. Original wheels come with car with no tires on them. And one extra front seat.

New timing belt, water pump, drive belt, starter motor and alternator.
Complete new brakes: Drilled rotors, pads, calipers, stainless steel brake hoses, drums, shoes, wheel cylinders and spring kit.
Complete new suspension: Koni yellows, sport springs, control arms, tie rods, all bushings. Rear axle beam was removed, bushings replaced, cleaned and painted.
Fuel system: Tank removed, cleaned, painted and lined at Mac's radiator. Body steam cleaned with tank and rear suspension out. All fuel lines replaced, fuel pump remounted.
Intake charge tubes and turbo down pipe ceramic coated at Finish Line coatings.
Custom exhaust - V-band clamped catalytic converter with additional test pipe. Stainless 3" tubing and Borla muffler.

Paint has some age-checking but it is intact. Shadowline trim on rear deck has been removed.

This is a rare and collectible car - only 116,000 miles!! Serious offers only - I don't need to sell so please skip the lowball offers. If it doesn't sell locally, it will hit BAT next month, but I'd sure like to see it in my 'hood every once in a while.

Clean and clear title ready to go, cash preferred but would consider part trade for another German sports car or motorcycle. Or a cool van - I have a weird thing for vans. Or a thing for weird vans, maybe.

Please call or email for an appointment to see it in SE Portland.


  1. The seller is a baseball player? What's this BAT he is going to put it on next month?

    1. BAT = Bring a trailer. Search their website and often its BATFOC Bring a trailer full of cash...

  2. So, basically, if he can't sell it for a crazy price locally, he'll go to an auction site which sells cars for crazy prices...

    1. Yeah, I bet it's a blast but for that price he can keep it.

    2. I wouldn't be so sure that's a crazy price. Maybe a little high, but clean, original Mk1 GTIs are starting to break into the $10-$12K range, which when you think about bang-for-buck is really pretty cheap. Of course there are other cars out there in that range to choose from, but the GTI is iconic. If I had $15K to spend, it likely wouldn't go towards this car, but I'd at least think about it.

      Not sure how much more the Callaway kit adds in value, but it's probably another grand or two. The way I see it, this seller is trying to get top dollar but for a car that's hard to find a duplicate of on the market. Figure there's a little room for negotiation. Or not, because the CL listing is already gone. Maybe someone found a deal... or we'll see it on BAT soon.

    3. I have to agree with Anonymous (if that is indeed his real name) because the supply/demand curve for clean MkI GTIs has pushing up prices in the past few years, and Callaway stuff could add considerable street cred in the future. Additionally, a stock GTI is pretty slow (0-60mph in 10.6 seconds according to R&T 1983) compared to even the most basic modern cars, but the Callaway version should bring it closer to...i dunno..a basic Accord...which is fast, because modern cars are FAST stinking fast. Anyway, they aren't making any new 1983 GTIs with Callaway turbo systems at the them while they are cheap-ish.

    4. It is my real name (on the internet at least), and I'm glad you agree. Supply is definitely limited (I watch for them). I speak as a moderately-informed enthusiast who has owned a clean '84 GTI for 10 years in California, where there are probably more left than in any other state because of the mostly dry climate and mostly salt-free roads. I don't see these every day.

      I've never seen a Callaway-modified example in person. You can still find a basic GTI for a few grand, but it will have issues, probably some rust, and often questionable maintenance and mods. I was lucky to find a good one and know I couldn't replace it today with an equal one for what I paid in 2008. I'd be lucky to pay double and end up with the same car.

      Mine appears stock but has had engine and suspension upgrades and was mildly bored/stroked to be a 2.0L. It's still slow off the line. From a stoplight I'm always the slowest in traffic, but the car really comes to life when the revs climb. It's the type of car that shines between 30 and 60 mph. That's what you need for winding backroads. I'd love to try that Callaway though.

      Also, for anyone who missed out on the car listed above, I'll consider selling you mine for the same $15K. ;) It could be a bargain in a few years. Buy now and save!

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  4. Fleetwood T. BroughamSeptember 9, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    C'mon people........9 comments so far and I'm the first to point out that the current GTi still actually does have golf ball shifter?

    [image src=""/]

    1. Hey everybody---look as the jackass who forgot to limit his image width! ^^^


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