Rabriolet – 1986 VW Cabriolet

Over the years, there have been many posts extolling the virtues of the VW Rabbit, most recently a 1984 diesel upgraded with a later TDI engine. However, the real revolution the Rabbit caused was for 1980s cheerleaders. When VW released their Cabriolet in 1980, every one of them was asking their daddy for one, preferably in triple white. Unfortunately, this reputation overshadowed what was really a fun little car – the only regular production (that means no weirdo Subaru GL convertibles) 4-seat convertible available in North America, and equipped with the engine from a contemporary GTI. Where convertibles like the Alfa and Fiat spiders limited you to only one friend, the Rabbit could comfortably accommodate three. Check out this 1986 VW Cabriolet (it was only a Rabbit Convertible through 1984), for sale in Bow, WA for $1600.

1986 VW Cabriolet right front

Being in Washington, it’s quite likely the rain is making the paint look shinier than it actually is, but it’s hard to tell what’s dirt and what’s fading. On the bright side, being a Washington car, they won’t have put the roof down much, so that should have saved some wear and tear. VW really did a good job of maintaining the angularity of the design, as well as the wide C pillars typical of all Golfs. This particular car also has some smart teardrop wheels from a Mark 2 Golf/Jetta.

1986 VW Cabriolet right rear

From the right rear, you can see the gas cap has been replaced with a generic chrome piece. The original gas cap on these cars is actually quite a neat design, blending form and function by looking something like a toothed gear wheel, which provides leverage for you to twist it open and closed. The car is said to be in good shape and run great, with a fresh oil change, 4 spare tires (why? for the track? offroad excursions?), and a newer top that’s in good condition. You’ll want to make sure there’s no windshield gasket leak letting water onto the fusebox.

1986 VW Cabriolet front

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the engine or interior, and this would be particularly valuable for the latter. With their exposure to the elements, and the
quality of 1980s VW interiors, you can then decide what you can put up with. However, for the price you should probably just get out there and take it for a spin! Oh, and one last thing – did you ever hear of the Biagini Passo? It’s what happens when you put a Cabriolet with modified bodywork on a Golf Country platform, and remove any VW badging.


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