Hare Raising – 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI

As Generation Xers get older, so they have more disposable income to purchase the cars of their youth, or so the theory goes. Right now, the money seems to be in early Porsche 911s and BMW M3s, so if you’ve always wanted to try out a GTI, there’s no point in waiting around until it’s one of the ones that got away. With handsome, Italian-influenced boxy styling and a 90hp engine and some improved suspension bits, this is a fun little car. You can find this 1983 Volkswagen GTI for sale in San Diego, CA for $3500.

1983 VW Rabbit GTI left front

Credit for this article’s headline goes to a period Car & Driver cover. Black is probably the best color for these – not as fade-prone as red, and not as refrigerator-like as white. This car has some sweet 1980s mesh wheels in a larger-than-stock size, along with some extra aerodynamic kit down the sills. It’s been lowered, hopefully to the benefit of handling and not just aesthetics. Washing and waxing the thing would probably give a better idea of the state of the paint, but from here it looks usable.

1983 VW Rabbit GTI interior

The interior is better than it should be at 193,000 miles, with a seemingly crack-free dash. There are no visible tasteless stereo upgrades, and the steering wheel and shift knob are original. Is that a tear on the lower driver’s side seat bolster? The only truly visible flaw here is the gauge cluster ahead of the shifter, which seems to have faded or something. Oh, and if you don’t like your interior in bordello red with sports stripes, that could be a flaw too.

1983 VW Rabbit GTI hatch

The car is said to run great, but need some work. Here’s one example of that – a bit of rust around the lower left corner of the rear window. Combined with the new license plate, does this mean this is an out-of-state car? The DMV smog check history does not show any tests for this car, so perhaps the plates and car don’t go together.

1983 VW Rabbit GTI right front

The front, from the other side, shows a minor dimple in the hood. With the fog lamps and license plate folded down, you can expect some damage to the front spoiler. It’s hard to say why one would sell this car and keep the Saturn seen behind it, but to each their own…

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One Response to “Hare Raising – 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI”

  1. scouter65 Says:

    This ad is still active – is this car still for sale?

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