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1984 VW GTI: MK1 Survivor


This is one of those cars I’m going to kick myself later for not buying when they were cheap. Thankfully, they made a lot them so you can always find a project-grade example, but for low-mileage survivors like this one on eBay, I have a feeling it’s going to be slim-but-expensive pickings in the near future. This car is located in Wayland, Massachusetts and bidding is over $7,000. Thanks to reader Jim S. for the find!


The GTI is the car many of us wish Volkswagen would someday build again: lightweight, chuckable and blissfully simple. Unfortunately, in an era where drivers are more consumed with the quality of dashboard materials and whether engine sounds can be artificially piped into the cabin, I suspect even the venerable GTI is now a car designed primarily to evoke sensations of being a cheaper Audi rather than a raw driver’s car.


For these MK1 GTIs, the interior is usually where things get dicey when buying one as a project. Fortunately, with only 50,000 miles on the clock, this example has an excellent cockpit. I’ve always loved the color scheme, which is usually let down by rips and tears in the multi-colored fabric. Not here, and the presence of clean carpets and an original steering wheel rounds out what looks like a nice place to spend time while attacking some back roads.


Unfortunately, the seller does not give us much information about the condition of the engine. I suspect this is yet another flipper who picked this car off the original owner. Although he notes it needs a new exhaust, brakes/rotors and has inoperable A/C, the lack of info about the day he drove it off the lot or protected it from winter roads likely means he’s only owned it a short time – just long enough to put it on eBay! If it were me, I’d hold onto an example like this and never let go. Frankly, making a few grand would pale in comparison to owning such a specimen. What would you do?


  1. Rick

    Oh please – you got to be kidding

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  2. Todd Zuercher

    There have been a number of nice looking GTIs on the various enthusiast sites as of late and it’s hard to keep track of which ones keep reappearing. I must say the interior on this one looks spectacular.

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  3. David Frank David Member

    They are great and bring back lots of fun memories. It was funny, though, when they raced one against a new stock golf on Top Gear and beat it badly, but that’s to be expected.

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  4. ed

    I had a black ’83 with the same interior and a sunroof, it was a blast to drive but it was BY FAR the most poorly assembled worst quality car I have ever owned…a horrible mix of cheap plastics, paper thin fabrics and garbage pot metal everything…i still miss it …

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    I remember in the late 80s early 90s whole selling theses Junker’s at the auction for high teens and low hundreds. They were junk then and I don’t think they got better sense . Why anybody would even consider paying collector prices is beyond me. I give lol. PS, I CAN FEEL THE HATE FROM THE VW FANS.

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  6. Mark S

    Before the GTI there was the Rabbit ( at least in Canada there was) a friend of mine had the the diesel rabbit. He drove it for 300000 Kms, re built the body then he drove it for another 300000 Kms. I know this sound like a tall tale but he drove about 150 Kms a day to work and back, and he is a mechanic. I always thought that that these were ugly little tin can car, but my friend proved me wrong

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  7. krash

    Now at $8,900……

    it’s located a town away……

    unfortunately (at this increasing price point) it might as well be light years away..

    too bad..

    .. having owned countless hatchbacks, I really like the car….but I’m priced out of this deal…

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