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32k Original Miles: 1984 VW GTI

If you’re a European car enthusiast, it’s hard to ignore the attraction to the first-generation VW GTI. This car checks a lot of boxes: it was iconic; it was fun to drive; it inspired an entire class of entry-level performance vehicles; and it put to rest the theory that FWD cars couldn’t be made to handle. When you consider the achievements, it’s not surprising that survivor MK1 GTIs like this one here on eBay are listed with an asking price of $17,500.

Huge money for sure, but it’s also justified on a car with just 32,250 miles. The seller says it’s one of the best ones you’ll find, and that’s a claim that’s getting harder to make considering how many time capsule MK1s have come out of the woodwork in recent years. Heck, a friend of mine sold a diesel Bunny with something like 10,000 original miles on it last year. They’re out there, so if yours is one of the best, it better be a cut above any of the other low-mileage examples apparently still in hiding.

The interior on these cars is always a good place to start for establishing overall levels of preservation. The seats have a tendency to lose their cloth upholstery after even a short period of daily use, so it’s reassuring to see this one with near perfect sport bucket seats. The door panels and carpet look great as well, and it would appear the often-stolen GTI “golf ball” shift knob is still in place. The seller specializes in VWs of this era, and has gone through some considerable lengths to make this GTI even better, including replacing a cracked dash and droopy headliner.

Mechanically, the seller doesn’t report much, which I believe is an indication as to just how well the car runs. “The engine, fuel lines and fittings still retain the same cadmium shine as they had from the factory. The only non-original parts are the Neuspeed lowering springs and a new complete Techtonics exhaust from the manifold back.” Neuspeed and Techtonics are two of the “safer” names out there on the VW aftermarket, so I wouldn’t sweat these deviations from stock.


  1. RoughDiamond

    An early MK1 GTI like this is one of my bucket list cars. I’ve never driven one, but have been told by those who have that they are a hoot to drive and the fun factor is off the charts.

    Like 8
    • Mr Wolf

      Ive owned 3. Totally hoonable. One of my fave cars of all time.
      Not that top end fast but don’t try to catch one down an off ramp. Raising inside wheel is just simple in tight turns.

      Like 9
      • angliagt angliagt Member

        When I had my ’79 Fiesta,I got a free bumper sticker
        from the local Honda dealer that said “WARNING – I DRIVE-
        ON THREE WHEELS”,& covered the Honda logo with a Ford one.

        Like 4
  2. Dan

    My first car was an 81 dodge omni. I was told they shared a lot with VW s. A neighbor of mine had a rabbit, that looked closer, but the omni could smoke all of them….. ? 😔

    Like 5
    • GVW

      We had the Plymouth version (Plymouth Horizon). We took the windows out and hammered it on a dirt field track for an entire summer. My brother and I learned to drive stick in that car. (12 yrs old). I have since owned four MK1s including a white/red GTi. Really miss having one and wouldn’t rule one out in the future. So much fun.

      Like 2
      • Neal

        That sounds like a crazy and fun childhood. I can’t even imagine!!!..,

        Like 1
  3. Gloin

    This was the 80’s preppy/new wave guy’s muscle car, until the 87 Mustang came out. By 89 these mostly vanished from the streets

    Like 4
  4. Dan

    No offense to the VW crowd, but the best thing you had in the 80’s was the scirroco. Those gtis arent that good, my omni was better, and I wish it got credit. I had a manual. Love the hatchbacks. Something about the areo on the highway!

    Like 4
    • Scott Tait

      Ironically the volkswagen Scirocco and Volkswagen Golf GTI are practically identical as far as engine and gearboxes were concerned , like go-karts … the scirocco was more refined in my opinion …i prefer the mk1 euro spec with the round lights

      Like 4
    • UK Paul

      Not sure what an Omni is but certainly the Euro GTi’s were absolutely fantastic cars.
      Scirocco were a bit of a flop in the U.K. at least although I like the shape.

      Like 0
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    I just passed on one needing work for $500.
    It was an ’84 also,& I was really tempted,as it had
    some rust,& I could use it as a dd through the Winter
    & not feel guilty.
    Decided that it might end up costing a lot in the
    long run,plus I need to work on my MG’s.

    Like 2
  6. James Brooks

    If the Omni was such a great car why does it have a Volkswagen block? Chrysler in the 80s hasn’t built anything worth a damn and certainly you’re not going to find omni’s being restored or collected.

    Like 1
    • The Walrus

      Only the very early 1.7L Omni/Horizons had a VW block. The optional engine was always a Chrysler 2.2L. By ’85 Chrysler had enough with 5/50 warranty claims on the VW mill and actually went to a 1.6L Peugeot block! The 2.2 was still optional. Later cars had a 2.5L Chrysler available. So to answer your question… they didn’t ALL have a VW block. Only early base models.

      As far as restoring or collecting Omnis… that’s pretty well documented… Look at these:

      Sold for $27,500:


      One of MANY articles on ’80’s cars where either a GLH or GLHS are listed….


      Like 3
      • Neal

        The Walrus came PREPARED with his comment!

        Like 1

        The auto was owned by Carol Shelby for several years And has 7,733 original miles.

        I really would hope it would sell for that much. (Sold for $27,500)
        IMO, The Omni is still worthless collectible in the coming years.

        Will never have the Rooted “FUN” factor that a VW offers.

        I do respect your spec info provided deeply.

        Like 0
  7. Oilyhands

    How I wish my little ‘84 GTI was as pretty as this….. maybe someday with a pile of money and time! Interestingly enough this checks all the boxes for me, the upgrades are appropriate, the lack of sunroof is preferred, the only negative is that it has the power robbing, weight adding AC.
    Having said that when I drive mine it is more fun than the wifes WRX, and gets more respect,,,, frequent thumbs up from other modern GTI drivers, BMW owners, and even WRX drivers…. I consider it more of go-cart with a five speed!

    Like 4
  8. Luki

    A used Mini Cooper S will be a better ticket for econobox fun.

    Like 1
  9. A.J.

    Never had a GTI but had three Sciroccos. Never paid more than 5G’s for any of them. 17,500 for this? Better have a couple pounds of gold in the trunk.

    Like 1
  10. michael

    The price is designed to make this a keeper to the seller. IF someone is dumb enough to pay the price, then I’ll sell it, but if not I gladly keep it.

    I would much rather buy one for 5k with more miles and replace everything to new specs and still have money left.

    Like 4
  11. mikestuff

    I worked in a VW dealership for 8+ years until we mutually decided I was one of the worst salesmen, ever.

    At one point, I had a GTI demo for a few weeks, red exterior, same interior as this one.

    Long story short, I was going too fast as was easy to do in that car, doing 50+ in a 30mph zone, which doubled during the week as a school zone. Fine: $200+ and XX points on my license. It was almost worth it.

    Like 1
  12. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice touch on the shift knob. Just me, I think it should be white.

    Like 0
  13. Tort Member

    Bought one new and was a great car. I liked the performance, handling and the precision in the way it was built. The one problem was excessive oil consumption. It was a valve guide issue that so many had the same problem that the dealerships fixed the problem at no cost.

    Like 2
  14. David Miraglia

    owned two Rabbits. Even without the GTi, they were great handling cars.
    Always desired one.

    Like 1
  15. angliagt angliagt Member

    A Friend of mine Brian Forester (he played Chris 2,on-
    the Partridge Family),bought one new.He said that every
    part that was a problem was made in Mexico.

    Like 1
    • The Walrus

      Not sure what being made in Mexico has to do with it. As a manufacturer you specify parts and QC them. Whether you accept what they provide or reject it is on the buyer, which would be VW. Point of origin is irrelevant if the company has proper systems in place. Somehow the VW diesel scandal tells me this company has been wayward (as many German companies are) for quite some time.

      Like 1
    • A.J.

      Got a good laugh yesterday. Bought a GM throttle position sensor for my Yukon. Made in Mexico, of course. The warranty sheet was in Spanish…BOTH SIDES!

      Like 0
      • The Walrus

        Ah. Of course not GM’s fault, though… ;)

        Like 0
  16. Rustytech Rustytech Member

    I never owned one of these, but had a good customer that had one. I don’t know who had it more often, me or him. It was always at the shop with something wrong. Nothing major but constantly needed attention. Most of these were beaten to death, this one looks good.

    Like 1
    • UK Paul

      Very unusual, these are very reliable normally. Gear linkage gets a bit worn but cheap/easy fix but that’s about it I thought and experienced.

      Like 0
  17. Carl vK

    I hope he gets his price, original parts are getting very hard to find and cars in that level of originality are very hard to find.
    As many have written before me these are some of the most fun cars you can drive. I know, I have owned 6 first gen GTI’s none are surviving today because I raced them in SCCA, IceRacing, RallyCross and just beat the living daylights out of them.
    This year I took my wife’s 84 Rabbit L that she purchased in January 1984 ( Stuffed full of hand me down period race parts) out of a ten year sleep.
    I have no idea why I let it sit so long, absolute ball to drive.

    Like 2
  18. Jeff

    As a mechanic the 83 and 84 GTI’s are twice the car the Omni 2.2. I can sum up a Omni with one word “K-car”,,,, Junk..

    Like 2

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