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BF AUCTION: 89K Mile 1989 VW Cabriolet

Sold for $2,212View Result

When the VW Golf (Rabbit in the US) hit the market, it proved to be a surprising success. The front-wheel-drive configuration allowed for a compact package that was light, efficient and wildly fun to toss around. Leadership at VW made sure to take full advantage of the car’s success by introducing several specialty trim levels, such as the GTI and the Cabriolet like this one. While the GTI was popular with anyone that wanted a practical and fun car (or those that simply loved fun to drive cars), the Cabriolet went on to be incredibly popular with socialites and really anyone that wanted an affordable/fun droptop. This example has covered just 89k miles and is in great shape. It’s being offered as a no reserve auction and is located in Milford, Connecticut. So, if you’d love to have it, be sure to take a closer look and bid!

We’ve been helping reader Ernie M clear out a collection of cars, but this one actually belongs to a friend who asked Ernie to help him find a new home for it. Since it looks to be a sweet little driver, we agreed to list it for them. According to Ernie, the owner was given the car as his 16th birthday present and he’s owned it ever since! He’s had it serviced regularly and drove it intermittently over the years, but in 2005 he decided to put it into storage. Once a month he would start it and drive around the block to make sure it stayed in working order, but he’s decided that it’s time to make space in his garage, so this one needs to go.

Due to the added weight of the convertible top and the needed chassis reinforcements, VW decided to put the GTI’s 1.8-liter inline-4 into the Cabriolet. It’s good for about 90 horsepower, which doesn’t sound like much, but these cars really don’t weigh that much. Between its rev-happy nature and the 5-speed transmission, it makes for a surprisingly peppy combo. While this car’s engine could use a good detailing, everything is said to be in good working order and that it runs really well. As long as it was given basic maintenance throughout its life, it should have a ton of life left in it! Clean up the engine, give it a full service, and you’ll be on the road with the top down before summer hits.

It appears that some seat covers have been installed and while they need some tightening up, the plaid inserts really pop. Everything else appears to be original and in great shape. As these cars have become more popular with collectors, parts supply has really improved over the past few years. As a matter of fact, back in 2013 we found and saved a 1984 Rabbit GTI and OEM style seat upholstery simply wasn’t available. Today, you can get replacements in the correct colors and materials from several suppliers.

With some detailing and a little work, this Cabby would be a great flashback to the ’80s. It already has a brand new convertible top and new tires, so it’s ready to be enjoyed. The body looks to be in great shape with nice paint. It also appears to be wearing the factory-made Clipper body kit that came out in 1988, which really makes it look sporty! Between the fender flares, the 7-spoke alloy wheels and the dual round headlights, this really is one great looking little convertible. With summer just around the corner, this one really would be a blast to have! If you have any questions about the car, please let us know down in the comments. And make sure to cast your high bid on this no reserve driver!

  • Location: Milford, Connecticut
  • Mileage: 89,195
  • Title Status: Clean

Do you have a classic that’s taking up space in your garage or barn? Consider auctioning it off right here on Barn Finds!

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $2,212
Register To Bid
Ended: Mar 12, 2020 12:00pm MDT
Winner: kzacheson
  • Avatar photo
    kzacheson bid $2,212.00  2020-03-12 10:31:56
  • Avatar photo
    bid $2,112.00  2020-03-09 16:14:24
  • Avatar photo
    lou bid $1,607.00  2020-03-07 16:05:05
  • Avatar photo
    michael bid $1,500.00  2020-03-06 15:14:22
  • Avatar photo
    bid $1,150.00  2020-03-05 16:10:30
  • Avatar photo
    Minics bid $1,050.00  2020-03-05 16:05:28
  • Avatar photo
    shane0319 bid $350.00  2020-03-05 15:48:05
  • Avatar photo
    bid $250.00  2020-03-05 15:43:15
  • Avatar photo
    shane0319 bid $150.00  2020-03-05 12:53:21


  1. Avatar photo Rick

    Loved my ’84 when I had it. Never leaked when it rained through the roof, but boy, did the rear fenders fill up. No rubber available for them anymore to make them anywhere near watertight, but they still make a nice sunny day beach buggy.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Bakyrdhero Member

    I wonder if that’s a new top boot. It doesn’t seem to be fully secured. I know new top boots can be a real snug fit and I’m not familiar with VW’s install procedure.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Carl Nichols

      My mother got a new one in ‘85, before I had a driver’s license. As I recall, you installed the flexible vinyl boot from the back to the front. At the tailing edge were two flat hooks that engaged with loops at the bottom rear of the top (just above the ‘trunk’ opening. Then a metal snap (or two?) on each side. While the rear seatback is still folded forward, you fasten the two Velcro straps on the leading edge of the boot tightly to the underside of the rear parcel shelf. Latch the rear seatback upright and you’re done!

      One of three things is going on with this car: either the person putting the boot on didn’t know about the hooks/loops at the back, the plastic hooks have broken off of the boot, or the new top was installed without the fabric loops at the back.

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo moosie

    All the seat upholstery is too loose fitting, the seat back release knob is MIA on the drivers seat back, it would have been nice to see the car with the top up just to see if it suffers the same looseness. The boot , if it is vinyl can be difficult to fit in cold weather, even tho I seem to remember them being a sort of fabric. Otherwise a very nice car, looks very well tended to.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Paul A Lehman Jr

    I had 2 of these a 1980 which was not too great and a 1982 that I special ordered. That one ran forever with no problems. I own a 95 now.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo P Wentzell

    Fun, fun cars to drive.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo P Reilly

    Did you know that the Rabbit was
    “Bug’s Bunny” ?

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo djkenny

    I almost got an 86 Black over black striped upholstery manual one as my first car in 90.
    My mom was Dating the coolest guy that drove it. He knew I loved it.

    Those Top Down weekends in Monterey. What a Blast!

    They broke Up. Could you have hung on just long enough for me to acquire it?!??

    Like 0

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