Classifind Cut: 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel L – SOLD!
February 11, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
When the 1979 Iranian crisis lowered oil production and shot gas prices up over one dollar per gallon for the first time ever in the U.S., consumers scrambled to find economical alternatives to their gas-guzzling American rides. Answering the call was Volkswagen with its fifty mile-per-gallon, diesel-powered Rabbit. Demand was so high for these cars Volkswagen built its first U.S. plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania to keep up as well as a hedge against the strong German Mark. The square headlights of this 1981 Rabbit L Diesel originally listed in January 2021 on Craigslist in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) are a dead-giveaway this was a U.S. produced Golf. Reported to have spent most of its life in Arizona, the current caretaker is asking $4,000. Comparing that ask against the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $3,800 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $6,000.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“I am selling my 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel L. I am the 3rd owner and have had the car for about a year and a half. It has a 4-speed manual transmission that shifts nicely and a 1.6L diesel that starts right up even in the cold. It also has new tires with under 1,000 miles on them and a battery that I bought right after I bought the car. The car spent most of its life in Arizona, so there is very little rust except for a small amount of surface rust on some parts of the body. Since I have owned this car, I have fixed the shift linkage so it goes into gear much easier, fixed the lights and wiring for the outside lights, replaced the air and oil filters, replaced the master cylinder and brake booster, and put new bolts on the drive axle. The car is currently inspected till June of 2021. I originally bought this car to help teach myself about fixing cars, but now I am going to college and can not keep the car, unfortunately. The car comes with the original manual, a shop manual, a new spare tire, and the original spare tire. Thank you for reading my ad and if you are interested, please text or email me with the information in the reply box. Asking for $4,000 or best offer.“
Restore or drive as-is: what would you do with this vintage Rabbit Diesel? Comment below and let us know!