Ratty Rescue: Won't-Last-Long MK1 GTI

This week’s Ratty Rescue won’t be around for long, so act fast. For just a little scratch you can get your hands on this rough Rabbit: a coveted MK1 GTI.

When you buy an older home, you always look for one with good “bones.” You try to ignore all the surface stuff and get down to the underlying structure; if the foundation is crumbling, or the wiring is all hacked up, then you’re looking at loads of money for repairs. Bad bones. Searching for a restorable car can be similar. Yes, the outside and inside are crusty, but how are the mechanicals, the unibody frame, and the electronics? If they’re decent, that can be more than half the battle to get the car back on the road.

This 1983 GTI has great bones. The ad lacks a lot of details, but it’s clear from the description and the photos that this car can be a runner pretty easily. The shock towers are clean, the body panels appear to be straight, and the seller even got the car running (kind of). It has snowflake wheels that look like they’re in decent shape. And check out the aftermarket hatch spoiler. Very slick. Despite the black driver’s door, this was a white car when it rolled off the assembly line.

Inside there’s matching front and rear black (vinyl? leather?) seats that are not original but in very good condition. Was the last buyer fixing this car up? Maybe they got as far as the interior and some exterior bodywork, and then life happened and they never got back to it. It looks like the odometer reads 164,000 miles. But you’ll want to verify that with the seller.

So if you’re looking for a MK1 GTI project car, this one’s got serious potential. But with a low asking price of $2200, it won’t be available for long. Check out the ad on thesamba.com, or go see the car in person; it’s in Maryville, TN.

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