Car Catcher: $33,000 for a VW Rabbit GTI!?!?!

Photos courtesy Bring a Trailer

Remember when GTI Rabbits were inexpensive, disposable cars? Those days might be long gone. Bring a Trailer just fetched $33k for a clean, one-owner example. Possibly the even bigger surprise: While, yes, this is a one-owner 1983 Rabbit GTI, it has nearly 100,000 miles on the clock, received a repaint, and isn’t 100% stock. Hagerty lists a No 1 example—which would be concours condition—at $20,600. 

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Silver92SVX
Silver92SVX None
9/17/19 1:43 p.m.

The BaT description states it's a US-Spec GTI built in Pennsylvania but ordered and shipped from Germany. That doesn't seem right. It's a nice car but not $33K nice. Plus it's not concours condition and original. Does this mean my 100% stock one-owner red 5-spd 1985 Mustang GT with 10K miles is worth $50K? If so, I better get it out of storage, cleaned up and put on the market before the next recession hits. As the saying goes, there are people with more money than sense. Wish I had the too much money problem.   

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/17/19 2:14 p.m.

Well, it says a little more than that.

Specifically: "This 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI is a US-spec example that reportedly was purchased new in Germany by its current owner while serving as a pilot in the US Army, and the car was shipped to the United States in 1984 at the end of his deployment."

So, a question since I was there: Could U.S. servicemembers purchase U.S.-spec cars while overseas?  Or maybe the car was shipped over to Germany when new? But, yeah, I don't know.

A while back, a 964 Turbo fetched some big money. I asked a friend, who owns one, what he thought of the sale. "I guess two dudes in the room wanted it," he replied. 

Silver92SVX
Silver92SVX New Reader
9/17/19 8:53 p.m.

A closer reading of the BaT description states "The window sticker notes assembly in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania and delivery through Volkswagen Military Sales out of Zurich, Switzerland along with a $9,840 total price including optional equipment." Apparently this car was made in USA, shipped to Germany via Switzerland, and then shipped back to the USA after the end of the owners military deployment. Sorry I missed that earlier. Now that's a well traveled Westmoreland GTI. I'm guessing it saw some action on the Autobahn. Cool.

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