Digestible Collectible: 1984 Volkswagen GTI

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 1984 volkswagen gti

Once again, I’m dazzled by those wheels, just like the Quantum we looked at last week. I’m a sucker for clean, well-styled factory wheels: Oldsmobile Rally wheels, Fuchs found on Porsches, Rostyles worn by so many British cars. The Volkswagen “Snowflake” wheel is another that is difficult to improve upon by the aftermarket.

For some reason, that hasn’t stopped VW enthusiasts from “improving” their cars with incongruous tire and wheel widths and double-digit camber settings. “Stance” culture isn’t exclusive to the Wolfsburg faithful, but it has infected too many good cars.

Thus, today’s Digestible Collectible isn’t merely a collective dream/drool session over some random old car. I write today to plead with you, the good denizens of the Internet, to keep classics like this 1984 Volkswagen GTI safe from the ill-advised “tuners” of the world.

I need someone with more money than I (basically covers everyone here) to buy this GTI, and pledge the following oath:

I will keep it basically stock. Any modifications can easily be reversed, as I will keep all original parts neatly boxed and tagged for the next owner.

I will drive it regularly. If I happen to live in a salt-covered wasteland like Ohio, I pledge to store it properly until the crap is washed from the roads.

I will keep the original wheels, fitted with appropriately-sized tires.

This GTI is overpriced, especially considering the mileage. The photos might be misleading, as there seem to be dings and nicks in the paint that show in some pics but not in others. But mechanically? Perfect. As is the interior. Even if the car needs some cosmetic help, it would be a good deal for around $9,000.

This is the OG hot hatch, after all, and will be the bellwether collectible for all other sporty compacts of the era.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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3 of 67 comments
  • Turf3 Turf3 on Mar 03, 2016

    32 year old VW Rabbit? (Yeah, yeah, GTI, whatever, it's a Rabbit) I would give $2000 if it's running. Tops. Anything above that is Beanie Baby territory. Just because a sucker is born every minute, doesn't mean I have to be that sucker.

    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Mar 03, 2016

      I wouldn't pay $1M for some old Mopar muscle car, but people have. The value of something is what someone is willing to pay for it. Doesn't mean it is you.

  • Motormouth Motormouth on Mar 03, 2016

    One of my first cars was an '85 diesel Jetta. No turbo. Would get fantastic mileage, but went through about an alternator a year. Upgraded to Sachs struts up front and with wider 185 GLi rims, it could take corners pretty well (all about the momentum when you have a grand 54 horsepower at your disposal). Had many friends who had GTis like this and was always a bit jealous, but wouldn't consider at that price. Far too much money, despite the cool wheels.

  • Dawn Maple They haven't even fixed the airbag issues and recalls completely, so why waste more time and money on another "safety feature" that removes choices from the driver? We would be safer getting in a car driven by Helen Keller. Oh wait with driver assist, all she has to do is find her car and turn it on.
  • Lorenzo I'm out. I'd never find it in the dark.
  • VoGhost Minivans don't sell well, and the market has been declining. And while the entire 'range anxiety' myth is mostly a big oil propaganda designed to scare the weak minded, minivans are often how families travel to grandma's house, so that will be a concern, unless VW can gain access to the Supercharger network. I could see 50K units at peak, declining to 25K/year after a couple of years, unless VW can price competitively with Tesla.
  • VoGhost Glad you're healthy, Tim
  • VoGhost 20 years ago, Sportage was the bottom of the barrel, a joke. Kia's come a long way.