Used Car of the Day: 1981 Volkswagen Pickup

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

The Ford Maverick has gotten a lot of attention over the past year, but it was preceded by many a small pickup. Including this 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit.

This example has a 1.6-liter diesel engine, a four-speed manual transmission, and a tick over 60,000 miles. It still has the factory Forest Green Metallic paint, and it's in South Carolina. The trim level is LX, and the seller claims there are only two rust spots.

Sadly, pics and further info are limited unless you login to see their Facebook post. But from what I can see, it really does look clean -- and it could make a VW nut very happy. The seller is asking $14,500.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 21 comments
  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Dec 07, 2022

    It's way over priced!!

    Lots of other orphan cars which would like to be brought home and pampered and would be far less temperamental than a VW!!

  • Doc423 Doc423 on Dec 07, 2022

    I'd buy that little truck if it was about a third of what that moron is asking.

  • FreedMike Well, this ended up pretty much as I figured it would.
  • Bd2 I wonder how TTAC is celebrating this JuneTeenth? Rolling around naked in hyundai flavored mud somewhere like they usually do?
  • Wjtinfwb I'd like to see a Ford/Mazda relationship restarted. Both companies have some car guys keeping the flame alive and could develop a sports car slightly bigger than a Miata and pick and choose from each other's parts bin to put together some attractive powertrain combo's. Even a Mazda 3 AWD with the 300HP EcoBoost 2.3L, manual and AWD from the Focus RS would be welcome. Even better, a factory Miata V8 with the 480 HP Coyote (i know it wont fit...) and a manual gearbox. And how about a CX-5 with a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with AWD and an chassis tuned for sport. Lots of possibilities.
  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.