Used Car of the Day: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Our run of project vehicles continues. Today we feature a 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit pickup that needs its engine to be put back in.

There are two engines available for the buyer to drop in, and the transmission is a manual. The truck is mostly rust-free and there's a red interior.

It seems like a bunch of different VW parts have been put in, along with an aftermarket A/C system that wasn't installed well. There may have been a head-gasket issue. The ad is a bit confusing, so you may want to confirm with the seller exactly what is on the truck and what is available.

Still, for $2,500, this could be a fun project truck, especially since the body seems to be in good shape.

[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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7 of 20 comments
  • Add Lightness Add Lightness on Apr 25, 2023

    This was from a time way back when trucks did truck things and were not for intimidation, propping up self esteem or because everyone else on the block has one.

    This VW could do what 98% of trucks today do on a daily basis.

    • See 3 previous
    • RHD RHD on Jul 01, 2023

      It would also not keep you in financial bondage for the next eight years. How about the seller drop the price by 50%, keeps the engine, and the buyer converts it to electric? Starting at $2500 for a non-running project is not a very attractive deal for anyone... especially when it would be worth about $2500 once it's all put back together again.

  • Wolfwagen Wolfwagen on Apr 26, 2023

    If VW could produce a modern version of this and keep it around $25- 30K they would sell like hotcakes

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 26, 2023

      Yes and no. Yes fleet buyers would stand in line, but remember that back then you would normally carry passengers in the bed of a pickup, legally, same as Mexico now. Assault rifles optional.

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  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
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