Used Car of the Day: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

used car of the day 1982 volkswagen rabbit pickup

Diesel! Manual! Truck!

Yes, it's old, but this 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit pickup checks a lot of boxes.

The forum post doesn't say much, but it tells us the truck runs well and drives well, is a turbodiesel with a 5-speed stick, and has a "classy" interior but also is a bit of a "project."

Mileage isn't listed, but the seller wants $5,900 and is based in Washington state.

Click here to check it out.

[Images: Seller]

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2 of 27 comments
  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Jun 19, 2023

    I owned a '77 Rabbit hatchback. Still built in Germany, black interior with brown vinyl. A nice Germanic interior, unlike the Fisher-Price plastic interiors of the PA built cars. But... still one of the worst cars ever foisted on the American public. EBFlex would have had a field day and he'd be worshiping at the altar of Henry Ford if he'd owned a water cooled VW of that generation. The American Rabbits were no better and added early Buick handling qualities to the otherwise miserable platform. The only positive was space utilization, 4 people could fit in a Rabbit without amputation, but the pick-up negated that by shrinking the cab and putting the length into the bed. But then not bolstering the drivetrain and suspension to handle the bed capacity. A toyota or Datsun pick up of this era was a much better choice, perhaps a bit cruder but still running today compared to this turd. These have a bit of a cult following, unlike the hatchback versions, for the life of me I cannot understand why.

  • CannonShot CannonShot on Jun 20, 2023

    This brings back some memories! My dad was into diesel cars in the 80s and bought a brand new 1980 diesel Volkswagen Dasher (manual transmission) station wagon when I was 10 or 11. It was our primary family transportation through the 1980s. Somehow we squeezed a family of 9 into it, even for some family vacations. The older children liked to take turns sitting between the front bucket seats where we were allowed to shift gears when my dad pressed the clutch. The remaining six kids ended up in the back seat or the cargo area. That diesel engine was stinky and loud and so slow. I'm sure it took 30 seconds to get up to highway speeds. It had some reliability issues early on but after the first 2 or 3 years it ran really well. When my dad sold the Dasher it had 250,000 miles on it. One of my uncle's farm workers bought it and put more miles on it. It also had a great stereo. My mom used to go out into the Dasher parked in the driveway just listen to her favorite albums on cassette. I'd be happy driving one now if I knew someone who could keep it running. I think it averaged over 40 mpg.

  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines.
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.