Build or Buy: MK1 GTI

So you want to pick up a classic car. Something fun to drive, easy to work on, and iconic. What better than the car that started the hot hatch segment: the original Volkswagen GTI. So, do you want to build your own MK1 GTI during the chilly weather, or buy it built and get out for a few fall drives?

Argument: Build

Article: 1984 GTI 16V

Now you’re probably thinking “MK1 GTI’s didn’t have 16-valve engines” and you’re right. The owner of this unfinished project car, VWvortex member stick70, has the high-revving motor from a Scirocco to go in the engine bay. Not only that, there’s a couple of transmissions to choose from, and a 1982 Rabbit Diesel to pull parts from.

Some other positives of this car: there’s new sound deadener and some bodywork has been done. It comes with a rare Hella grille with integrated foglights, BBS RA wheels, and upgraded mechanicals.

Some not-so-great things: it’s torn down for paint, there’s surface rust and the windshield leaks. But all in all, it’s a solid candidate for restoration. And quite a deal for $2500.

Take a look at the ad in our classifieds, or the craigslist ad, for more details. This ’84 GTI is in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Argument: Buy

Article: 1983 GTI

We’ll start this one by saying this isn’t a perfect car. It has a few dents, and there’s some rust, and the seats show wear, but here’s the thing: this car’s a driver. That’s right, you can buy it and drive it home. And like any classic car, it has an interesting backstory. We won’t go into all the details (the story’s in the ad), but this ’83 GTI was someone’s daily driver for 20 years.

Here are the good things of this car: it’s complete, there’s TONS of paperwork included, it has some nice upgrades (engine work, coilover suspension, and upgraded sway bars), and like we mentioned above, it runs.

Some iffy items: it has hood pins, there’s no headliner, and there are some dents. Purists will scoff at some of the upgrades, but nothing is irreversible.

If you’re looking for a nice driver, this $5000 GTI is not a bad one to add to your stable. It’s in Caribou, Maine, and you can get much more information in its eBay classified ad.