Build or Buy: MK1 GTI

So you just got back from the latest VW summer show and you’re itching for a fun show car. Maybe an iconic MK1 GTI. You’ve got two options: build your own completely custom car, or pony up the funds for a pre-assembled masterpiece. Choose wisely.

Argument: Buy
Article: 1984 Volkswagen GTI

You gotta pay to play, and this ’84 is no exception. VW Vortex member McDubber hasn’t listed an exact price for his bonkers bunny, but he’s only entertaining offers “in the teens.” So what does $13,000 to $19,999 buy you? A lot.

Exterior improvements include body repair to remove all rust, full respray in Brandy Metallic Wine, Euro bits everywhere, cloth ragtop, all new rubber and seals, and much much more. Interior modifications are extensive as well; race-spec shift box, pedal set, racing seats, carbon fiber dash panel, electronic gauges, and more. The suspension is completely reworked, as has the engine (dual carbs!), and even all the electronics.

There’s more in the classified ad in our forums than what we can fit here. If you’re interested, act fast: McDubbin mentions listing his GTI on bringatrailer.com in “the next week or two.” This GTI is in northern New Jersey.

Argument: Build
Article: 1984 Volkswagen GTI

Something that’s difficult to understand is the recent trend to have a photo of what a car could look like that headlines a classified ad. Sure it gets attention, but when you see the photos of the actual condition of the car, it can be greatly disappointing. So ignore the first image on this ad; it’s clickbait.

But once you look past that perfect piece of metal, you’ll see this ’84 down-on-its-luck GTI isn’t too terrible. Yes, it needs a lot of work, but if you’re looking for a candidate for a full-on custom car like the “buy” one above, this is a decent choice.

To start, this is a running car. It needs a new battery, brakes (and brake lines apparently), and a new exhaust system to be roadworthy. We’d bet it needs more than that as well. But if you’re stripping it all down, it gives you the opportunity to replace all the broken with beautiful.

Take a look at the Facebook Marketplace ad for this GTI. Current asking price is $2100 (down from $2500), and it’s in Burlington Vermont.