Find of the Día: La Naranja

This week’s Find of the Day comes to us from Illinois via Mexico. We’ll call it our “Find of the Día:” a 1986 MKI Volkswagen Rabbit.

Calling this a Rabbit may be a bit of a stretch, though. While most of the world was receiving Mk2 Golfs in 1986, VW was still producing the Mk1 model in Mexico. But this model was not called a Rabbit. It was a Volkswagen Caribe. While we won’t bore you with a full story on the history of this Mexican model, we’ll just hit you with the most important information: the Caribe was sold between 1977 and early 1987, it was available initially as a 5 door, a 3 door model was introduced later, and it had a number of engines including a 1.6L gas, a 1.6L diesel, and an 85HP 1.8L gas engine in the GT model.

Got all that? Well, things get more interesting with this orange ’86. Mexican Caribes were most similar in appearance to the North American Rabbit. It had plastic covered bumpers, larger rear taillights, and most notably, square sealed-beam headlights. It’s easy to see this Caribe has some work done. Up front, it now sports dual round headlamps, small Euro bumpers, and small taillights. Along the sides, the black stripes recall those that flanked the original GTI: a nice nod to the model’s heritage.


To top all that off, the car has been painted in the same color used on the limited edition Mk5 Fahrenheit GTIs. It definitely grabs your attention. The Fuba antenna may be the only thing to alert others this car is not your typical Mk1 Rabbit.

Inside the car is quite clean. The seats were updated two years ago. There’s a nice wood steering wheel. The radio is missing, but perhaps the seller is holding onto it for another car. The ad states the headliner is in great condition and it has a crack-free dash.

Reading the ad for this orange hatch brings up certain questions: is this the 1.6L model or the 1.8L? Will you be able to source parts should something break? While the seller registered the car in Illinois, will the buyer have problems in their own state? Why was the coolant tank painted red?

This 1986 Rabbit is currently listed on eBay with an asking price of $9000. The car is in Bolingbrook Illinois.