Build or Buy: Time Capsule Rabbit

We focus a lot on Volkswagen’s performance cars: GTI’s, Golf R’s, and R32’s. But today we’ve found a car you should see. It’s a simple 1984 Rabbit. But you’ve probably never seen one like this. And after seeing the pictures (and the, gulp, price) you’ll ask yourself; should you buy this one, or build your own.

Argument: Buy

Article: 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit L

We can hear your thoughts right now: “What’s so special about a Rabbit!?” Well, take a look at the photos. This 1984 bunny has only 8,374 miles on the odometer. That’s not a typo. If you’ve ever wondered what a Rabbit looked like brand new, well here you go.

Like you, we have lots of questions. Where did they get this car? Why wasn’t it driven? Did someone buy this and just store it away thinking it would be a collector car later? A Rabbit as a classic car!?

Whatever the reason, the buyer will get essentially a perfect car. The interior, exterior, and engine bay are spotless. This L trim has cloth seats, an AM/FM cassette stereo, air conditioning, crank windows, and an automatic transmission.

But perfection comes at a price. The current asking price? An, ahem, optimistic $17,500. Also not a typo. One item to point out: for that much money you’d hope the headliner would not be sagging.

Take a look at the ad for more pictures. This car is at The Autobarn Volkswagen in Countryside, Il.

Argument: Build

Article: 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel

Now that you’ve had a moment to digest the asking price of the ’84, let’s take a look at the other end of the spectrum. Here is a shabby but serviceable ’82 Rabbit. While the pristine bunny above has a gas engine, this green over gray hatchback is a diesel. It has a 4-speed manual transmission, and the description makes it sound like an additional diesel engine with a 5-speed transmission are included.

Like all of our “build” cars, this one needs work. The engine has some sort of camshaft issue. The interior is quite dirty. And there are some missing trim pieces on the exterior. But there doesn’t appear to be any rust, and all the body panels are straight. If you’re looking to restore a Rabbit, this is a good candidate.

Take a look at the cars.com ad for more information. The seller is asking a mere $900 for this ’82. Unfortunately, the location is not listed in the ad, but it’s somewhere cold.