Ratty Rescue: Pre-lowered GTI

Our latest car-in-need-of-rescue is…another GTI. Can you blame us? One of Volkswagen’s most iconic models, the original hot hatch is becoming, well, hot in the collector car market. Now may be the best time to pick up one in need of attention before values rise.

Why this 1985 GTI? To start, it boasts a solid and completely rust free body. Like any 30-year-old car, it has its share of dents and dings; the seller states there’s a dent on the right side of the car near the wheel well, but sadly does not include a photo. Most body trim pieces are present, and the grille, like most unloved VWs, is in the rear seat.

Inside, the former Car of the Year appears to have a complete interior. You can see the seats are in typical shape for a car of this age. The center console is present: it’s in the passenger footwell. With crank windows, there are no touchy electrical switches to deal with. And is that a sunroof wind deflector on top of the dash? The trim strip on the floor is probably the result of the un-photographed passenger side dent.


Mechanically, well, there’s not much to say. There’s an engine in the bay. It does not run, but the engine does turn. That’s the information in the ad. No mileage is listed.

Where this car gets interesting, though, is the lack of suspension and rear brakes. This GTI is pre-lowered. Just supply your own coilover kit and bolt in. See? The seller has prepped it for you. How kind. Additionally, this car is ready for a nice new big brake kit.

If you’re looking for a $1,000 GTI, you can find this one in Cottonwood California. The car is advertised on The Samba.