WHY IT’S RAD!
Much has been said (and written) of the first generation VW Rabbit GTI over the past 40 years. And after 8 generations, there’s inevitable comparisons to the original and whether the latest versions still have the soul of the first ever hot hatch. It’s good to measure against one of the greats- and this MK1 GTI is certainly that. With a unique combination of understated, minimal styling and a truly engaging driving experience, it’s rad to see these cars finally get the appreciation they deserve.
The seller purchased this example in Bakersfield, CA, last year and has since repaired and maintained the vehicle as needed while driving it regularly. The vehicle was sold new in Southern California and spent most of its time there. In 2011 it was reported to be in Washington state for a year and a half before returning to California where it remains today.
Finished in Royal Red over matching interior, the paint shows well with minor age related wear. The only sign of repaint appears to be on the cowl between the hood and the windshield (likely from common rust repair at glass seal), otherwise it presents as original. There are a few dings and blemishes as seen in photos.
The interior has benefitted from recent replacement seat fabric due to sun damage. The headliner was also replaced although the sunroof panel cover is missing and the C-pillar fabric and other interior areas show signs of age and sun related wear in photos. The dash is amazingly intact. The factory tape deck and speakers, 4-spoke steering wheel and golf ball shifter remain.
The original 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine runs well and the odometer shows 194k miles, which records validate, however the odometer very recently stopped operating. The seller reports that the engine starts and runs well with no leaks or mechanical issues and the transmission shifts smoothly. The A/C compressor is present although the belt has been removed and it has not been tested.
Recent mechanical work includes suspension overhaul consisting of new control arms, H&R Cup kit with shocks, springs and strut mounts. Tie rod ends were also replaced and alignment was performed and the iconic “snowflake” 14” wheels are fitted with newer Falken Azenis RT 600 tires.
The fuel system has been updated with a new fuel tank, fuel pump, accumulator and hoses. Idle air bypass valve, oxygen sensor and vacuum hoses have also been replaced.
Further maintenance includes replacing spark plugs, fuel filter, coolant flush, brake fluid, oil service and more. Rear drum brakes and wheel cylinders have been replaced as have both CV boots. The coolant expansion tank and wiper motor are also new.
Upgraded MK2 GTI brake booster and master cylinder has been installed as well as a Neuspeed front strut brace. Cosmetic updates are limited to installation of slimmer European market front and rear bumpers with operational front turn signals.
Overall this is a sympathetically refreshed and immediately enjoyable MK1 GTI with just the right amount of RADwood patina.
Neuspeed front strut brace
H&R Cup suspension kit
MK2 GTI brake booster and master cylinder
Euro front and rear bumpers with functional front turn signals
1.8 liter 4-cylinder
5-Speed manual transmission
14" Snowflake wheels
Newer Falken Azenis RT 660 tires
Factory cassette deck and speakers
Original steering wheel and golf ball shifter
Mainly preserved and original California GTI
Extensive recent refurbishment and maintenance
Fresh fuel system including tank, pump and more
Recent suspension overhaul and upgrade
Reupholstered seats and new headliner
Age/sun related wear to interior in places
Some dings and wear to exterior
Runs well and regularly driven