1982 VW Rabbit Truck: Clean Interior


Don’t judge this VW Rabbit pickup by its exterior. It absolutely has one of the best interiors I’ve yet seen on a VW of this generation, and rarely do you find these old work trucks with clean accommodations. Listed on craigslist for $4,000, the owner has worked on it for the last 3 years to make it a reliable daily driver and the interior a place you won’t mind spending some time. The drivetrain¬†has received some significant attention, from a new headgasket, glow plugs and a transmission from a 60K mile example. Some fresh paint to address the primered areas that are merely controlling some surface rust spots would make this truck shine. And the MPGs can’t be beat!


  1. Alan (Michigan)

    Make sure that the engine NEVER overheats, even a little bit.

    “Finicky” rear electrics comment concerns me. The rabbit bodies sometimes leaked around the windshield area, dripping water directly onto the power junction box above the driver’s feet. That problem would result in inop cooling fans, which translated to overheat and dead motors.
    Note that these were not “Clean Diesel” engines. They are noisy and stinky, unlike those in modern cars.
    Still, if this could be reliable, it is certainly cheap transportation, and something you neighbor won’t have.

  2. seth

    I would tell me wife that I was keeping it so that I did have to unhook the trailer or use her car after working hours. Also it would get better gas mileage for when the boss was not paying for fuel

  3. Jason

    Sounds like the owner has done a lot of work. Surprised he is trying to sell it without cleaning up the exterior.

  4. kenzo

    I owned 2 of these and absolutely loved them. They had windshield leaks onto the fuse box like all Rabbits did. The second one I spent $400 to pull the windshield, fix the rust and primer it. No more problems for the final 4 years i owned it. The first one I wrapped the fuse block in a plastic baggie for 3 years and it worked with no electrical problems. Looking back I should have kept either one or both. Wanna pas somebody on a long hill? Not likely,but wanna do 900 km or 55 MPG on the highway, YES. I currently have a 1985 Jetta non turbo diesel with 545000+kms and am still in the 50+ MPG range
    First generation VW diesels are noisy and rattily but are very dependable

  5. Jeff Lavery

    I agree, Jason – to go that far and not touch the exterior is odd.

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