For $3,500, Could This Crazy 1979 VW Rabbit Cabriolet Make Everything Okay?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Whether it’s rabbit season or duck season, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe VW Rabbit is one loony car-toon. Let’s see if the price on this bold mashed-up mid-enginer could make you even carrot all.

Ah yes, the good old days; back when Three’s Company asked us all to knock on their door; you could have a rock as a pet; and American cars were as big as the Eagles’ coke bill. I’m referring of course of the ‘70s, as enough time has passed that we can realistically gloss over how crappy almost everything was back then.


A prime example of that miasma of time was yesterday’s 1977 Buick Regal which looked like it had just stepped out of a time machine from the disco era, and offered both styling and potentially a driving experience that’s unlike anything you could find today. That was enough to earn the red Regal a solid 58% Nice Price win, and perhaps remind us that ’77 was also the year Star Wars came out, so maybe it was a good one after all.

What about 1979 you might be asking? Was that a shitty year? Well let’s see, the U.S. inflation rate that year was 11.2%, the Federal Reserve interest rate was 15.25%, and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran following a 15 year exile, after which the country took 63 people hostage by storming the American Embassy.

On the plus side, Michael Jackson released Off the Wall, ESPN debuted on cable, and this 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit left the factory. Okay, so it didn’t leave the factory looking quite like this so perhaps it’s not the best arbitrator of what was good in ’79.


No, this Rabbit is now a turbocharged L67 V6 having mid-enginer that is in fact a Rabbit Cabriolet dropped onto a Pontiac Fiero platform and then fused together like this is the Island of Dr. Moreau or something.


Okay, two things right off the bat.

First, there’s a certain contingent of you—you know who you are—who live by the mantra—never buy someone else’s project. You’ve probably even got it tattooed somewhere discrete. Let me just say, we get you. That’s sage advice; words to live by; good show and all that rot. With that in mind, let’s be honest, this just isn’t your rodeo, okay?


Second thing, the Fiero that was sacrificed for this Rabbitization was an automatic so don’t bother pouring out a 40 on the curb at its passing.


Now that those two issues are out of the way, let’s have a good look at this mad mashup and drink in its unbridled weirdness. As I noted, the ad says the car rocks a GM L67 V6, which it claims was once supercharged but now sports a turbo. Not only that but said turbo sits proudly, directly behind the driver’s head and expels through what looks to be a Howitzer-sized glasspack resonator. I’ll bet it’s the life of every party. An air to air intercooler is mounted to the basket handle because why the hell not?

Inside, you get a Fiero dash and two seats surrounding a custom console. On the outside there’s huge flares to cover the Fiero’s substantially wider track, a four-light grille, and perhaps most importantly of all, a wing reaching for the heavens on the boot lid. Hallelujah.


How does something like this all come together? Funny you should ask, as the build thread is here. I best like the part about how the car was shunned by both Fiero and VW forums. Have those people no sense of adventure?


I know you all are adventurous, after all we already asked the no other people’s projects Jalops to sit this one out. For the rest of us, the car has current registration and tags, and according to the seller is smog-exempt in California, but will only explain how that magic trick was accomplished over the phone. I’m guessing it has something to do with registering the car in Oregon, or perhaps stealing other cars’ plates on moonless nights.


What does such a VW/Fiero combo car cost in this day and age? Well, this one is asking $3,500, which seems to me a fair price seeing as you’re really getting two cars in one. Sadly, as my wife constantly reminds me, my opinion isn’t germane to the situation. In fact, it’s YOU who will decide if this VW Rabbit Re-think wins or loses.

With that solemn responsibility in mind, what do you think about this car and that $3,500 price? Does that seem like a deal to freak everyone out and make 1979 proud? Or, is this a homebuilt priced never to leave its home?


You decide!


Sacramento Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to crusty mopar for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.