At $12,000, Is This 1984 VW Jetta a Coup of a Coupe?


Nice Price or No Dice: 1984 Volkswagen Jetta

At one time, the Jetta was VW’s best-selling car in the U.S. Two-door editions like today’s Nice Price or No Dice car never contributed much to those numbers. Let’s see if rarity and its condition, can make this one worth its asking.

There was a lot of disagreement over last Friday’s 1964 Dune Buggy and its $8,500 price. A few of you averred that it looked to be a well-constructed toy at a toy’s price. Others, however, demanded more car for that kind of cash. In the end, the Dune Buggy pulled out a squeaker with the yeas outweighing the nays in a 53 percent Nice Price win.

Now, Friday’s Dune Buggy may have been Volkswagen-powered but we wouldn’t really call it a member of the VW clan. Today we’re going to look at a car that’s definitely part of the family, even if its two-door body style means some of the owner’s fam are going to have to be pretty limber to get into and out of the back seat.

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This 1984 Volkswagen Jetta two-door represents the less popular edition of what was at one time Volkswagen’s most popular line. The early ’80s proved a tough time for VW in the U.S. Sales of the Rabbit were dropping precipitously, while the contemporary Quantum, Scirocco, and Vanagon never sold in big numbers. The Jetta was the only bright spot in Volkswagen’s rapidly dimming sales picture.

This “Rabbit with a Trunk” became a minor success here in the U.S. where its combination of size, price, and big booty resonated with the car-buying public. Elsewhere in the world, the Golf (Rabbit, here) typically outsold the Jetta three to one. Here in America, that ratio was reversed. Most of those sales were the four-door saloon. This one is a slightly less practical but also a tad lighter two-door.

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According to the ad, the car comes with a clear title and a clean bill of health for its emissions. The Craigslist ad doesn’t give much in the way of background, but there’s another ad for the car on Facebook Marketplace that provides the following info:

This Beautiful Classic is a 1984 Volkswagen Jetta Deluxe Coupe. This Vehicle is Super rare. I have Owned it for about 5 Years now. Recently Decided to move to another State due to life circumstances and am Selling the beloved Jetta. It has Clean California Title along with a current Smog Check ( Passed with Flying Colors ). It has a 1.7L Single cam along with a 5 Speed Manual Transmission. The motor and Fuel distributor had been rebuilt by a local shop in the valley Prior to my ownership. This car also has a working and updated AC System, very cold. I had the H&R Lowering Springs Installed. Car has been aligned and runs straight (most lowered cars don’t). Euro Small Bumpers were installed during my ownership as well. This car is a super head turner for the enthusiast that knows what the car actually is.

There have been a lot of updates to the car, most of which have been taken from the Golf GTI (i.e. the wheels, seats, and shift knob) but while the car carries the GLI badge on its boot lid, as indicated in the ad, it has the 74 horsepower 1.7 under its bonnet, and not the hotter 90-horse 1.8. It does have a five-speed stick so that meager stable of ponies should be fun to push.

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While you may lament the lesser engine, it should be noted that VW never brought a GLI two-door to the U.S. That makes this Jetta is a bit of a “what could have been” kind of car. Oh, and that GLI motor will fit in here just fine.

The car looks pretty nice too. The massive U.S. market plastic-capped bumpers have been given the heave-ho in preference for a pair of much smaller Euro-style units. As noted, the car rolls on GTI/GLI BBS alloys, and those look to be in fairly decent shape. The interior looks fantastic, with cloth upholstery on the sport seats and door insets. There is a bit of cracking in the vinyl on the door caps, but other than that, it all seems very tidy and in good shape. Plus, two glove boxes!

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According to the seller, it has 20,000 miles on the clock. I’m guessing that means since the odo rolled over, broke, or the car was massively redone. That might be a point to bring up when for a potential buyer.

Another will be the car’s $12,000 price tag. That’s half again as much as the car cost new. Of course, the seller claims it to be in as-new condition now, so, factoring in inflation, maybe that’s a deal.

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What do you think, does $12,000 seem like a fair price for this interesting and well-presented Jetta? Or, will that prove to be very unpopular?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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