CC For Sale: 1996 VW Cabrio – Just In Time For Winter

There’s still a number of first generation VW Cabrios (1980-1993), which was based on the Golf Mk1 (Rabbit), but continued to be built right through the Mk2’s reign. For MY 1995, the second Cabrio finally arrived, based now on the Mk3 Golf, and it too was built right through the Mk4’s years. And although I may have overlooked them, when I saw this one it seemed like it was the first in quite some time. It’s become something of a rarity, and one that could be yours.

The reason VW kept these Cabrios in production so long is simply because they were built by Karmann, who couldn’t afford to tool up for a completely new body as often as VW did. Karmann built the body for these completely themselves; it was not some kind of conversion. There structural differences were very considerable, and Karmann had the expertise and experience to do so, having built VW Beetle Cabrios since almost forever, as well as the Karmann-Ghia.

By 1996, the 2.0 L 8 valve four, which became quite the evergreen engine, was at work in these, rated at 115 hp. In these smaller and lighter Golfs, it undoubtedly gave quite adequate performance, especially when teamed with the 5 speed manual.


Not surprisingly, back seat accommodations had to be substantially sacrificed for the Cabrio’s top. Not an inviting space.


I have no comment on the asking price. Convertibles are obviously a lot more scarce, and have a specific appeal to some, so I suppose it’s not too out of line as a starting point. I wonder if the common quality issues found on the Puebla Mk3 cars are perhaps better in these German-made ones?

It’s not exactly a car that has any appeal to me, but it looks to be in reasonably decent shape for an over 20 year-old convertible. Does it appeal to any of you?