Updated: 29-June-2024

For paint information, please go to the Paint Colors page in the Museum.

Window Glass

All window glass information, including windshield, is now in one complete document: Relay Guide Download

To install the "chrome" windshield trim/moulding, you'll want to purchase the Lisle 47000 Windshield Locking Strip Tool.

Bumpers

All 1979-1993 Cabriolets can interchange their bumpers with each other. And, no, there was a never a filler piece between the front bumper and valance/core support!

Removing the bumpers

Disconnect the front turn signal wires from their harness connectors. Remove the 4 bolts holding the bumper brackets to the frame, two bolts per left and right side (rear bolts are accessed inside the trunk; front bolts are accessed from under the car -- one left side bolt also holds the horn bracket in place). Clipper kit bumpers: Remove the screws and/or rivets in the fender flare area. Bumpers weigh approximately 50 pounds each; be prepared to hold/catch the bumpers as the bolts are loosened and removed.

Euro bumpers

Euro BumpersThere are two types of Euro bumpers: small metal bumpers (a smaller, lighter version of the USA bumpers) and plastic-over-metal bumpers. Concept1, Oldskool Industries, Rabbit Parts, etc. sell these Euro bumpers. The black plastic bumpers can be painted to match the car. If you order the plastic bumpers be sure to request that they include the fender mounting clips and check to see if the lights are included.

Note 1: You cannot use the USA bumper bolts. You will need to purchase M8x1.25x25 hex bolts as well as matching washers (best to use one larger washer with one smaller washer).

Euro BumpersNote 2: Euro bumpers use bulb #1156. Be aware that most stock light housings that come with the bumpers are not dual-filament/dual-contact which means the lights have to be wired as running lights or turn signals, not both. If you wish to have the running/turn light combo, you'll need to order light housings for Euro bumpers that come with "city lights". Furthermore, the stock USA bumper lights will not fit Euro bumpers without modification.

Golf II (Mk2) bumpers

Golf II bumpers can be installed on your Cabriolet, but a) it will look rather silly, b) it will take some modifying to make them fit properly. Additionally, there are two bumper styles used on the Mk2 Golfs: "small" bumpers and "big" bumpers; tap here for more details.

Body Kits

Clipper kit

Clipper Kit"Clipper kit" is the phrase that has come to be used to describe the factory body kit installed on 1988-1993 Cabriolets.

Can the Clipper kit be installed on 1979-1987 Cabriolets?

Yes; you will need the following parts to complete the transformation:

Save Our Species

Can the Clipper kit be removed and aluminum/chrome bumpers from the 1980-1987 Cabriolets be installed on the 1988+ Cabriolets?

Yes, it is a direct swap once the Clipper kit is removed (see below). You will need the bumper brackets from the 1980-1987 cars in addition to the bumpers. Optional, but highly recommended:

How To Remove Clipper Kit:

Aftermarket body kits

Various aftermarket body kits & accessories were/are available for Cabriolets.

Still available:
  • ABD Racingwerks
  • Rieger Infitinty Spoiler
  • Kerscher
  • Dietrich
  • Seidl
  • Autostyle South Africa
Available used, if you can find them:

Grilles

1979-1987 Cabriolet Grille

Single-round Grille

The grille on these cars is called a single-round grille. The single-round grille from '79-'87 Cabriolets can be installed on '88-'93 Cabriolets. Contrary to popular belief, it is simply plug-and-play; however, the wires for the former inner lights may need to be capped or taped off. No additional wiring should be necessary due to the outer dual-round grille lights being pre-wired as both hi- and low-beam (you may need to purchase dual-filament headlights to complete the swap). Additionally, the inner lights on the dual-round grille, in stock form, are wired into the hi-beam wires and, therefore, only turn on when the hi-beam switch is activated; doing this swap will eliminate a pair of hi-beam lights. If you are doing this swap and haven't added relays to your headlight wiring, it's highly advised that you do so to gain better lighting out of your single-rounds.

Hella Grille Insert

There is also what is known as the Hella grille insert, which is the same as a '79-'87 grille except it has lights in the center section. This grille came stock on many Cabriolets in Europe. If installing this grille on A/C-equipped cars, the A/C condenser will most likely need to be relocated or removed. (Also available in aftermarket versions, as well as badgeless.)


1988-1993 Cabriolet Grille

Dual-round Grille

The grille on these cars is called a dual-round grille. The dual-round grille from '88-'93 Cabriolets can be installed on '79-'87 Cabriolets. In most instances, it may be necessary to add wires and/or to add relays to make the inner lights work.

importantThe inner lights, from the factory, are wired into the high-beam circuit and, therefore, only turn on when the high-beam switch is activated. Ergo, the inner lights are not fog lights! The outer lights, whether sealed beam or H4, utilize dual-filament bulbs and are, therefore, both high- and low-beam. The low-beam side of the bulbs turn off when the high-beams are turned on. See the headlight guide for additional information.

Replacement corner screw caps via 3D printing

NOTE: Grilles for A2 chassis Volkswagens (1985-1992 Golfs/Jettas) may look identical, but they are not and will not fit your Cabriolet!


Red Grille Trim

Red Grille Trim

To replace the chrome grille trim on a single-round grille with red like the Euro GTI's have, remove the trim from the grille pieces and paint it (GTI color is Mars Red), apply red 1/4" pin striping to the grille, or source OEM red trim from Europe.


Badgeless Grilles

Badgeless Grille

Aftermarket badgeless grilles (including all-chrome versions) are also available at many of the aftermarket retailers found on the Parts page. They are available in both single-round and dual-round versions.

Spoilers & Other Accessories

Front Valance / Chin Spoilers

Most commonly used on the 1979-1987 Cabriolets is a "duckbill" spoiler and there are 2 types: the smaller, 1-piece spoiler and the bigger, deeper and often 2-piece GTI "duckbill" spoiler can be found at many online aftermarket suppliers found on the Parts page. Both spoilers snap into the 5 holes at the bottom of the front valance utilizing clips which are usually sold separately from the spoiler (you can also use bolts, washers and nuts in place of the clips); the spoiler clips are the same as the grille clips.

Small Duckbill Spoiler

Small Duckbill Spoiler Part Numbers:

Large Duckbill Spoiler

Large 2-piece Duckbill Spoiler:

Grille Spoilers

Grille/Hood Spoilers

Heckblende

Heckblende A heckblende is a filler panel for the trunk lid. Most, if not all, are made for the hatchbacks, but can be adapted to fit the convertibles. Some light up, others do not. Available with various inscriptions (Rabbit, Golf, etc.) and in smoked form.

Light Lenses

Side-marker Lights USA Canada Mexico

No, the factory side-marker lenses do not have, nor ever came with, gaskets because:

Clear and smoked lenses:

sidemarkers

Part numbers for side-marker light hardware:

To remove/install the side-markers, keep pressure on the lens as you turn your screwdriver. If the lenses have not been touched in many years, you may need to gently pry the bulb's protective rubber boot away from the lens using a small flat screwdriver.

Aftermarket Tail Light Lenses

Styles available:

Tail Lights Where to buy:

When searching German eBay, use the following search words:

Square Rabbit/GTI Headights

Square Lights

Installing the square Rabbit/GTI headlights on your Cabriolet requires more work than simply swapping the headlights. You'll need the fenders and bumper from said Rabbit along with the grille components, lamps and the corresponding radiator support. You can also install the square headlight grille from a '79/'80 Rabbit, but it too is not a straight swap: the radiator support/front valance will have to be altered (the grille is slightly taller), or the matching support will have to be swapped in.

Side Trim

1979-1988: Chrome center

1989-1993: Black center

Factory side trim is not available new. You will need to source it used from online sources (like eBay or Facebook Marketplace), or your local junkyards, or seek alternative trim.


Removing & Installing Side Trim

Side Trim Removal
  1. Beginning at one end, place your forefingers along the bottom edge and your thumbs along the top edge of the trim.
  2. Pull the bottom edge of the trim out and up.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 along the trim piece until it is completely removed.
  4. Installation of the trim is reverse of removal, with the larger edge being on the bottom.

Installing Side Trim Clips

Trim Clip Install
  1. Push clip into hole.
  2. Tap center post in so that it is flush with the clip's surface.
  3. Install trim as outlined above.

Where To Buy Side Trim Clips

infoTotal number of clips on the car: 36

VW Part Numbers:

* Notes & Warnings:


Where To Buy Rocker Panel Trim Clips

infoTotal number of clips on the car: 12

VW Part Numbers:

Roof Rack

A roof rack, made by Votex (seen at right/below), was available for purchase through your local Volkswagen dealer; however, it is no longer available new.

You can try searching for one of these racks on UK eBay or German eBay (search for Golf cabrio gepäcktrager). You can also search other online sources in the USA, but the rack is extremely rare States-side. The OEM part number for this rack is 155071126A.

Votex Rack


Thule also made an aftermarket rack (at right/below) that simply clamps to the car, unlike the Votex model that requires drilling into the A- and B-pillars.

Thule Rack

Badges & Decals

Where to buy them: Salvage yards, on-line auction houses like eBay, or other suppliers (see Parts page).

Etienne Aigner decals are no longer available in North America; however, the decals (along with Classicline badges and Sportline decals) are now available for purchase from Volkswagen's (German) Classic Parts web site. You can also contact me for a print-ready image of the Etienne Aigner decal to take to your local print shop.

Body Seals

List of part numbers and (not current) price list: Seals Download

Those listed as "NLA" are no longer available new. If new seals cannot be found, you will have to source used ones.

Where to buy seals, new: Vintage Rubber and other online parts suppliers.

For convertible top seal information, please go to the Convertible Top page.

Front License Plate Brackets

North America USA Canada Mexico


Europe Europe

Structural Reinforcement

Karmann Coachworks added structural reinforcements to the Cabriolet during the manufacturing process, which can be seen in the images below.

Cabriolet Reinforcement
Cabriolet Structure Cabriolet Structure