Archive | June 2013

HIT! The Alpha-Rabbit – VW GTI R32

That title line is a bunch of letters that don’t spell anything.  All you need to know is this: 247 Horses, all-wheel-drive.  This is the top of the rabbit totem pole.



Another week in Hatchtopia begins…. NOW.

HIT! Rotary Hatchtastic Mazda RX-8

The RX- series of Mazda sports coupes evolved from a tiny little two-seater to this odd duckling – multiple doors, but still no pistons.  Cool, but not enough to save it from eventual extinction.


Happy Monday Hatchtopians!


1987 Mazda 626 at Salvage Auction

The term “salvage auction” probably brings up all sorts of horrible images in one’s mind.  Completely destroyed cars that look as though they’ve been run over by a Caterpillar D9 or perhaps used as Satan’s barbeque grill.  Every once in a while, there’s a diamond in the rough.  Today is one of those days.


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HIT! Dodge Colt

Back in the 90s, aside from Skittles colors, one of the trends was to go with a monochrome wheel cover.  Generally in white.  Kinda like the monochrome house behind it…


Enjoy your week, Hatchtopians!


Tasty Engine Swaps: TDi-powered MkI Golf

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of off-the-wall engine swaps.  The kind that would make purists cringe, but then be a little curious: “you did what?  So…. how well does it work?”  Like a Ford/Mazda 2.3 liter 16 valve 4-cylinder from a Ranger into a ’64-ish Ranchero.  But I digress.  Someone with more mechanical aptitude, money and garage space can try that one out.  I would even feature it here – despite the lack of a hatch.


What I have found is a swap that makes perfect sense.  No questioning, tilt-your-head-to-the-side-like-a-confused-puppy looks here.  Just a modern Volkswagen TDi engine dropped into the front bay of a Mark I Golf.  Pretty simple idea really, the TDi would make more than enough power to scoot the little rabbit around with pretty good authority and return phenomenal gas mileage doing it.  Or, you could get a little crazy and tune that baby to about 200 horses and 300 lb/feet of torque.  The builder of this ride, Greg Howell, chose the latter.

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Breaking News: FX32 Wins at LeMons!

Admittedly, my participation in the construction of the epic twin-engined Toyota Corolla FX32 hatchback was limited.  Perhaps the most visible contribution was the relative straightness of the Home Depot-sourced green and orange painted stripes.  But it still gives me great pleasure to announce that my car won Class B at the 24 Hours of Lemons Colorado race this past weekend.


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HIT! Mazda 323

Hopefully, this neat and classic design will cleanse the palate after last week’s flame-surfaced mess.


Here’s to the simple joy of a simple car.  Hope your week is just as easy.