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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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Hatchtastic Car Illustrations: Blueprints

You may recall last week’s post on some of the cool artistic representations of cars that manufacturers produced in the days before Photoshop and computer gimmickry.  This week, Hatchtopia visits the more technical side of the drawn automotive form.

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Hatchtastic Car Illustrations

If you are in to graphic arts and advertising as I am, you owe yourself a visit to  It features a small but growing collection of interesting old artwork from various promotional materials issued by auto manufacturers.

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1975 Bricklin SV1

Ardell Brown Classic Cars in Midvale, Utah one of my favorite places to go on my lunch break and bum around.  For the most part, their cars are generally older, with mostly muscle cars and classic 1950s rides comprising the bulk of the collection.  Some are for sale, and some are not.  Unfortunately, today’s hatchback is not one of those available for purchase.  Sad too, since it’s rare enough to be the only one I’ve ever seen in person.

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Hare Splitter

There are a lot of vehicles for sale discussed on this blog, and honestly, they’re all quite affordable as cars go. Then again, perhaps you don’t need a new car – the hatchback you’ve already got meets your needs, is paid off, whatever.  So I present to you the first in an occasional series of more affordable hatchbacks.

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