Tag Archive | Volkswagen Rabbit

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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Toy Tuesday: Paper Golf

Welcome to another Toy Tuesday at Hatchtopia.  Today, we’ll be looking at something that will probably be a bit advanced for your typical hatchback-enthusiast child… who are we fooling – all of the previous toys have been strictly for grown-ups anyway.

Do you enjoy Exacto Knives?  The attendant slices in your finger tips?  The smell of aviation fuel glue?  Have I got a little project for you – a paper Volkswagen Golf.

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1981 Volkswagen Rabbit

Of course by now, you know of my love for the Volkswagen Rabbit and likely the origin of this irrational behavior.  That said, it’s probably good that my garage is entirely packed full at this point, or I may have to be restrained from making silly purchases like this beauty linked over at hooniverse.com.

This ride is a little bit nicer than my family’s old Rabbit C – it’s got real fabric on the seats rather than the hides of naugha.  It also has two doors, which automatically means it’s sportier.  And although this baby blue interior is a little bit lighter shade than what I remember, this car still brings back happy memories.  At a $9,500 starting bid, I’m not sure if it will bring happy memories for the seller, but in the long run, someone will end up with a neat little museum piece to bring out for sunny weekend drives.

Hatchtopia goes retro!

The 1980s – sub-dollar gasoline and 59-cent 32-ounce drinks.  Why do I mention those two items and not the typical low-hanging fruit like bad music and worse fashion?  Because those are two items you’ll see in this retro gallery.   In this blog, I’ve made a few mentions of the Golden Age of Hatchbacks and never once fully explained what I mean by that term.  Rest assured, I’m working on a fleshed-out explanation, but until then, I’ll let this collection of photos speak their thousand words.

1984: A quiet street in Sandy, Utah where a Honda Civic is about to make an illegal u-turn. The 2012 version of this photo would have featured a Cadillac Escalade and threats of a lawsuit over the extraordinary danger the child bicyclist was facing due to the maneuver.

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1979 Volkswagen Rabbit

I kinda hate going to the well two days in a row, but this drink is worth it.  A top-notch restoration with some very nice, but not over-the-top upgrades on this two-door Rabbit.  If I had the money, time, garage space, money, ability and money, this is probably exactly what I would build.  It makes me weep with its beauty.  Again, from the brilliant website, bringatrailer.com:

This 1979 VW Rabbit (VIN 1793659078) was given a rotisserie transformation in the style of an early Euro GTI five years and 6000 miles ago. Rarely are these A1 chassis cars so thoroughly built…

Scratch-Built 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit 16v

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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Where it all began…

Imagine, if you will, a happy family on a road trip vacation in scenic northern New Mexico.  Dad driving a nearly brand-new, German engineered ‘bahn-burner, mom enjoying the scenery out the window, and young son in the back seat enjoying the afterglow of a delicious waffle breakfast.

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