Well, let's see. Randy, I don't think I can count that high!
But I'll try. Let's see if I can remember where I left 'em...
An '82 four door.
An '81 two door.
An '80 two door.
An '83 pickup.
An '83 jetta.
An '84 golf.
The "new" '82 four door.
An '82 Quantum 2 door sedan;
An '83 Quantum station wagon;
An '84 Quantum "Syncro" station wagon (has nearly 500K on the clock!);
An '82 rabbit 2 door;
An '83 rabbit GTI (my son's first car!);
An '83 Cabriolet convertible (my second son's first car to be);
I think that's all of the "A1" rabbits or similar and perhaps an A2 or
two. Some of the above are wrecked or otherwise just scrap metal on
wheels. Some of 'em, while they're not on the road at the moment for
one reason or another are in various stages of running order. Several
of the "runners" have well over 200k miles on 'em. The king of the
high milers is the Quantum Syncro.
During the early 80s oil crunch both VW and all the Japanese
manufacturers came out with small diesel automobiles. People lined up
to buy 'em and paid an extra grand or more for the diesel option.
Another year or two later people lined up to sell 'em. They took a
grand or three less for 'em just to get rid of 'em. Only VW continued
to market small diesels.
The car I just bought sat in a field for nearly 10 years. When we
opened the hood we were greeted by a wood rat's nest SO BIG that you
literally could not see anything in the engine bay except the top edge
of the air filter box. Yet the car still has significant traces of
that "new car" look, if not the smell!
On the way home we stopped at a car wash and I blasted out the rat's
nest. This car shows 118K on the ticker. Of course it may have broken
800K miles ago. But the signs make me believe that's the original
I started driving these cars in the early 90s when we moved to a small
Texas town (Brenham) about 80 miles from my job (Houston). Except for
the pickup, which has nearly 300K on its original engine, all of these
cars have reliably delivered not less than 42 miles per gallon.
Provided you change the timing belt and water pump every 50K miles,
don't let the engine overheat for any reason, and change the oil with
reasonable frequency, they are capable of from 400 to 500K miles
I've never found a car more effortless to drive. Once, on a late night
trip on Interstate Highway 10 west between Houston and San Antonio I
drove nearly 110 miles without touching the steering wheel. The car
had the slightest tendency to drift to the right.
Whenever it did so I would roll down the window and stick out my hand.
This would feather the car back onto a straight track. Whenever I'd
come to a curve I'd stick a canoe paddle out the window. By
"feathering my oars" I could navigate the curve. I finally got bored
But probably the only worse car to be driving during in a wreck would
be a Volksie beetle or perhaps an MG midget.
Due to these safety issues I had a brief, and similarly intense fling
with Mercedes Benz diesels, also from the early 80s, these being the
famed "240Ds". While one of the safest cars ever made the 240D is
perhaps also the pokiest. For that reason, although my wife and kids
continue to drive the Benzes I'm beginning to cast loving glances back
toward the rabbits. The rabbit diesels will run circles around a 240D.
My son's gasser rabbit GTI is downright exhilarating to drive. His
GTI is white. I plan to get him customized plates if they're
ML8 ML8 ML8! (for a very important date!).
Welding content. I'm gonna have to do some mig welding to repair some
slight rust damage on some of these.