Monday, May 12, 2014

Das Germans

The Cherry on Top
Sometimes I'll run across an interesting car and the setting will be accidentally amazing. I present to you The Cherry On Top:
 Some of you whom I've known for a while might remember that I owned this car's twin for years. This is a 1970 Volkswagen Type III Squareback in Diamond Blue. 
  You know it's Springtime in Brooklyn when the Domino games start popping up like the ones in the background here! The Empi wheels are a sweet aftermarket touch.
The Karmann Ghia and the Thing were both Beetles with different bodies, but the Type III was an entirely new vehicle for VW when it came out on the 60s (Type I was the Beetle and Type II the Bus of course). This car was faster and more stable than the previous 2 Types. This model even has fuel injection run by a clunky 1970 computer (that was replaced by a previous owner on my car to the tune of $1,200 in 1998!).
Like the previous 2 Types the engine is in the back. This car has an amazing amount of storage, as it has a full-size trunk in the front and a station wagon's amount of room in the rear. I once crossed the country sleeping in the back of my Squareback fully stretched out with room to spare. The automatic designation on this one means it has the first (for VW) fully auto trans.
With just a few bumper scrapes and the reverse lights punched out this looks to be in fantastic shape! It was full of brass chandeliers and dream catchers so some glitzy pseudo hippie's using it on the mean streets of Bushwick.
Now on to another utilitarian VW rarity . . .
Yes! Here is a vehicle with a serious cult following; the 1983 Rabbit Pickup LX!
Yes Volkswagen made an El Camino-esque compact back in the day based on the successful Rabbit. Internationally this was known as the Caddy, but here in the States they dumbed it down to Rabbit Pickup so as not to confuse us. In it's Mojave Beige paint with stock wheels it looks like the no-nonsense little donkey that it is.
However the diesel designation changes everything (it looks both bold and italicized so I followed their lead). The Rabbit with the diesel engine was good for an astonishing 45-57 miles per gallon and was known to run for over 300,000 miles when most cars barely made it past 100,000! Add to that the current scarcity of a rust-prone classic built 31 years ago to be used as a truck and you can see how rare it is. The old Rabbits are perfect candidates for biodiesel conversion which further depletes their ranks.
The LX trim level was top of the line which included such amazing features as LX badges on bedside, woodgrain dash inserts, and cloth seats. Keep it humble VW!
I don't know where this thing spent it's formative years but I can't imagine it was in the Northeast as it's about as rust-free as a Rabbit can be. Looks ready for another 300,000 miles easy!

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