VW Rabbit: the early days

The VW Rabbit debuted as the Golf in Germany in 1974. Like many things, it became more awesome when it was brought over to Canada (and eventually the US), enjoying its stay at the top with such select company as Joe Piscopo and the Northwestern Wildcats.

Here she is, being gawked at by a local burnout in the greater Eugene, Oregon area:

According to Wikicars, the early VW Rabbit featured a water-cooled, front-wheel-drive design made famous by the Citroën Traction Avant in 1934 — proving true, once and for all, a popular adage: “if you can’t beat ‘em, try to beat ‘em with forty-year old technology.”

Volkswagen even managed to immortalize the quaint little town of Maspeth, New York on the cover of its owner’s manual, much to the delight of no one:

1975-1984 VW Rabbit owners manual

1975-1984 VW Rabbit owners manual

Years later, Volkswagen turned the Rabbit franchise into the famous Golf line, only to bring it back recently for another go-around. You’ll forgive me for saying it, but I think they nailed it the first time around.


Ripe Car Name: Volkswagen (VW) Rabbit
Years in production: 1975-1984
Price: $2,995 in 1975 (approx. $14,028 today)
Price equivalent: 63 Sanyo FT-C16 car stereos


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