[Vwdiesel] Rabbit droppings # 9 from Hagar. ( whats in a name??? )

Drew MacPherson drew at scirocco.cs.uoguelph.ca
Thu Feb 20 15:19:19 EST 2003

My grandfather (a VW affecionado since the late 50's) purchased what was
supposedly the first automatic Rabbit to be sold in Canada from a Toronto
dealership in the summer of '74 (75 model.)

It was a great little car (no CAT on the CDN model, TYVM!:) )that had a
huge engineering fault - no timing belt covers.  When my family moved to
the "snow belt" from the city, it threw the timing belt three times the
first winter due to banging through snowdrifts (which it did quite well,
when it could hang onto its belt.)

My parents traded it on a new 78 Impala in '79 a few years after my
grandfather passed away.

The first lot of Rabbits had faulty valve stem seals (the guides were
actually OK) which were replaced under recall that caused excessive oil


On Thu, 20 Feb 2003, Nate Wall wrote:

> My parents bought a 1975 Rabbit, new (gasoline, diesels were not offered).
> This was the first year offered in the US. The Dasher was offered in 1974. It
> was carburetted (a Zenith 2 bbl.) and had a catalyst. 1.6 L (90 CID), rated at
> 75 HP. It was also quite light, at about 1,900 pounds). I was about 15 at the
> time and remember it as the first new car I saw them with (they bought a 1960
> Bug new also). It was incredibly fast, as I recall. The TV ads claimed a 0 -
> 50 mph in 7 seconds. I learned to drive in that car, and it was in fact, quite
> nimble. Laid rubber like crazy, given the right abuse.
> The car was very basic, no A/C or P/S. I don't think it even came w/ a radio.
> It had rubber mats. Window cranks broke and it rattled and buzzed like crazy.
> Had a single gauge (speedometer) and simple warning LIGHTS (not LEDs). It was
> a 4 speed. It underwent about a dozen recalls. One was to remove the catalyst,
> of all things. Who knows why this was decided. The dealer rodded out the
> catalyst (knocked it out of its housing) and rejetted the carburetor, with
> smaller jets, of course. That was about in 1977. Performance sucked after
> that. It also skipped on acceleration since that, and ran very anemic. Webber
> came out w/ a "Rabbit" 4 bbl to replaced the dealer mucked-up Zenith. The
> pain-in-the-ass thing was that the unleaded fuel filler constrictor was not
> removed. So had to still use more expensive unleaded fuel. (It was about a
> dime a gallon more, if I recall). At about 20,000 some miles, it was using a
> quart of oil in about 300 miles, or less. Just after the motor went out of
> warranty, the folks took it to VW. After a big to do, VW replaced the cylinder
> head under waranty--defective valve guides. It got sold at 140,000 miles for a
> song. Still ran and looked well, regardless of many neglected things, like oil
> changes.
> --Nate
> Drew MacPherson wrote:
> > Rabbit was a name chosen for the North American market because initial
> > market research suggested that Golf (the name used in Europe) wouldn't fly
> > in NA.  The idea behind the Rabbit name was that it implied
> > characteristics like "light, nimble, and fun."  The fact that the car was
> > spacious and economical was an added bonus.  And thus the A1 Golf became
> > the Rabbit in North America.
> >
> > When the A2 Golf was developed, VW decided that the North American market
> > had matured sufficiently that they didn't need to continue with the cute,
> > bunny name (after 30+ years of "Bugs" and "Rabbits" we finally grew up...)
> >
> > As far as the origin of the Golf name, the generally accepted school of
> > thought is that most VW names are derived from things that move - air
> > streams, ocean currents, winds etc.  The Golf's name is thought to be
> > derived from the Gulf Stream, the Jetta from the Jet stream etc.  No doubt
> > VW's names were chosen by a group of well lubricated marketting execs in
> > the cafeteria at the Wolfsburg facility... :)
> >
> > WV can be prided for not messing with things that work, however.  The
> > highly successful Golf has carried its name from 1974 through 2003,
> > through 4 platform changes (with a 5th on the boards.)  The Jetta moniker,
> > on the other hand, has only held on in North America.  On the European
> > market, the Jetta was renamed with the introduction of the A3 to Vento
> > (wind this time!) in an effort to boost sagging sales.  When the A4 rolled
> > around, it became the Bora (hello, what were they thinking??)  The reality
> > is that the lightweight, compact Golf hatch is a practical, roomy small
> > car suited to Europe's tight urban roads.  The Jetta has never been as
> > popular because of its size and relative lack of functionality (huge
> > trunk, but no hatch...)
> >
> > Drew
> >
> > On Wed, 19 Feb 2003, H .Hagar wrote:
> >
> > >  Does anyone know where the name RABBIT came from ??. And now GOLF? the
> > > name does not do a thing for me. good gracious me ---LOL.  The dealer I
> > > asked know jack all about Beetles, Rabbits or anything else.Just wants
> > > me to buy a 30000 dollar canadian Golf. Hagar. --
> > >
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