A year or so after buying the ugly Oldsmobile, I moved to Orlando and went to work for a land developer / home builder. My work was in field offices spread across two counties, often 25-30 miles from home to work. I was also driving to my parents house on the east coast at least once, and often twice a week. And the price of gas was spiking.
I was rolling up Interstate 4 one morning when a VW Rabbit Diesel passed me, and it struck me I was trying to stay under 55 miles an hour, hoping to get 20 miles to the gallon, and the cute little VW was going by doing probably 80 and getting 40 miles to the gallon. A few days later I pulled into a VW dealer on the way home. I should have bought the one I looked at that evening. But I wanted to be sure, so I stopped at another dealer a couple of days later to compare prices on used cars. And I found this.
I don't remember the year, late 1970's or very early 1980's VW Rabbit Diesel, the L trim package. I don't remember how many miles it had on it, not a lot, it was a couple of years old. VW listed the color as Lemon Yellow. I should have seen that as a sign. It overheated on the way home the day I bought it, and went back to the dealer, who rebuilt the heads (warranty on an a used car without a warranty, the dealer was good.)
I drove the crap out of it. It was a little slow to accelerate, but once it got going it would go 80 miles an hour all day, if I kept it close to the speed limit it got about 50 miles to the gallon. I loved that if someone was tailgating me, I could floor it and leave them in a cloud of sooty diesel smoke. I raced a Rolls Royce one night on I-4 (he won but I gave him a good run.) In a little over a year, I put about 40,000 miles on it, then one morning it wouldn't start. I had it towed to the dealer, who pulled and reworked the heads again, and basically said, it has been fried to many times, it is only going to get worse. I traded it shortly after that.
I never really thought about it, but maybe lemon yellow IS a bad color for a car. Although we had a lemon silver Isuzu Trooper and a lemon burgundy Subaru Forester. Both brand-spanking new.ReplyDelete
This one had been overheated and fried before I bought it. It was great fun to drive.Delete
Sorry, but it really is quite an ugly car and what a poor engine to need two new heads in its short life, unless you neglected it.ReplyDelete
The engine had been damaged before I bought it, it was kinda boxy, but great fun.Delete
I will have to say I don't think it's ugly. I like the way cars looked in the early eighties! LOL Also, I like smaller cars. I've always driven what people call 'economy' cars. My first car was a used Saturn SC1. I loved that third little door!ReplyDelete
The last car I bought was chosen because it gives me good mileage. That was my main concern. Well, that and the 100 thousand mile warranty.
It was my first econobox, not my last. My brother had an SC1, I bought and SL2, as my penance until my grad school loans were paid off. I drive so little that I don't pay much attention to gas mileage. I am usually more concerned about the look and feel inside, than outside of a car.Delete
I always liked the Rabbit, though the yellow is scary.ReplyDelete
My first car was a VW Bug and I drove the $#%& out of it until I decided I needed something new.
I still miss that car; a heap, but actually reliable.
I have a VW Eos convertible that I love. I never did own a Bug,Delete
I never drove a diesel car and never owned a VW. I did ride in a VW bug to San Diego one time. That was an incredibly uncomfortable ride.ReplyDelete
Diesels were fashionable for a few years in the late 70's early 80's. I don't think I would own one today.Delete
I killed one of those once! I was slowly backing out of the kids' school's driveway in my oh so big Impala station wagon, and whammo! It was the hue of green found only in babies' diapers and it was so low I couldn't see it parked out of my back window. The crunch told me I'd hit it. Poor widdow wabbit was totaled! I let fly a loud shit, and my five and six year olds basically pulled out the metaphorical soap on my ass! You know, I don't usually use this kind of language. I gotta get a hot shower soon! Anyway, this is one of the reasons I don't drive cars the size of my shoes.ReplyDelete
I watched a lumber delivery truck back into it one day, I was talking with a friend on the phone and watching. Fortunately it was not seriously hurt.Delete