Rabbit Resurrection

My 1975 VW Rabbit came home rejuvenated from the shop today. (As I wrote in an earlier post, restoring my 33-year-old Rabbit, which has been in my family since it was new, is the method I’ve chosen for achieving better gas mileage). Its main problem was that it had about a half-inch of rusty sludge in the bottom of the gas tank. This (and the underlying problem of water finding its way into the gas tank) had caused a variety of problems. The good people at the Independent Auto Werks in Corvallis cleaned the tank, blew out the fuel lines, did a partial rebuild of the carburetor (including replacing a clogged idle jet — no wonder it didn’t want to run!), and now the car is running better than it has in years, maybe decades.

An old Rabbit handles like an old-fashioned British sports car — stiff suspension, responsive steering, with a little engine but also very lightweight. They’re fun to drive but can carry a lot of stuff, though I’d take something bigger if I were making a special trip to the feed mill.

In a while I’ll take it down to the body shop run by one of my neighbors (G&R Body Shop in Philomath, Oregon) and see what it will take to get it prepped and painted.

So far, this project looks to be a lot cheaper and more fun than getting a newer subcompact economy car, and the gas mileage ought to be about the same as a new one. (Actually, this old Rabbit gets about 30 MPG, while a brand-new one only gets about 25 MPG). And it amuses me that the car I learned to drive on has gone from “new car” to “used car,” “old car,” “piece of junk,” and “collectible classic.”

I Publish Books! Norton Creek Press

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

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Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, is an expert on free-range chickens, and is a semi-struggling novelist. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years. In addition, he holds down a day job doing technical writing at Workspot.

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