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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m not looking to do a build thread so much (can you even call this thing a “build?”) as I’m looking to just document the time I’ve spent with this car




What better place to go than a 20 year old forum that nobody uses anymore full of dead picture links and shortcuts that don’t work anymore? :screwy:

My journey down the rabbit hole started in August of 2016. I had already been into Volkswagens for a few years, having purchased an 84 vanagon to daily drive in 2013, then a mk4 2.0 golf the following year and a mk2 gli two years later.





The mk2 was my first “project” car, it was a half million mile rotbox with a quarter million mile aba swap. It was a pile, but for some reason I saw something in it and spent whatever spare cash I had (which wasn’t much at 17) picking up parts to keep it going and pretty it up. I was gung ho on that car, hitting every local show and swap meet I could and clearing them out of mk2 parts.

The premier local Vw gathering here in CT is the Terryville Bug-a-fair, an old school air cooled get together that usually pulls in a few hundred bugs, busses, ghias, and even a good crowd of watercooled stuff. I’ve gone every year for a decade not for the cars, but for the killer swap meet. Of course it’s air cooled focused, but there’s always a few good troves of early watercooled parts there.

2016 was my fourth year there, and it wasn’t a great one. Boy was it hot. It was north of 100 degrees when I pulled in that year and the swap meet wasn’t turning up any treasures. I hung around for an hour or two but I was over it, quickly. That same day, a couple of local guys were hosting a show in northern Massachusetts called Fieldwerks. It looked like a good time and was something I wanted to check out so I packed up the car and headed up to Mass.

The main road out of Terryville was being repaved at the time, so I had to take a detour down some small backroads to get back to the highway. I was cruising around the side streets, craning my neck to look behind houses and down alleys hoping to spot something cool, when out of the corner of my eye I saw the reflection of the sun off a headlight from on top of a hill.

I’m pretty sure I shouted something. I knew immediately what it was. A rabbit! A westy! I ripped I’m the parking lot to check it out. There, amongst a pile of bent up rotted squarebodies, was a rabbit pickup, a dasher coupe, and a rabbit. A Mountain Green rabbit. A 2dr, Mountain Green, diesel rabbit C with tan interior and good patina.




Maaaaaaaaaan it was perfect. It was my dream car at the time. I was big into mk2s and going fast at the time, but my best friend from highschool had an incredible, clean, all original one owner 80 tarpon blue 2dr diesel deluxe that I’d ridden around in a bunch and it really turned me on to rabbits, and early westies in general.



He still has it although he doesn’t drive it as much as he should. Some of you may know him as mk1sadness on Instagram.



But this car was exactly what I wanted. I looked it all over, up and down, inside and out and I was in love. The interior was fairly complete and really pretty decent aside from the dash





The towers were good, the drivetrain was complete aside from a radiator and alternator



I had to have it. While laying under the car seeing how much floor was left (which was most of the floor, save for the drivers rear) I called up David and said “I bought a mountain green!”
“You bought a rabbit??”
“Well…no…but I’m buying a rabbit! I think. I hope. I don’t know if it’s actually for sale. But I found a mountain green and I have to have it”

I did what we all do and left a note on a torn off piece of a Dunkin’ Donuts bag giving my name and number, and I did my best to convey my desire for the car while also sounding like I wasn’t going to waste the owners time.

All I could do was wait and hope for the best, so I packed up and headed for Fieldwerks.




Fieldwerks is a great show, it’s a calm little gathering with a limbo and some music and it’s always a fun event. I had a great time my first year and have gone back every year since. On my way back to my car, I felt my phone ring. I tried not to get my hopes up.
Unknown caller
Bristol CT
“Hello?”
“Is this Ethan? I’m Cynthia, I have the little green Volkswagen you left the note on? It was my dads car, but he died a few weeks ago, so it is for sale”

Score! I’m sure we all know the feeling. I’ve left notes on several dozen windshields, doors, mailboxes. Rarely do I get a response, and even less often is it the response I’m hoping for. But this time, it worked. I was elated

We talked for a bit about the history of the car, her dad, her memories of his vws. Her dad was into GM stuff, he liked to build Camaros in the 80s and 90s. Blown big blocks aren’t known for their fuel economy, so the old man would buy up diesel vw’s in the days of 50$ rabbits to beat around in. This car was a parts car for one of his pickups, he bought it in 1990 and never touched it. He didn’t drive it, didn’t start it, there it sat in that parking lot for 26 years until I found it.

She had been told the engine was seized, but a friend in the know had told her that the car was a rare color and was desirable, and that she should try to get 1000$ for it. All things considered, that’s a fine price. I would have been happy to pay it had I not been 19 and less dollars than I did fingers. After some back and forth, I offered to show up the following Tuesday with 600$ and she said “I can work with that”

Killer. 600$. I could do that.

I scraped together what cash I had, sold some parts, borrowed a bit, and managed to get 600$. I made the hour drive from my house in Plainfield CT to Bristol where the car was. On the way I scheduled a roll back to meet me there to bring the car home.

Hardly able to contain my excitement, I handed Cynthia the 600$, expecting us to fill out some paperwork or something. Instead, she asked when I could have the other 400$. I was shocked. I asked what she meant. Her understanding was that I was coming with the 600$ as a down payment, and I’d give her the other 400$ when I could get it. I was crushed. I didn’t know what to do. I got back in the car, head hung low. Where was I going to find another 400$? My girlfriend asked what was going on and I explained the situation. She was just as bummed as I was. After a moment of silence, she said “well it’s a good thing I have 400$”
I lit up. I hurriedly told Cynthia I’d be back the following day with the cash.

The next day I stopped at the bank to borrow the last 400 from my girlfriend, and drove all the way back out to go get my new car. Cynthia had all the paperwork in order and I had all the cash. The tow truck was waiting for me when I pulled up. Man what a feeling.

The process of buying the car and getting it home isn’t very exciting, but once it was home I was ready to tear into it.



I called Clint to come down and check the car out and see if there was any work he could help me with. We’d just met a month or two before but he was more than willing to take the 2hr drive down in the woody westy he had just put together to lend a hand. What a swell fellow. That was a productive night. We buffed the paint (this was just a quick pass with some 3m rubbing compound on a rotary buffer



Cobbled together a radiator situation



And got the old girl to run! I think whoever told the seller that the engine was seized was just trying to get a deal. We turned the key and the care instantly came to life. It sat for 26 years with 3/4 tank of diesel and it ran like brand new. I drove it that night. I was over the moon instantly. I was so ready to dive in to my new project.


That’s enough for tonight. It’s a long read, I’m doing this more to keep a record than I am for entertainment. But if you’ve read this far, kudos to you. I’ll update as regularly as I can. I have 6 years of photos and events to log on here haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The early days with the car

One of the first things I did after getting the car running, was to finish buffing out the paint. I didn’t know what I was doing. Still don’t. I hit the whole car with the 3m rubbing compound on a really old pad without taping off anything. The badges still have compound on them. There’s still residue on the arches. It had a lot of compound left on the car. But it was shiny









I also made an attempt at popping out that dent on the passengers fender. I didn’t know about the football method at the time, so Clint and I used a 2x4 to try to push it out. We made a small improvement but ended up tearing the front of the fender off the body, where you see that rot along the seam behind the bumper end cap. I never fixed it. It still flaps around



The car also came with this cool Draw Tite hitch. Two bolts through the bottom of the bumper, and two bolts straight through the trunk floor. Not the most solid setup. I removed it shortly after buying the car but I do still have it in my basement





I explored a few wheel options, including these Helios blue bbs ra375 I had, but ended up sticking it on 14” Pirelli P Slots that had been spray painted several times and poorly stripped, with way too tall tires that leaked badly





The blue car next to me is my good friend Jake’s 81 diesel 4dr. It’s a Mojave beige car with a maaco metal flake blue paint job over it. At the time I was living with my girlfriends family, but my rabbit was at my parents house and Jakey shared a driveway with my parents. He’s a beetle guy that’s been getting into model Ts since inheriting his late father in laws cars

I pulled and tucked the front bumper (still haven’t done the rear) and ended up removing those bumperettes because they were badly damaged. My car came from the dealer with only the fronts it seems, I ended up replacing them a few years ago with a far nicer pair I had stashed away from my girlfriends old 79 rabbit







Some of you with keen eyes may notice that barn I’m working in is packed with jeep parts. My dad has been driving CJ-7s for near 30 years and we restored several in that barn while I was in high school







Sebring Red is the way to go

Back on track:
Next step was to pull out the interior and check the floor. Trunk was okay, a few holes in the spare tire well, but the rear drivers floor was ROUGH













Lastly I made a little deal to score myself a deluxe grille. My parents next door neighbor was a bit of a junk man. A friend had asked him to store his 1981 and 1983 Fiat 124 spiders. He ended up abandoning them and I was aloud to pick parts. One of them hand brand new western turbine wheels that I pulled and shipped from Connecticut to Seattle in trade for a very nice deluxe grille, that unfortunately broke during shipping. I ended up still using it. The white cabby was my brothers 200$ 92 triple white he bought when he was 14. What a fun car









 

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Great story so far. Mountain Green is by far the best color IMO. 👍

I have a NOS deluxe 1980 grille for my Mountain Green Caddy Fire Engine project, but fate has me going round eye. Still love the early square look especially for a truck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I see that Dasher lurking in the background of photo #4. Are you planning on restoring that bad boy?
Unfortunately I didn’t grab the dasher. I wish I had. It had a smashed out windshield and I can’t imagine dasher windshields are easy to find. A diesel dasher coupe would be a hell of a cool beater tho


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was actually just talking about this, my friend Clint that I mentioned is working on a forestry service crew cab squarebody and the color is very similar


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
3 months after buying my rabbit, I bought my second rabbit.



Under all that blue spray paint and junk was a 31k mile 1978 Champagne 2 edition. I picked it up off a friend for 500$ (along with a 69 Mercedes 250 for 100$ and a Big Mac meal)



and I stored it along side my girlfriends 79 diesel at our new house we had just moved into. I ended up stealing the snowflakes with ORIGINAL TIRES from 1984 for the Mountain Green car. They were terribly dry rotted and cracked everywhere but I put thousands of miles on them without issue. Don’t ask me how haha



That car was still at my parents house until I could register it. My parents lived way out in the woods on top of a mountain in a town of less than 2000 residents so I was able to cruise the green car around unregistered without worrying about drawing any unwanted attention from law enforcement. The brown car next to it was my brothers inca brown 80 diesel deluxe that I just recently bought off him.



I took the car to get registered just a few weeks later and was finally able to bring it home. I was so excited to actually be able to put some miles on it. I’m pretty sure I drove it unregistered to the DMV. I took this picture as soon as I got it in my driveway



The next day I took the car up to Clints shop in Webster MA to have him fix that floor for me. The exhaust had broken in half shortly after getting the car running so it was just dumping soot straight into the cabin. That floor piece he put in is the only solid floor left in the car these days haha





With the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning reduced, I drove that car everywhere. I parked up my Audi and started daily driving the rabbit for a good month or so. It had the original 1.5 diesel and 4spd so it was a dog, but I pushed it. I could get it up to 70 without issue most of the time.



It was a blast. It was my first real experience ripping around in an old car. I didn’t check any fluids, do any maintenance, I just drove the piss out of it. Untiiiiiil:



My first real mechanical issue. Ripping down the highway at 70, I let off the throttle but the car continued to accelerate. I had no idea what was going on, but I kept it in 4th and shoved the brake pedal to the floor. It finally started slowing down, made a loud pop, and died. I had no idea what had happened or why, but upon opening the hood I found this big oil stain. I thought I’d thrown a rod. I looked all over but couldn’t find any holes or anything. I bumper the key and it turned over just fine. I tried again and it started right up and idled just as it always had. I gave it a minute and hit the road again, without issue, but not before making a post in Burnallthemk1s questioning what had happened to my car. That’s the day I learned about runaways. A lot of people suggested I stop driving the car, but it performed fine after starting it back up so I didn’t see the concern. The rings were starting to go but otherwise the car felt fairly healthy and I just wanted to enjoy it, so I kept driving it.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My first few shows

I’d been attending some of the local CT VW association shows for a few years, but I never had a car to bring. Now that I had the rabbit on the road, I was able to show something.

The first show I went to was New England Dustoff at Thompson Motorspeedway in Thompson CT. This was probably April 2017 or so. I cruised up with David in his Tarpon 80 and his coworker Nick in his 84 diesel Jetta



Although the rabbit wasn’t pretty, I was excited to get it out along side other mk1s and let it see the light of day. I didn’t register it for judging or anything, it was just nice to have it there



Next was 40s in a Bag in Olive Bridge NY. Early may 2017. 40s is a good 4 hr drive from me, and I wasn’t trying to have the car scream in 4th gear the whole time, so Clint stayed up till 3-4am with me the day before the show to swap in an AGS 5spd (.75 5th)



That was a hell of a drive up. I cruised with Clint in his b4 tdi wagon and Nick Celko in Peter Borques old body dropped white pickup



My car did great aside from running away twice on the way up, Clint’s car did fine but Celkos truck certainly gave us a hard time. His homemade mono wiper that he had rigged up the night before broke in the middle of a downpour, it constantly blew intercooler hoses, it would shut off and not start back up in the middle of the drive. The 4hr drive took us 11hrs. The highlight of the trip tho was getting to meet [mention]Irontrap [/mention] and have dinner with him and his girlfriend. He was up in NY for a swap meet and clint brought him a 31 ford frame and cowl. I didn’t know much about him or his cars at the time, but he was really cool and great to talk to. I had seen his oceanic 4dr and loved it but I hadn’t associated him with the car yet.

Once there tho, I had a blast. I saw another Mountain Green car for the first time, so far the only one I’d seen in person was my own. It was great to see another, especially one that was gas with a black interior, mine being diesel with tan





It was a fun weekend and really lit a spark in me








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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Peter Borques. Is he the one that owns das auto in NH. If so, and i remember correctly the floor in that caddy actually caught fire once because it rubbed so much lol.

fun read so far!
I believe so! I know he was NH based, and associated with Coolwater Vw club back in the day. This is the truck that had the famous photo of it parked under a monster truck 10+ years ago

Thanks for reading. I didn’t know if anyone would really care, I was mostly doing this to have a record of my car somewhere since I don’t really post on social media anymore


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Its sad this forum has slowed down, but i think it may have actually weeded out some of the useless posting :)

There are still a few of us on here still enjoying it.

peter has worked on a bunch of my vws. He’s a solid mechanic.

I moved to NC a couple years back (dont ever move to NC, its too hot and crimey.)

my wife and I are visiting family this week in NY andI woke up before everyone else :)

i enjoyed the read.

i’m curious if my car will show up in the background of any of your pics. I was pretty heavy in the new england scene for a few years.

here is my current on going project




Vehicle Tire Car Wheel Hood
 

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I was actually just talking about this, my friend Clint that I mentioned is working on a forestry service crew cab squarebody and the color is very similar
Although I have found no proof yet, my theory is that VW introduced the Mountain Green color along with the Rabbit pick-ups in 1980 in Hope's of landing a contract with the US Forestry Service to provide a fuel efficient alternative vehicle for their workforce during the oil crisis.

Similar to the Kubvan vying for the USPS contract or the stretch Rabbit prototype meant to replace the aging Yellow Cab fleet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Next show of the season for me was wolfsgart in early august 2017, a year into owning the car.

We made the 4.5hr trip north to Burlington VT just fine, the car rode smooth the whole way up. I saw this tidy little beige late westy at the Five Guys in Keene, NH that I assumed was heading to the show but I never saw it there. I like the 13” Carrol Shelby wheels



A few weeks after Wolfsgart was Fieldwerks, the show I was on my way to when I found my car the year previous



I rode up with my buddy Cody and his late westy diesel I had just found for him. It was a great time. It’s relaxed, European focused but there’s a little bit of everything there. I decided to enter my stock height car in the low car limbo as a joke, and man did it turn into an event











16 people in/on a rabbit sags the suspension just enough to survive four rounds of a low car limbo haha. I lost to that orange thing of course, but it was fun.

I liked the way the car looked low, so next up was my first real “modification”, I picked up a set of barely used ST coilovers off a friend for 500$ or so



I didn’t adjust ride height, didn’t dial in camber, just threw them on and drove it. I thought it was great haha.

The day I got the car we hard wired the radiator fan to the battery, assuming the thermoswitch was bad (it was) so every time I’d drive the car I had to pop the hood, plug in the fan, slam the hood, break the grille, rinse and repeat. I got the grille with a crack in it, Clint plastic welded it, but it kept breaking because I had to shut the hood so often, so I ended up removing the hood and driving it with no hood for a good 3 years




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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Although I have found no proof yet, my theory is that VW introduced the Mountain Green color along with the Rabbit pick-ups in 1980 in Hope's of landing a contract with the US Forestry Service to provide a fuel efficient alternative vehicle for their workforce during the oil crisis.

Similar to the Kubvan vying for the USPS contract or the stretch Rabbit prototype meant to replace the aging Yellow Cab fleet.
The checker cabs swallowtail is a really cool car. I wish more existed


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I did go to wolfsgart one year.

i think the thing that typically stood out about my ratty cabby was the mint black interior.

the year i went i remember there was a guy who used to be a probmx rider had a red polo he restored in the hanger with all the classier cars. I went with brian from dutchpartsco. He had his blue gti in the hanger too.

When i get back home i could tell you the year as I got one of those vw dogtags from the vw tent.

my fave of the shows was volksbahn in NH at the castle in the clouds. Such a picturesque landscape :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did go to wolfsgart one year.

i think the thing that typically stood out about my ratty cabby was the mint black interior.

the year i went i remember there was a guy who used to be a probmx rider had a red polo he restored in the hanger with all the classier cars. I went with brian from dutchpartsco. He had his blue gti in the hanger too.

When i get back home i could tell you the year as I got one of those vw dogtags from the vw tent.

my fave of the shows was volksbahn in NH at the castle in the clouds. Such a picturesque landscape :)
2017 was my first year there. I think I know the polo you’re talking about but I don’t recall if it was there that year. I was very into the green and white oval window beetle from Quebec and the green 1.8t cabby with the green plaid recaros that year


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