By the time the late 1960s rolled around, Volkswagen saw the writing on the wall when it came to the Beetle. It was time to plan for its replacement. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Golf (or Rabbit as it came to be known in the US), was one of the first mass produced front engined, front-wheel drive, transverse engined compacts to gain success after the introduction of the trailblazing Mini in 1959. In 1978, Volkswagen began to produce this compact hatchback in the US at the Westmoreland, Pennsylvania manufacturing plant under the Rabbit badge. But before the domestic Rabbits began to roll off the line, the very first Rabbits to appear in the US were distinguished by their curious rear bodywork, with a drooping panel line around the rear tail lamps. These early Rabbits became known as the “swallowtail.”
It’s rare to come across these early Rabbits, but this 1975 model for sale in Florida is one of the earliest we’ve featured here on GCFSB, with a build date of December 1974. For the purist, this is certainly a chance to snag what has to be one the earliest, most well preserved Rabbits on US shores.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit on eBay
Engine: 1.5 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 40,733 mi
Price: Reserve auction
Up for auction is a early ultra base model 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit with 40,733 original miles. Build date: 12/74. I purchased the car about a year ago as a “barn find” and have replaced the basic maintenance bits such as…
-Timing belt & tensioner
-Plugs, NOS wires, dist cap & ignition rotor
-NOS Master cylinder, NOS front wheel cylinders & front brake shoes
-Cleaned fuel tank
-Filters, fluids etc
In result the car runs and drives down the road well. I’ve only put 12 miles on the car since March so I personally wouldn’t hop in it and go across country. The car is all original minus the two front seats which are 1975 seats but have the incorrect material and the original bumpers & wheels have been refurbished.
This early Rabbit has no options. No radio, no A/C, no CIG lighter, rubber Floor mats, front drum brakes, no door sill plates, no door (vent) window defroster. The basest model I’ve personally ever have seen. Absolutely ZERO rot on or around strut towers. The original paint shows very well but there is patina as to be expected for nearly a 40 year old car.
One of the previous owners put foam in the bracing under the hood therefor it rotted the hood. I have gotten quotes on fixing it but I second guessed it because of the originality of the car. I know I’ll never find another car like this but I do know its time to let it go. (cant keep them all) 🙁
International bidders welcome!!! Please contact me if you have any questions and happy bidding!
While the interior isn’t in the best shape, the exterior seems to be solid, save for a little bit of rust. With late model Rabbit GTIs glancing $20,000, Mk1 mania seems to be taking off. There’s already been a fair amount of bidding interest in this one. Given that, I’d expect this Mk1 to fetch somewhere in the $4,000 to $6,000 range.