A Padre Island sunrise

Monday, April 3, 2017


I'm 64 years old and there are a few things I did, or didn't do, in my lifetime that I regret. Not a lot but some.

Today I was in a parking lot and I was reminded of one of my few regrets.
It's even green...

A VW diesel Rabbit

Back in 1981 or so I almost bought a brand spanking new VW Rabbit, metallic green, four doors, manual transmission & a diesel engine.

I was in the dealers office with the paperwork in front of me, the pen was in hand, sign my name & drive away. That new car smell AND 50 miles per gallon.

I was actually holding the pen...

I looked at the $121 a month payment (yes, one hundred twenty one dollars) and said to myself, "I can't spend that much money on a car!".

I put the pen down and walked away...

Whenever I see a VW Rabbit I always remember that day and I always regret not signing that paperwork.

There are worse regrets to have.... but still.


  1. Give yourself credit at least you had the guts to walk away. Many of us if found in a similar situation would have signed and been car poor for four years.

    1. Ya but... for the last 36 years (almost) every time I've seen a diesel Rabbit I've thought about that day.
      As it's turned out I've never bought myself a new car.
      Who knew?

  2. That was my daughter's first car (diesel engine and manual trans -- I taught her how to use the clutch). She worked at McDonald's and paid for half of it and we paid the other half. After a while, it would overheat and my daughter (never saying anything to me) would just pull over and let it cool until the light went out :) Eventually the coolant level got so low that it was below the sensor and the light didn't come on anymore -- problem solved! Of course, it overheated and warped the head. The tolerances on those engines are so tight that most mechanics won't touch 'em -- just three different head gaskets depending on how much you *think* might make a seal. There's not enough extra meat to machine the block . . . maybe a tiny bit from the head as I recall -- with the thicker gaskets taking up the slack. But good for 300,000 easy if you don't overheat 'em :)

  3. Too bad about losing her engine like that.
    Later on I had tow different Rabbits, one gasoline & one diesel both very used Chicago cars (rust). I never had any serious mechanical problems but the rear suspension rusted away.
    I'd buy a Rabbit today if it was the right price & rust hadn't eaten the underside.

  4. if that is your major regret you have led a good life. I just as soon forget my first forty years - many regrets.

    I actually did a post on the cars I have owned: 24 counting the present RAV-4. The VW diesel, however, is one that I missed.

    Cars today all look alike - they run well, but no class.
    I would have liked a GTO.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. I've damn few regrets and one of them is not buying that Rabbit, you're right about that being a good thing!

      I'm not even going to dwell on buying that old mobile home instead of putting up a pole barn up in Minnesota...

      Thanks for the comments!

  5. I had a diesel Caddy coupe I bought used many years ago. It was an '84 model I think. Absolutely no power for hills or passing, but got 19 mpg. I compiled a list of all vehicles I've owned since 1971 on my blog site. Only bought new 3 times. Never again.