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    Thread: Some Mk1 history tidbits I wasn't aware of...

    1. Member
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      02-23-2010 11:04 AM #1
      http://ateupwithmotor.com/comp....html
      Some interesting stuff (if it's all true).
      '76 Rallye Yellow Golf w/ 58k original (sold, but staying in Oregon)

    2. 02-23-2010 01:36 PM #2
      The US Factory Bumpers didn't make the '83-'84 GTI 140 lbs heavier. The GTI bumpers were Aluminum & most had light weight non shock brackets. The older steel US bumpers & shock brackets where much heavier. The door impact beams added a few pounds. The US carpet & sound deading added a few pounds too, but I can't see 140 lbs total.

    3. Member Vegeta Gti's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 04:19 PM #3
      85 max for all of that stuff on the US GTi..after removal and weighing..that's about what i saw in loss.
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      Quote Originally Posted by .Ant View Post
      What vegeta said.

    4. 02-23-2010 05:12 PM #4

      There are a few facts that are incorrect in the article.
      -round-headlight rabbits. All Rabbits up to 79/80 had round headlights.
      -wider track of the GTI? Due to the wheels maybe. The A-arms and rear beam are the same as a non-GTI Rabbit
      -pronounced fender flairs?
      If you're going to go thru the effort to write an article on the subject, why use a modified car in the photos? And why not use a car that had been washed recently....

      -Dave

    5. Member 4000stq's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 07:19 PM #5
      79 gas had squares, diesel had rounds, 80 all squares
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    6. Member EzekielGTi's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 07:32 PM #6
      i could be wrong but i beleive the article was talking about the increase in weight from the MK1 to the MK2.

    7. Member 4000stq's Avatar
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      02-23-2010 09:38 PM #7
      no.....it isnt.
      edit: American-market Mk 1 Golfs were called Rabbits; the Golf name wasn't adopted in the U.S. until the Mk 2 appeared as a 1985 model. Thanks in part to the 5-mph (8-kph) bumpers required by federal safety standards, the U.S. GTI was some 140 lb (64 kg) heavier than its European counterpart, which made the Rabbit GTI's power deficit that much more apparent.
      loud `n low, rollin' coal

    8. 02-24-2010 01:44 PM #8
      140 lbs for GTI bumpers
      they're actually about the same, if not lighter than plastic euros with all the guts.
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    9. Member g60vw's Avatar
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      02-24-2010 03:35 PM #9
      Could they be talking of the weight difference between US built mk1s and german built cars? There were NO german built US GTi's, and I would imagine that ALL euro GTi's were built in germany, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.
      Other things that come to mind.
      4 spd vs 5 spd
      early mech CIS 1.6 vs smogged CIS 1.8 w/ cat conv, etc
      13s vs 14s
      no flares vs flares
      Quote Originally Posted by wilm13 View Post
      I refuse to say anything but A1, A2 and A3. As far as I am concerned VW stopped making cars after that.

    10. Member D.E's Avatar
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      02-24-2010 04:08 PM #10
      A fully equipped -84 euro 1,8 GTI weighs about 990 kgs "on the road" according to registration papers. Not curb weight. That is about 2150 lbs.
      VW-less at the moment...

    11. Member 4000stq's Avatar
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      02-24-2010 09:04 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by g60vw »
      Could they be talking of the weight difference between US built mk1s and german built cars? There were NO german built US GTi's, and I would imagine that ALL euro GTi's were built in germany, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.
      Other things that come to mind.
      4 spd vs 5 spd
      early mech CIS 1.6 vs smogged CIS 1.8 w/ cat conv, etc
      13s vs 14s
      no flares vs flares

      um....a european spec 1984 gti had a 1.8, 5spd, and were available w/14's.
      140 is probably a close estimate. bumpers weigh another 25-30lbs, 40-45lbs of sound deadening, 50lbs worth of emissions and a/c (which most u.s. gti's had)
      loud `n low, rollin' coal

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      02-24-2010 09:18 PM #12
      I didn't say all the info was correct. Just some other info (design-wise and such) I hadn't heard of before.
      Quote, originally posted by 4000stq »
      79 gas had squares, diesel had rounds, 80 all squares

      Correct.
      '76 Rallye Yellow Golf w/ 58k original (sold, but staying in Oregon)

    13. Member Kevin Rowley's Avatar
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      02-24-2010 09:52 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by 4000stq »
      79 gas had squares, diesel had rounds, 80 all squares

      Some '78 gas cars had squares too. Part of the ramp up to full production at the Westmoreland plant.
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    14. Member 4000stq's Avatar
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      02-24-2010 10:04 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by Kevin Rowley »
      Some '78 gas cars had squares too. Part of the ramp up to full production at the Westmoreland plant.

      production at Westmorland did not begin until july 1978. there were no 78 model year Westmorland rabbits. all 1978 model year cars were German production.


      Modified by 4000stq at 10:08 PM 2-24-2010
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    15. Member Kevin Rowley's Avatar
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      02-25-2010 03:09 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by 4000stq »
      production at Westmorland did not begin until july 1978. there were no 78 model year Westmorland rabbits. all 1978 model year cars were German production.

      The parents of a girl I knew in high school bought her a Rabbit C, baby blue with blue interior and square headlights in late summer of 1978. The title read "1978 model year" and the registration did as well.
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    16. Member 4000stq's Avatar
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      02-25-2010 04:06 PM #16
      "In July of '78, VW started production of the 1979 Rabbit in a new plant it had built (using the shell of an old Chrysler plant as a base) in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Volkswagen became the first foreign manufacturer to establish a significant production base in the U.S., opening the door for Honda, Toyota and just about every other German manufacturer to follow."
      from here- http://www.edmunds.com/volkswa....html
      edit- further more, i would be willing to bet that the VIN on your friends car would reflect that it was a 1979.


      Modified by 4000stq at 4:08 PM 2-25-2010
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    17. Member Kevin Rowley's Avatar
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      02-25-2010 06:17 PM #17
      [QUOTE=4000stq further more, i would be willing to bet that the VIN on your friends car would reflect that it was a 1979.[/QUOTE]
      For the record, Edmunds has a history of getting facts wrong. I wouldn't refer to it as though it were the bible.
      In the old days, a '79 model would generally be a car produced after 09/78. Since it only takes a month to build a car, one could assume there are some 08/78 build date Rabbits. They brought theirs home in late August.
      The car went to the crusher a long time ago. However, I lost a bet to her because as a know it all 16 year old male, I insisted it had to be a '79 model. She produced the title which stated it was a '78. Titles are issued based on VINs and MSOs (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin), so I have to assume it had a 1978 title.
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      02-25-2010 08:51 PM #18
      WOW!I transfered to VW Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs N.J. 1/1/78 as a member of the team that put together the after production parts supply/support for the Westmoreland Rabbit which was to begin for the 1979 model year.That said I would not be suprised if the first ones built were 78s.The Americans wanted to build asap and the Germans wanted to keep initial control.As a matter of fact the first ones built were basically one big Engineering deviation.All initial parts had to come from Production until the vendor could get Engineering approval.I could probably go on with stories for hours but I won't.There are a couple of people who know the answer and I will try and locate them.I'll post when I do!

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      02-25-2010 08:55 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by slats »
      WOW!I transfered to VW Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs N.J. 1/1/78 as a member of the team that put together the after production parts supply/support for the Westmoreland Rabbit which was to begin for the 1979 model year.That said I would not be suprised if the first ones built were 78s.The Americans wanted to build asap and the Germans wanted to keep initial control.As a matter of fact the first ones built were basically one big Engineering deviation.All initial parts had to come from Production until the vendor could get Engineering approval.I could probably go on with stories for hours but I won't.There are a couple of people who know the answer and I will try and locate them.I'll post when I do!

      Please share your valuable info when you can. Thank you!!
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    20. Member s-rocc's Avatar
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      02-25-2010 11:31 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by mk216v »
      Please share your valuable info when you can. Thank you!!

      Agreed, we would love to hear more! [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
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    21. Member
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      02-28-2010 08:34 PM #21
      I'm new to the mk1 forums and just towed home an 81 caddy to play with.I just love third childhoods!Not sure what you want to know about so give me some posts.Back in the 70s and early 80s VW was Volkswagen,Porsche,Audi headquartered in N.J.With the development of US Manufacturing a new company was created called Volkswagen Manufacturing based in Michigan.The plant was in Westmoreland Pa. and the stamping plant was in South Charleston,West Virginia.The two companies were merged and the N.J. people/jobs were transfered to Troy Mich. in 1983.I find it irronic that a plant is being built once again in the US and Corporate has once again moved this time to Virginia.I feel I'm watching a rerun!

    22. 03-07-2010 12:00 AM #22
      Let me introduce my friend "Captain" Morgan - some of you may know him from his "CoolJet" Mk2 Jetta project (seen here at Treffen year before last):

      His build thread - http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2680323
      He goes by the vortex username "cooljet", so if you've got specific questions, go right to the source and IM him.

      Well, Morgan was employed in the paint & body assembly areas of Westmoreland from early 1977 until the mid '80s. Here's a couple shots of him in a local paper from the official plant opening:

      See the guy at the bottom right that looks like he's tilting that Rabbit shell on it's side? That's Morgan. See the guy in the upper right in the dark jacket discussing something with Mr. Tie? That's Morgan too. Note the paper's date of March 1978 too.
      See the guy in the hard hat standing in front of a Rabbit shell? That was the first body shell assembled completely by the Westmoreland plant. That'll be important later on in our story.
      Here's a shot of the sign-off stamp he used to OK a car to go on to the next level of assembly:

      I wanted to try to put together a more firm timeline as to when cars were actually produced in the Westmoreland plant, as it seems like all the official "print" sources have been wrong compared to what I've always heard from the guys who actually worked there. Morgan just happens to have kept a lot of the memorabilia from his time there that'll either clear or cloud the waters, I guess...
      Anyway - exhibit #1 - here's the plaque that rode down the line with the first Rabbit shell assembled completely in the Westmoreland plant on December 8th, 1977:

      According to Morgan, the first cars assembled at the plant were "MKD" or Middle Knock Down kits - the bodies had already been assembled / painted in Germany, and the cars were sent to the US as knocked-down "kit cars" that were run down the line simply to train employees and troubleshoot the assembly process. The body would come in one crate and another crate would have all the other pieces needed to build one complete car. These cars were 2 and 4 door base level Rabbits, ALL white exterior with a thin maroon pinstripe. ALL were round-light cars, as the shells were being built in Germany using the german stampings. ALL would have 6/77 to 3/78 build dates on their VIN tag as well as having Westmoreland as the build location. 250 of these cars were built between June 1977 to April 1978 and sold to the general public, which makes them the rarest of the Westy rare.
      This sign rode down the the line on the first non-MKD shell, or more specifically, the first shell assembled in the body/welding shop. At this time, Westmoreland was getting body panels from Germany, Canada and West Virginia, but this car represented the first WV stamped / PA built car, which was a huge milestone for VWoA.
      Here's a VIN plate from one of the pieces of large equipment VW sent from Germany for the Westmoreland plant:

      Exhibit #2 - here's a VW employee newsletter from January 1978 (same year slats was hired) that proclaims that the stamping plant is now fully operational:

      Now the plant could start building bodies here instead of shipping them over from Germany. This is important - this is the split from the round headlight rabbits (which is what the MKD kit cars were) to the early square "westy" light setups, as this new stamping plant only made the square light fender setups. Since the diesels were still being made only in Germany, they retained the round lights. Remember the picture from the paper showing the hard-hat guy standing in front of the Rabbit shell? Here's where it fits in - the stamping plant goes online, paint line starts operation soon after that, so no need for the MKD kits anymore (but the MKD kits were still going down the assembly line until April of 1978, mixed in with the Westmoreland fab'd shells).
      Exhibit #3 - Here's a nice letter from the plant manager dated April 29th, 1978 thanking the employees for the "successful, timely opening of the Volkswagen Westmoreland facility":

      They passed out neat little tokens to commemorate the event, like these paperweights:


      Quote, originally posted by slats »
      Back in the 70s and early 80s VW was Volkswagen,Porsche,Audi headquartered in N.J.With the development of US Manufacturing a new company was created called Volkswagen Manufacturing based in Michigan.

      That explains this belt buckle - I always wondered where the VWMOA came from:

      He's also got commemorative Rabbit Truck belt buckles from when the first ones went down the assembly line, but I didn't get pics of them today. I'll have Morgan sift through his memory stash to see if he can't uncover any more gems...


      Modified by buzbomb4 at 8:15 PM 3-7-2010
      Last edited by buzbomb4; 05-07-2010 at 11:46 AM.

    23. Member s-rocc's Avatar
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      03-07-2010 01:36 AM #23
      awesome post!
      i'd love to know if any of the first round headlight westmoreland cars still exist.
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      03-07-2010 09:17 AM #24
      Great post!I will IM him directly thanks.BTW I was hired in Nov. 1968 which makes me really old!

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      03-07-2010 10:05 AM #25
      WOW!!
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      You're new here but don't be a DORK.....
      Cheers, WWR.
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      Don't swap if you can't weld or fabricate. It's not a trivial task just to bolt everything up. There's a lot of nut-scratching involved. Take your time and do it right.

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