by Don Kincl
Fitting the licence plate reads “UGH”, this was certainly stretching this car’s carrying capacity, especially if it was a 1.6 NA diesel. 55mph speed limits probably helped too
Looks like the 5-way intersection of 50th and Greenlake Way and Stone in seattle
You can see the street signs if you look a little closer.
It most certainly does, and that is exactly where it is. It’s only a few blocks east from my grade school and Parish. This is the SE corner of Woodland Park.
I found the apartment building in the background far left:
I once squeezed 8 or 9 into my ’83 Tercel 5-door for a drive back to the dorms after a college party. The rear seats were down and everyone was fairly skinny. Not really my best idea.
Nice! In the scout camp few years ago, another small hatchback, a second-gen Renault Clio with 1.5 diesel engine could fit seven people and drive ~15 min to the nearest pizza joint and back. Two in the front, four in the backseat and for me and my cousin were the way back places reserved. Not so spacious, but the teenagers we were back then didn’t complain at all.
My teenage friends and I rang in 1989 on Philly’s Schuykill Expressway in a 7 passenger ’79 Celica (long-legged privilege earned me shotgun, fortunately). In the era before seatbelt laws, those hatchback areas were like rumble seats.
That’s exactly how we did it in the mid-seventies with our Simca 1100 hatchback. Four adults and three kids (my brother and I were “sitting” all the way in the back).
This has the wheel covers my sister’s 81 had – were those just on Westmoreland cars?
Yes. They had a bad habit of the retaining clips coming loose, just enough to produce annoying click click click while driving. Lots of warranty replacements were made back in the day.
The stance of the car on its suspension looks surprisingly normal – maybe just minimal suspension travel? I pulled a few stunts like this in a 1972 Pontiac, and the rear was hunkered down all the way to the ground.
Having done exactly this with my parents’ ’79 Rabbit I can tell you that that car is riding its bump stops. Westmoreland Rabbits had long suspension travel, but softish springs, giving them almost French chassis characteristics.
If it looks relatively level it’s probably an artifact of the wide angle lens and the position of the camera.
When I was in university, as part of my psychology course we had to visit a mental health facility 30 miles out of town. 6 of us crammed into a classmate’s VW Golf. As i was the slimmest of the 3 males I got to share the back seat with 3 young women in our class. 🙂
Sounds like that was its own experiment.
Great memories, great days and great “workhorse” cars!
Circa 1984 it was when my employer had a fleet of N/A 1.6 Diesel Passat/Dasher station wagons. One day a technical issue forced me and another 8 journeymen, all with tool boxes and safety gear to hurry to a site in the mid of the night. All transportation we could get hands on at once was the poor Passat. Yes, it did the job, carrying nine not-so-slim-persons and all the gear overland. I remember several times the exhaust touching ground and the guy who hung between front seats had to do the shifting job.
Astonishingly, the car reached more than 10 years and 200 k mi before the first engine gave up by blown head gasket. Heavily rusted, the car was written off. One of the workers fondly “bought” it and towed it home for restoration.
I never knew there was a longer Rabbit. A friend had the only Rabbit I was ever in, and I definitely was not impressed. He liked it because it was small and he drove it like his wife was about to deliver a kid all the time, with tickets to prove it. About the time it passed the 20K mark, it began to have endless cooling, electrical, and brake issues. At about the 5 year mark, he was driving home from work one night and some guy pulled out in front of him, drunk. He slammed the brakes on, and the line that went across the floor of the car popped from salt from people’s shoes eating it and sprayed brake fluid all over the inside of the car, and the Rabbit’s time was ended as he clipped a telephone pole and then a parked car after he lost control of it. The drunk’s car was untouched, and surprisingly, the driver got out to check on my friend instead of leaving, and ended up getting busted for his 2nd DUI. The replacement Jetta was bad enough to make my friend pass on any future VW products. He and his wife have matching blue Camrys these days. His brother didn’t learn a lesson, and years later, he went into Audi hell, with 2 turds, an owned A4, and then a leased A4. The leased A4 made my horrible ’77 Dodge Power Wagon seem reliable. The dealer wasn’t any help and he and his wife decided it needed to go ASAP, it died and had to be towed to the dealer for like the 10th time. When it was fixed, it sat in their garage until the day it went away, because they were afraid it would die again. I followed him to the dealer to get rid of it, and then took him to the Jeep store, where he bought his first Grand Cherokee, which was totally rock solid and their daughter owns now. The A4 sold almost immediately, and we always wondered what happened to it.
This isn’t a longer Rabbit; just a more crowded one.
Reading this’n that I have learned there are many different experiences to listen to.
One of my sons owns a 1986 VW Vanagon TD crew cab that is beyond 950 k mi now on the 3rd engine. He keeps telling us he will never sell it, and believe it of not, he has never needed a towing service all the years. Parts are not expensive, much is the same as in Golf/Passat/Audi4000 and engine out/in takes us a Saturday at home. Don’t expect much luxury or Fahrvergnügen but excellent economy and a ton of payload.
I once put 25 people in a 1972 Chevrolet Kingswood wagon.
Seeing this brings back childhood memories of those days before child safety seats. I recall riding in the luggage space behind the rear seat of my cousin’s VW Beetle, and of the many times I would lie down on the “package shelf” behind the rear seat of my parents’ sedans.
In high school I had an 11-passenger Rabbit that we made the daily lunch run with – me and my best friend (of the day) up front and the other 9 in the bed of my Caddy Diesel. We had to sneak out the teacher’s parking lot though because the turnout leaving the student lot was too steep and the bumper would drag with that many people…
I’m sure the drive-through workers hated us, one car with at least half-a dozen separate orders.
I’ve had up to eight in my ’69 Beetle. The runt of the bunch got stuck in the storage space behind the rear seat.
“Wayward Youth”…. I so miss it!!!
I did the same with my ’67, younger siblings and their friends.
We did this once in our 1984 Rabbit Diesel. Me and my brother, plus at least one cousin in the back under the hatch. We were little kids. Then 4-5 adults in the remainder of the car.
Just horribly unsafe.
Three including me driving on the bench in my ’68 el Camino and six in the bed
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2023 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.