If street life were imitating history, the Civic would have beaten the Rabbit and be far out ahead. But it didn’t, in this case.
Two of my favorite cars, from a simpler era…. I would be happy with a fuel injected, air conditioned, radio, manual trans version of either that Civic or the Rabbit brand new.
The Civic was way ahead in sales. Performance? I’d say the outcome would vary based on the powertrain in the car.
Ahhh, but the clever Rabbit left its back bumper at home so it has the weight advantage. The Civic will never catch it now!
Well, with a gray color, white license plate and no bumper, this Rabbit sort of does resemble a cottontail.
No, JPC, the Rabbit left its back bumper somewhere, place unknown – it is a ’70’s VW, after all.
And this isn’t weight-reduction done properly. It is well-known that, for higher performance, a fast drive down a bumpy dirt road causes sufficient shedding such that the resultant motorised body shell at the end is seriously quicker.
This owner is just not trying.
Who’s driving the Civic?
What I like best about the Rabbit is that blindfolded, it tastes just like chicken.
I had two Civics back in the 80s.
They were good cars.
When I needed to pass, I would turn off the AC to get that 3 HP boost.
LMAO! Did the same thing both in my 80 Civic wagon and 86 626 sedan. Only in the Bay Area I didn’t need A/C all that much.
Bwah ha ha! My ’86 CRX was like that. You’d be driving along in town and then the air-conditioner compressor would kick in and you’d slow down by about 5 mph. (At highway speeds it wasn’t so noticeable when the air kicked in.)
C’mon guys! I thought these 4th gen Civics (like the one pictured) were pretty zippy with their 1.5 liter engines–with a FIVE speed. Even with the extra heft of a trunk.
That Rabbit (75-78, evidenced by taillights and horizontal side marker, was from Germany, not Westmoreland, PA) could be a diesel, or handicapped with an automatic. Or it could be in the sweet spot—the 1588 cc fuel-injected engine, which even with auto, was pretty decent. The US versions: 1975, 1471cc, carb. 1976, 1588cc car, 1977, 1588cc FI, 1978 1457cc FI, and at some point the 1588 cc may have returned. I think in 1981, in the Malibuized Rabbit featured a 1715cc variant, with a standard “3 + E” , aka wide-ratio BAD IDEA from Detroit, manual trans. That was the EPA numbers winner too, but the optional 5-speed was much better suited.
I would say, word of mouth would be that the Honda owners were generally happier with their cars, once they got over the initial shake-down at the new car dealer (“ADP side sticker, with additional dealer profit on top of the MSRP). But the VW diesel and Rabbit GTI owners were probably the happiest.
Ironically, a VW is chasing a Honda in the next lane over.
Nice to see cars over 30 still on the road and one even has its original license plates which is an added bonus. Pre-1992 Honda Civics are pretty much extinct around here Paul and the 1990s ones are getting pretty rare.
There’s at least one Civic sedan if this era still being driven in southeastern Pennsylvania. I used it for inspiration a couple of years ago:
Having never owned a Civic, nor a Honda, this is my favorite version of the Civic…it was a revelation when it came out. I also liked the 3rd generation Accord (hatchback) which I came close to buying in 1986 when I instead bought my GTi…the thing that swung it for me were that they didn’t offer fuel injection that year unless you bought the top level trim, which also came with power locks/windows (which I didn’t want). VW was still a-la-carte back then, and my GTi came unpowered, even with manual steering and crank-type sunroof.
My A1 was a ’78 Scirocco, which is sentimentally my favorite car…but a young man’s car, I doubt I’d be comfortable with it now, but back then even carpooled in it with 2 other people living in my apartment complex who worked at the same place; both of them also had 2 door cars (a ’79 Datsun 310 and a ’78 Ford Fiesta) so I didn’t feel too bad about my Scirocco…they eventually married and broke up our carpool (moved away). I would have liked to have an A1 Rabbit, and did look at them around the time I bought my Scirocco, but I think I ended up buying the right car for that stage of my life.
My cousin eventually bought an A1 (Westmoreland) Rabbit, and her brother bought an ’84 Jetta. Like a lot of people she’s since migrated firmly into the Honda fold, but I’m on my 3rd VW (don’t buy cars often)…my 2000 Golf. Sometimes I wonder if I bought the ’86 Accord Hatch instead of the GTi what my (car) life would have been like.
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