Vintage Vehicles

This cute Volkswagen cabrio was compared to a picnic basket but buyers loved it

The Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet is a classic convertible that has been forgotten by many.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Remember the simpler times? Before amusement in the car was measured by whether or not it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, there was a tremendous amount of joy that people received just from having a car with a sunroof. Pop-up, pull-down, electrified - it was all good. Even more fun was had by those that were lucky enough to have a convertible.

The original Beetle was a popular cabriolet though the top didn't win many accolades. It was often ill-fitting and less rainproof than what is ideal. Owners found carwashes to be a perilous experience. Volkswagen sold 332,000 Beetle Convertibles worldwide.

Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet The model was beloved though its roof was not.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

In 1976, Volkswagen replaced the Beetle with the first-generation Golf, which was known as the Rabbit in the U.S. But that wasn't good enough. VW wanted to make a Golf cabriolet with safer and affordability in mind. The result was the 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet with a five-layer roof that folded all the way back.

Globally, the model was sold under a number of different names and in a variety of special editions including the Wolfsburg models in the United States.

The Rabbit Cabriolet was the first model in its class to have a permanently installed roll bar attached to the B-pillar. This feature improved rollover protection and structural integrity, and quickly led to the model being compared to a picnic basket. However much fun of it people poked, they couldn't ignore its relative spaciousness and fuel efficiency.

Five years later the Rabbit was updated for its second generation and the Cabriolet received slight exterior updates though it kept its original underpinnings.

Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet The Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet was sold in the U.S. up until 2002.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen continued to sell the model in the U.S. through 1993 updating it over the years adding options like power windows and larger wheels. By the time production of the first-generation Cabriolet ended in 1993, Volkswagen had sold 388,552 of them worldwide.

The second-generation of the Cabriolet was launched in the U.S. in 1995 and included updates from the third-generation Golf as well as an available power roof with glass rear window. Buyers loved it and would make this version of the Cabriolet the best-selling convertible in the world with more than 600,000 produced over the next seven years.

In 2002, production of the model halted as customer preferences changed and safety regulations became more stringent.

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Some Volkswagens won't wear VW badging anymore.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Editor’s Note: After sources from Volkswagen confirmed this story on backgroundto reporters on March 29, 2021, the company’s spokespeople went on the record on March 30, 2021 to explain that the name change is merely an April Fool’s joke gone awry.

The brand currently known as Volkswagen is going all-in on electric vehicles. The company's commitment to the powertrain change is so strong that they've decided to change their name from Volkswagen to Voltswagen, replacing the "k" with a "t".

The change was announced in an apparent public relations slip-up on the company's media page with a press release publishing today, March 29, instead of the intended date of April 29. The release was quickly pulled down. The change has been confirmed by the automaker and was first reported by USA Today.

According to mis-timed press release, Volkswagen's electric vehicles (EVs) will be badged 'Voltswagen' while gasoline-powered autos will wear the typical VW badge.

2017: Volkswagen ID. BUZZ Volkswagen says that a version of its ID Buzz vehicle is coming to the U.S. later this decade. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is currently amplifying its electric vehicle sales strategy going full steam into launching models like the ID.4, a small SUV, and promising that a production version of the ID Buzz, an electric concept that has its roots in the Volkswagen Bus, will make its way to U.S. shores as an electric vehicle.

Volkswagen Group, the brand's parent company, also owns Audi, which has developed an E-tron vehicle lineup that includes the E-Tron, E-Tron Sportback, E-Tron GT, and the forthcoming production version of the Q4 Sportback E-Tron concept car. Porsche, another Volkswagen Group brand, recently launched the Taycan all-electric sports car and the Taycan Cross Turismo wagon is on its way. Even sister company Lamborghini is getting in on the electrified powertrain bandwagon.

The automaker has plans to launch more than 70 electric vehicles worldwide by 2029 and sell 1 million by 2025. Those are lofty goals, though much of the optimism surrounding the target is bolstered by continuing government clampdowns that make driving gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles more costly and scarce. These regulations most strictly affect European nations and China.

Though electric vehicles are growing in popularity, in many cases because of government incentives, Americans are only very slowing getting on-board with adoption. Take out Tesla sales and EVs represent very few sales in the U.S. at the moment. Click here to see a history of Volkswagen's modern electric vehicle development.

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Carroll Shelby's personal 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake sold at auction over the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson/Facebook

Just a few months ago, Carroll Shelby's personal 427 Cobra sold for $5.9 million at auction. This weekend, the only remaining 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake crossed the block, itself a relic of Mr. Shelby's garage.

This particular model started its life in 1965 as one of 23 built. It was shipped to Ford Advanced Vehicles in England on September 7, 1965, packaged alongside another 427 Cobra Competition and two R-model Shelby G.T. 350s. They were destined for a promotional tour of Europe.

The car, serial number CSX 3015, was shipped back to the U.S. when the tour was over. In 1967, Shelby American modified the hot rod into the Super Snake it is today. It is one of only two models built to its current specs and the only surviving car of the pair (the other was built for Bill Cosby). The sports car was billed as the "Cobra to End All Cobras" and was not street legal.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 3015 This is the only remaining Super Snake from the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 set.Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson/Facebook

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake CSX 3015

Since the turn of the millennium, the car has been sold three times. In 2007 it went for $5.5 million. In 2015 it was auctioned for $5.1 million. This weekend, it went for $5 million.

The model sold at auction is a good original condition. It has its original engine block, body panels, brake calipers, rear end, and exhaust system.

Not only is the car steeped in automotive history. It's also full of power. Under the hood is a 7.0-liter, twin-supercharged Ford V8 that achieves 800 horsepower and 462 pound-feet of torque. The Paxton supercharged engine is paired with a three-speed automatic transmission.

With a wheelbase of just 90 inches and a curb weight of just over 2,300 pounds, the powertrain setup makes the car closer to a rocket than a traditional coupe - and without modern safety features.

It was originally shipped and invoiced to Ford Advanced Vehicles in England on September 7, 1965, together with another 427 Cobra Competition and two R-model Shelby G.T.350s, to do a promotional tour in Europe.

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