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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Fly out, swap an engine, drive a Rabbit pickup across the country? James is going to try it

It's as simple as this: a joke on a social media platform has transformed into a quickly approaching feat of mechanical ability, the cultivation of a friendship, and a considerable amount of money.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/driving/fly-out-swap-an-engine-drive-a-rabbit-pickup-across-the-countr...
10 REPLIES 10
MoparMan
Advanced Driver

Well, it would appear that the "drought" of comments has ended! This should be be a VERY entertaining adventure! I (somewhat) envy James and look forward to really about the exploits!
Good luck on the "ressurrection" and the journey!! 🙂
Tim
Instructor

After reading the article title and seeing that first picture, my first thought was, "This thing needs a *lot* more than an engine!"

I wonder if there is a contingency plan for when this takes longer than the three days (especially considering the work is planned over a holiday weekend!). Surely by Saturday there will be a part needed that won't be able to arrive before Tuesday. Many vehicles like these were restored by people with more ambition than sensibility, and that's a good thing for anyone who loves older vehicles like this one.
Hangoversteer
New Driver

Hi there, I'm Nick Bygrave the guy who wrote this article. James sent out a TON of parts before he got there, and the car is now seriously overhauled. He's only one day behind schedule, and on the road back home to Ohio.
SuperDeLuxe
Detailer

I want to do the same thing, but with a 1930- something Harley or Indian. Yikes!
SCCA_VW
New Driver

Cool project. My son and I are resurrecting a Mk1 GTI "Barn Find" car that sat for ~15 years, with a timescale a LOT longer than 3 days!!
TG
Instructor

One of my buddies once had a similar idea with an early 70s ford pickup that he wanted me along for. In this case it was allegedly brakes, belts hoses, etc. and drive it back. The guy said the truck runs great... 'trust me'. After several scheduling SNAFUs, he elected to have it shipped out, and when it arrived, it was a complete train wreck
There is always more wrong with an old car than what you think - and when you think it's a lot, look out
RW68RSConv
Intermediate Driver

I know car nuts encompass all types… but I wouldn’t tow a Rabbit across the street. God bless him.
motorsledge
Intermediate Driver

The concept of leaving the rust belt to find something worth fixing always appealed to me, too, and I have undertaken similar adventures by way of internet auctions, but having owned a Rabbit diesel and similarly required an engine change 40 years ago, it cured me of any desire to "roll coal" permanently., I have to say, though, the fly out, drive back endeavors have been some of the best times of my life, and I will be looking forward to the young mans story of Labor Day weekend 2021, Good Luck!
DrDinos
New Driver

I had an "81 4 door diesel 4 speed Rabbit that I put over 200,00 miles on after buying it brand new. Only reason I got rid of it was due to a small oil leak and the rest of the car being pretty tired, but that car ran great ! I remember the little arrow in the dash lighting up to tell you when to shift in order to get the 50+ MPG, and it did !
cigarmerchant
Pit Crew

It's challenges like these Mr. Cooperider that make me want to drag my '98 A-4 Avant out of the monkey grass and get it running again. My current two options are to wait until 2023 when it will be 25 years old and no longer need emissions so I can gut the cats and not worry about the dashboard lights that would currently keep it from passing. My second option, also in 2023 would be to hope electric options become more affordable where I can stuff the back of the wagon with batteries. WAIT, I just turned 65 and can apply for a waiver from emissions...maybe I'll just drag it out this weekend. Thanks Mr. Cooperider for the inspire