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You are in the Volkswagen Cabrio
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Volkswagen Cabrio, Convertible
Mar 21, 2010 (12:26 am)
The car surprised me with it's ride quality. I was expecting it to either be stiff and noisy or soft and drafty but it was neither. It did great on the highway at 70mph with only minimal wind and road noise. On the city roads it took the bumps and tight turns with ease, letting me know where they were but not tossing me about like a pissed off bull. By the time we got home I found myself musing over it's simplistic interior styling, the awesome assortment of gauges that you would never see in an American car, and it's 1980's feel highlighted with 1990's amenities like heated seats and air bags.
As you were probably able to tell from my list of past vehicles, I really like cars that are pre 1990 but post 1980. I guess an easier way to word it would be, “I like cars from the 80's.”
Just looking back at the cars I owned, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that the 80's were a prime time for the automotive world. The years gave birth to the Mazda RX-7, the Nissan 300ZX (wait, I think I had one of those.), the Toyota Supra ('78-'92), the VW Golf GTI Mk I (Still faster than the Mk II, Mk III, Mk IV and I would wager the Mk V and VI), and lets not forget some of the more odd-ball designs like the Porsche 944 ('82-'91), the Audi Quattro ('80-'91) and the Merkur XR4Ti-zxTtRsQ46559... T ... whatever ('85-'89).
I often times find myself wondering exactly what year my Cabriolet is. The Vin Number, and every other number that means anything on the car, says it is a 1993 but the hazard switch says '92 and every ounce of its styling tells me it is from the 1970's. This car is a mutt. I get the distinct feeling that Volkswagen, at the end of the MK I Cabriolet's production, simply took all there overstock and extra parts and bolted them together then shipped them out hopping that they would sell. And sell they did.
On rare occasions of automotive history, a manufacturer gets lucky and designs a car that is not only fitting for it's time, but manages to set the standard and hold it's own well beyond its expiration date. I will venture to say that the birth of the VW Rabbit/Golf was one of such occasions.
Not only is the Golf GTI considered the be the first “hot hatch” but it pretty well set the standard for every subcompact car and created yet another die-hard fan base for Volkswagen. Even today Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Ford, Nissan, Chevy, and even Volkswagen itself hasn't been able to match the styling, speed and overall exhilaration the Golf GTI brought to the middle-class market. Yet, I digress. This is not about the GTI, this is about the Cabriolet.
I think that to an extent VW knew they got the formula right with the MK I. The sad thing is, they didn't really design what everyone loved so much about it, and that shows with the Mk II-VI. Instead, the Mk I was styled by an Italian by the name of Giorgetto Giugiaro, and if you look at his wrap sheet, you will see that this guy knew what he was doing. Just look at the BMW M1, the Lotus Esprit and ever the DMC Delorean. All cars penned by him and still easily recognized by anyone and everyone to this day.
I am convinced this is the reason why VW kept building the Mk I Cabriolet unchanged for as long as they did. They knew they got it right and they were going to suck the life out of it. Not only did it hit the niche for the fun loving hippies of the 70's, that painted their Bettles in pastels and daisy flowers, but they also found a place in the hearts of the younger crowd. From what I have read and observed, it was not uncommon to spot a Cabrio with its top down parked in front of the local Universities. Even now you can still see the influence they had on the culture of the late '90's and even the early 2000's in films such as “10 Things I hate About You”(1999), “Shallow Hal” (2001), “The Hot Chick” (2002), and one one my favorite films “Crank” (2006) featuring the Cabrio in a very intense chase where, I must say, it holds it's owns quite well.
The only thing that initially made me shy away from the Cabriolet is the fact that it is a girls car. Just look at the movies I named off, all of them owned by stuck up, blond haired, bimbos (with the exception of “Shallow Hal”, where it was owned by a fat man with a tail). Needless to say, I really wasn't looking forward to being seen cruising around in the little thing but, the first time I folded back the top and got in, all my insecurities dissipated in the wind.
There is something about the Cabriolet that I just can't place my finger on. Never have I held so much pride in my vehicle. Every day I walk out of the house and see it sitting in the driveway a smile comes across my face. I peek out from under the carport to check on the weather is just to see if it is possible to put the top down. Somehow this simple and confused concoction of nuts and bolts manages to make every mundane trip into an event. Whenever the sun is shining, it finds a way to make even the most stressful days feel like a day at the race track (I would have said “beach” but I find beaches the be very tiresome and boring, my ideal day is spent on asphalt and enjoying the smell of freshly spent gasoline).
People always say: “You can't buy love”, but I am going to have to disagree. You can indeed buy love, and all the stuff that comes with it. Just go find you a MK I Cabriolet.
Thanks to www.cabby-info.com, www.edmunds.com, www.vwvortex.com for all the very useful info, and to Jeremy Clarkson for inspiring me to write this and showing just as much respect for the little guys as you do for the big guys.
Copyright © 2010 by Luke N. Townsley
#469 of 492 Cabrio Overheating
Mar 21, 2010 (8:00 pm)
Lately, my 02 Cabrio has been overheating when i drive the car for over an hour at a time. I cant afford to stop driving it, so thank goodness when i get a consistent air flow (at least 45 mph) the air cools the engine off, but when i go below 35 mph or sit in traffic for a period of time, it begins to overheat. Eventually, a whirring-rattling noise kicks in, which im assuming is a fan. does anyone have any advice????
I just had the coolant housing replaced and there are no leaks.
Apr 12, 2010 (7:42 pm)
has any one had to replace a engine because of the timing belt
May 27, 2010 (9:49 am)
can I program a new igni key without a scan tool
#472 of 492 Hard to find part
Jul 15, 2010 (11:40 am)
Looking for the oval piece of plastic with the crown logo that covers the moulding hole on each side of the car's front fender.
I seem to have lost one however Volkswagen does not make the part anymore. I'd like to buy it from whomever can provide one or has the OEM part number.
Hope someone can help.
Aug 23, 2010 (5:05 pm)
Anybody know if an 2000 Cabrio has a sway bar if so how do i remove it. THX
#474 of 492 Re: Hard to find part [new2benz]
Aug 23, 2010 (5:17 pm)
If you live near an LKQ self serve parts center try their i can normally get parts their. They dont have them in every state though
#475 of 492 97 cabrio will not start
Aug 29, 2010 (6:23 am)
Bought a 97 Cabrio for my daughter 156k miles, vehicle ran well for a month, then one day she shut it off and went to restart and it wouldnt start. Lights, radio, windows, ect all work, but no crank. Checked starter and solenoid, both seemed ok, not really sure, used a jump wire from solenoid to hot for starter and car started, any idea what I should be looking for, when car would not start, could hear a click from left side of engine, is there another relay or solenoid I cant find. Thank you.
#476 of 492 Re: 97 cabrio will not start [kfisher1]
Aug 29, 2010 (6:50 am)
Shot in the dark: Could be an electrical relay that is faulty. See where your relays are and just pull them out and re-seat them.
#477 of 492 Re: 97 cabrio will not start [kfisher1]
Aug 29, 2010 (9:03 am)
Ck starter relay,switch relay with another like relay to ck.,also poss. that it is related to security sys in the ign lock cyl. Best bet ,take it to a well known vw tech or dealer. Greman cars are tricky don't bring it to just ant repair shop !!